What Are The 9 Basic Human Emotions?

basic emotions

The 9 basic human emotions can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary emotions are love, joy, surprise, fear, sadness, anger, disgust, shame, pride.

emotion love


This emotion manifest when a person feels love romantically for someone special; there is another level of love for family, and some degree for religion. Certain nuances of love involve friendship, bonding, philanthropy and altruism. It can also be platonic .

It involves doing something for someone unconditionally without expecting something in return. Affection, lust and sense of longing are three (3) secondary emotions of love. Out of these arise attraction, passion, desire, infatuation, obsession, and arousal. Also consideration, openness, care, adoration, fondness, awe, friendship, devotion, kindness, warmth, sentimentality, sense of sharing, being humble and understanding.

emotions joy


This feeling of happiness is being at peace with one’s self. There is a sense of contentment in life in every way. A happy individual believes in positive actions and thoughts. Although an ordinary individual has unlimited wants in this materialistic world, it is impossible to claim perfect joy. They could be satisfied with material possessions but they are missing true love, thus, the true essence of joy also fails. The secondary emotion arising out of joy involves cheerfulness, contentment, zest, optimism, relief, and the sense of being proud and enthralled. Also calmness, serenity, tranquility, jubilation, gratefulness, gaiety, euphoria, ecstasy, elation, sense of protection, peacefulness, enthusiasm, exhilaration, excitement, gladness, sense of security, comfort, blissfulness, being carefree, playful, getting satisfied and fantastic, being thrilled, exalted, and the state of being inspired, amused, delighted, relaxed, and light-hearted.

Emotion surprise


When unexpected results came up, a person gets surprised. Visible signs are written all over the person’s face like horizontal lines on the forehead, widely-opened mouth, dropped jaw, wide-open eyes, raised eyebrows, and stretched skin below the brows.

Depending on the intensity, being surprised is accompanied by an amazed voice. Out of surprise we experience the emotion of astonishment and amazement.

Emotion Fear


This is the most dreadful of all basic emotions. It signals something formidable is about to happen. An experience of being scared or frightened and if engrossed in imminent danger are common responses to fear. Thinking about fear can show evidence of becoming pale. It is a normal human reaction to be scared to people and animals, and especially in facing death. The secondary emotions produced out of fear are nervousness, phobia and horror. Also anxiety, distress, apprehension, and the feeling of being dreadful, tensed, uneasy and worried. Fear can be mild, and the worst is called “phobia”. Out of horror we have hysteria, alarm, fright, mortification, panic, terror and shock.



This basic emotion is actually a person’s reaction when he faces loss and disadvantage, the consequences can make him/her quiet and less-energetic. The worst thing to happen when sadness is felt for a longer period of time is mental depression. Evidences of a sad person are the presence of a sloping body, downcast head’s appearance and stuck-out lips. The secondary emotions of sadness are shame, neglect, suffering, disappointment and agony.

The tertiary emotion of shame consist of guilt, remorse and regret while the tertiary emotions of neglect are insecurity, rejection, alienation, loneliness, humiliation, homesickness, pity, insult and embarrassment. Also sympathy, unhappiness and hurt, while agony can produce tertiary emotions that include depression , woe, grief, melancholy, misery, despair and gloom.

Anger emotion


This emotion evokes due to negligence, injustice, humiliation or betrayal. Primarily, causes a person pain. An active anger makes a person attacking his target, either physically or verbally. If the anger is passive, a person is silent, hostile and tensed. When one empathizes with another person, anger is also displayed. However, if the root cause of pain is known, the intensity is altered.

Out of anger we experience emotions of rage, irritation and disgust. Rage can produce wrath, fury, loath, bitterness, resentment, and hate. Irritation produces aggravation, agitation and grouchiness.


Pride leads you to believe that you are better than other people. Pride covers your insecurity and inferiority feelings. You are constantly comparing to others. If a person is self-confident does not need pride. Pride affect our relationships because there is no empathy and no intimacy. Pride can ruin your life.



Shame is defined as a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute. According to John Bradshaw on Healing the Shame that Binds You , toxic shame is induced in children, by all forms of child abuse. Incest and other forms of child sexual abuse can cause particularly severe toxic shame. It is one of the secondary emotions of Sadness



Disgust is categorized under Anger. Disgust is an emotional response of revulsion to something considered offensive or unpleasant. Disgust is experienced primarily in relation to taste, smell, touch, or vision.

Being able to categorize different shades of basic emotions, perhaps by now you know the positive and negative effects of each in our own personality, in our own life. Learning from others serves as an inspiration.

Recent Content