Perceptions of the Use of the Word “Feel” in the Workplace

Kelly Doell


This study explored attitudes toward the deployment of the word feel in workplace communication. A discourse analysis of this emotionally declarative word across three types of workplace relationships revealed a set of social rules guiding how emotional self-disclosure is managed. Participants outlined how resistance to these rules put social or professional capital at risk but it was deemed necessary in order to maintain or restore equilibrium between well-being and job performance. Although status stratification in the workplace functions to maintain productivity, participants revealed an ongoing tension between performance and authentic emotional expression. The effects of this tension, examined through beliefs about of the word feel, are discussed for its role in workplace well-being.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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