Emotionally sensitive people have some common characteristics even though they also vary greatly. The following are just a few characteristics to consider if you think you might be an emotionally sensitive person.
You have a rich emotional life, feeling your feelings deeply and often. Your day is filled with a wide range of emotions and you experience most situations with emotional response.
You might laugh and cry within the same hour. Sights and situations that others don’t see as emotional can be emotional for you. Maybe as a child you worried about walking on grass, fearful that it hurt the grass. Maybe you worried about the teacher’s feelings when your classmates misbehaved. Or when others were laughing at the chimpanzees playing at the zoo you felt sad they were in a cage.
You may sometimes keep your emotional reactions or the reasons for them secret because other people would not understand.
When others are upset, you feel as upset as they do. The emotions of others, even those of strangers, seem to affect you strongly, almost as if you were feeling the same emotion. Being around other people can be exhausting because you’re “tuned in” to their emotions. Perhaps you’ve been told that you need better boundaries.
You really, really love animals. You may gain comfort from pets and in turn give them exceptional care. Seeing animals hurt is very painful and may enrage you or send you into deep sadness.
You need to help others who are in pain. When you see someone crying, even a stranger, you will hold onto your concern about that person for hours. Maybe you will offer help or comfort. Ads in magazines for people in other countries who need help bother you. Passing a hospital may bring about feelings of sadness for people who are suffering. You may often feel upset that you should do more for others and visit those you love more often and be torn by also feeling that you can’t.
You sometimes tolerate unacceptable behavior from others. Maybe you make excuses for people in your life who behave badly because you understand the pain behind their behavior. Or you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Your emotional caring for them may even result in your staying in relationships that are hurtful to you.
You are creative. Creativity can be expressed in different ways. Maybe you do crafts, paint, write poetry, do flower arrangements, sew, quilt, or participate in other artistic activities.
You are passionate about injustice whether it affects you directly or not. When you see an action that you think isn’t fair, you become upset and are often ready to stand up for the person you think was wronged. Some great leaders have acted heroically out of passion for injustice done to others.
You need time to refuel, regroup, and calm. You can only spend so much time in the world before you need to escape the emotional triggers that drain you. You may crave solitude to feel peaceful. Others may need to be with “safe” people. Still others may lose themselves in a busy place where no one knows them.
You are highly alert to the unstated emotions of others. You often see through the emotional masks that others wear. You’re often the one who knows when someone else is upset. Intuitive may be a word others use to describe you.
Nature is particularly soothing. Whether its a flower growing wild beside the walkway, ocean waves, fall foliage or colors in a window display, you notice beauty and find it soothing. Nature has been shown to be soothing for everyone, but in my experience emotionally people in particular are often grounded by nature.
Criticism and rejection are especially difficult for you. Even mildly negative statements made by people you don’t know well are hurtful. You may believe you have let your family down if they criticize you. If a friend doesn’t include you in a luncheon invitation you may feel rejected even though you know it is normal to have more than one friend. In fact, you may find that you feel rejected and criticized easily, by actions and statements that weren’t intended to be received that way. Rejection by a romantic partner may be particularly hurtful, even when you aren’t sure you want to be in the relationship.
The above are only a few of the characteristics that you may have if you are an emotionally sensitive person. You may have some or all of these. If you are an emotionally sensitive person, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences. Let me know if you don’t want your comments published.