Mindfulness: Describe

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness has both How Skills and What Skills. The What Skills are what you do to be mindful and the How Skills are how you do the What Skills.

One of the DBT What Skills is Describe. When you describe mindfully, you apply accurate words to events actions of others. This means that you learn to not take thoughts and emotions as necessarily being accurate. You can have many thoughts and interpretations that turn out to not be accurate at all. For example, when you feel afraid, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is a life-threatening situation happening. It doesn't necessarily mean that anything threatening is happening. Just because you feel afraid doesn't mean that you are in danger.

Coping Skills

The Problem of Comparing Yourself to Others

Amy's just got a promotion, Jill is going to Europe for a month, and Larry just lost 20 pounds and looks so fit he could be a trainer.

When you look at what is happening in the lives of your friends, do you congratulate them and feel happy for them? Or do you use their good news to feel bad about yourself? Social comparisons are a sure way for many emotionally sensitive people to judge themselves negatively and be in a funk.

Coping Skills

Trusting Others

When you are an emotionally sensitive person, it's important who you have in your life. When you have intense feelings and are easily hurt, harsh people can be difficult for you to be around. When you've had difficult experiences with others you may struggle to trust your judgment and decide to not get close to others. While understandable, that decision can lead to loneliness and depression.

As an emotionally sensitive person, you may struggle with knowing who you can be emotionally open with and  trust. Brene Brown offers some guidelines by using the acronym BRAVING. Here's Dr. Brown's guidelines for determining if you can trust someone.


FAST: Tell the Truth

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), FAST is the skill for maintaining your self-respect. The T in FAST stands for Tell the Truth.  When you are maintaining your self-respect, it's important to tell the truth. This means to tell the truth about yourself, about others, and about events even when you are upset with that other person.  Or yourself.

Coping Skills

When You Hold On Too Tightly

Emotionally sensitive people often struggle with trusting their internal experience. They have been told so often, "You're too sensitive," or "You are such a drama queen, " or "You always over-react," that they believe there is something wrong with them.

Others frequently don't understand the intense emotions that the emotionally sensitive experience. In my experience, this leads many emotionally sensitive people to look to others for how they are supposed to feel, think, and act.

They are sometimes fearful they can't manage their intense emotions on their own, so they look to others for help. This can lead to clinging or holding on too tightly to others.

Emotionally Sensitive Person

Emotional Sensitivity: Are You Controlled By Your Emotions?

There are many ways that emotionally sensitive people are controlled by their emotions. Consider the following two situations.

Jen, an emotionally sensitive person, is a dentist who works hard and cares about her clients. She also has the personality characteristics of being overly agreeable. This means that she fears alienating others, to the point that she may not express her opinion when she knows others won't agree. She is sensitive to what others may want to hear and she sometimes finds that she has different opinions about issues depending on who she is with. She easily sees multiple sides to issues so it's easy to justify different views.


The Positives of Anger

Emotionally sensitive people often struggle with anger. They don't want to hurt the feelings of others. But not expressing anger even in constructive ways can cause problems.

True, anger can be destructive. But even the fiery hot anger that leads some to violent behavior can also motivate people to make a difference. Many of the positive changes in the world have developed from anger and upset about injustices. In addition, anger is often a signal that...