I remember when I was younger, people always told me “Stop being so sensitive”. Whenever someone said something rude to me or made fun of me, I was simply told that I was being too sensitive and I needed to get over it. Sensitivity has become a feeling that society frowns upon, almost so much so that it seems as if having feelings is a handicap. Men have to be manly and women have to be nearly emotionless, at least that’s what it seems. Where did this start? Is this aversion to sensitivity a byproduct of society and gender roles or is it something more?

No matter how long human existence lasts, emotions will always continue to be “scary." Love, hate, passion, they’re intense and by allowing ourselves to feel, we are opening the door to hurt and disappointment. So emotions can be easily shied away from as a means of protecting ourselves. Being a sensitive person is an easy way to get hurt by others, and it makes sense why society as whole would develop similar distastes for sensitivity. However, being sensitive isn’t a bad thing, as it is often portrayed. Sensitive people are more emotionally reactive, feel more empathy towards others and are sympathetic towards other people's’ problems. Most, if not all, sensitive people are detail orientated and weigh decisions more heavily. They pay attention to the small details that make the big picture and take time in making choices to avoid making the wrong decision. Similarly, people who are more sensitive most commonly have above average manners since they are more considerate of other people’s feelings and thoughts. This also helps them work well in team environments. With sensitivity comes a variety of different types of good personality traits that many people in today’s society are lacking.

Being a sensitive person is not a bad thing, in any sense of the word. This negative connotation that comes along with it needs to put to rest. Our society is slowly in the midst of becoming more open to new viewpoints, so the negative sensitive stereotype can easily be gotten rid of. Everyone has feelings, and our feelings are nothing to be ashamed of. They’re nothing more than chemical reactions in our brain to certain stimuli, and there is no reason people should be shamed for feeling “too much”. By telling people to “stop being so sensitive” or to “not take things so seriously” is simply just a form of invalidation. Hearing people negate your feelings only manages to make matters worse. Society has this natural intention to undermine people’s feelings; sensitive women are seen as crazy while sensitive men are looked upon as weak. This is so clearly not the case.

Emotions should be embraced not shunned. This aversion to sensitivity is a step back in our society’s progress, not a step forward. People are allowed to cry when they’re sad and heartbroken, people are allowed to scream and yell when they’re angry and frustrated, people are allowed to feel sympathy towards one another. Being sensitive is a positive character trait, and no one should be told differently.