For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the type of person who is extra sensitive to little “cues” that may or may not have any basis in reality. Sometimes, my worst fears come to life right before my very eyes – but other times, I can eventually calm myself down and realize that not everything is as bad as it seems.
While the general consensus is that being “over sensitive” is a bad thing, in many ways it can be a very good thing to be perceptive to subtle cues and minor changes in a person’s attitude. Overall, it depends on the things you’re sensitive about, but there are many occasions where the sensitive ones have an advantage over those who aren’t so sensitive.
Curious why this is? Whether you’re the sensitive one or the one who doesn’t understand your sensitive partner (or friend), read on to find out why it can be a blessing to see the worst case scenario in every situation.
1. We’re prepared for the worst.
I have a motto (among many others) which basically states, “Prepare for the worst but hope for the best”. This seems sort of pessimistic, and in many ways, it is. But when you prepare for the worst, you can’t ever be disappointed – either you’re pleasantly surprised, or you’re right. When you keep your expectations low, you’re protecting yourself from the possibility of things going sour, because you’re anticipating the sourness while things are still sweet.
2. We notice the little things.
When you’re extra sensitive, you notice the minor, almost imperceptible changes in the attitude of the person you’re dating. This can be dangerous sometimes, but it can also be helpful. Our intuition is often much stronger than those who aren’t so sensitive, and it’s harder to catch us off guard.
3. We learn to protect ourselves.
It seems counter-intuitive that the sensitive ones are less likely to need someone else. But the truth is, when you learn that you’re more sensitive than most, you also learn that no one is going to save you but yourself. You become comfortable with the idea of being your own hero, because you expect others to betray you.
4. We love harder.
If we feel that we are having to constantly prove ourselves, we do. For our partners, this means that we are more likely to do things that make them happy, because we know how it feels to not feel loved. We do our best to ensure that our partner never feels that way because we know how bad it hurts.
5. It’s a type of sixth sense.
Although it’s not a “sixth sense” in the usual definition of the phrase, it is a sense of emotional intelligence, something that’s severely lacking from many people. Whereas some people might not care so much about how their actions affect others, we do.
6. We don’t expect our partner to make us happy.
Ok, so this goes back to the pessimism thing. But in reality, you shouldn’t depend on someone else to make you happy – because no one can actually make you happy except yourself. When you don’t expect someone else to bring you joy, you’re more inclined to seek out your own joy.
7. We know pain, but rarely show it.
When you get used to the idea of being hurt, you’re less likely to show others how hurt you really are. Some consider this “wall” an immature coping mechanism, but for women who are overly sensitive, we know that it’s a way to protect ourselves. If we don’t show others how their words and actions hurt us, it takes away their power to do so.
8. When we open up, we are trusting our partner completely.
We don’t tell our partner things just to hear ourselves talk. We are sensitive to their opinions, and this puts us in a position of not telling them things that we think they will judge us for. As long as this is done from a place of self-protection and not a place of dishonesty, this is good, as it safeguards us against other people spreading our business.
But it’s hard sometimes.
If you love someone who can be considered “overly sensitive”, it’s important that you do what you can to help her through the difficult parts of life. If we get too used to the idea of protecting ourselves, it can be hard for us to let someone else in, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need some help every now and then.
It’s also important that you don’t make a big deal out of your partner’s hypersensitivity. After all, this comes from a place of deep emotions, and that is generally a good thing in a relationship – if you shame your partner for showing emotion, you are telling her that you are not OK with that emotion, and she may see it as a reinforcement of the idea that she isn’t worthy of happiness. (Hint: Everyone is worthy of happiness as long as it doesn’t involve hurting someone else.)
For those of you who are struggling with over-sensitivity yourself, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will understand the way you feel about things. Sometimes there are going to be people who will judge you for the amount of emotion you show – but those people are usually not worth your time.
I understand it can be hard to let go of someone who’s “wrong” for you, but if your partner is not accepting your emotions, it’s important that you stand up for yourself instead of backing down. This is something that often must be learned first-hand and just reading the words isn’t likely to make the change. It’s going to be a lot of work – but as someone who’s “overly sensitive”, you know that the hardest things are often the most worthwhile. Use that to your advantage!