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.
Emotionally sensitive people are often artistic. Being artistic usually means having a strong appreciation of the senses, and information taken in through seeing, hearing, touching and tasting. They may also have a love of movement, such as dance.
The emotionally sensitive person may have an active imagination and create works of visual art or spend time writing. They are often passionate about helping others.
These attributes are gifts, and can also be ways to cope with intense feelings that can be overwhelming at times. Consider the following examples:
Judging and fear of being judged often keeps people in a trap – an emotional jail. Instead of living your life the way you would love to, you live safely, doing what is acceptable, so you aren’t labelled as crazy, stupid, worthless, a failure, lazy or some other hateful word. You may try to fit into molds that aren’t right for you or that aren’t even possible for human beings.
Humans simply aren’t perfect.
When you’re feeling upset, it’s difficult to problem-solve or think of what actions might help. Keeping a list of what works for you could be an important step for coping successfully. It’s also true that building strong basics in your life will help you cope more effectively when you are faced with pain.
13: For this week, notice something YOU did right each day. Sometimes people focus so much on what needs to change that they forget how much is perfect just as it is. This is related to noticing what went right, only this time it’s about your actions, what you did right. Remember small right actions add up, so count the small steps.
Understanding emotions, being able to observe them in ourselves, and knowing the information they give us is an important part of living effectively. For example, fear tells us to take action or freeze to protect ourselves. When fear is based on true facts versus imagined or misinterpreted information, that message to self-protect can be lifesaving. That message is perfectly clear — you are in danger.
Sometimes, though, the message our emotions are giving us is more difficult to understand. That’s true of shame.
Webster defines shame as the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, and ridiculous done by oneself or another. It is a kind of injury to one’s pride or self-respect.
Do you ever feel like you simply can’t listen to another word about a difficult experience or loss? You may be experiencing compassion fatigue.
Therapists, nurses, doctors, nannies, childcare workers, nursing home caregivers and other people who focus on helping on a regular basis often experience compassion fatigue. Listening to heartbreak and caring about the troubles of others can be stressful and emotionally tiring.
The emotionally sensitive, who are keenly aware of the emotions of others, are at risk for compassion fatigue even if they aren’t in a care-taking situation. Driving past an animal shelter or seeing a homeless person on the street can bring about overwhelming compassion and over time result in compassion fatigue.
Caring deeply day after day can be emotionally exhausting.
In the book, “Why We Make Mistakes,” Joseph Hallinan relates an amazing story about a 1972 airplane crash. When Captain Robert Lofe, the pilot of Eastern Airlines Flight 401, was making his final approach to Miami International Airport, he noticed something was wrong. He had put the landing gear down, but the indicator light didn’t come on.
He circled around and decided to level off to determine what the problem was.
He didn’t have a clue, so he called in the first officer. The first officer didn’t know either so they called in the flight engineer. Pretty soon no one was flying the plane, which was going lower and lower. The captain’s last words reportedly were “Hey! What’s happening here?”
The plane crashed into the Everglades and burst into flames, killing ninety-nine people, including Captain Loft. The reason for the crash was because the crew became so engrossed in a task that they lost awareness of their situation–all because of a $12 light bulb.
Kelly’s weekdays are filled with pain. She’s a caring friend; one who takes on the pain of the people in her life. Her college student niece whose heart is broken, the young wife next door who feels empty and hollow despite having the life she once dreamed of and the middle-aged friend whose life hasn’t met his expectations.
All their emotions, and those of others, stay with her in one way or another until she replenishes herself and lets them go. Being an emotionally sensitive person and an introvert, time to recoup through solitary activities like reading is crucial for her to live a contented life.
It’s the first chapter in her owner’s manual for herself.
Recently the leader of a girls’ school in England planned a “failure week.” The idea was to teach students to be willing to take risks and build their resilience, their ability to bounce back when they didn’t succeed or do well at something they tried. What a great idea.
How many of us know how to fail? Failure is a part of succeeding, especially when your goal is a difficult one to achieve. Persistence is said to be the key to success. Persistence means to keep going even when a door closes.
So what’s the difference between people who keep going and crave a challenge and those who give up?
Many times it’s true. Your emotionally sensitive companion is often the one who brings soup when you are sick and remembers that you don’t want chocolate cake for your birthday–you prefer lemon. She’s entertaining, witty and caring.
But sometimes you may be shocked that the person you were sure would be the first to show up when you need her is not available. How could such an emotionally tuned-in person be so uncaring?
Actually, the ups and downs of their relationships have nothing to do with not caring.