Sensitive is a word used to describe people who are quick to notice changes and details, those who instantly know if something is up, and those who can be hurt easily.
In a way, being sensitive can also be a sign that you’re an intuitive person.
How to be Less Sensitive
People often think that being sensitive means being weak, but it is not true.
Being sensitive is like being in tune with the world, but on another frequency, you might get hurt by some words on a different level from your friends or the people around you.
It doesn’t make you weak; you perceive the world differently.
Can you become less sensitive?
The real question that should be asked is, “how can I be more sensitive?” but to answer this specific question, yes and no.
If you’re born with this vision of the world, you can’t change it; you can try to alter it; your experiences will help you see things from a different perspective, and what hurts you now won’t hurt you in a few years, but that’s just due to new experiences.
It’s not necessarily about becoming or learning to be less sensitive; it’s like asking someone who is stubborn to suddenly get rid of that personality trait and become someone else.
We can then consider sensitivity a personality trait, but also something that can be learned. It’s an understanding of the world through different lenses, anyone can see through those lenses, but those who are born with the trait will see details that those who aren’t born with, won’t notice.
You can also learn some techniques to gain more confidence and control over what upsets you, and therapy is a great tool.
Techniques to help you work on your sensitivity
Some techniques might work short-term, but in the long run, they impact on your life negatively.
Some of these techniques include:
– avoiding the situations that make you uncomfortable or you know you can’t handle
– not looking for a job
– shutting down people and bottling up your feelings
Avoiding a situation that makes you feel uneasy only works if that situation happens once, and you never have to repeat it; if the situation is going to work or hanging out with friends, it will only make you lose your job or your friends.
You can try telling your friends what makes you uncomfortable and triggers you so that they know what to do and not do. You will find that shutting down people instead of opening up is way easier, but who will you be left with once they leave?
In the long run, you’ll feel depressed and lonely, and you’ll blame yourself because you did it to yourself, resulting in becoming even more depressed.
Here a few healthy techniques that will help you gain control over your sensitivity:
1. Displacement techniques
It involves being aware of when you’re emotional, and you’re overreacting; this way, you can act on it. Find something that can distract you from what is triggering you, take a few steps backward, and breathe.
2. Change perspective
Switch your attitude, be the one who says, “what if it works out?” it can be useful in other situations too. It is essential to recognize that having a narrowed view of the world does more harm than good. Things might go wrong, but there’s a 50/50 probability that they might go in the right direction.
3. Accept it
You can’t control what’s around you or how people think, unfortunately, it’s out of your control, and you have to accept it.
There will be times, you’ll find yourself in uncomfortable situations, and there will be nothing you can do about it; the only thing you can do is accept and welcome your feelings by working with them and trusting your guts.
Take a day off from the world and dedicate it only to yourself. Drink water, eat a balanced meal, do nothing all day, or do whatever you want.
You’re not running away from your responsibilities; you’re allowing yourself to recharge.
Write down your feelings, be as open as possible. If you feel overwhelmed, pick up your journal and write down why; even if your words don’t make sense or your sentences are not well-structured; you’re letting out your negative feelings; they don’t have to make sense.
What does it mean to be very sensitive?
Highly sensitive people experience the world differently; they can perceive things that the human eye cannot see.
Some people like to believe that humans carry energy wherever they go, and highly sensitive people happen to perceive it.
A useful tool for sure, but something that can be very frustrating if used incorrectly.
Some signs you might be a highly sensitive person:
1. You don’t like violence; it makes you uncomfortable – Nobody should like violence, really, but you’re on another level.
You cannot even watch movies where two people are fighting because you are so empathic you can put yourself in their shoes, and it feels like you’re the one receiving the punch.
2. You absorb people’s feelings – Have you ever walked in a room and suddenly the air around you changes? You might perceive someone’s mood; maybe they’re sad or tense.
Understanding human emotions can be an inconvenience, especially when you’re around people who aren’t feeling good about themselves; you end up not feeling good about yourself either.
3. You attract people who love to talk about themselves – Have you ever looked around your friends’ group and noticed how all your friends share a similar trait? They love talking about themselves; you’re the person they go to when they have a problem or when they need to talk to someone. It’s because you’re a good listener.
Although they might not be aware of it, they somehow know that you can understand them better than anyone else. Be careful, though; you might end up feeling drained; know your limits, do not just be the friend who listens and never takes care of themselves.
4. Loud noises are a big no – You can’t stand loud noises; they startle you and irritate you. Loud noise can also be someone yelling, not necessarily an object making a noise.
Your friends probably make fun of you for this and say that you’re “jumpy,” but it’s your flight-or-fight response telling you that you’re in danger.
5. You have an inner world – Everyone has an inner world, but yours is so detailed, it might as well be an actual place.
Taking a tour inside your head would be an interesting thing to do if it was possible.
This probably means that you’re prone to daydreaming, making up situations and stories in your head that if you could write a book, you’d be the bestselling author.
How to be less sensitive to criticism
Highly sensitive people can’t take criticism, even if they know that they’re overreacting. It’s one of their weakest points, they for sure need to work on it, and if you’re a highly sensitive person, that’s what you can do be less sensitive:
- Not all the comments are about you; you’re not the center of the world. People are way too busy thinking about themselves even to notice that you’re there.
- Focus on the positive feedback; not everyone who criticizes you is doing it to harm you; sometimes, they want to help you understand your mistakes. Don’t take it too personally.
- Decide if you agree or disagree with the criticism and if you do not agree, calmly explain to the other person why they hurt your feelings.
Before you go
Remember that being a highly sensitive person is not something to be ashamed about, be proud of who you are.
Are you a sensitive person? How do you manage criticism? I would love to read your views.