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.

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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7 Ways God Overwhelms Me with his Love

God is a good, good Father

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God overwhelms me with His love all the time. But usually, I have been noticing I am not looking at the world with my eyes or ears wide open. Sometimes, I get too concerned with the chaos instead of the beauty of the world. The important thing I must remember is God is bigger than any darkness in the world - and these main seven ways help me remember how gorgeous it is to believe in our Good Creator.

1. Scripture

Scripture speaks to my heart in a way that people, song lyrics, and nature cannot. Scripture is known as the living word of God, and it's true. It calls me to reflect in a deeper way about myself, and even if that self-reflection isn't a fun activity, I am somehow filled with peace while reading scripture. I really like Sirach, Hosea, and James.

2. Friends

We are not meant to be alone on this earth - we are called to community, and God really speaks to me through my friends, especially those who are striving to know and imitate Jesus Christ. It's great to hear someone else's perspective on life and how to approach a situation differently. I trust my friends to give good advice, and they usually don't let me down.

3. Music

I really like music. When I am in silence, usually a song pops into my head. Lately, I've been trying to fill my mental soundtrack with Christian music. I know this is a cliche but Christian songs speak hope and life into my life in a very special way - and usually, the lyrics inspire me to keep up the faith amidst all the struggle.

4. The Sky

The sky is God's canvas. It can be moody, dreamy, or blank. It's amazing to see weather light up my night with lightning and storms OR lull me into a peaceful reflection with bats darting across a starlit sky in the garden my campus ministry has. The sky is so cool, but I don't appreciate it enough.

5. The Wind

In my backyard at the house I'm renting this summer, I sometimes chill out in the hammock. It's a thin little net looking thing, and it's my favorite spot in nature. I get comfortable and look at the tree limbs and leaves above me get blown by the breeze. It's so amazing to see the leaves light up different shades of green because the wind moves the leaves into different patches of sunlight. The wind also reminds me of the Holy Spirit - this unseen but present force in our lives. The wind is so soothing, I've always liked it and how it can be like a whisper on a spring day, a loud shout in a storm, or a sweet breeze on a scorchingly hot summer day.

6. Passionate People

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who described what their passion project was with you? I have. That person's eyes light up, they wave their hands animatedly as they speak, and everything about them is joyous and optimistic. Passionate people, especially those who will the good of another, are reflections of God's energy and enthusiasm, in my opinion. It's a blessing to see hope and vigor in this too-often melancholy world. Passionate people are the cure for a slow day at the office, know what I mean?

7. The First Christians

The First Christians are inspirations to me. If Jesus can love someone like Paul (who used to murder a bunch of Christians before his conversion), Peter (who was one of Christ's most trusted disciples, but still denied Christ three times), and Mary Magdalene (who had a bunch of demons inside of her and was a prostitute)... well, if Jesus can love all of these people and help them be better-versions-of-themselves, then I'm sure Jesus can love me too. I find their stories, and so many other stories of early Christians, very uplifting.

These aren't the only seven ways God reveals His goodness to me. But when I think of these seven and look for God in these moments, my day is filled with more peace and happiness. I hope this helps you reflect on how God overwhelms you with love because (trust me when I say this), He is giving you all you need - but are you open to receiving it?

Cover Image Credit:

D. Jameson RAGE at https://unsplash.com/search/photos/trees

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