8 Words You Didn't Know You Needed Until Now
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Politics and Activism

8 Words You Didn't Know You Needed Until Now

Describe those feelings you didn't know had words.

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8 Words You Didn't Know You Needed Until Now
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Sometimes in life, we experience feelings that are hard to describe, beyond just “sad” or “excited.” These emotions can be so specific that we feel as if we’re the only ones to feel them, because of how hard they are to articulate. Fortunately, others have felt these things and filled the gaps with words that are actually quite useful in describing emotions we would otherwise fail to communicate. Here are some words that you never knew you need until now:

1. Onism

The definition: This is defined as the frustration of being stuck in just one body at any time, unable to experience more than one thing or be in more than one place, knowing that there are a million things you won’t be able to do before you die.

A time you might use it: Watching the videos of current historical events tucked away in the calm of your room thousands of miles away, knowing that even a live video isn’t the same as feeling the sweat of protestors or hearing the whisper of a crowd in front of a capitol building.

2. Jouska

The definition: The imaginary and often lively conversation that you carry out in your head between yourself and someone else.

A time you might use it: When you’re psyching yourself up for a confrontation and you want to practice the calm, measured argument you’ll say (which will immediately be thrown out in favor of crying once the argument starts). Or when you’re driving home and think of the perfect comeback and imagine the scenario as it’d have gone if you hadn’t just gasped like a fish out of water when you got that sick burn.

3. Rubatosis

The definition: The awareness of your own heartbeat.

A time you might use it: When you’re lying awake in an unfamiliar house, alone late at night, with only the ambient creaking of the floorboards and your own heartbeat to hold back the tide of total silence.

4. Anecdoche

The definition: A conversation in where everyone is talking but nobody is actually listening.

A time you might use it: A dinner out with friends after the meal where everyone’s had one or two drinks, and everyone is trying to tell a story, in which the cacophony of voices results in nobody being heard in their excitement to be.

5. Monachopsis

The definition: The subtle yet nagging feeling of being out of place, not fitting in, knowing that the place you belong is not where you are.

A time you might use it: When your friend drags you to a party where you don’t know anyone and you spend the whole night nursing a drink on the couch watching everyone else have fun. Or the feeling when you move somewhere new and don’t have any friends yet, and spend your time either lonely or among people you don’t like just for the sake of being around someone.

6. Liberosis

The definition: The desire to care less.

A time you might use it: When a persistently stressful situation has been gripping and worrying you for a long time, and you want only to be able to let go yet find yourself unable.

7. Dysania

The definition: The state of struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

A time you might use it: When you promised yourself you’d go to bed at a reasonable time and instead stayed up until you heard birds outside, and now the blaring alarm next to your bed is almost physically painful as you lift your heavy chest from the mattress.

8. Sonder

The definition: The realization that every person around you has a life and history just as rich, interesting, difficult, and unique as your own.

A time you might use it: When you pass a lone pair of headlights on a back road late at night, when you see a family preparing to eat dinner through a window as you walk on the street, when you see the red eyes and tear streaked mascara of the cashier as she tries to give you her best smile and hands you a receipt with shaking hands.

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