You’d never guess I was the sensitive type, all life of the party, outgoing, confident person, doing mad things all the time. But I am, and I guess lots of other people are as well. My partner says, ‘don’t be so sensitive’ to me all the time.
Being sensitive can be a good quality because you can be more aware of how other people can feel in different situations that might make you sensitive. You might for example, never comment on someone’s weight if you have struggled with weight issues yourself. However we don’t always know when we are being in-sensitive towards others unless they push the alarm button and let us know. How can we possibly guess that the odd comment might send someone reeling into depression for weeks, or the misplaced joke might hurt someone so much that they forget to speak to us ever again?
When someone says something to us that makes us react in some way, what they have done is scratched at an old wound of ours. This triggers some hurt from the past and the wee child in us that we have been cradling somehow gets dropped on the floor. Here are some ways to make us less reactive and more responsive to the misplaced word.
Remember that when someone says something to you it is usually not to hurt you in any way. Most people want to be kind, maybe you can’t get with their sense of humor but they don’t set out to knock you off your perch. You have had a reaction to their words, this is your wound or sore spot, not theirs.
Remembering that most people don’t set out to hurt you may give you a bit more time to see the situation from a different point of view. If you need to take time out at this stage to work out what has triggered you, do so. If you can’t work it out then maybe in a close relationship you could mention that somehow that statement or those words have made you react. This might help you out of your emotional log jam.
Once you see that you react to quite often harmless statements it helps to put in place a strategy for when it happens again. Which it will. What can you do to lessen the grip of this toxicity within you? How can you become more an observer of how you react to innocent words than a partaker in the situation? What can you do to cool the inflammation of your hurt and bring things more into perspective?
Practice for today: The more we adhere to our roles as the hurt one over and over again to the same situation or words, the more those situations or words grip us. Give yourself a break today. Realise that we all have these wounds and the best thing you can do for yourself is to work towards healing them rather than aggravating them more.
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