"Being highly sensitive is a great gift, allowing you to deeply appreciate life and feelings.
But if you"re highly sensitive, just going about daily life can feel overwhelming because so many "simple" things affect you so profoundly.
Ever had someone make a remark about you? For the highly sensitive person, that might reverberate with him or her for hours or even days.
Or they may find themselves getting irritable at things others barely notice.
Being highly sensitive is a great gift, but it can also be hard work!
Three Types of Highly Sensitive People
I"ve worked with lots of highly sensitive people, and I"ve noticed that there are two or three types of them. You might see yourself in one of these profiles or you might swing between different styles at different times.
The "Heart-on-Sleeve" Sensitive
People may call them sentimental or emotional or romantic and kind.
They"re seen as very empathic, a shoulder to lean on.
They might laugh and cry easily, and they always wear their emotions on their sleeve.
The "Walled-off Recluse" Sensitive
They handle their high sensitivity by building great big walls around themselves. Because of this, people around them usually don"t know how deeply they feel things. In fact, they may have lost touch with that as well.
People wall of their sensitivity when it gets too painful to hold, when no one around them seems to understand their reactions, or when there"s just no way to deal with all the pain.
For me, these are among the most rewarding people to work with, because once we start getting to know who you really are beneath that "blank" or "shy" front, we get to discover great vibrancy in you.
People like this describe therapy as going from living in black-and-white to living in color.
The "Ice Queen" Sensitive
They appear cold, hard, and factual.
What do you do when people have taken advantage or mock you for your tenderness? Some of us decide that, on some level, we"re going to be in control from now on.
These people can seem a bit like bullies; it"s the one way they"ve learned to defend against the vulnerability it"s painful to share. They can be vindictive toward people in their lives, can turn people away at a moment"s notice, and come across cold.
With a little digging, though, it"s usually the case that they"re not really so cold or heartlessnot deep down. They"ve just learned to act like this so everything would quit hurting them so darn much.
High Sensitivity Can Be a Great Gift
This is good news, right??
You can learn to live and thrive with it. It takes some time, and it takes respect for those pieces of yourself that you"ve learned to wall off. But it does get better.
You know what else? Once you learn how to honor your sensitivity and use it to guide and energize your actions, some of those "symptoms" you"ve had are likely to fadelike that sadness, or that feeling of emptiness, or that anger that just comes up and takes over
Or the emptiness you feel in relationships, or that perpetual sense that you have to achieve, to wall off, to hide yourself. Hiding is exhausting! Finding a way to embrace your sensitivity and use it in safe ways in safe relationships liberates your energy.
It"s Time to Honor Your Sensitivity
You"ve guarded your sensitivity as best you could. Now, it might be time to get help to learn how to honor it and use it like the gift it really is.
Want help with that?
If you"re sensitive, you"ll probably find me one of the easiest people for you to talk with yetbecause I get sensitivity, and I know how to help you to honor both your feelings and also how you"ve learned to mask them."