What are your favourite subtle emotions?
February 26, 2018 9:03 AM   Subscribe

For example, some of mine are reading a beautiful or insightful or somehow otherwise earth-shattering passage in a book and having to stop and re-read it because it is so good, and the mind-blown-wide-open and appreciative feeling that comes with it.

Having a really good dessert in front of you and feeling kind of smug about it. Meeting a new and exciting person and not realizing that people like this even existed. Or being in public and seeing something funny or sweet and sharing a smile about it with a stranger. Being outside when everything is covered in snow and it is very quiet, especially in the city. The first moment of being able to feel pleasure or relaxation after a period of sadness.

I understand that these are less emotions in the way that psychology might define different affective states, because they're very tied to specific external circumstances, but I think each one does come with a particular internal state, and that's what I'm interested in.

I am asking this question partly because I think it would be fun to have a big list of the subtle emotions that people enjoy, and partly as an exercise in getting better at noticing and paying attention to all the things around me that might be worth appreciating.

If this is not the right place for this question, or if it seems too much like chatfilter, or if someone has already asked a version of this question, please delete away!
posted by unstrungharp to Human Relations (75 answers total) 135 users marked this as a favorite
The mind-expanding feeling of connection of being in a big crowd of people all singing the same song together, which for me is combined with a physical feeling of frisson, can bring tears to my eyes. See also and also and also.
posted by limeonaire at 9:37 AM on February 26, 2018 [20 favorites]

Seeing something beautiful but small that no one else appears to be noticing. Like a flower growing in a gap in a brick wall, or the song of a bird amongst the hustle & bustle of a city. I love that small moment of recognition of something pretty like that it's like a little zap of joy to my brain.
posted by wwax at 9:43 AM on February 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

When I read something significant (usually plot wise) in a book and feel my ears go up* before I actually have a conscious thought about how that thing is significant.

*my whole scalp moves I guess. It's the same muscle I flex if I want to "wiggle" my ears at someone.
posted by purple_bird at 9:46 AM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

A handwritten letter from a lover in the post; the anticipation before opening; the careful reading of the words within, and then a second reading, and a secret smile meant only for someone miles away.

Sure, this is something people have enjoyed for centuries but I'd argue that in a time of instant messaging and email and social media, there is a special frisson attached to a form of communication where you can see the person in each word and think of them spending time thinking about each sentence amidst the plethora of other means of modern contact.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 9:51 AM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here's another one: moments of synchronicity, where you're thinking about someone and then they happen to call or message you right then. That's an amazing feeling—it makes you feel like you manifested them, wished them into being, and of course it's nice to have that feeling of reciprocity.
posted by limeonaire at 9:53 AM on February 26, 2018 [13 favorites]

Have you ever read Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, from a Japanese woman who lived around the year 1000? The book is filled with lists you might like (things that make the heart beat faster, things that arouse a fond memory of the past, things that give a clean feeling, etc).
posted by pinochiette at 10:03 AM on February 26, 2018 [26 favorites]

The numb feeling you get at a meeting at work when you think of a question, but don't ask it, because you realize that you don't actually care what the answer is.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:11 AM on February 26, 2018 [21 favorites]

That feeling of anticipation and content when you slip into bed and realize your day is over.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:21 AM on February 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm not sure what the feeling is but I love seeing people who know each other run into each other in public, like on the subway. You see both of them in blank-faced walls-up out-in-public mode, and then one of them approaches the other and you can see the second person have that moment of what the hell someone's talking to me or touching me??? and then they realize who it is and then they hug or shake or fist-bump or whatever and always laugh a whole lot. I guess it just seems so happy because of the shift from "everyone's a stranger" to "oh, YOU!"
posted by little cow make small moo at 10:29 AM on February 26, 2018 [55 favorites]

It's not pleasurable per se, but I really appreciate when I get a "red flag" feeling about someone. Usually it manifests as a mild aversion (like I don't want to be too close to them and don't enjoy eye contact with them- but I might want to continue to watch them a little from across the room to get a better bead on them) and maybe an uneasy/tense stomach feeling.

These moments can seem random but I view them as my subconscious observing numerous small bits of hard-to-parse data about the person (like small details in their body language, eye contact, tone of voice, etc) and formulating an overall vibe.

I value these insights tremendously (and am rarely later proven wrong- moreover, I've been "right" many times- for instance, as a teenager I identified several men as "creeps" after 3 minutes of conversation, and, decades later, have seen them exposed as longtime #MeToo abusers). It feels great to know my instincts are sharp, and that they're looking out for me.

A pleasurable subtle emotion I love is when two friends start to reference the same inside joke or bit of shorthand and one barely needs to say the first word before the other is on the same train and they can skip the rest of the reference but continue in synch. I think of these as "Darmok and Jalad" moments.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:15 AM on February 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

That feeling that comes with a satisfying sensory experience, like the beginning of the movie Amélie when she cracks the creme brulee and sticks her hand in a basket of dry beans.
posted by clavicle at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

That feeling when you are going to leave a place, like if you’re moving away from a city, and you’re seeing every banal thing around you with preemptively nostalgic eyes. Familiar sights become soon-to-be-once-familiar sights.

That feeling when you’re about to do something good for you that you don’t really want to do (a doctor’s appointment, the first trip to a new gym, an awkward but necessary conversation etc.). You’re slightly dreading the experience at the very same time as you’re already proud of yourself and relieved that you’re actually doing the thing.

That feeling when you realize that you have let go of something or someone that you once thought you couldn’t live without, and you see everything that that absence made space for.

That feeling of walking under orange sodium streetlights at night, when it has rained and the trees and the pavement are wet. Dreamlike and familiar, public and private, all at once.

That feeling of stepping into the shower when you haven’t had one in way too long.
posted by Edna Million at 11:28 AM on February 26, 2018 [43 favorites]

The feeling of catching the scent of petrichor before the rain. The feeling of biting someone's warm soft skin, lightly yet firmly. The feeling of sighing, letting go of that breath you didn't realize you were holding.
posted by limeonaire at 11:32 AM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

oh, so many.

When you go out the front door in winter expecting the slap of cold and it's warmer than you thought it would be and the air feels welcoming.

the sight of a wrapped present with your name on it (before you've had to formulate a response to whatever the thing actually is; let's face it, whatever's in there is probably disappointing in some way, but while it's wrapped it's pure love)

A nicely sorted closet full of things that fit and everything is clean and ready to be worn.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

The almost tingly, warm, feeling of draining tension that comes when an unnoticed noise stops, like when the air conditioning turns itself off and the particular frequencies of sound it makes just stop...and your whole body relaxes in a wave. It's extremely pleasurable in a way I find hard to describe.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 11:53 AM on February 26, 2018 [31 favorites]

The feeling when you discover that two slightly curious or incongruous things that appear to be unrelated are not just connected, but actually explain one another.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2018 [15 favorites]

I have something I call the "up escalator". It's related to anticipation, but specifically references the period of time before an event (often, for me, seeing someone I'm infatuated with) where there is no longer any downtime to be dealt with; the thing I've been looking forward to is inevitable and there's no more room for me to worry.

In a more general sense, when nervous anticipation relaxes into enjoyment.
posted by itesser at 1:24 PM on February 26, 2018 [15 favorites]

Squeezing a very large white head on your face and watching as it explodes.

Squeezing a deep, dark, mildly-raised blackhead and watching as the dirt rises from beneath the skin into the open air.

I realise may not be the kind of emotions that fit into your list. But it gives me joy that is not simple and cannot be easily explained. And for many other people too (youtube videos with millions of views will attest to this -- I won't link but a simple google search will suffice).
posted by moiraine at 1:47 PM on February 26, 2018 [10 favorites]

In several situations in my life, I've been sitting in a warm, fluorescent-lit room late at night with ceiling fans whirring with darkness visible outside the windows and everyone in the room is a bit sun-drunk and tired. Something about the ceiling fans and the fluorescents give me this heady, detached feeling but it's so pleasant to just be sitting there zoning out, surrounded by people I like.
posted by raspberrE at 2:04 PM on February 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm from an area that gets very long, cold winters so a lot of my subtle emotions are seasonal - hearing thunder for the first time that year, or rain falling, and the quick hit of joy as you realize how long it has been since you have heard that sound; seeing sprouting bulbs beginning to poke up from the gray dirt; realizing it's too warm for your winter coat today; stepping outside and noticing you can SMELL the outside again and it smells like fresh soil; opening your windows for the first time since fall and seeing the curtains billow and a gust of fresh air rushes in and gives you goosebumps. It's all tied to anticipation and relief and hope that warmth and sunshine are coming.

Or, in reverse - looking at the trees in early September and realizing a couple of them are tinged with gold and fall is coming; standing outside at night and feeling a chill; baking something nice in the oven because it's cool enough again to use it; hearing the wind rattle your windows but your home is sealed up and warm and you are safe; standing outside at night on Halloween after the kids are all in bed and seeing the lights twinkling in pumpkins on everyone's front steps. It's a sort of cozy settling in secure feeling ("hygge," maybe).

Looking at the lit-up Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in a dark room, before heading upstairs for the night. Happy nostalgia for past holidays and some leftover little-kid excitement because tomorrow is Christmas.

For those of us living inland, arriving at a vacation destination after a long day of travel and feeling the strong sun on bare skin (after months covered by a winter coat), and pausing to hear the ocean.

Finishing a long day of cleaning and settling down with a cool drink in a clean house, enjoying the rewards of your work.

The shiver I get after a truly great live performance (usually theater) where there is a brief second or two of absolute silence before the applause begins.
posted by castlebravo at 2:17 PM on February 26, 2018 [13 favorites]

stepping outside and noticing you can SMELL the outside again and it smells like fresh soil

I literally just came here to say this as well. Such a great feeling, being able to catch scents on the air again!
posted by limeonaire at 2:19 PM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, when you work from home, it makes it so you notice this more acutely—I always wondered why my father's sense of smell was so acute, and chalked it up to his being legally blind, but I think being at home all the time only added to it. I can enjoy the hell out of myself just walking down a local street now, noticing the scents one by one: bibimbap and fried eggs, soy-sauce chicken, Korean barbecue, Chinese noodles, coffee, more barbecue, strawberry hookah, grass, taco meat, falafel, coffee again, Thai spices, movie-theater velvet, cigarettes, chocolate, pizza...
posted by limeonaire at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

When I introduce two friends of mine to each other and they hit it off.
posted by tarantara at 2:30 PM on February 26, 2018 [13 favorites]

Walking in early autumn and smelling someone else’s laundry exhaust, and realizing that they didn’t run their dryer just for me to smell it, but they might as well have.

Finishing a run on a chilly night and being a thermal onion — warm muscle, cold skin, warm clothes, cold air.

Seeing a cat plot multiple steps in a process to get what she wants — a bug on the wall, the catnip in the cupboard.

Love at first sight, which for me tends to manifest as a desperate yearning to make a certain person laugh.

The giddy, almost lusty feeling of being on an airplane during taxi, takeoff, and landing.
posted by armeowda at 2:38 PM on February 26, 2018 [8 favorites]

When you open the door to go outside and warm air embraces you.

When some pleasant botanical smell wafts by.

When you just got home after work and you have your whole weekend (or other days off) ahead of you.

Walking around in comfortable shoes.

Walking by cozy glowing windows makes me feel emotional. Kind of content and wistful at the same time.

Sinking into a hot tub (slightly painful but also — ahhh).
posted by delight at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

That feeling of having people around you in complete silence and at peace is so tranquil. I've experienced it a few times in temples, shrines and sometimes during the last minutes of yoga class or just sitting on the porch on a quiet evening with a buddy just watching the night sky. it really feels like everyone is aware of each other, but at the same time you still have so much space to yourself.

also love that little feeling you get when someone (esp. new babies or doggies) are snoozing next to you and adjust/stretch in their sleep ever so slightly. like you know they feel safe.
posted by speakeasy at 3:14 PM on February 26, 2018 [21 favorites]

Waking up after being sick and knowing, suddenly, that you feel better. The way my head would fill with my babies' scents when I put my nose against their necks and breathed deeply. The sound of spring peepers, and the way that they simultaneously take me back to early love and ground me in the here-and-now of spring's advent. The cold burn on the tip of my nose when the bedroom is chilly but the rest of me is still warm under the covers, and I know I'm cozy despite the temperature. The feeling of "ahhhhhh" when it's winter and I put on clothing that's just been in a warm dryer.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:07 PM on February 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

The feeling of relief when the first drops of rain hit the parched earth and I realise the cool change has come at last. It's more than just the temperature drop, it's the smell of the rain and it feels like the world has been holding its breath, gritting its teeth to get through, and then suddenly breathes again.

The collective energy that builds up in a workplace before a day that everyone has off - in mine, where people work on weekends, I get some of it on a Friday but it's even better before one of the big public holidays when we're just closed full stop. It's the internal rising sense of anticipation magnified by everyone else feeling it too, and everyone gets a bit silly and giddy with it.

The swell of the cellos in a piece of music that has a melody dominated by something else, but if you listen for them, you can hear those deep, sonorous voices underpinning everything, just drawing it all together into something meaningful and profound and so achingly beautiful. Like this.

The cat giving a little sigh and just floomping back onto me, so utterly trusting. Love bomb.

The realisation that for this second, right now, even if it only lasts a second, nothing hurts terribly much and I can almost believe it will be okay.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:52 PM on February 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

By the end of my work day, I'm usually missing my toddler son terribly. There have been times when I've stepped out of the elevator and am so overcome with [feeling] that I sprint down the long hallway to open our front door, knowing he'll be in plain sight the minute it opens.

Also related to my son - suddenly imagining his amazing smile, and my ribcage feeling like it can't contain my swelling heart.
posted by Everydayville at 4:56 PM on February 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

It was Emily Dickinson, I believe, who said something along these lines: she wrote in a letter that when she read something beautiful, that it felt like the top of her head was being taken off.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 6:50 PM on February 26, 2018

It's getting late and we've put the last log on the fire, and everyone around it falls into silence, just watching the wood burn and crackle.

Sometimes I catch myself in a moment when I'm far away from home and I look up at the stars and recognize familiar constellations, and somehow feel both far from home, and the comfort of something familiar.
posted by thenormshow at 7:03 PM on February 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

When you are wordlessly exactly in sync with someone.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm surprised no one's mentioned The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The words aren't real, but the feelings totally are. (And not all of them are sorrowful). Probably most famous for the term sonder:
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Aside from this, my personal favorite is the Spanish word nervio (also called gigil in Tagalog), which describes affection for someone or something that's so strong it makes you grind your teeth and want to squeeze them to pieces. I did a post on it a while back if you want to read more about it.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:04 PM on February 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

Sonder got a mention above.

Flashover is pretty neat too.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:21 PM on February 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

>"gigil" in Tagalog, which describes affection so strong it makes you grind your teeth and want to squeeze them to pieces

OH MY GOD! I dated a Filipino person when I was in highschool (who'd grown up speaking Engligh but understanding a few different Filipino dialects at home) and they used to express affection for me by trying (nicely, gently, but with notable intensity) to squeeze me to bits and bite me! I just thought it was a weird individual quirk, didn't realize it was an actual named emotion!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:37 PM on February 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Stopping on a bridge to listen to water rushing underneath it.

Relishing something slightly creepy and feeling satisfied about the thing and about the transgression.

Being able to breathe through your nose again after being sick and the associated gratitude.

Mutual recognition that you're about to kiss someone for the first time, before it happens.

New socks.

Being in a pleasantly lit room with friends in the evening, drinking wine, with not enough chairs, so some people are sitting on the floor and everyone is laughing. It feels intimate and safe.
posted by unstrungharp at 11:39 PM on February 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

When you cook something that takes ages and/or requires you to leave it be without any checking after placing it into the oven/crockpot/pressure cooker and you take it out and it looks just perfect and smells amazing and then you take the first bite and it's everything you could have wished for.
posted by h00py at 6:03 AM on February 27, 2018

The relief that floods over you when you awake from a dream in which a ghastly alternate reality has played out (death of a loved one; sitting an exam; feet replaced by cabbages)
posted by Jellybean_Slybun at 6:30 AM on February 27, 2018 [5 favorites]

When traveling to a new place, you turn a corner and unintentionally land on a spot you've already been to and suddenly the layout of the entire city begins to make sense.

When you see something in a photo that you did not see while taking the picture.
posted by lowest east side at 6:38 AM on February 27, 2018 [6 favorites]

When all the signs are pointing to your walk in the woods being at the right time and place for finding certain mushrooms - and then spotting the first one.

The subdued rush that escalates into almost sneezing - and then not to.

While tasting a wine, identifying an aroma precisely.

After a prolonged it's-on-the-tip-of-your-tongue, the word/quote/name appearing in all its clarity.

The madeleine effect of a certain smell or taste that brings a memory cascading back into sudden focus.
posted by progosk at 10:20 AM on February 27, 2018 [3 favorites]

The feeling of hearing the susurrus of leaves in a gentle wind on a warm spring day—it's subtly different, less harsh, than the same wind speed at a lower temperature, and when you notice it, you realize you can almost hear the change in temperature, that it sounds good outside.
posted by limeonaire at 12:18 PM on February 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

While learning something, being frustrated but not really knowing why; then someone else in the group asks precisely the thing that you were confused about but couldn't put into words.

Building something and pressing "go," or whatever, and you're expecitng to have to go through another round of troubleshooting, but, boom, it works.

Going to bed and not having to set an alarm; waking up and dreading getting out of bed, but you realize you're thinking of the wrong day, and can stay in as long as you like.
posted by Rinku at 9:16 PM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

The exquisite pain of whether it will be love or familiarity; that cusp, that knife edge feel of paths taken or not taken.
posted by jadepearl at 11:51 PM on February 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Putting on a robe when you are cold and knowing the warm is coming, but still not being warm quite yet. Just relishing the split second excitement of being chilly and wrapped in a soft layer that will soon warm you up.
posted by oflinkey at 5:15 AM on February 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Seeing something in nature and knowing its name.
posted by Freyja at 8:27 AM on February 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

The intense turn-on that is sharing physical and mental space with a collection of the most deeply intelligent, nimble, beautiful, woke minds, who catch every reference, every bid for connection—I hated the term sapiosexual when I first saw it, but that's basically what this is. Connecting with people like this, in summer programs and at retreats and conferences, is such a rush. I hope I never get over that.
posted by limeonaire at 1:22 PM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

A bed newly made with freshly laundered sheets and blankets.

Being warm under the covers while the room is cool.

Knowing exactly how a conversation will go and then having the conversation anyway. And not telling anyone that you knew.

One animal grooming another.

The face a mama gets when she looks at her baby.
posted by Mo Nickels at 2:39 PM on February 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Having my mind blown by learning something new, even if I cant 100% understand it just yet.
posted by cholly at 4:40 PM on February 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

When the lighting on a landscape or in a space is just right - it's not just the golden hour (there's an online calculator for that), but also after a storm, or when fog layers the light and gives the world a different depth than it usually has. And then there's my half-assed attempts to catch such light, which sometimes works, but usually doesn't quite capture what I saw (which is something I'm appreciating as an ephemeral experience).

The smell of rain or snow, especially snow + woodsmoke.

Walking through shallow snow. The thrill of slipping, just a bit, on a small patch of ice. (Winter isn't much here, so I enjoy what we get.)

Good finds while digging in record or CD bins - it's a combination of the discovery itself, and the thrill of what I'll hear, particularly when it's something I haven't yet heard.

Live music that is so enjoyable that you can't help but dance. Moreso live music that is so good that others start dancing, too.

The wonderful feeling of looking on my happy family doing its own adorable and/or goofy thing.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:31 PM on March 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seeing a baby's face light up when you smile at them.

The little prrrbrrt sound that kitties make when you surprise!pet them while they are loafing or lounging

The utter sublimeness of allergy medicine kicking in

Getting into a deliciously clean bed with freshly washed sheets just after a shower
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:42 PM on March 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

Getting your eyeliner perfect on BOTH eyes on your first try

Finding lipstick that looks so good on that you can't help but flirt with yourself in the mirror

When you and like 6 other people in your office have the same silent reaction to a client during a meeting and only JUST keep it together long enough so that the client doesn't know you're all in on it

When someone kindly and gently puts their hand on your back and tucks in your shirt tag while telling you they're doing so
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:49 PM on March 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

When you're breastfeeding your baby and he stops sucking to let go for a moment to look at you, smile, then gives a little sigh and gets back to it.

The feeling you get when you look at your kid and think wow, we made this person and I can't quite believe it.

The sense of well being you feel when you eat the perfect bite of food in the perfect place with loved ones - a sense of satisfaction that your life has led to this moment.

The sudden sense of strangeness you feel when you are in a city or other manmade place and you start to think wow, isn't it strange that humans wear clothes and built all these buildings - what kind of weird animals are we?

In a more general sense, when nervous anticipation relaxes into enjoyment.
For me in particular, this most often occurs when I'm on an airplane, have stowed all my baggage, pulled out everything I need and arranged myself as comfortably as possible. Now there is nothing I can do to influence any outcome and I have no job but to eat the food they give me, watch the movies available and read the books on my Kindle for how many ever hours.

Being in a cozy house while a thunderstorm rages around you.
posted by peacheater at 11:05 PM on March 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

Finally taking off your bra.

Finally taking off your corset.

Finally taking off your wig.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 9:58 AM on March 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

A certain feeling of contentment, one that often comes with taking in a particularly nice vista with a cup of coffee or a beer in hand, that runs along the lines of "I have made a number of good choices in life to find myself in this particular place at this particular time."

The type of focus involved in putting into effect skills learned over the course of years to do a thing that is very fun yet very dangerous in the event you make a serious mistake. Adventure sports tend to fall into this category -- skiing a steep line is a lot of fun and a lot of scary at the same time, and it demands absolutely all of your focus.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:02 AM on March 2, 2018

That sweetly scary feeling of no longer being tethered to any paticular place, that I get on long, solo road trips.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

The feeling of utter safety when you are held close by someone who loves you.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:09 PM on March 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Walking up the tunnel to get to your seat at the baseball park and having the field appear through the opening, your field of view getting larger as you get closer.
posted by donpardo at 1:46 PM on March 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Getting out of bed the first morning after really using your body for something seriously athletic and being sore in a new and unique way, and realizing that it's because you pushed yourself to do something hard. Alternatively, doing something seriously athletic and having the first bite of salty food and the first sip of beer / iced tea / whatever you like and finally relaxing and realizing you are SO HUNGRY.
posted by true at 2:40 PM on March 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Reading a poem with an extraordinary final line. It knocks the wind out of me in the best possible way.
posted by jesourie at 5:29 PM on March 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Entering a small warm shop on a cold day. The twinkle of the bell on the door inviting you in, the slightly too warm steam heat, the feeling that you did not realize how much you missed clutter and badly kept wooden floors until just that moment.
posted by smidgen at 12:25 AM on March 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

When you casually throw something across the room towards the garbage can, and it goes in.
posted by storybored at 10:10 PM on March 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

The feeling of safety that I get when I visit my parents house and wake up the careful sounds of my dad making biscuits and coffee, trying hard not wake the rest of the house.
posted by zem at 8:04 AM on March 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

The first morning of jetlag, when I'm awake at 5am and Paris looks like a movie set erected for my own personal movie. When I'm not of that world, but can see it with a new gaze every time.

When wood splits with the first strike of the axe, cleaving into two pieces, making you feel like a Viking.
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:19 AM on March 11, 2018

Taking an overdue poop.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:32 PM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The intoxicating smelling of the top of your own child's head, which slowly fades over the years until it's gone by about age 5, replaced by a more generic "kid smell."
posted by gottabefunky at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2018

The forbidden-delicious moment just after you hit the snooze bar and close your eyes again.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:34 PM on March 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

On very cold days, passing by brief sources of warmth, like the overhead heating for door attendants in front of hotels, or heating vents for office buildings.

The "world's on hold" feeling when you're inside during a big snowstorm, the kind big enough to close school early.

The satisfaction/validation of taking a poop but still sitting on the toilet for a little and then your body unexpectedly releases more poop.
posted by cadge at 1:30 AM on March 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Even though I’ve suffered with sever depression all my life, it wasn’t until recently that I actually met and chatted with another sufferer. The effect it had on me was pretty eye-opening. I could finally talk to someone who understood! The best I can describe it is to say I felt as if I finally belonged somewhere. Like I had found “my people” as it were.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:57 PM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would just like to point out that these are as much emotions as any other emotion we may think we feel.

The satisfaction of finishing some fantastic food that you made yourself without planning, or a recipe. Usually this causes me to involuntarily exclaim.

Creating a new (to me) flavour combination that really works is like discovering a new colour. The world becomes richer.

Creating a mix between to records that you love individually which is so perfect that it creates a new tune that is greater than the sum of it's parts.

The collective feeling of exultation, release, relief and bereavement when a really good live improvised piece of music ends.

Finding something that you need in your hoard. 'Aha! They told me I should throw out anything I haven't used in the past year, but if I had done that then I wouldn't have this to hand'. Much better than the feeling of purchasing exactly the right thing, although that is pretty good too!

Subspace or topspace (NSFW). Not exactly subtle, but definitely a thing.
posted by asok at 7:05 AM on April 5, 2018

My dessert feeling isn't smugness; it's a combination of being slightly overwhelmed that this perfect thing is in front of me and it's all mine to enjoy, and yet tinged with regret that the enjoyment thereof will end its perfection. The anticipation of satiation and sadness.

There's also the feeling when I'm playing an RPG game and I'm the sole survivor of a team wipe with no hope of beating the bad guy, and instead of retreating or begging for mercy, I'm all, no retreat, baby, no surrender. I think that it's a species of relief that I don't have to worry about what's going to happen because it's patently obvious, plus anticipation of going out like a boss.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:50 PM on April 5, 2018

When you start humming or singing and then realize that you're in a place with exceptional acoustics so you keep it up.
posted by serena15221 at 5:20 PM on April 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Not realizing how chilly you are until you take a hot shower and feel yourself thaw out.
posted by moonmilk at 9:58 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Waking to a rain/thunder storm.

That empty space in my head where an awful headache was after the Excedrin starts working.

Successful sneezing. (A sneeze that never materializes and instead just fades away is such a freaking disappointment.)

When I’m drawing something and it starts coming together how I wanted.

The deliciousness of getting into cool sheets. Especially when I have one of the aforementioned headaches.

Rereading something I know and love, slipping into the familiar characters and plot like well-worn jeans.
posted by greermahoney at 12:17 AM on April 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

The relief when you know your plane is going to stay up in the air after taking off - when the flight attendants start moving around and the captain says a few words of welcome. And the sweet relief you feel when the plan touches down safely at the end of the journey (especially after a bumpy approach).
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 11:43 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Repost: Foutaises (English title: Things I Like, Things I Hate) is a French short film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, released in 1990
posted by growabrain at 8:46 AM on May 6, 2018

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