Every individual reacts differently to a situation. Some of us are more resilient than others to quickly bounce back from any negativity they may encounter. For others, any harsh exchanges or criticisms can be more devastating when it does not need to be. If you are overly sensitive, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Instead, it just shows a highly-developed capacity to pick up on other people’s feelings, which in turn can cause you needless inner pain or self-doubt. How you coped with certain situations may need viewed in a new light in order to change your brain’s response. Therefore, let me share some suggestions for your emotional sensitivity that can help keep you from getting too defensive to strengthen emotions.
The next time that someone strikes out at you with a jab that hurts, here is what you may want to do. Take in a few deep breaths to keep calm. By doing so, you’re allowing yourself to steady your heart rate and gain more control of the situation. Thus, you can use that time to invent an excuse to leave the conversation. You are not running away to coward because of what was said. You are simply leaving to think and then ponder the words carefully over a period of a few hours or the next day before immediately reacting.
How many of us have a friend or co-worker that always jumps in with “expert” advice about something that they have no real experience with. You know the type, the single career woman that criticizes something that your child or husband did that never would have happened if this was her child or husband. In all likelihood, this “expert” wasn’t even invited to the conversation that you were having with someone else, but just had to dominate the conversation and show her importance.
Instead of letting this “expert” unnerve you, you need to remember where this advice is coming from, a person inexperienced in child rearing or marriage. What this “expert” brings to the conversation are just theory and not real life experience. Besides that, this “expert” doesn’t know real details about you or your child or husband. Listen politely, but take the criticism with a grain of salt. If you hear something in particular that could ring true, then later discuss it with someone you trust that knows you well to find out their opinion.
Friends are wonderful for emotional support. The problem of constantly sharing your hurt feelings with them is it heightens anxiety. Though it gives you an emotional release, the focus can be more on the pain that it caused to keep it foremost in your mind without any real answers. You can be too wrapped up into making more of what just happened to have any opportunity to view it with a clearer head. Instead, you could constantly be going through the same loop of telling your story and experiencing that anger and pain over and over again. Nothing productive is ever gained for emotional sensitivity when you keep yourself a prisoner of those painful thoughts.
Perhaps, you might try a new tactic the next time by taking a walk, reading, or listening to some music to forget about the problem temporarily in this battle to overcome emotional sensitivity. Sometimes, we become so engrossed into our pain that it can be the only thing that we see. When you give yourself a break and concentrate on something else for a little while, you may be surprised at answers or thoughts that will come to you when your mind is at rest.
Something else that can be helpful is learning how to unleash your relaxation response that I wrote about in an earlier post.
You might also try meditation to help clear your mind. Learning how to compartmentalize the problem and separate the pain from its hold on you can give you the right prospective that is healthier that you may have lacked before.
There are times when you can’t help but feel the need to respond to some unwanted remark. Therefore, you can coax more clarity of that person by saying, “Excuse me?” This will give that person time to think or rephrase the comment, which may change the entire meaning or present his or her point in a clearer, more understandable fashion.
Another phrase to dig deeper into what the person just said is asking, “What did you mean?” When you give that person a question like that, he or she needs to think what brought that comment on. Incorporating a question like this can help filter out the truth from what may have been simply a misguided comment without any real substance.
Something else that is extremely helpful when you’re overly sensitive is asking that person who just hurt you to explain why he or said made that remark. Opinions can change or stand when that person gives an explanation. Taking the time to do this can give you more insight to better understand why this comment was said.
Finally, you can just be honest and tell that person that he or she hurt your feelings by that comment. Doing so, you are putting your feelings on the line and giving him or her the perfect opportunity to remedy the situation with an apology or clarification.
Hopefully, the information that I provided on how to overcome emotional sensitivity will help better prepare you to handle those rough patches more appropriately instead of out of proportion the next time they happen.
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