is being sensitive a bad thing

Calling Me Sensitive Isn't An Insult

What's so bad about being soft?

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Do you cry at sad commercials, or feel more emotional than those around you? Me too.

The truth is, some people are just born more sensitive than others. Researchers from Stony Brook University found that 20% of our population is pre-disposed to empathy, after doing fMRI imaging, which highlighted more engagement to emotional stimuli in those who are highly sensitive compared to those who aren't.

Your genes play a huge role in the way that you go through the world, and the way you experience all different types of emotional stimuli. Going through life is very different when you are more emotionally sensitive, and my experiences have shown me that increased sensitivity is often linked with an increase in mental illnesses, particularly if people live in an environment that invalidates their sensitivity.

As I've progressed in my own recovery from mental illnesses, I've got in touch more with my sensitive side. I've come to recognize that this is just the way my genes and brain biology are, and that fighting against things that can't be changed is pointless and won't help me move forward. This is especially true as I am working through my emotions and in therapy twice a week. So yes, I am sensitive, or "soft," maybe more so than other people.

And no, it is not a valid insult and I am not ashamed of my sensitivity.

I truly believe that my sensitivity is an asset especially in today's society where we could use a little bit more empathy. I am more in tune with small changes in people's emotions and the way they interact with others, and this helps me have better interpersonal relationships. I feel more deeply about others and causes, and while it sometimes causes me to get hurt, I think this has contributed to my passion and drive to make a mark on the world, which is something I really value.

I think empathy and increased sensitivity is even more important in 2018, given the socio-political climate we have here in the U.S. There are so many insults being hurled from both sides, but the one that really exemplifies this is the term "snowflake," or being insulted for being "soft." I've been called soft or too sensitive by people close to me, with the intention of being insulted. And my initial reaction was to be insulted. But, the more I've thought about it, the more I recognize how valuable it is at this time.

With everything going on in politics and the human rights violations happening every day, we could use a lot more empathy. It helps to understand other peoples' points of views, to truly feel where they're coming from, and why these topics matter so much to them. If we had a little bit more empathy, we might be able to sit down, come together, and solve some of the big problems we are facing currently (gun violence, sexual assault, just to name a few.)

If you're one of the highly sensitive ones, I see you. It's tricky, but I encourage you to reframe it as a strength. If you don't understand what it's like to be highly sensitive, please don't use sensitivity as an insult. We don't choose to be this way, and there are a lot worse things you could do than care too much.

Cover Image Credit:

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.

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For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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