Post-Election Living Room Conversations

Feeling Wheel

Feelings as Messengers

The concept of “feelings as messengers” invites us all — men and women — to be more emotionally literate and affectively competent. The theory proposes that feelings carry messages about what we need to do to take care of ourselves and to be fully present to ourselves and others in any situation.

The Feeling Wheel by Dr. Gloria Wilcox presents six primary feeling families: powerful, joyful, peaceful, made, sad and scared. Each feeling family has a spectrum of feelings within it as illustrated by the Feeling Wheel diagram.

Each feeling is a response to a stimulus. Something happens and a feeling arises that we may or may not attend to. Unlike some theories that stress that feelings “just are,” “feelings as messengers” emphasizes that feelings carry important messages that give us useful information about what we need in a particular situation. When we are in touch with our feelings, when we attend to them, we receive information about a suggested response or behavior.

In using the wheel,

1.     Identify what you are feeling and find it on the wheel

2.     Determine what you want or need

3.     Take appropriate action to get what you want or need

4.     Experience relief, or repeat the process until you do


Living Room Conversations: The Election Experience

Select someone in your group to facilitate the questions.
Please move on to the next question when the gong rings.
Please ensure everyone has about one minute to answer each question.

One: Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two: Your core values
Answer one of the following:

  • What sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three: Your election cycle experience
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.

Answer one of the following questions:

  • Did you vote? Why or why not?
  • What was your experience during this election cycle?
  • How has your experience changed your perception of our nation?
  • Where do you find yourself now?

Four: Reflection
Answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five: Accomplishment and moving forward
Answer both of the following questions:

  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Suggested questions for your congregation to host a Living Room Conversation

For more background on Living Room Conversations, read an interview with co-founder Joan Blades here.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.