Emotional Intelligence
Matching Emotions Game

by May Bleeker, 4 Apr 2013 (updated 8 Oct 2020)

Emotional intelligence relies heavily on the ability to accurately recognize, understand and work with emotions in a helpful manner.

Whether it is your own emotions that need recognizing, or those of others, you can't get along well with people if you don't have these skills.

Being in touch with your own feelings is quite an intuitive thing. Emotions can be complex and multi-layered, and knowing what you feel involves 'getting a sense of things'.

Its getting this 'sense of things' that we are practicing with this game.

Being able to distinguish finely between the different emotions is quite a helpful talent and people who do this well are usually insightful, savvy and achieve wonders when working with people, no matter how difficult and 'tricksy' those people may be.

Emotions & Images

I've made 6 analog drawings of emotions or emotional states below. 

Analog drawings are marks made to represent a thought or emotion, in such a way that it 'looks like' that thought or emotion (without using symbols or pictures).

If you want to know more about analog drawings of emotions then read Understanding Emotions through Images. It tells you more about the work Betty Edwards did with analog drawings in her book Drawing on the Artist Within.

The basic idea is that although each of us are different, there is a commonality in our 'visual language' or how we represent thoughts and emotions when just making marks that 'look like' that thought or emotion.

So with this game, the idea is to see whether you can match my drawings to the emotion words to which they belong.

Matching Emotions Game

In the left column are my row of images. Each image 'stands for' an emotion, or set of emotions.

In the right column are the row of emotion words that I based my drawings on. But I've switched things around a bit and the images and the words below don't match up.

The game is to see if you can match up the drawings with the emotion words they do represent.


Try to get a feel for which image represents the emotion best, based on the qualities of the image.

Look at them all before you decide.

Representing emotions with images is not exactly an exact science, so don't worry too much about being right or wrong. Just try to get the feel of the emotions represented in the drawings. 

When you're done, go to the bottom of the page to check out the answer sheet.

Happy matching!

anger image orange from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com



confusion image grey from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com


fear image yellow from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com



depression sadness image blue grey from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com


peace calm image turquoise from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com


happiness joy image orange from www.doorway-to-self-esteem.com



Thank you for playing!

Click here to see the answer sheet.

Update: The Emotion Matching Game is currently being re-designed and extended to include more emotions. Would you like to be notified once the new version is available? Let me know here.

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