I'm trying to think of a word for one someone, at the feeling of one emotion; say, sadness or despair, reacts in another such as anger and frustration. Seeing as they don't act in a manner that suggests sadness, their actions confuse people on their emotions.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

  • 1
    Alexithymia/Alexithymic is about having difficulty distinguishing emotions in both oneself and others. It's not per se what you're describing, but surely a close cousin and plausible underlying cause. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 8:02
  • Maybe they are complex, not one dimensional....
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


I experience sadness, but no despair, in pointing out that your Question makes no sense.

… at the feeling of one emotion… means what, please? Is your one emotion felt by the someone, or by his interlocutor?

… at the feeling of one emotion… reacts suggests the one emotion was felt by the interlocutor but that’s not consistent with the rest.

Generally when I feel an emotion, I feel it. I don’t react in (or with) another. Do you?


To misread [a situation] is a "word for confusing one emotion for another":

to judge a situation wrongly1

Example: I thought he liked me, but I'd completely misread the signals1.

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