Calling Me Sensitive Isn't An Insult

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:

Flickr

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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Reflecting On Your Year Isn't Bad, It Allows You To Look Back At All Of Your Accomplishments

A year can never truly "suck." You're alive at the end of another year, and that's important.

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I'm positive I'm not the only one that does a bit reflecting during December. In fact, my reflecting during December makes me excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead.

I already have several things that have me stressed for Spring semester and the beginning of the year, but this means I really have something to live for.

Being reflective especially regarding the year 2018 allows me to realize how truly fortunate I am to be here.

At the beginning of the year, I got stitches for the very first time after cutting myself on a broken mug and that feels ages ago-- not just months ago. I have moved about three times in the past year too which is usually exhausting but again, that feels ages ago too.

The concept of time is incredible and just a year can be so filled with new experiences and times that make you feel like giving up.

I've had my fair share of lows during this year, and after reflecting on how I'm still alive-- I realize I am lucky. And when I also realize how fortunate I am to have everyone that I began the year with continue to be in my life for the next year, I feel happy about that because I have already rid myself of toxic friendships and relationships.

This upcoming year will be busy and fulfilling and I'm excited about what is on my path because a new year is full of opportunity and it is full of promise.

I haven't been too keen on reflecting on the year 2018 because it's been a heck of a mess (outside of my personal life) and it's incredibly easy to avoid thinking about. But I simply am unable to avoid reflecting on everything that's happened in the US alone because everything is such a mess and I want to become more involved in the next year when it comes to being more environmentally conscious and more politically involved.

A new year is full of so many new opportunities but a new year is not the only time to decide to change.

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