128 thoughts on “You Might Be an Emotionally Sensitive Person If…

  • January 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    This blog is very helpful and sometimes I’m able to turn to it when I need a little validation. Thanks for making time for this.

  • January 18, 2012 at 12:42 am

    This is quite eye opening! I have to say since I was 14 I have become quite able to ignore a whole lot of the feelings I felt. Or hide them well! Mostly because I recented being called a whole lotta derogatory homosexual names!

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Hi JJ
      I am so sorry you have had to deal with being called names. That can be so very painful.

  • January 18, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I feel like many of the situations you described.
    Especially when someone I love does not include me in
    Something he is doing with other friends or family. I feel rejected and shut out.
    Like I am not good enouph. I have been a song/poetry writer since a child
    And I express myself this way. I often cry when writing words because they are so
    Powerful and full of my pain.
    I do not feel my strong emotions are “normal”
    I do not know of anyone who reacts to situations the way I do.
    It can be hard to socialize because if I see someone mistreated
    I get upset. I am alone alot because I am often sad and in my own thoughts.

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Being an emotionally sensitive person can be difficult and painful. Expressing yourself through music is an excellent outlet. Thanks for mentioning the power of words, that is another important characteristic. I hope these posts may offer some comfort and let you know you are not alone. Thank you for writing.

    • August 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      I am so surprised to finally see an article describing me and read about others who are like me. I was told from a very young age that I was “too dramatic” whenever I showed my feelings, so I hid my feelings because I felt them in the intense way the article describes. Animals adore me. Even strangers remark that their animals have never reacted “that way” around a person, trying to lick them and lick them and be close to them. I am called the “animal whisperer.” I cry for others’ pain as well as my own almost every day. I am very intuitive, like a sponge. I could go on, but this article nailed the characteristics.

  • January 18, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I am an emotionally sensitive person and it actually made me feel comfort to know that some people are just more emotional and there is nothing wrong with me. I always have to be careful about absorbing how others around me feel.. I try to stay around positive people. I also have always considered the feelings of teachers or supervisors and I always want to find a way to help people that I see crying. I have had to learn how to say no and stop overly criticizing myself. Being very emotional can be difficult but I think it can be an amazing blessing if you learn how to harness that energy. I write; paint and play the violin and i use my emotions as inspiration.

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Hello Dottie,
      Learning how to say no and being compassionate with yourself are excellent ways to manage emotions. We’re going to talk about those and more in future posts. Using your energy in productive ways is perfect. So glad you’ve learned to enjoy your gift!

  • January 18, 2012 at 4:51 am

    If i was to evaluate your post based on what i have read in neuroscience i’d suggest that you have actually described exactly someone who is living under the strong influences of a controlling other – either a controlling man or group of men. Possibly even a controlling woman or group of them.

    I know of myself that when i lived under the control of another that the above described me absolutely.

    Now that i am strong and independent i’m no longer as you have described.

    Perhaps anyone who feels that this post describes them might respond to my comment with whether or not they are under the control of another?

    It can be very difficult for people to escape the self deception we practice when the control is strong (ie there is a perception of risk).

    so be brave ๐Ÿ™‚


    • January 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Hi Murray,

      Many times emotionally sensitive people find themselves trapped in a situation where they feel powerless. I am so glad you found your independence. Thank you for your input and thanks for reading.

  • January 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I am an emotionally sensitive person and can relate to most of your points. Something I have identified within myself is that I have a “fear” of being misunderstood. So I would generally take my time to put a matter in perspective, when explaining it to someone – especially when the message is negative. Also when I share my emotions, I also fear the next person will not understand. It is like you have mentioned. I also tend to read between the lines – too much too often. I must admit, I like being this type of person and I wouldn’t want to change it. Thank you for an insightful article.

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Hi Reagan,

      Yes! Many people who are emotionally sensitive have been misunderstood many times in the past and that is painful, especially when others are upset. Excellent point. Thanks for your response and input.

  • January 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for this blog. It is me to a tee. But it’s nice to see others feel emotionally sensitive like me. But it can be difficult and painful.

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Nancy, I think it’s hard for those who aren’t emotionally sensitive to truly understand how difficult it can be. I am glad the blog may have helped in some way. Thanks for reading and responding.

    • November 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Dear Nancy S. I was attracted to your post because I, too fit the description and I am also a ‘Nancy S.’ Nice to know that there is someone else out there just like me! Stay strong. I have to tell myself that, too.

  • January 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I have spent so much time wondering why I was so emotional all the time, why being around other people was so draining, especially large crowds, and why I needed a break from noise, conversation, and other people even those who are important in my life. I have been told I am weird, selfish, and unsociable, its nice to know that not only are these things not true but that others have the same issues as well.

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

      You are not alone! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • January 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

    You mean I’m NORMAL????

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Hi Laurena,
      Big smile! So many people who are emotionally sensitive have felt different, odd, and like they don’t fit in and that something is wrong with them. I think you speak for a lot of people!

  • January 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Yes, that is all me. I put my “soul” into my poetry: Sanctuary of the Soul…to others it is just a book…for me……the essence of my soul is in it…www.soulpoetry.org…..my endorsements humble me and take my breath away: Elie Wiesel, Wayne Dyer, Nikki Giovanni, Drs. Alice Miller, Larry Dossey, et al (14 in all)….my mother once said: “You are still as sensitive as you were in high school. I thought you would have gotten over that by now!”

    Had to smile.

    Am the moderator of an abused survivors’ group (no degree yet…..40 years of experience).

    In school at age 65 (freshman) because of what I wrote about my life and won a scholarship.

    Injustice pushes all of my buttons, and as a result fought my church for 18 months (www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com)

    xoxo, Alice (over comer and wounded heale)

    • January 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks for your input. So glad you found an outlet in your poetry.

  • January 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Thank you very much for this article. Honestly, as you were listing some of the symptoms I found myself recognizing aspects of my life. Granted, I may not be as emotionally sensitive as others, but I feel to a certain degree this makes sense. Having gone through quite a few ordeals that are very difficult to overcome, I understand these symptoms. I’ve always described myself as someone who is “Run and sometimes overrun by his emotions.” I’m constantly trying to put on a mask and not be affected by my emotions, and generally I’ve gotten very good at it. What most don’t seem to understand is that while I may have been able to develop an outside tough guy attitude, that doesn’t stop from pain, anger, frustration, happiness, and pride from effecting me on the inside. I always thought growing up that it was just my hormones, and that I’d grow out of it. Besides who would really believe you if you said, “Hi, my name is Phil, and my emotions sometimes render me cripple without meaning to.” I’m pretty sure I’d end up in a psychiatric ward. Even now saying it it seems strange admitting it. Thank you, again. This was beyond helpful.

    • January 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Thank you so much for responding. My guess is your post will be particularly helpful to other guys who are emotionally sensitive. Best wishes to you!

  • January 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I labeled myself as hyper sensitive. Been that way since a child. My mother is exactly the same. My father, well completely opposite. Anything could roll off his shoulders or he would “take it with a grain of salt”… My dad would tell me I’m crazy and I’m just over reacting. He never realized how I couldn’t just turn ur emotion off like he did. Anyhow, I struggle with it every day. Wish I could turn the feelings switch off and have no emotion but its part of me. It’s who I am.

    • January 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Jay,
      Being emotionally sensitive can be painful. I bet your dad never realized that your emotions were more likely more intense than his. Thanks for writing

  • January 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Thank you so much for posting this article! My mom sent it to me and all of the characteristics listed fit me to a tee. I appreciate knowing that Im not the only one who feels this way (Oh gosh–Im starting to tear up right now). My question is where do I go from here? Is this just a personality type or some sort of disorder? How can I reign in my emotions when they are excessive or non-productive and how can I protect my heart and my feelings from being hurt so easily?

    • January 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Megan,
      People who are emotionally sensitive vary along a continuum. For some their emotions are so strong that they interfere with their lives to a significant extent and maybe lead to depression and anxiety. In that case it is likely to be something you would want to treatment for. But not everyone who is emotionally sensitive has a disorder, not by a long shot. I suggest consider how much suffering you go through. If you are so sensitive it is painful on a regular basis, then maybe talk with someone who can help you learn to cope so you can have a more contented lift. Thanks for writing.

  • January 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

    This article sounds so much like me! I have always worried and fretted about the cruelties in this world. I am sad when driving and I see a dead deer on the side of the road. I imagine the pain, fear and panic the animal must have felt while dying. Those ASPCA commercials showing abused animals can ruin my whole day – I have to change channels when they come on. I don’t like to watch the news, too sad. I weigh everything I say to people before saying it because I have to think about how it will make them feel. However, I have made a few changes in my life in the last few years and although I still think and feel all these things, becoming independent from an emotionally abusive husband, becoming my own person apart from him, has made me much stronger and able to cope. I speak my mind more and stick up for myself. I still change the channels but it no longer ruins my day.

      • April 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

        It seems a few people on these entries have gotten out of abusive situations. My initial thoughts are that emotionally sensitive people are vulnerable to getting involved with someone abusive and this situation exacerbates their difficulties. I will be watching your website to see if you write on this topic.
        Kudos to everyone that got out of an abusive relationship or are currently working toward that!

      • April 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

        Yes, Denise, I think you are right and I second your kudos! Good idea to write about that—thanks for the suggestion. Give me a few weeks as I write the entries ahead of the time they are published.

      • January 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        Maybe this is too deep or something needing individual attention. But I’m struggling with my new marriage. I’m not too introspective but am trying to figure her out and make it work. I was seeing selfish tendencies, and after researching I think it is more being over sensitive. And her previous marriage of almost 20yrs was full of verbal and some physical abuse. The problem we are having is I am also very sensitive, now we have a huge clash of hurt feelings. So my thought was is a addition to a topic on people coming out of abusive relationships, maybe expand into trusting the next spouse who is not hurtful but also sensitive.

      • January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Excellent idea. It is very difficult for the emotionally sensitive to trust when they have been badly hurt.

  • January 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    You’ve described me perfectly. The one trait that bothers me the most is how I react to criticism. How do I develop a tougher skin and not let it bother me?

    • January 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Denise,
      Sometimes using imagery can be helpful. Picture yourself covered in a steel shield so that all comments bounce off you. Also sometimes asking if there is any helpful information in what is said. If so, use it. If not, toss it. Somtimes remind yourself that what others think is really more about their personalities and who they are rather than being about you. Or maybe love your imperfections! Say to yourself, ahhh, yes, I am a perfectly imperfect hman being. I’ll be posting other ideas in the future. Thanks for writing.

  • January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    After nearly four decades of looking for help with severe depression and emotional lability, I was diagnosed last year with a mood disorder, possibly Bipolar II, but certainly on the spectrum. After 18 more months, I think my doctor and I have finally found the right combination of medications to counter both the depression and the emotional lability. While I could still be considered the poster child for emotional sensitivity, happily I am no longer as immobilized by it as I used to be. Regardless, I would rather be emotionally sensitive than emotionally insensitive.

    • January 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      So happy you have found help and no longer immobilized. Being emotionally sensitive can be a gift, but not if it paralyzes you. Thanks for reading!

  • January 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    A very interesting list of characteristics, which seem to describe me and some of the difficulties I have with other people. That is, my need for rest and quiet time, especially after a period of overstimulation is not well understood in my extended family of extroverts. I am blamed for moodiness, crankiness, and being a spoiled only child. As a 67-year-old woman I find this accusation difficult to accept. Many years ago I was given this poem http://positivedisintegration.com/greet.pdf, which strikes me as descibing the same “emotionally sensitive” person.

    • January 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      It is very difficult to be the only emotionally sensitive child in a family. Thanks for writing.

  • January 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    As a child I was criticized as being “too sensitive”. Out of 6 kids, I was the only one labeled to receive this label of being too sensitive – I used to think this judgement was based on what? Compared to what? and how is it possible for someone to make that determination. True, I am intuitive with other people moods and can sense immediately when a change has taken place. Sometimes it even surprises me. I have a very difficult family and am attempting at age 64 to limit the amount of contact with them thereby limiting the degree of pain they can inflict. I thought I covered up my pain nicely but apparently, my face is transparent and my emotions are written across my forehead. Most distressing. I’ve described myself as a blindfolded person running in a house with a pair of scissors. Thank you for letting me identify some of my problem areas.

    • January 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks for writing. I am glad you are taking care of yourself.

  • January 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you so much for listing these! I was reading through these and was going “yep, That’s me” to almost all of them. Unfortunately for me being emotionally sensitive is compounded by depression and anxiety so I sometimes find it difficult to move on from sad situations but my doctor is helping me get through it.

    The amusing thing is that in our house my sensitivity is tempered by an extremely rational husband. He is very patient with my sensitivity and his mother commented that since our relationship started, he’s become more human and less robotic then he was.

  • January 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for writing.So one way of learning to cope with intense emotions is to have someone close to you who is the opposite! How nice that he has learned from you.

  • January 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I am an emotionally sensitive person and this article was right on except two of the traits don’t describe me : A) I am scared of animals!

    B) I welcome criticism because it helps me to become a better person, the only stipulation is that the criticism should be worded lovingly :-). If the criticism is harsh then it is hurtful but I try to get past the hurt and ascertain whether the person is making a valid point or just being malicious.

    C) I don’t feel rejection if I am not invited to a luncheon or dinner party because I realize it is unfeasible to invite all your friends at the same time.

    It is emotionally exhausting to feel responsible for all the down-trodden people in the world and I am trying to practice emotional detachment so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

    I would really appreciate your comments on this

    • January 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks Sameena, for pointing out how different people experience intense emotions. Everyone has different backgrounds and experiences that will impact how they experience certain situations. If you had a negative experience with an animal or pets weren’t a way you comforted yourself when younger, that would influence your feelings. My guess is that in your family or in your experiences you learned to accept constructive feedback in a positive way so that you don’t experience it negatively. I would also guess that you have long-term, solid friendships that you trust so you do not worry about being left out. Learning to be more emotionally detached so you are not so emotionally drained by whatever you feel intensely about is an excellent step to take.

  • January 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I was reading this and recalling many times when I have been overwhelmed by emotions and I have thought to myself that I wished I didn’t feel so much. Lately, I’ve taken up exercising and meditation and both of those things have helped to keep me feeling like everything I am feeling is out of control. I also recall all the times when I’ve felt myself getting angry or upset because I was in close proximity to people who were feeling that way. It’s always a relief to read something that makes sense because sometimes I feel strange for feeling as deeply or as much as I do about situations. Thank you.

    • January 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Gaby,
      Excellent choices in meditation and exercise. Sounds like you are managing your emotions well now. Thanks for reading.

  • January 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t think I realized how sensitive I was until I read your
    List. I have to say I didn’t see my traits as negatives before.
    Perhaps that is because I was not punished for being sensitive as
    A child. Also, I don’t think it impairs my functioning on a daily basis. And it can help
    Me have better relationships with my loves ones.
    I am studying clinical social work–and many of these traits are useful skills,
    And I do pretty well at processing/ reflecting/ and using supervision to put
    Down and not hold onto others pain for too long. But it’s a good reminder to always
    Be keeping that in check.
    I wonder what life would feel like if I wasn’t emotionally
    Sensitive. I suppose I could feel ‘more free’ and unburdened
    By others?

    • January 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Lauren,

      Please don’t see your traits as negative! Certainly not. Not everyone who is emotionally sensitive is overwhelmed with the pain and others can learn how to manage these emotions. The first step is awareness. You are right about the positives and those are important characteristics. Your awareness of your feelings will certainly help you in clinical social work. Being touched at times by the pain of others is part of our loving and caring about them.

  • January 19, 2012 at 12:08 am

    It seems to me that you are describing the highly sensitive person which refers to people who have a biological condition that ceases their sensitivity.

    • January 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Hi Maria,
      Thanks for your comment and good observation. Emotionally sensitive people are sensitive in the area of emotions, more emotional than others but not necessarily sensitive to smells and other stimuli. Emotional sensitivity is the only criteria. I can see how the categories could overlap.

  • January 19, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Wow you got me pegged. I could agree with every single heading. It’s very difficult sometimes to keep in mind that not everyone has as large a heart as I do. I just can not fathom why anyone would ever want to be mean and cruel for any reason whatsoever. And it breaks my heart that human beings can be so ruthless to other people and animals. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • January 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks for writing! Having a large heart is a wonderful thing!


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