Have you often been told, “Why are you so sensitive?” as if there is something bad about being sensitive?
Somehow, there is a negative connotation to being sensitive. It is implied that one is being ‘emotional’ or ‘over-reacting’. Most cultures do not seem to support sensitive people, possibly because it is viewed as ‘being weak’ or ‘feminine’.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Being sensitive is essentially being more attuned to one’s sensory perceptions and being more “aware” in the process. This can make one naturally more intuitive, perceptive, creative, empathic, spiritual and passionate.
When one’s senses can absorb far more information and process them more deeply than the majority, one can attain a higher level of understanding. Sensitive people have an innate tendency to pick up subtle information in all areas of life; such as non-verbal cues, making them grasps nuances in meaning better than most. Processing experiences, situations, and possibilities in a deeper and fuller manner hones one’s acuteness. With such keen observation, comes the power of perception.
Having gained penetrating insights, often leads to great intuition. Sensitive people have the uncanny ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. They can somehow ‘sense the truth without explanation’. In reality, all the necessary information has already been captured and processed at a deeper level. Thus, allowing them to be discerning.
Sensitive people are also more emphatic as they are able to get under the skin of others and see from their point of view. All thanks to being able to feel the emotions of others, sometimes as if it’s their own. Being able to put one self in others’ shoes, allow them to understand others’ needs and what it would feel like when needs are not fulfilled or to be misunderstood. Thus, they can better provide for others and tend to be gentler in their communication. Such people usually form deep and caring friendships as well as other relationships. They evidently make good carers and are the typical friend in need.
Creativity is a trait that is often associated with sensitive people. Being discerning and highly attuned to sensing abilities, encourages creativity to thrive. The gift to connect seemingly unrelated things and put them into original concepts makes sensitive people the ‘high priest’ of creativity and innovation.
Passionate and ‘intense’
When one feel deeply, one experiences life and all its emotions intensely. Thus, sensitive people are often passionate and intense, which can be a double-edged sword. They tend to be intent on issues and focus on either solving a problem or sharing an issue that compels them greatly. Hence they experience all of life’s emotions at a level far beyond what others usually experience.
Sensitive people are often blessed with spiritual consciousness, though not necessarily religious. Being in touch with their spiritual selves, sensitive people can easily discover their paths in life as well as for others. They also have this curiosity to ponder on and unearth the meaning of life and other life mysteries.
The selected few
About 20% of the total population are endowed with this misunderstood notion call sensitivity. Apparently, it is also found in 20% of other species from fruit flies to primates. This is certainly no accident of evolution when it selects for instead of against such a trait. These selected few are chosen to observe the world, to reflect and to consider consequences before action. Understandably, sensitive people make excellent strategists, planners, advisers, counsellors, teachers, coaches, managers, historians, scientists, law interpreters, therapists, artists, musicians, writers, visionaries, healers, psychics and many more.
All great nations need to reflect enough and deliberate on the long-term consequences of their actions. Sensitive people are perfect for jobs that fill such roles. In fact, having non sensitive people in such jobs could be detrimental as long-term goals may be sacrificed for short-term gains or one-dimensional decisions that could be made. Sensitive people, on the other hand, can be in jobs that are not typically regarded as being ‘suitable’ for them. For instance, they can make excellent police officers. Their acute perception and intuition enables them to sense trouble before anyone else. Blessed with exceptional emotional sensors, they are also more likely to suss out the actual criminal from a number of suspects.
How to turn challenges into blessings
As with all gifts, come its challenges. It is important to first be aware of the various challenges of being a sensitive person and then learn how to navigate through a society that is not very receptive towards such unique individuals. Finally, to strategically carve out a niche for oneself using one’s gift.
One of the challenges is being overly stimulated by one’s senses, which may result in sensory overwhelm. Should you feel overwhelmed, monitor the stimulation level and take steps to adjust the level to a comfortable one. Walk away from an overstimulation situation to give yourself a break. Getting to the rest room for a brief respite is a useful method. Taking action to slow down and de-clutter one’s schedule helps to avoid overstimulation. Going for short breaks in the middle of a stressful or busy period alleviate any sense of overload.
Doing something completely different like housework or writing an email to one’s favourite cousin can be strangely therapeutic. Taking deep breaths helps tremendously too. Soothing music, meditation, exercise and calming essential oils like lavender and lemongrass can be part of this ‘survival kit’. Do prepare one’s ‘survival kit’ in advance so that it would come in handy when one needs it. Essentially, remember to nurture one’s own soul to avoid feeling drained. Only by taking good care of yourself can you then use your gift to help others.
Affected by the emotions of others
Pinpoint the cause of one’s negative emotion. Is it one’s own or someone else’s? You could have absorbed the negative energy of the people around you. Try to distance yourself physically from this negative source as energy fields do overlap at close proximity.
Centre oneself with deep breathing and exhale negativity, inhaling positive energy. This helps to purify negative emotions. Visualize negative energy as a gray fog lifting from one’s body and positive energy as golden light entering. Strengthen one’s emotional centre by sending positive energy to the solar plexus with one’s palm. This flushes out negativity at the same time. Imagine a protective shield around oneself that blocks out negative energy but allows positive ones to go through. This is a powerful tool that many people, including healers use to safeguard themselves. Do associate with people who have a positive outlook as hope is contagious.
Observe the energy fields around one self rather than absorb them. This way, one would not be affected by the negative energy or the perpetual rushing that goes on around us.
Planning a Career Suitable for Sensitive People
As the traditional work culture may not be conducive for sensitive people, it is crucial to create suitable work. Adapt one’s current job to make it a better fit or create one’s own position, work in less mainstream companies and positions or simply start one’s own business.
Sensitive people need work that resonates with their soul as well as nourishes their mind and heart. Only work that stems from their passion and is their true calling would work for them. Work that offers intangible rewards and is meaningful, intellectually stimulating and creatively satisfying fits sensitive people best. Sensitive people also require a nurturing environment that allows them to work independently with privacy.
As finding the right job could be challenging, sensitive people not only need to tap into their inner consciousness to let their intuition guide them towards their true nature but also to seek support in their journey of self-discovery. Life coach, therapist, counsellor and friends should be called upon. One could also self-facilitate with journaling and personality discovery work. Once you have found the best job fit, don’t be afraid to bring your sensitivity to work. Make it work for you. Make use of one’s insights and creativity; let your naturally caring and thoughtful nature enhance interpersonal relations with co-workers.
Sensitive people are often very emotionally intense individuals. ‘Intense’ personalities have often been told to “lighten up” and not to “take things too seriously” or that they “think too much.” But that’s the way an “intense” person is. Such personalities feel deeply and strongly.
These individuals are often seen at best as being compulsive or aloof, or at worst having a personality disorder. Being able to articulate why they feel such way and sharing their feelings help others to understand them better. Journaling, art and music or even physical exercise are ways to allow ‘intense’ personalities to express themselves in a constructive manner.
Another effective method to cope with this intensity is to be conscious of one’s emotions and let it pass through one self without judging them. In this way, you would be mindful of your emotions but not be affected by it.
Don’t apologize for being sensitive
As we can see, sensitive people are often misunderstood individuals. One does not need to apologize for being sensitive, for we are who we are. Sensitive people are put onto this earth to fulfil their special role. Learning to love one self and knowing that one deserves the best awakens the power to heal and inspire others, allowing one to turn a perceived limitation into a blessing.
So the next time when someone says, “Why are you so sensitive?” Reply unapologetically that because you’ve been endowed with this unique gift.