Happy Anniversary, Bookshelf Muse!!

Woot, one year old at last! Becca and I appreciate all the great comments, feedback and support that keeps us running. You guys are truly what makes this blog awesome!Now onto the important stuff...what would an anniversary be without PRESENTS?

Becca and I have been working on a special post in anticipation of this landmark. We hope this will help you continue to portray accurate emotions!

Expressing Cardinal Emotions: Male vs. Female



Tendency toward violence: hitting something, kicking, shoving, causing damage to something as an outlet for energy
Clenched fists
Confronting others head on
Tendency to initiate vengeance with others
Letting emotions rule immediate judgement, leading to speeding, stomping down on an accelerator & peeling out of a parking lot, making rash decisions
Internalizes anger, doesn't talk about it
Able to move past anger eventually
Usually forgives and forgets


Lips pinched together
Bitterly running someone down to others
Yelling or screaming
Cat fights
Leaving the situation, stalking off
Arms crossed
Verbalizes, using words to do the damage or fight
Dark thoughts (revenge, a desire to divulge secrets or weakness to others regarding the other person involved, thinking of ways to bring them down or make them look bad in front of everyone to spread one's own pain)
A lessened or completely broken sense of loyalty to the other person, even if previously close
May lash out at others for release
Takes a long time to move past anger
Will never forget, even though they may forgive



Handing over control
Agreeing to make things easier/keep person happy
Paying for dates, meals, etc
Small things: filling the tank with gas, doing chores that he knows is easier for him than her to do, taking care of things that he knows she's not as comfortable with (maybe taking the car in for maintenance, or if he's more computer savvy, then setting up software or accounts online, etc)
Picking her up after work, school or offering rides
Sharing personal interests with or including her in 'buddy events'
Apologizing when necessary or to smooth things over
Touching, holding & physical affection
Eye contact
Assuming a 'provider role'
Telling a partner "I love you"
Being spontaneous (checking in throughout the day, phone calls, suggesting an activity/date/event to attend)
rubbing shoulders or feet, massages
Plays with hair
Pet name


Works to look good for partner
Touching/holding/very affectionate
Showing appreciation
Complimenting partner's strengths/achievements
Cooking or baking something special
Paying close attention to partner's interest
Asks questions about interests/hobbies
Phone calls
Making sure the partner feels needed/wanted
Verbalizes feelings
Looks for ways to spend time together
Adopts partner's interests as own
Asks for advice/opinions/help
Allows him to do things for her (that she could do herself) because it makes him feel good/like a provider



If in a group, he may flinch toward buddies but he'd never reach out for them
Flight response if situation is beyond control, fight if it is not
Attempts to act macho or hide fear if with others
Projects denial: "I wasn't scared--you were!"
Jerks back in shock or surprise
Will not necessarily seek out help
Intrinsic reaction/need to protect others younger or of the opposite sex
Swears or gets angry


Screams, cries, moans (verbalizes fear)
Strong instinct to protect loved ones or those younger than self
Flight response
Will huddle close to others or seek to be with people
May look to those who can protect them to do so
Grabs onto friends
May panic in extreme situations
Would rather be in a group than alone
Innovative if necessary (fighting back, manipulation in order to keep self/others safe)
Will seek out help if threatened
Resilience & heroism when needed



An easygoing nature
Physical contact with others
Teasing, joking, laughing
Open to anything or to try new things
Being more verbal & animated than usual


Speaking rapidly
Squeals, giggles, laughter
Touching people to feel connected to them
A radiant look
Wanting to share/spread feelings with others
Bubbly nature, hyperness



Utilizes face expressions
Little verbal communication
Loss of confidence
A who-cares attitude
Backing off or down
Shutting down somewhat, having a difficult time processing
A loosening of body posture


Asks questions
Verbalizes feelings
Demands clarification & more information
Exhibits 'self protective' body posture: holds books to chest, arms crossed in front of self, stepping back from others slightly, death grip on purse)
Defends self, tries to reason or sway others to change outcomes



Knee jerk reactions: jumps back, brings hands up to defend, light shove/arm punch to another after shock wears off
May swear or utter oaths
Incapable of staying still--needs to move around to process
Uses a few words to convey surprise over and over
May not like to be surprised


Hands cover mouth
Pressing hand against heart
Verbalizes as they feel it
Admonishes others but is secretly pleased
May sit down to process
Seeks to be with or share with others
Loves surprises



Becomes quiet
Looks for a distraction or a task to focus on
Avoids others
Does not react verbally
Seeks to be alone/may avoid people
Avoids comfort unless he is very close to the person
Questions one's own role and if they failed somehow in thoughts
Tries to figure out a solution to the problem
If there is no solution, he may ignore the problem


Shows emotions (cries, shares with others, asks for comfort)
Verbalizes what one is feeling/thinking
Feels guilt even if there should be none
Plays the what if game
Tries to care for others
Offers comfort to others
Finds release/peace in sharing the experience and knowing others feel the same way
Tries to talk it through with others
Asks for advice
Looks for a protector/someone to offer strength at time of need
Will take the steps to create change when time is right


**Please note these examples are suggested commonalities for each sex, but not the rule. Each individual expresses differently, but sometimes the sexes gravitate to a certain type of communication style because they are male or female (for example, in almost all things, women tend to verbalize much more than men). :-) Age & maturity is also a huge factor, as is personality type.

Don't forget to check out the full length Emotion Thesaurus posts for each of these in the sidebar!


Bish Denham said...

W0W!!!! Wonderful post!!!! And Congratulations on completing your first year!!!! May there be many more!!!!

(Says she after using an over abundance of exclamation points!)

Yunaleska said...

Oh my word! AWESOME post! :D Thank you for providing a fanatastic writing resource :)

CJ Raymer said...

"HAPPY ANNIVERSARY," gals! I love your blog. And, as usual, today you have given me much to think about. XOXO

Emina said...

Happy Anniversary!

*snickers* I found the male/female comparisons slightly hilarious. :P

Angela said...

Thanks everyone! And Emina, I know what you mean. Some of them seemed crazy to write down, but for certain age groups/maturity levels, it really is true!

PJ Hoover said...

Now that is an anniversary post!

Lady Glamis said...

You guys are awesome! Congrats on the year mark!

And really cool addition to the thesaurus. :)

C.R. Evers said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! Thnx for all the great posts!


Connie Clark said...

Thanks for the past year ladies! Your blog that could definitely has! Happy Birthday Bookshelf Muse!

Tabitha said...

Happy Anniversary!!! *happy dance* :)

Patty P said...

This is one of the most useful blogs out there. I love you guys and I constantly refer back to it while writing. Thanks again!

adrienne said...

Congrats on the anniversary, and thanks for the wonderful posts!

Brown Eyed Girl said...

Happy anniversary, ladies!

Your thesauruses look like wonderful writing tools.

Cheers to this next year!

Becca said...

Thanks so much for all the props, people. It's so good to hear when we're on track, and also when we've gone over the edge, lol ;)

Mary Witzl said...

Happy anniversary! My protagonists are always expressing their surprise by hands to mouth, wide open eyes, etc. I need to come over here more...

Lapillus said...

Happy Anniversary! What a great post!

Kate said...

Only a year? You've achieved so much in that time! Congratulations on a great blog and a great resource. Happy Anniversary.

sruble said...

Happy Anniversary!

Jessica said...

Awesome! I'm totally going to use these.

Creative A said...

Happy birthday, Bookshelf Muse! I want to let you guys know that I'm tagging EACH of you for the "six things that make me happy" meme. My post was here, at http://headdeskforwriters.blogspot.com/2009/01/ralfast-over-at-neither-here-nor-there.html


Hélène Boudreau said...

Bonne Fête!!

Thanks for all your hard work here at The Bookshelf Muse!

Dee Martin said...

I just found your blog. This is marvelous. I'll be reading and taking notes for days - thank you so much for doing all this. I have added a link to you in my sidebar!


Lynda Fitzgerald said...

Well, Muses, I think you've surpassed all reference tools I've found in 30 years of writing. This is a most comprehensive and useful website for a writer. I will tell all my writer friends about it. We ALL "need" it, and I thank you for making this information available to us all. If you ever decide to publish it in a book or books, I'll be the first in line to buy them.

Angela said...

Many thanks! *blushes* I'm glad you found your way here. :-)

Charmaine Clancy said...

Excellent post, I'm printing this list out for checking my emotions in my WIP - thanks!

Melody Valadez said...

This post is LEGIT! :) Thanks so much! (Found your blog through Stina Lindenblatt's links.) *goes to click the follow button and RSS Feed url*

SP Sipal said...

Happy Blogoversary!! And what a gift for us. Your resources are just amazing. Thanks for another extremely useful post. :-0

Anonymous said...

Interesting list! Very useful too, although based on the supposed differences between "male" and "female" emotions, I'm apparently a man, even though I'm female. :)

I do realize you're going for generalizations here, and of course women and men are socialized to express emotions differently. Still, it's worth noting that these are also personality-based ways to express emotions rather than sex or gender-based differences. Just a friendly suggestion! I really do like the list!

Maybe I'm just weird and all the people I know are weird, haha, but 90% of the women I know emote like "men" and a good half of the men I know emote like "women" according to the list. :)

Anonymous said...

Just read the starred text at the bottom...oops. Ignore my friendly critique about these being differences in personality more than simply sex or gender based ways to emote!

And I must say, again, wonderful list!


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