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Learning These 8 Terms for Different Types of Relationships Will Instantly Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

Jessica Stillman
4 min readMay 21, 2024


I admit that I am a word nerd who loves to learn new words just for the fun of it. But there’s a serious and practical reason to boost your store of unusual and little-known words even if English was not your favorite subject in school.

According to research by Northeastern University psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett and other experts, expanding your vocabulary for feelings and experiences helps you recognize and express your emotions better, and also better understand the emotions of others. And when you have a more specific sense of the feelings you are dealing with, you can make better decisions about how to respond.

A bigger emotional vocabulary, in other words, is a simple way to instantly boost your emotional intelligence.

How we talk about relationships affects how we behave in them.

This, along with my language geek tendencies, is why I am always on alert for linguists, foreign language speakers, and other experts sharing useful new vocabulary that might bring a little more sense and order to the days of busy entrepreneurs.

I’ve written about ancient Greek words that capture modern predicaments, terms for various