"I feel bad." "I'm happy." "I'm sad." Statements such as these do express emotional states, but they do so ineffectively. Why? Because they are so general and abstract that they don't clearly communicate what the speaker feels. Does "I feel bad" mean the person feels depressed, angry, guilty, ashamed, or anxious? Does "I'm happy" mean the speaker is in love, pleased with a grade, satisfied at having received a promotion, delighted to be eating chocolate, or thrilled about an upcoming vacation? When we use general, abstract emotional language, we aren't communicating effectively about what we feel. A limited emotional vocabulary restricts our ability to communicate clearly with others.