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25 Jun 2012

Feelings, Emotions & Intuition: The Difference

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Feelings, Emotions, Intuition - Difference

A commenter (Roger) to my post on the difference between emotional intelligence and intuition wanted more elaboration, especially between emotions and feelings:

It’s also not clear what the difference between Emotion and Feelings are in your article and also in reality, these are often used interchangeably.

Using a food analogy, feelings are ingredients, emotions are foods and intuition is what the food tells us about the meal, event or us. Thus, feelings form emotions, and emotions move us (e-motion) to think, do or say something that gives us insights into things, events, people and ourselves.

For example, yeast, salt, water and flour make bread. These four ingredients are feelings and the bread an emotion. How the bread is made and used can tell us much about what’s going on. A large loaf might mean many people; a loaf with a soft crust might mean sandwiches.

Foods tell us much about the meal, the event and the people. Whether it’s junk food, comfort food or breakfast food, or a formal meal, an ethnic meal or a vegetarian one, we learn something. Intuition works the same; it helps us learn what our emotions are saying. For example, if I’m sad (feeling), I might want to buy something (emotion). What I buy says something (intuition) about my state or even myself.

Any event can produce many feelings in us, sometimes conflicting. For instance, a friend’s good fortune might produce feelings of happiness and envy. Together they produce an emotion that might move us to arrange a celebration for the friend (happiness) but it’s more subdued than we could have done (jealousy). Then, intuition helps us learn what our emotions are saying about our relationship with our friend.

Thus, to understand the differences among these words, think food!


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2 Responses

  1. Mike, I really enjoyed the food analogy for the difference between feelings and emotions. Much of the work I do needs to be simplified as I am dealing with younger children, parents and teachers. Everyone can relate to food! Thank you. Kathylee

    1. Mike Lehr

      You’re welcome, Kathylee. I’m pleased the analogy helps and might even pass the child test. Thank you for visiting, commenting and complimenting. ~Mike

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