Cautious, solitary, intuitive, creative, passionate… Those are just some words that are synonymous of being considered “sensitive” in society today. And if you identify as a sensitive person, then you’re going to want to read this.
I’m going to share with you how to feel less anxious about the daily pressures that are put on you, and why you can feel more confident about your unique, and frankly quite beautiful nature (in my humble opinion).
Special, but often misunderstood
“Sensitive” does imply an elements of increased perception. But increased perception of what?
Well what’s for sure is that sensitive people do not have better senses (eye-sight, hearing, smell, touch) than most other people.
This label simply means you’re more sensitive to those stimuli, and other more… intagible stimuli. (Inidividual and collective moods, social dynamics…etc)
Being a sensitive person doesn’t mean you can hear better than most other people (that’s called being a mutant), it means if you’re with a group of people and there’s heavy construction happening downstairs… others might be fine within reason but you probably can’t deal with it at all.
It means you’re more susceptible to taking on people’s moods. You’re more receptive, and potentially more empathetic.
You tend to need more time to get used to new situations, more time to warm up to new people, and time alone to feel comfortable again.
It’s not easy to be that way because for one, most people aren’t like that. Let’s just get that out of the way from the start.
Dr. Elaine Aron is a practicing psychotherapist in Mill Valley, CA (USA). She’s also the author of a National Bestseller on the topic of sensitive people: The Highly Sensitive Person, How To Thrive in a Word That Overwhelms You
I highly suggest you read it if you’re looking for some deeper insight on this subject.
She and her colleagues determined that sensitive people should comprise approximately 15 to 20% of the human population.
So about 17% on average, that’s like…
1 in 5 people.
So if you’ve got a tight knit group of a friends you like to hang out with (your squad), yeah… you’re probably the sensitive one.
They love you and certainly mean well but let’s face it, they don’t really understand you on that level.
Raise your hand if one of your friends has ever suggested you stop being so “anti-social”.
Welcome, take a seat on the feel train. We’re almost home.
And if you’re that friend, good because there’s something I need you to understand right now and for the rest of your life:
Every person experiences situations in their own unique way.
For better or worse…
- First of all, it hurts to say but your intuition is wrong about as often as it is right. The fact is that sometimes you get that same certainty feeling..and you’re still wrong. Again, it’s sad to say but a friendly tip would be to not rely on this “sixth sense” until you have no other options. At which point of course it becomes a better “tool” than no tool right.
- Secondly, the fact that you’re so sensitive means that things that are only moderately stimulating to other people will be very stimulating to you. Good experiences and not so good experiences. Ice cream or… people screaming downstairs. It’s going to hit you way harder.
Understand what triggers you.
- What situations tend to instantly drive you up the wall?
- What adjustments could you make in your life to avoid finding yourself in such situations?
- Why is that important to you?
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You can also grab The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron if you’d like to dig deeper into this topic.