It is sad that the term “too sensitive” is even used to define someone’s character. I mean, is there really such a thing as caring too much or feeling too strongly about something? There is no benchmark as to how sensitive you should be, so who’s to say what is too much?
Growing up, I always wished things didn’t hurt. I questioned why I held onto relationships and friendships which had long passed their expiry date. It always seemed so easy for everyone else to let go and move on but I just couldn’t. Possibly because I refused to see the bad in those around me and would find an excuse for almost any behaviour or, because I hadn’t yet grasped the concept of self-love. This lead me into a lot of messy situations which caused a great deal of pain and suffering.
So the older I got, the more I tried to fight it, especially when it came to relationships. I didn’t want to argue or cry for hours when the other person had clearly moved on. I would give and give until I felt empty without receiving anything in return, but then be left with feelings of resentment and anger. I could recall exact conversations which took place months before because I was truly invested the words being spoken. I could feel the sting of criticism and knowing I had disappointed someone was soul-destroying. I would get easily triggered when someone had an opinion different to my own and constantly felt vulnerable, as people would take my kindness for weakness and my sensitivity as a pathway for manipulation.
I began to realise that being sensitive was not my biggest flaw, it was my greatest gift. In order for it to benefit my life however, I had to practice becoming mentally tough. This didn’t mean I disregarded my emotions or pretended I was some hard-core, emotionless woman who didn’t care about anything, it just meant that I was able to protect myself from people who would abuse my sensitivity. I started learning to deal with my negative emotions without letting them get the better of me.
Honour your emotions and never judge yourself for feeling: I learnt that being mentally strong and highly sensitive were two attributes that could work in harmony. When I stopped denying my emotions and started honouring the way I felt this was a life-changer. It may seem difficult when you’ve been made to think that being sensitive is a character flaw but once you realise that being “too sensitive” is a misconception, it becomes easier to feel your emotions in a healthy way.
Surround yourself with people of your calibre and understand that not everyone can love on your level: You cannot expect to have a high quality life if surround yourself with people whose core values drastically differ from your own. Always choose people who sit in a space for you and allow you to be yourself. Choose to invest in relationships where equal respect is shown. It is important to realise that some people aren’t capable of giving you the love that you need because they don’t have the capacity for it. People are different and they love differently, therefore not everyone can measure up to your standard of what love should look like.
And lastly know when to leave: When you are with people who cannot reciprocate what you are giving them, you will always feel inadequate. They may be giving you all they can but if you do not share similar values when it comes to love, then the relationship will always feel as if something is missing.
Through my experiences, I have learnt that understanding why so many of us stay stuck in these destructive cycles is the key to getting out. But, more importantly, we have to recognise our value as strong, beautiful women who are worthy of respect in order to establish what we deserve.
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