Which feelings can I name? How did I feel during the conflict?
What kind of other people’s feelings can I deal with and which of them are hard for me to take?
“Feelings are the children of needs”
In case our needs are satisfied we have pleasant feelings. We feel satisfied, relaxed, cheerful or contented.
In case of unmet needs we feel bad and unsatisfied. If we cannot manage to get our needs of e.g. understanding or affiliation, appreciation or security satisfied, feelings like anger, irritation or exasperation can arise.
I developed these cards in order to talk about emotions more easily. For children and teenagers in social learning situations, for adults in communication trainings, non-violent communication or mediation courses. Watching the monster comics provokes an animated atmosphere for good conversation about feelings.
- Children or teenagers choose one card to answer a question about how they feel right now.
- Ask one of the conflict parties to name his or her feelings or the other party’s ones.
- Ask the conflict parties: “Imagine that the conflict is solved and you have cleared up everything that is of concern. How would you feel then?”
- Warm up: “How are you today? Choose the card that shows your feeling right now, present it to the others and return it afterwards.”
- Draw a card, demonstrate the emotion and let the others guess what it was.
- Each group receives a set of cards and discusses the feelings that are shown. After this they present their results and discuss the different solutions. (The cards are designed in a way so that different interpretations are possible e.g. moping or forward, shy or surprised, satisfied or haughty).
- Copy the sheet depicting expressions of feelings (free download in “Materials”)and let the students relate the feelings to the comic-monsters.
To begin talking about feelings:
- Present all cards at the beginning of a sequence about feelings
- Discussion about positive or negative emotions. Including emotions that we are able to feel when needs are/aren’t satisfied.
- Gather individuals into small groups to discuss how we react to different feelings. Then, members of the group talk about their needs, given this situation.
Name emotions (see “Social Learning 1.”) Discussion about which emotions we are able to feel.
- Participants choose one card for a situation in which they were angry, irritated or furious. Then talk about what they really needed in this situation (their needs).
Use the cards as a conversation starter for groups of two or more, enabling them to talk about emotions that are easy or hard to deal with in a mediation process.
Last but not at least
The cards are an excellent way to create a friendly atmosphere within training sessions and to initiate discussions about feelings.