First of all, what do we mean when we say that a person is sensitive? A person called sensitive is strongly affected by what he / she experiences. Recent researches have shown that everyone is more or less sensitive and separated people into three different groups depending on how sensitive one person is. These groups are low, medium, or high and were labelled as dandelions, tulips, and orchids.
For more information related to sensitivity research you may visit https://sensitivityresearch.com/research-on-sensitivity-past-present-and-future/
A highly sensitive person, like me, who has to deal with the brutal reality which has to keep me busy all day long, attend meetings, phone calls, keep up with numbers, constantly try to prove my value etc. can be easily overwhelmed.
Quite often my friends and family advise me to stop being that sensitive, to grow up, to become stronger. As if being sensitive is a malfunction or problem.
Honestly, in this society we all live in, we are taught to be fast and efficient in whatever we do. We must be productive and in most cases being sensitive is not considered an asset.
However, I believe my sensitivity and feelings are there every time for a reason. I know that I am able to sense and understand things that other people cannot. They call this intuition. I call it the ability to sense that something is wrong or needs attention. Ability to understand that another human no matter what he says he is not ok.
Ever since I remember myself I could be happily laughing one moment and burst into tears just minutes afterwards even at the sight and only of an injured animal, of an old lady that could not walk by herself, of a child begging for money.
Growing older and having to work for big companies like banks made things worse. I could feel that I was so much different than the others. I usually felt out of place and I would just try to hide myself as much as possible, try to do what I could and just wait for another day to end.
Truth is that when something was not ok I could sense it. If one of my colleagues had a problem or was not feeling ok I could understand it just by taking a look at his face, his expressions or even via phone by the sound of his voice.
I could even understand if there was a problem between some of my coworkers, what was the new manager‘s opinion about each one of the personnel or if there was some kind of problem with the processes and status of a project. All these just by paying attention to other humans, their expressions and reactions.
How did my colleagues react to this ability of mine? They would call me strange, irrational or would think that I am overreacting in some cases. And to some point they were right because I know that it was hard for them to understand what I was trying to tell them at the time.
For me being in such a position was disappointing. I have spent most of my life wishing I were different, less sensitive, and less emotional. I just wanted to be harder and crueler in a way. Not being affected by others words, opinions, emotions or expressions.
Lots of people of course had thanked me during my life for being there for them when needed someone to understand, to offer them compassion and kindness. This is of major importance but for some reason seemed not to matter that much compared to my pain and suffering through all those years.
Seemed that my gain compared to what I was losing was meaningless. People continued to underestimate me, doubt me and overlook me. I kept on for years being nothing more than one productive unit which was actually not working as well as others.
Feeling like this made me start trying to develop myself, to try to make myself a bit harder. The thing is that along the way I found out that what I thought was my biggest problem I found out that could prove to be a huge asset if used and not tried to bury it.
Let me point out what I think are the biggest assets of sensitivity.
4 reasons why being sensitive is an advantage
1. You are aware of yourself, your needs and feelings.
Having a deep understanding of who you are and how you are each time of the day is what makes you able to understand what is good and what is bad for you. Being sensitive enough to understand what another person might be going through sets you able to correspond accordingly, taking his feelings into account.
2. You can feel and share compassion
As pointed above compassion provides that someone can be able to understand someone else’s feelings. While living in a cruel and selfish world I consider compassion a strength that could prove to be super power.
3. You can sense when something is wrong
You have the ability to sense things that other people don’t. You are able to catch the vibes, read the faces and expressions, and translate what one says not only by his words but also by the pace, tone and sound of his voice.
4. You can use your sensitivity to be creative
Artists are well known for their sensitivity and their ability to sense emotions. Artists are also well known for their ability to set their emotions on fire with their creations.
For those who read my blog you also know that apart from articles I also share some short stories and poetry. How could I possibly be writing about other people, my heroes, if I were incapable of being in their shoes, thinking their thoughts and feeling their emotions? How could I be writing for other people without being able to inspire them with my heroes’ emotions and thoughts?
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create— so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” Pearl Buck,The Good Earth
How do you feel about your sensitivity?
Have you embraced it or trying to fight it?