Learning to thrive as a highly sensitive soul presents challenges. If you’re sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying to overcome the trait because you don’t ‘fit in’ with society. And yet being highly sensitive is a vital part of you. A first step toward thriving as a sensitive soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my clients says, being highly sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.
There is a common misunderstanding that emotions cause us to think illogically. But recent scientific thinking, reviewed by psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues, has placed emotion at the center of wisdom. One reason is that most emotion is felt after an event, which apparently serves to help us remember what happened and learn from it. The more upset we are by a mistake, the more we think about it and will be able to avoid it the next time. The more delighted we are by a success, the more we think and talk about it and how we did it, causing us to be more likely to be able to repeat it.
It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate today! We in Canada enjoyed ours last month but you can never have too many reminders to count your blessings. Thanksgiving is definitely a good time to sit down with a cup of tea and contemplate all the good things in your life.
There are so many things I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for my family. They have always been warm and supportive, loving, and kind. I have such a good relationship with them and I’m so grateful.
I’m thankful for my stable and well-paying job that allows me to support myself. I have enough to live on and I don’t go hungry. That’s a huge blessing, especially in these difficult and trying economic times.
I’m thankful for the experiences I had growing up. They’ve molded and shaped me into the person I am today. While trials and problems are not pleasant while you experience them, I’ve learned so much and am (slightly) wiser and more patient than before. I want to keep growing in that direction.
I’m also thankful for being an introvert (although I didn’t always view it as a blessing). Here are a few reasons why being introverted is something to be appreciated:
Feeling things deeply
This one can be both wonderful and difficult. I’m slowly coming to the point where I allow myself to feel things as they are. I obviously still have control over my emotions, but I’ve stopped burying my feelings and never letting them surface. By allowing myself to experience sadness or anger in a healthy way, I have also experienced joyful emotions on a deeper level. Beautiful things can move me to tears. I don’t see that as a fault any more.
Alone but not lonely
Introverts are rarely bored on our own. In fact, we’re often more bored when surrounded by people. We have the ability to completely dive into our passions and hobbies. We can entertain ourselves with our thoughts. Solitude isn’t a concept that frightens us, in fact, it’s rather exciting. We can still get lonely, but we don’t crave attention the way some do.
Incredible listening skills
I’ve listed this one before but it’s such a huge asset. We may be still working on our speaking skills (I’m still working on speaking up when I want to contribute) but we’ve got listening skills down to an art. Everyone wants to be heard so we’re a valuable commodity in a loud and noisy world. We often have a quieter presence which can be very calming to those around us. However, when we are deliberate and intentional in our speaking, others take notice pretty quickly.
Thinking a lot
We think and analyze. We mull things over and turn them around and upside down in our minds. As a result, I’ve rarely said anything I regretted. This can be a huge benefit as we usually don’t intentionally say offensive things. Of course, people may be offended by our lack of speech as well, but you can’t win them all 😉
What are some things you’re grateful for?
You’re not a mess. You are a feeling person in a messy world.
Last night was interesting and not in a good way. I’ve been planning to run a Spartan race since September of last year. I even put together a team of five (myself included) for the event. A few weeks ago, one of my friends had to regretfully cancel, as he’s getting married the same weekend in another country. Completely understandable, no problem. That left our team at four people.
On Monday, I contacted everyone still interested in the race. I had received verbal confirmation from everyone in March, each expressing excitement. However, the time slot we wanted was filling up and we needed everyone to sign up ASAP, or risk losing our spot. Two of my friends didn’t reply to the voice mail or text I sent them, which was odd as both of them are constantly on their phones.
Neither had replied by Tuesday morning, so I sent a brief email to both outlining how important it was that we all sign up soon. It wasn’t until 6 pm that night that I got a really awkward email. Both my friends had been conferring back and forth via email and one of them forwarded me their conversation, stating that both of them were no longer interested. They gave no reason for their decision. Fortunately, my other friend is super excited to run the race, so I still have a partner in crime 🙂
I’m not the kind of person who normally plans events and activities. I feel very uncomfortable taking a leadership role. But this race is really important to me. So important that I took the initiative, figured out the logistics, and invited others to take part. Its a physical challenge that would have been impossible for me a couple of years ago due to health problems. To be at the point where I’m physically capable of conquering a Spartan Race truly shows how far I’ve come. To see those two casually toss away something so important to me was hard. But they’re the ones that lose out on an incredible experience.
I’m still processing a lot of different emotions right now. I feel betrayed because they were so excited, then dropped it casually without giving me the courtesy of a reason. There may be other things going on that I’m unaware of, so I don’t want to judge them too harshly, but the way things were handled was extremely unprofessional. I feel hurt, sadness, anger, confusion, and probably some other things I can’t articulate. I used to suppress all negative emotion and pretend I wasn’t affected by it. But that isn’t a healthy way to live and caused a lot of stress and issues. I’ve started accepting that feeling this way is okay. Its okay to not be okay all the time. Negative feelings are just as valid as positive ones.
Disappointment is an inevitable part of life, but I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. I want to continue to be a kind, open, trusting person. I’m just starting to open up to others and I’m not going to lose this progress. I want to choose kindness, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and to grow as a person. So I’m going to keep moving forwards.
Have you had any similar experiences?