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Archives for February, 2012

Borderline Personality Disorder

Volunteering

When people feel alienated and socially excluded, they are at risk for depression and anxiety. When they think that they aren't part of their community, they may use unhealthy ways to connect or not feel the loneliness.

The more isolated they become the more difficult it is to be around people or reach out. Some may believe that they have nothing to...
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Coping Skills

The Problem with Apologizing to Empty Chairs


Have you ever seen someone walk into a room, maybe at a conference, bump into one of those metal chairs, and say "Oh, excuse me?" Or heard someone apologize because it's raining? Or because someone else is sick? Maybe you've done it yourself.

The emotionally sensitive are often champion apologizers. They do not want to upset anyone, so they are hyper-alert to any insult that they might unintentionally cause.

They do not want conflict or upset...
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Coping Skills

Understanding Emotions Through Equations

Having multiple tools for managing emotions is important for the emotionally sensitive. Different strategies will work for different people at different times in different situations. One way of understanding emotions is through considering them in equation form.

In his book Emotional Equations Chip Conley describes how understanding the connections between your primary emotions, rather than identifying individual emotions, can help you understand yourself, your purpose and your relationships...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Right Brain Skills: Valuing the Attributes of the Emotionally Sensitive

Being emotionally sensitive has advantages and challenges. The challenges include overcoming stereotypes of others that affect your performance and self-confidence, and living with the ache that comes from feeling that you are walking around raw, with no armor against emotional pain.

The good news is science is learning more and more about brain differences and how to make behavioral changes to cope effectively with intense emotions....
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Coping Skills

Tears and Emotions

Many people don't like crying. They fight tears, hate their tears and hide their tears. Adults and sometimes children are told not to be crybabies. People who cry are often judged as weak and out of control. Emotionally sensitive people may be told that they cry "all the time"  and may judge themselves...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Expressive Writing

When thinking about people who are emotionally sensitive, you might be most likely to think of the individual who cries easily and who shows her emotions openly. But there are many different types of emotionally sensitive people.

Type C Person

In the book The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotions, Michael Jawer discusses the Type C person. A Type C individual is a stoic, a denier of strong feelings and has a calm, unemotional demeanor.

This...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

How Stereotypes Affect the Emotionally Sensitive





A research study completed years ago has always fascinated me. In the 1960's Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson administered a test to all students in an elementary school and gave the results to the teachers. They told the teachers that based on the test results some students were particularly likely to excel academically in the upcoming year whereas others were not.

The "gifted" students were actually chosen by drawing...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Love and Loss in Relationships

Whether you believe in celebrating Valentine's Day or not, the day serves as a reminder to many of the relationships they have lost or their lack of success in creating supportive relationships. The pain of being alone, for many,  is constantly present but may be more intense on a day that celebrates love.

Relationships can be a roller-coaster ride for the emotionally sensitive. Emotionally sensitive people often love fiercely and intensely. They...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Practicing Validation

Emotional validation means acknowledging and expressing acceptance of someone's thoughts, feelings and behaviors as understandable. Sometimes understanding someone else's thoughts and feelings requires a lot of work because the way they think makes no sense to you.

Emotional validation is different from emotional invalidation which means someone's feelings, thoughts and behaviors are judged, rejected, or ignored.

Validation is particularly...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Understanding Invalidation

Emotional invalidation is when a person's thoughts and feelings are rejected, ignored, or judged. Invalidation is emotionally upsetting for anyone, but particularly hurtful for someone who is emotionally sensitive.

Invalidation disrupts relationships and creates emotional distance. When people invalidate themselves, they create alienation from the self and make building their identity very challenging.

Self-invalidation and invalidation by others make recovery from depression and anxiety particularly...
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