You're Too Sensitive

You're Too Sensitive

Embracing your sensitivity.
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Have you ever heard someone say that you were 'too sensitive' or vice versa? I have. No one has ever said that I had tough skin, that I can remember. At 18 years of age, I accept the fact that I am more sensitive than the average full-of-all-possible-emotions teenager. I'm cool with it. That's not to say that the way I react to certain situations or what people say to me are valid or even wise. Sometimes I misinterpret things, as we all do. There have been situations where I have taken what someone said and blew it WAY out or proportion. Other times, I've not heeded the words that people say enough, which is equally detrimental. Over the years, I think I've gotten a little better with identifying an insult and someone just joking around (which are hard to differentiate between sometimes). Maybe you're the type of person that thinks everyone around you is sensitive, and in that case, you might not be hearing people out. Or you might actually be surrounded by a bunch of touchy people (sorry). For the sensitive ones, here's what I've learned:

1. Don't Get Offended Right Off

Alright, you sensitive folks, this is not an easy one AT ALL, but it is really important. This is the one that I REALLY struggle with, which is why it's first. If someone says or does something that you think was an insult, just lay low for a second. Think about what they said, especially within the context that they said it. Try not to assume anything. If you're close to that person and if you feel comfortable asking them to clarify what they said, ask. They might not have meant what they said in the way that you took it. The Golden Rule is to stay neutral for a second before losing your cool. It pays off in the end.


2. Look For Constructive Criticism

This point goes hand in hand with point one. When someone says something that offends you, it's usually for two reasons: to hurt you or help you. Jealousy plays a big role in criticism, and you have to keep that in mind. You have to define the relationship with the person that said the thing to you, first and foremost. If someone says something to you in love and to help you, it might hurt, but it's for your benefit. If you sense that someone is jealous or seeks to tear you down, that's not healthy. If someone tells you that you're not liked by many people, that's a hurtful thing and not helpful. Constructive criticism is different. If a professor tells you that you need to improve a conclusion on a paper because it was weak, that's constructive. Don't cry about that.

3. Identify Who You Are

Only you know your true character. If you know who you are, then people's comments (incorrect or correct) won't affect you as much. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but you know yourself best. Be honest with yourself when you analyze who you are. Are you compassionate? Are you jealous? Are you kind? Are you selfish? People are going to call you out, but the way to combat reacting in sensitivity is to know that you are not what people say you are. How can someone's words affect you if they have no truth, and therefore no power?

In conclusion, being sensitive is not easy. You soak up your surroundings and try to make sense of them, which can hurt you. You can't necessarily cure yourself from sensitivity because it's just who are. Hone in on the gift of sensitivity, because the world is lacking in it. Use it for good.

Best,

Hope

Cover Image Credit: http://www.propellermag.com/Jan2013/BourgeoisValeryJan13.html

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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