The emotionally sensitive experience emotions quicker, more intensely, and for a longer period of time than those who are not emotionally sensitive. Emotional Sensitivity ranges on a continuum from being somewhat more sensitive than others to be being so sensitive that emotions make it difficult for the person to function.
Research on the full range of emotional sensitivity has not been done. An emotionally sensitive person might or might not be a highly sensitive person (For a discussion of highly sensitive people, see Elaine Aron’s work.)
We often talk about the challenges of being emotionally sensitive but we don’t focus as frequently on the gifts. Being emotionally sensitive also has its positive side.
1. Positive emotions may be experienced more intensely: joy, happiness, gratitude, love and excitement are a few that may be richer and deeper for the emotionally sensitive. Celebrations are often more fun and more creative. Any get together can be more enjoyable when emotionally sensitive people are present.
2. The emotionally sensitive have strong intuition, particularly about the emotions of others. The emotionally sensitive person is likely to be “tuned in” to the emotional experiences of others and be particularly helpful when others are in emotional pain. The ability to be compassionate with others seems to be part of being emotionally sensitive. If the emotionally sensitive person is a member of your team, they will likely sense the needs of the other team members and by doing so enhance the productivity of the team.
3. The emotionally sensitive tend to be creative thinkers. Their imaginations can be amazing. They can think of solutions to concerns that others do not consider.
4. The emotionally sensitive tend to be passionate about what they believe in. Emotionally sensitive people often make a difference in the world because of their passion for causes or their family and friends. If you need someone on your side, the emotionally sensitive can be excellent allies.
5. Emotionally sensitive people are often dedicated to fairness and justice. They can be leaders in standing up for what is right, particularly for those who have difficulty standing up for themselves. They would be the ones who want to change the world.
6. Loyalty is often a trait of the emotionally sensitive. When a friend is beaten down and perhaps others have stopped calling him, the emotionally sensitive person remains by his side.
7. Generosity is often a trait of the emotionally sensitive. If you need something they will try to get if for you, often regardless of the cost to themselves.
8. The emotionally sensitive are often artistic. They may be musically gifted, excellent writers or painters or talented with interior design. They may be excellent at creating eye-appealing arrangements.
9. The emotionally sensitive see the big picture. They are often able to put components together in unusual ways to create a new whole or see how different parts could result in something new.
10. The emotionally sensitive often appreciate beauty, in nature and in people. They can point out the wonders of nature when others just walk past. Taking a walk with the emotionally sensitive can show you a different world than most people see.
There are many other gifts of the emotionally sensitive. And not every emotionally sensitive person has every gift. Let me know what I’ve left out.
Note to Readers: If you haven’t participated, please consider answering the questions on my new survey about being emotionally sensitive. Results will be given in a future post. Thank you!
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Last reviewed: 17 Jun 2012