As a sensitive person, I know that being sensitive comes with its own set of ups and downs. But let me tell you, it’s not all bad. In fact, there are some pretty significant benefits to being sensitive! People might say we’re emotional, but maybe we just feel things a little more deeply than others. We tend to reflect on things more than most people, like we were born missing a protective layer of skin that others seem to have.
If you have a highly sensitive loved one in your life, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Understand that if we take something personally, it’s because we’re emotionally aware and we feel things deeply. Telling us not to take things personally will only make us feel worse. Instead, try to learn from what you said or did so you can avoid hurting our feelings in the future.
- We’re really sensitive to criticism, even if it’s meant to be constructive. Criticism can be really upsetting for us, so we tend to avoid anything that might trigger feelings of shame. If you need to offer feedback, try to do it in a gentle, supportive way.
- Loud noises and strong smells can be really overwhelming for us. We appreciate it when people speak softly and keep the volume down. Too much noise is really painful for us.
- We’ll be in tears when we see other people cry because we’re highly in tune with other people’s emotions, as well as our own, and are aware if one isn’t happy. Emotional environments tend to affect us deeply.
- When we feel happy, sad, or angry, we tend to react more strongly than others. That’s just because we feel things more deeply. So if we seem to be overreacting, just remember that our emotions are a big part of who we are.
- Our feelings are easily hurt, and we’re constantly concerned about hurting others.
- We have above-average manners and are extremely conscientious. As a result, we’re more likely to be considerate and show good manners—and are also more likely to notice when someone else isn’t. When people say “please,” “thank you,” or “sorry,” we always pay attention.
- We are easily irritated by things and are open about it.
- Most sensitive people really love art. It’s a form of therapy for us because art is spiritual, entertaining, and calming. Instead of telling us to love something else, try to accept it.
- We’re not all introverts. (I am, however, an introvert.)
- We place a high value on little things. Cute text, tight hug, holding hands, forehead kisses—you name it. These little things occupy the biggest part of our hearts.
- We’re loyal and we love deeply, but we can also be really hurt if someone betrays us. It’s important to treat us with kindness and respect so we feel valued and appreciated.
- We can also be extremely hateful. We have the ability to hate, or at least dislike passionately, too. If you hurt, offend, or betray one of us, we will be deeply hurt and are unlikely to forget, even if we eventually forgive you.
- It’s important not to push us around because that overwhelms us.
- We’re generally more intuitive when it comes to the tiny nuances. If you normally end each text message with an exclamation point and lately you’ve been using a period, you better believe we’ll pick up on it.
- We enjoy listening to songs with meaningful lyrics.
- Don’t try to hide anything in front of us; we’ll sense that you aren’t being truthful. When you need a shoulder to cry on, don’t be afraid to reach out to us. Because of our overly sympathetic nature, we make excellent listeners when you need us.
- Be a good listener. We’re very good at listening. So you should do the same. When we have something to say, just sit and listen. Don’t try to offer immediate advice, don’t interrupt, and don’t act like you’ve got somewhere to be.
- We will be very likely to point out something that needs to be improved. Take it as a compliment.
- A joke at our expense sometimes just isn’t a joke to us.
- Most of us are very observant and are not judgmental in the slightest. Let us make observations. This is how we make sense of the world around us. Sometimes it’s easier for us to let go of what others think of us and think of those around us. We may love to read articles about certain groups of people online, and it’s necessary for us. We need answers to our curiosity, especially since we are so tuned into other people’s emotions.
- We tend to avoid confrontation and we don’t like it when people try to force us to do too many things at once. We do best when we can focus on one thing at a time and take things at our own pace.
- If you work with us, don’t try to chat while we’re really focused on a project. We focus best when we’re in tune with our own thoughts. Basically, we only focus on one thing at a time.
- We startle easily and are more affected by pain than others.
- We get rattled when we have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
- We like to take our time and not overload ourselves with too many activities.
- Above all, it means a lot to us when people support and accept us for who we are. We know that being highly sensitive can be challenging at times, but we also know that it’s a strength that our world desperately needs right now. So if you have a highly sensitive loved one in your life, be sure to let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. We really appreciate it!
When I was younger, I considered being highly sensitive to be a flaw; however, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that it’s actually a strength, given that it’s not a trait that everyone possesses, and the ability to empathize with others and to feel their suffering is something that our world now desperately needs.