‘You’re too sensitive.’

I have no idea how often this has been said to me. There are a few times that stick out clear in my mind but otherwise I’ve lost count.

One of the most vivid occasions was when I was at work. For a little background information, this was my first ‘proper grown up’ job and it took me a long time to settle in and find my feet within the team, we’re talking at least 6 months before I stopped crying on my way in and probably a year before I felt comfortable enough to speak in a staff meeting. (I haven’t worked there for 6 years now and I still have a gorgeous group of friends who I speak to regularly so it wasn’t that the other staff were difficult!) I won’t say what my job actually entailed as it’s not relevant but I was working with children and therefore having a lot of correspondence with their parents. Anyway, one particular parent just did not like me. It didn’t really matter how hard I worked because they had already made up their mind; I was young and therefore not capable.

There had been a few occasions where this parent had made it very clear that they weren’t happy with me but one evening it escalated until I was just sat in the office being shouted at down the phone and basically ripped to shreds. It was awful and I was really upset. In the end I had to get my line manager, and then their manager, who eventually managed to soothe the situation. On the surface, everything appeared to be resolved; I had received a (sort of) apology and the parent had been warned that what they did would not be tolerated. Fine. Except, this parent told my manager that I was ‘way too sensitive’ and needed to ‘toughen up’, who then made sure that this was fed back to me in a way that showed me that she agreed. And that felt horrible. This whole incident had been turned around so that I was at fault, and not just something that I had done which could be rectified, but my character.

Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight and a few more years of confidence, I should’ve made a formal complaint but the problem was that I actually agreed with them. I’d heard it before. I had a teacher tell me I was ‘too sensitive and silly’ at school and these things stick with you.

So I took this ‘feedback’ on board. For a long time it felt like a battle; I was fighting against my natural responses and exposing myself to things that I didn’t like to ‘toughen myself up’ and learn to ‘not be so dramatic’. However, slowly over time, with the benefit of age and surrounding myself with only the best people, I am now (mostly) able to accept that this is just how I’m wired, and actually it might not be a weakness at all.

I have so much empathy for people that I can feel a physical pain in my chest. I absorb the feelings of those around me and am often left exhausted from it. I seem to feel everything so intensely that I have to be really careful what I expose myself to. But is that always a bad thing? Having a real, almost animalistic desire to help people has actually been a real positive in my life.

I felt like I was building to a big conclusion where I tell you that I had a complete metamorphosis but no, I am OF COURSE, still ‘too’ sensitive.

I cry at EVERYTHING which has only been exasperated since having my children. I can’t watch the news or half of Netflix because when I see something distressing it stays with me for months and months. I’ll wake up in the night thinking about something I saw in a film a year ago. As a result I’m VERY particular about what I’ll watch, much to the dismay of my poor husband and I have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ rule on all social media. (And all of this is absolutely ok.)

SO! Instead of trying to be something I’m not, I googled the benefits of being as emotionally delicate as a tissue and listed them below so if any of this resonates with you, try to see it as a strength. And if not, thank you for taking the time to read this.

Here we go:

  • Strong self-awareness.
  • Increased empathy.
  • Intuitive nurturing skills.
  • Appreciative of the small things.
  • Knack for forming close relationships.
  • Extremely high intelligence.

I might’ve made the last one up…

7 thoughts on “‘You’re too sensitive.’

  1. Thanks for sharing, I get told I ‘care too much’ it can be a weakness and exhausting but I also have to remind myself of the positives of that too, great read thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like reading what you write. You do often say what I feel and can’t put into words. I feel like a sponge that gets heavy from other people’s stuff as well as my own. When my stuff gets to heavy I can’t bear to hear others and shut off. But I’m told to look outwards because you’ll feel better than if you focus inwards. Discuss…😕


  3. Thank you for sharing. So glad you have realised your true strengths and you’ve only to look at people who champion you, there are many to see how strong an influence you are on us all BECAUSE you care xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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