Highly sensitive people can appear to others to be fussy, boring and needy. But they need not be ashamed of their sensitive traits.
Here are 3 things you should no longer feel ashamed of as a highly sensitive person:
1. Do not be ashamed of your emotions
Highly sensitive people often get a name for being a bit of a Diva. They are easily upset, cry over anything remotely sad and can switch moods in the blink of an eye. Often other people can’t believe that anyone can feel such a range of emotions in such a short time and think we are ‘putting it on’. But highly sensitive people really do feel things more deeply and can be easily hurt or upset, but also easily feel great joy and love.
We should never feel ashamed of this emotional range. Although it can be difficult to be this sensitive, it also gives us great empathy and compassion for others. We can use our sensitivity to help others.
This kind of sensitivity is also seen in great artists. Without sensitive people, we wouldn’t have some of the great poetry, art and music in the world. Rejecting this part of ourselves is a recipe for mental health problems. Instead, we need to accept and embrace the part of us that feels so deeply.
Having said this, we can sometimes be run by our emotions rather than being in control of them. Learning to be more objective about the way we feel, by practicing mindfulness or meditation can help the emotions feel less overwhelming and increase our sense of peace.
2. Do not be ashamed to be boring
Highly sensitive people often find the things other people like to do rather overwhelming. Roller coasters, violent movies and alcohol-fuelled nights out are not necessarily our idea of fun! Unfortunately, this can make us seem boring to others. When we refuse yet another night out or social occasion and choose to spend a night in by ourselves, we sometimes feel guilty.
We shouldn’t feel ashamed of our need for time alone. We are often exhausted and drained by too many social activities and need time to recharge and restore. We like quiet time to ponder our own thoughts. We like time to read quietly or immerse ourselves in a hobby or creative pursuit.
Often our passions can seem boring to others, but it doesn’t matter what others think of our leisure activities. The important thing is that they should be pleasurable and rewarding to us and that they should restore us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Having time to restore can make us enjoy company more when we return to the social world. Though it can be tempting to spend all our time alone or in the company of just one or two familiar people, we are social animals and do need to spend time with others.
If anxiety is getting in the way of us enjoying social occasions, it is worth looking at why we feel this anxiety. We can learn a lot and get pleasure from the company of others and must be careful not to allow any anxieties about how other perceive us to get in the way of enjoying the company of others.
3. Do not be ashamed of your need to be liked
Highly sensitive people often feel a very strong desire to be liked. This need to please can make us quite vulnerable. We may bite our tongues when we are unfairly criticized, and we may not stand up for ourselves when we are treated badly for fear of creating more conflict.
Highly sensitive people will do just about anything to avoid a confrontation.
We need not be ashamed of our desire to be peacemakers. Often our sensitivity and empathy make us uniquely positioned to see both sides of the story and we can often help others overcome conflict.
However, we do need to be careful that our overwhelming desire to be liked and loved doesn’t make us act falsely towards ourselves. We can never really be happy if we are always molding our behavior towards pleasing others. We need to be able to be ourselves even if that means occasionally rejection.
Being highly sensitive can cause us to feel misunderstood. However, our sensitive traits can also be beneficial in many ways. The key is to accept ourselves the way we are, while sometimes pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones so that we can experience something new.
What traits do you struggle with as a highly sensitive person?