Emotion Thesaurus Entry: VINDICATED

Source: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, 2nd edition.

DEFINITION: Being proven right, absolved of guilt, or set free

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:

  • Standing tall
  • Holding one’s head high
  • The chest being thrust out proudly
  • Drawing big, chest-expanding breaths
  • Throwing one’s head back with the eyes closed, relishing the moment
  • Smiling easily and broadly
  • Laying a fist over one’s heart and keeping it there for a moment
  • Using the hands to cover one’s smile, as if afraid to let it out
  • Shedding happy tears
  • Dancing or jumping in place
  • Nodding or closing the eyes while pressing together one’s trembling lips
  • Celebrating with loved ones (hugging, grabbing them, spinning them around, etc.)
  • Whooping and yelling
  • Clapping one’s hands
  • The posture sagging (tension letting go) before stiffening again to support the body
  • Speaking in a louder, brighter tone
  • Having an open body posture (arms flung out wide, legs apart, head thrown back, etc.)
  • Taunting one’s enemies; rubbing the victory in their faces
  • Bowing one’s head in a silent prayer of thanks
  • Feeling jittery in one’s extremities
  • Pumping the fists
  • Taking a victory lap
  • Squatting down and hugging oneself
  • Expressing cautious hope (if one is skeptical and has been disappointed before)
  • Constant smiling
  • The voice rising in pitch
  • Pursuing goals or dreams one was previously afraid to go after
  • Speaking out in circumstances where one wasn’t previously comfortable doing so

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:

  • A rush of adrenaline
  • Heart flutters
  • Feeling highly energetic; needing to move
  • A lack of sleepiness
  • A sense of exhaustion as the realization hits that one can finally rest in safety and peace
  • Euphoria
  • A sensation of being washed with a wave of peace and contentment
  • The face feeling stretched from nonstop smiling

MENTAL RESPONSES:

  • Having an optimistic outlook
  • The world looking suddenly brighter and more beautiful
  • Noticing details one missed before
  • Scattered thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing on any one thing
  • A renewed sense of faith in God, humanity, the system, etc.
  • A cessation of fear at the realization that the future is brighter for oneself and one’s children

ACUTE OR LONG-TERM RESPONSES FOR THIS EMOTION:

  • Becoming braver; taking on opposition or challenges one wouldn’t have before
  • Attempting to help others who might need vindicating
  • Seeking further reparations Increased self-confidence
  • Positive personal changes (eating healthier, taking time for oneself, etc.)
  • Getting cocky
  • Becoming an inspiration for others
  • Thinking about the future when one was previously unable to do so

SIGNS THAT THIS EMOTION IS BEING SUPPRESSED:

  • A hidden smile that keeps trying to break through
  • Forcing one’s body to be still
  • Clasping one’s hands to keep them from twitching
  • Keeping the head down to hide any telltale signs
  • Taking calming breaths
  • Turning away or making a quick exit
  • Biting one’s lip to keep from speaking
  • Lessened productivity due to the distraction of this meaningful victory
  • Sharing darting glances with the people who are on one’s side

MAY ESCALATE TO: Confidence, Euphoria, Satisfaction, Fearlessness

MAY DE-ESCALATE TO: Anger, Defeat, Despair, Determination, Disappointment, Discouraged, Disillusionment, Emasculated, Frustration, Hopefulness, Powerlessness, Resentment, Resignation, Skepticism

ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS: Beam, celebrate, clasp, congratulate, dance, expand, flourish, give thanks, hug, jump, party, revel, sag, shout, sigh, swell, whirl, whoop

WRITER’S TIP: Some emotions, like confusion, should be shorter-lived or paired with another feeling. If the POV character is disoriented for too long, readers may struggle to follow what’s happening in the scene.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) is a one-of-a-kind resource that helps writers brainstorm stronger, more compelling descriptions of emotion. Visit this link to view the list of 130 emotions included in this book.

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One Response to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: VINDICATED

  1. Enjoy this sample entry and happy writing!