Emotionally sensitive people are often affected strongly by their environment and different people are soothed by different types of settings. Maybe a loft in an artsy area of town or a house in the country or a townhome in a busy area of the city fits with the environment you love. But maybe you are living in suburbia when you are a city person at heart or a nature lover living in a big city. While it may not be feasible to change your address to fit your personality, you can work on the interior of your home being more reflective of your personality.
Having a home that is a personal refuge means paying attention to what is soothing to you and arranging your habitat in ways that fit your personality. Sometimes out of fear of criticism, rejection from others, or not taking time to focus on their own needs, emotionally sensitive people may not venture from a tried and true decor. Such an atmosphere might not be upsetting but it also not likely to be comforting.
Think about changes you might make if you wanted to make your home reflect who you are. You might paint the walls soothing colors or have furniture as comfy as the softest sweats. Or maybe there are small changes that would make big differences.
Gretchen Rubin (2012) says that she loves the sight of meaningful possessions. When she looks at belongings in her home that bring memories to mind or reflect a passion she has, she smiles. Those possessions add to her happiness. If you like meaningful objects around you, then displaying items that remind you of trips you’ve taken, family gatherings, or good times with good friends might add to your contentment at home. Maybe photos of friends and family give you pleasure or maybe having a place to write or paint is more important than a dining room table. Perhaps you enjoy having every space filled or perhaps you like a sleek look.
On the other hand, Rubin says things that don’t matter detract from her contentment. Items such as shoes that don’t fit and kitchen utensils you don’t use may detract from the peacefulness you feel. Maybe you experience a twinge of guilt that you don’t wear the expensive shoes, even though they pinch your toes. If unnecessary possessions bother you, maybe it’s time to give them up.
Perhaps you love flowers but don’t take the time to give them to yourself. Maybe you love music and don’t take the time to listen to it.
When you look carefully around your home, what gives you pleasure? What feels soothing and comforting? What do you not like or what disturbs your contentment? What can you change? It may be that you’ve not paid attention to what you really love having around you. Maybe you are keeping objects for reasons that don’t really make sense. Maybe you haven’t personalized your home and made it truly your space. Creating a home that reflects what you cherish can add to your contentment.
As always, I’d love to hear your ideas about how your environment affects you emotionally and how you create comfort.
Note to Readers
If you are emotionally sensitive, please consider taking my survey about understanding loneliness. I appreciate your time and your contribution to better understanding emotional sensitivity.
Rubin, Gretchen. Happier At Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. New York: Crown, 2012.
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