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“Stop Being Sensitive!” – A Reflection on Over-Sensitivity

Posted on Feb 26 2016 under Blog Posts

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My entire life, I have been told I’m too sensitive. During this past week, a dispute arose between my husband and I that had everything to do with my over-sensitivity. I keep a journal and after many disagreements with my husband and others I usually write about what happened, why I reacted or felt that way, and what I need to do differently next time. It occurred to me as I was writing in my journal that my over-sensitivity has caused many disputes and hurt feelings in my life.

Why do I believe I am so sensitive?

  1.  I over-analyze everything. A friend could say to me, ” You look skinny today!” My initial thought process after I say, “Thank you” is: Do I look fat other days? Did she mean that or was she just being nice? Or was she trying to be mean? Has she been talking to others about me being overweight?
  2. I am self-conscious about certain things that trigger over-sensitivity. Being intelligent is   something I am very self-conscious about, ever since my second-grade teacher referred to me as stupid in front of the rest of my class. I have made it my life goal never to come across as unintelligent. If someone speaks to me in a condescending manner, or implies stupidity, etc. I immediately get defensive.
  3. I jump to conclusions. I get upset because someone said something that I perceived as offensive. Rather than pause and give that person a chance to explain, I get defensive, or immediately believe that it was said maliciously.

I outlined in my journal these reasons above, and I began to brainstorm how I could work to control my over-sensitivity so that I didn’t find myself in conflicts with others.

  1. Pause and Breathe. Breathing is a great regulator of your heart rate and your mind. I love doing yoga, and breathing is a huge part of it, as it helps you remain centered. In situations where I find myself being over-sensitive, I need to remember to take deep breaths, this will allow me to stay calm and centered.
  2. Think positively – Not Negatively. I have to remind myself that not everyone is out to get me. I am unsure when my distrust of others began, or if I have always been this way. However, anytime I find myself getting upset by something someone said, I have to remind myself that they are not saying it maliciously.
  3. Listen, Clarify, and Ask Questions. It is important that I don’t jump all over someone immediately after they offend me. Many times I have found myself not allowing the person a chance to explain themselves or refine what they say. So in the future, I am going to listen, clarify points they make, and ask questions to make sure I understand their point.

If you find you are over-sensitive, ask yourself why? Reflecting and looking inwards has allowed me to make changes that I have found better myself and my life. You can too!

Have a great week!

Abigail R. C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice


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