When I was younger I was told by the majority of people around me that I was “so sensitive” and that I needed to “stop being so sensitive”. I tried to change as I thought this was a problem with me and who I was as a person, but as I got older I realized it was a gift not a problem.
I learned to accept my sensitivity and use it in a way that drew people to me through that sensitivity.
My greatest weakness had become one of my greatest strengths…but with some things out there the opposite can become true. Your greatest strength can become your weakness.
I personally think we all have sensitivities that can be used to attract others as everyone’s desire (whether they realize it or not) is to be seen, heard, and understood. However there are some pitfalls with having a gift. When used incorrectly – your gift becomes your weakness.
One of these examples is if you are TOO sensitive to yourself but not to others. We all know them. People who dish it out, and have no awareness that they say awful things but are extremely sensitive to even the slightest look. They definitely can’t take what they dish. This isn’t a balance of sensitivity. You can be just as sensitive to yourself as you can be to others… but it takes a lot of awareness to do this. This can be classic to some of the Autism community, and I think then it falls on the people with those that don’t have the challenges of Autism to try to understand that this is not a personal thing from Autistic people. The other is that there are just some people out there that have never been taught a “greater awareness” of others, or something outside their ‘bubble’. Some people have never been taught about the bigger picture. Some people cannot put themselves in other’s shoes. It usually isn’t something that the regular person can approach. The few people I know that fit this category have total unawareness of their lack of sensitivity and believe they are sensitive to others. The clue is when you find they can be more sensitive to strangers or people on the news than to the closest people to them. I’m not a psychology expert but it definitely seems like something that hasn’t been fully developed.
The other problem is when you are too sensitive to others more than you are to yourself. My mother used to get quite upset when I was just in Kindergarten and she would see a child do something to me and I wouldn’t say (or do) anything back. After five children she was curious and frustrated about this trait. She asked me why I didn’t stand up for myself and she said she was quite surprised that a five year old would say “because they are hurting”. She says that I knew if someone expressed anger it was because they were hurting. I didn’t want to hurt them back. As much as this is probably admirable and quite intuitive, it definitely turned into a fault. I put my needs behind everyone else’s because I was so worried about others. Even now some of my best friends know me well enough to tell me when I am doing this. In the past, this was definitely more extreme and it really hurt me. I had friendships where I allowed others to blame me if I perceived that they felt better about themselves when doing this. This is unhealthy. This is not something that should be continued. If anything this should be a temporary imbalance for someone helping another person out long enough for them to get on their feet. What is important is to get back on your feet. You taking the blame to make others feel better should not be a lifelong crutch. This is something I still struggle with every day. I have to constantly check in with myself to see if I am giving too much of myself away, or allowing people to cross boundaries just because I think they feel better doing so.
Being sensitive is awesome, but it takes skill, a lot of practice, and a balancing act to make sure it doesn’t turn into our weakness.
Hope your weekend is awesome.