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judy02
05-04-2015, 01:00 PM
Just a question to put out there, to get everyones thoughts. But, do you think it is possible to be too sensitive? How do you define what is too sensitive? Any examples? Would you just base it on what people are like on average, from who you know?

It's something I'm really wondering about. I often wonder if I'm too sensitive. I feel things very deeply, I find it hard to compartmentalize or switch off when I need to, say when going to work, and it's caused me problems before, where I find it hard to not let things happening in my personal life affect me at work sometimes.

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a lot, and if I'm upset people usually know, and I find it very difficult to pretend otherwise. Although I'm aware that unfortunately in some places or situations, it is not always safe to do so.

I think I'm worse than I used to be, and wonder if sometimes it can cause me problems, so am just after some people's opinions about this subject...anything really :)

I'm just doing some reflections on myself and any thoughts, experiences or advice from anyone would probably be helpful.

Thanks

snooch
05-04-2015, 01:22 PM
I do think that sometimes we can be too sensitive - I say "we" because I think everyone can be this way from time to time, and I think some people can be this way most of the time.

When I think of being too sensitive, I mean those times when I have let someone else's opinions affect my day to day life. For example, because of incidents from my past, I can be sensitive to criticism and judgment. When I see a stranger give me critical looks, for example, I can go into analysis mode: is it my hair? my clothes? what's wrong with me to make them look at me this way? Etc. That is being overly sensitive. I'm assigning negative intent to a look someone gave me, and I'm taking it personally. It can affect my mood and my self-esteem. I forget that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my creator who loved me so much that he gave his life for me -- and because I forget who I am, I let someone else's opinion, even what I just perceive to be their opinion, affect me.

I've had to learn to let things roll off my back more, for my own self-preservation. It's hell to live life worrying about something someone said about me, or thinks about me, or feels about me, when all kinds of people are going to say/think/feel things about me over the course of my life, and it doesn't really affect my life for them to do that, unless I allow it to. I am who I am. Some people will like me, some people won't. That's always going to be the case. If I run into someone who doesn't like me, I can't let myself be so deeply affected by their dislike of me. It's damaging to me. I need to be who I am. Trying to be anything else is pointless, frustrating, and in the end ineffective... because I'll still be who I am.

There's always room for growth and improvement, but I've had to learn to consider the source and use my own judgment and honest self-awareness to determine if someone is just being mean or if there is an area I need to work on. But even if there is merit in the criticism, none of us are perfect, and if I wouldn't sledgehammer a friend over this particular area where I need to grow, then I shouldn't sledgehammer myself over it either. Accept, learn, grow, try to improve -- but don't berate.

That self-berating is what I consider to be overly sensitive. Looking out for offenses from people, in a defenses-up stance, is what I consider to be overly sensitive. Letting things affect me too personally when I would not advise a close friend to do the same is what I consider to be overly sensitive.

judy02
05-04-2015, 02:30 PM
Meh...Snooch I had a really long reply all typed after what you wrote, and the internet connection went down!! :/ I will reply again soon.

blythe_ann
05-04-2015, 04:14 PM
I think there is such a thing as being overly-sensitive.

I don't think allowing your emotions to be known (wearing your heart on your sleeve or being visibly upset) is overly-sensitive, however. I find it refreshing when someone can be honest about their emotions. So often people (including myself) are conditioned to bury emotion.

I thought of this almost in an opposite way of snooch, though I agree 100% with what she said. Perhaps it's just where I am at right now, but I was thinking about how being overly-sensitive changes relationships.
To me, being overly-sensitive is allowing something said or done to completely derail a relationship or cause a lot of negative feelings towards someone. It ends up hurting the sensitive person more, in the long run, but it also hurts the relationship and sometimes can hurt the other person, too.
For example, I know that I am overly-sensitive regarding young marriage. When someone makes a blanket statement that someone young should not marry, I am automatically on the defense and tend to "dock points" from that person, whether they are good people or not. In the long run, this hurts me the most because harboring that defensiveness just puts a wedge in what could have been a good relationship with someone, but it also could be hurting them, because I'm not engaging fully when I am being defensive.
I also think there are way to express being sensitive without making others feel uncomfortable (this isn't directed at you, but when I think of overly-sensitive people in my life, I think of people who are easily-offended and tend to make people uncomfortable because of it... gossiping, complaining, or making sure people know they are feeling down after something happens).
People are rude, so I think it's okay to be sensitive to rudeness. I think being straightforward and honest about that rudeness is a better policy than crying about it or burying our anger about it.

Maybe I'm not making any sense, ha. I guess my short answer is -- yes, over-sensitivity is a thing.

Virginia
05-04-2015, 04:21 PM
Yes, I do. I think when we care too much about what other people think of us and let that dictate our every thought, we are being too sensitive to them and not being true to ourselves. I also think that in general our society is too sensitive and into being "politically correct" instead of just telling the truth and letter others tell the truth.

I tend to be...not very sensitive sometimes. I'm confrontational, and I care more about being respected than liked. But I still have my moments where I'm too sensitive :) I find that I need to have coping mechanisms in place and mantras to repeat to myself over and over again, like "I can't control them. I can only control me."

mina
05-04-2015, 05:07 PM
I think everyone is overly sensitive to something. We all have different life experiences that can make us have over care or thought about issues. I don't think it's always a bad thing. You can sit and stew or be an encouragement to someone elsegoing through the same thing. If you were bullied as a young child; you turn it around to look out for and protect others; for example. I'm still working on my issues; hopefully to get to a place of peace and compassion. It can be a hard journey.

I also think that having a tender heart to things isn't always bad. Feeling deeply isn't always bad. It's sad to me that the world views that as weak or a bad thing. Some of the most brilliant and creative people throughout history were sensitive and felt things deeply. If you study temperaments; it's one of the normal categories: I think melancholy. It can be a strength and something positive.

DIANAC
05-04-2015, 09:04 PM
What do you mean by being sensitive? Is it being controlled by your emotions? Or being easily offended?
But I think that you are talking about how your emotions are affecting your life.
When something happens in my personal life, indeed it affects everything else. That's normal. I remember once my dog got hit by a car. I was very upset. But I still had to go to work to attend a high level meeting. I remember sitting in the big boss's office with other big bosses and tears were streaming down my face. I was so embarrassed. But I just could not control my tears.
But life continues and we have to manage our emotions, our hurts, and not let them manage our life.
Many-many times when something happens and the aftereffect is taking over of all my thoughts and I am not even able to think about anything else, I pray for clarity. I usually write all my thoughts down and pray for each situation asking for wisdom.