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Old 11-10-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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how to be less sensitive emotionally

how to be less sensitive emotionally

 
Old 11-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

In what way? What do you mean? You need to provide more information about specific details otherwise no one can help you.

 
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Yes I agree, generally speaking, we would need more information regarding your specific situation. But also generally speaking, I tend to be very emotionally sensitive, and sometimes it's a detriment, but most of the time I consider it an attribute. It makes me more susceptible to the pain of rejection and loss and such, but it also makes me much more perceptive, empathetic, observant, intuitive and compassionate, and I'm proud to be all those things.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrylou'smom View Post
Yes I agree, generally speaking, we would need more information regarding your specific situation. But also generally speaking, I tend to be very emotionally sensitive, and sometimes it's a detriment, but most of the time I consider it an attribute. It makes me more susceptible to the pain of rejection and loss and such, but it also makes me much more perceptive, empathetic, observant, intuitive and compassionate, and I'm proud to be all those things.
LLM, are you a Cancer by any chance? I am, and I am the textbook Cancer...hard outer shell, soft gooey inside. It does cause me to become strongly attached to others and to hurt more, but it also allows me to be intuitive, compassionate, understanding, empathetic. Some take advantage of it, others appreciate it.

So if you (the original poster) feel you are too easily hurt, or take things too personally when they are not meant to be personal, that might be a problem. It may be time to see about developing that hard shell! But not so hard that you don't allow any emotions.
__________________
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong

 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

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Originally Posted by Redneon82 View Post
LLM, are you a Cancer by any chance? I am, and I am the textbook Cancer...hard outer shell, soft gooey inside. It does cause me to become strongly attached to others and to hurt more, but it also allows me to be intuitive, compassionate, understanding, empathetic. Some take advantage of it, others appreciate it.
LOL No, actually I'm a Pisces. A classic, textbood Pisces. All the soft gooey inside, WITHOUT the hard outer shell!!

But yes, when being too sensitive, which I think is more an issue with security and self esteem than sensitivity, starts to affect your life, it can be a problem.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

I agree with Kszan and Ll'sm, but in very general terms I would say:

1. Becoming physically strong through exercise and a good diet (junk food only once in a blue moon!).

2. Not giving too much importance to things. Looking at things in perspective.

3. Developing your self-esteem by learning to do things and doing them as best as you can.

4. Not taking life too seriously.

5. Mourning your losses but then putting them aside and moving on with your life.

6. Planning for the future with a focus on the present.

7. Learning to listen to other people's stories and recognizing that yours is not the saddest.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #7
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

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Originally Posted by Kszan View Post
In what way? What do you mean? You need to provide more information about specific details otherwise no one can help you.
i didn't go into detail about why I want to be less sensitive emotionally, because I didn't know if I would get any interest or reply. I do see that you can't help unless you know why I asked! To all who replied, thank you. I appreciate your advice and will reread it often.
I was raised in the late 50's, early 60's, respect your elders, don't smart off, don't show off, was criticized if I was too outspoken (being a farm GIRL.) Just the old-fashioned way, etc. Plus I had a doctor tell me that people are born sensitive. I can remember being shy even as a little girl.
Thankfully, once I entered college (felt free from criticism, just FREE!) I overcame my shyness a great deal, so much that now I am outgoing, love to talk, laugh, enjoy other people. I became educated with a career, raised children with my husband, considered a successful person.
Of course, being a Cancer! I am really still sensitive inside though most people can't believe that I was ever shy. I've been told that I am empathetic (some can tell just by observing me, I smile and honestly feel happy most of the time) and I do have sympathy and feeling for others; I've had people say I make them feel good because they can tell I honestly like them and I can't remember being snide or rude on purpose to hurt anyone.
That being said, it is extremely difficult for me to understand people who hurt others on purpose. My husband is a wonderful person who loves and tries to please me most of the time, but he answers me sharply much of the time, doesn't like to listen (I do go on too much!), and in a disagreement, is the boss. (It's that older generation thing!) Plus I'm just not assertive enough though I will argue back which I didn't when younger.
I also have chronic depression, have maintenance antidepressants that keep me from the deep hole of depression.
I know I have low self-esteem though most people would be surprised because i am successful in many ways. I have never been able to shrug off criticism no matter what I tell myself.
I finally have decided to take the time to work on this, as I know I would be happier and be of more help to others if I didn't pretend to be unphased by these things when actually I am really hurt.
The crisis I am facing now is that my DIL is quite controlling with no filter or care of what she says (she can be quite sweet at times, but can be very snappy ((not just to me, but she knows who she can push around, and it must be easy to see that I am!)) ) I would snap back at her or tell her how I feel, but I don't want to jeopardize seeing my young grandchildren and it's difficult enough to get to see them when my husband and i are low in importance compared to her family/friends.
I don't have support in this, as my son has 'drunk the kool-aid" (it's just easier on him that way, I think,) and my husband agrees with me about her bossiness but tells me there is nothing I can do about it so just forget it.
But the blow to my fragile self-esteem is tremendous when I feel I have to just "take it."
I have vented to a couple of friends which does help. I want to go to counseling to help with this self-esteem/self-confidence problem, but insurance doesn't cover it. So I have a workbook to work through, books to read, and you kind people who are wading through this novel!
I am fortunate in so many ways, so I'm not looking for pity. I'm trying to turn this over to God which I did once before and it did give me peace.
So, thanks for listening. Any further hints and advice are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

 
Old 11-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

It may or may not help, but you could try to just have a frank discussion with your husband, with your DIL and whoever else is causing you to feel this way about how it makes you feel when they treat you this way. But as any therapist would tell you, try not to put it in blaming sense but rather, "It makes me feel (fill in the blank) when you say these things to me. Can you maybe try to be less harsh next time?" If they just flat out don't care how they make you feel, it's really hard to make them care, unfortunately. All you can do is try to be more vocal about it.

I know it's not how you were raised, but it's OK to tell people that you are feeling disrespected or that their treatment of you is making you feel bad. Especially with your husband. If any relationship in your life requires open and honest communication, it's the one with your husband. He needs to know how his response is affecting you. You shouldn't just sit back and take it.

You're not overly sensitive, you're feeling the way most people would feel in your position. But if you don't speak up and say something to the people making you feel this way, then it likely won't ever change. You should strive to speak up and say something to them. Once you start doing that, maybe it will help you build up your confidence, too.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Dear Oneofme,

I can completely relate to your situation. You are not alone. I have been overly sensitive my entire life. I still am, but I have learned too channel it, and appreciate it, while still protecting myself from the insensitive.

It has taken my entire life so far, almost 50 years, so if I can spare you any of that time, i would love to.

First of all, realize that the most sensitive are people that hold great value in the little nuances of life, the little sights, the little smells, the kindness of others, art, nature, music, family, holidays, all the good stuff!

Take time to relish in your own enjoyment, however tiny it is. For those who interrupt your sensitive nature, understand that they do not have what you have, and only by example can you truly teach this way of life to others.

I have lived my life with a sister who is a sociopath, a person void of conscience...my polar opposite. I let her hurt me for years, while continuing to offer myself to her...Then I learned, I had to remove her from my life.

If your husband is gruff with you, show him your feelings on your face, and use few words to let him know he has accidentally hurt you. If he doesn't respond, he may have to lose you...because there is nothing as wonderful as finding another sensitive understanding soul to share your life with.

I wish you the best...

 
Old 11-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies. I do think (well, know!) that I can start letting people know I don't appreciate rudeness, even if they don't care. I probably will start with rude salespeople/strangers bc that's easier! In giving it some thought, I know this is going to be a process, changing my attitude and responses. I have, in fact, broken off "friendships" with people who are snappy and who are rude. I have learned through the years to just avoid those people when I can and with a neighbor, I do think I need to practice letting her know I don't like her snappy responses, even if it's a sharp retort in reply instead of an apology or explanation of what I meant.
It will take getting used to for myself and for my husband who will take my responses as rude, I'm sure! In fact, he doesn't like me to offend people even if it's accidental. I think he married someone like his sweet mom who rarely spoke back (deceased now.)
I know I have that "anxious to please" thing. With my DIL, I wasn't told that I did things wrong till grandchildren arrived. Then it was like if I didn't do things the "proper way" it would endanger the child or something (germophobic some of these new parents!) so I conceded to her instructions as to her, everything concerning babies/toddlers is life and death.
However, I do think I need to stop acting like a scolded twelve year-old and quit smiling and agreeing when bossed around by her. it takes a lot for her to realize someone else's feelings are hurt as she is quite self-centered, but I agree I would feel better if I just acted more confident and let her know by words or actions that I'm not an imbecile. I'll have to think about the heart-to-heart conversation with her; I'm sure she has no clue how I feel as I've been too good at hiding my feelings. I'll probably just have to work up to it. I hope it's not in an angry fit, but it might have to be for me to "get my guts up" to do it!
As for my husband, we've been married a lot of years. I gradually have become more independent and assertive from when we married. When I do tell him he's being too harsh, the reply is that I'm too sensitive, etc. Thing is, he's sensitive, too! When my tone is grouchy, even unintentionally, he lets me know! I think he's a combination of sensitive and controlling.
You've given me a lot to think about. As you said, the most important relationship is with my husband; if I can be happy with that, a lot of the other will follow. I am having a set-back with depression and I do think some good will come of it. (I am seeing my psychiatrist but he doesn't do therapy.) But I do think with the depression I have started thinking of ways to improve my life. My husband knows I'm having a rough time of it right now and when he's not under stress (he does get sharper-toned at those times) I think it would be good to let him know that he needs to speak in a kinder way so that I do start feeling better about myself. Sometimes these discussions end in his becoming defensive, but I do agree are necessary. Not to blame him for my depression, because he is supportive in many ways, just that I need to feel better about myself.
I would dearly love to find a way to afford some therapy sessions (I've never had therapy though I've had depressive episodes for many years) and though he wouldn't be receptive to "marriage counseling,", I'd love for a therapist to explain my feelings to him in order to help with my depression.
I know I am placing blame on my DIL and husband and "mean people!" for my feelings, but I know deep down I need to understand myself or there would be few people I would be happy with.
I read somewhere that even if a person doesn't feel a certain way, acting that way can be the start of being what you want to be. Like, i don't feel self-confident, but if I start acting self-confident, i can gradually be that. Like practicing being what I want to be.
One thing I'm going to stop doing is saying I'm sorry all the time for everything. I did read that somewhere; a person really started feeling better and got more respect when he quit saying sorry for everything, like for being so much trouble, for just existing!
Thanks so much for your insights. I can't think of solutions on my own; but with "hearing" your thoughts, it gives me ideas I can start on.
I love this board! I really appreciate your postings.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 10:47 PM   #11
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Wow, this title really grabbed my attention!!! I am hypersensitive. It helps to think of it how larrylou requested- that it is an attribute. We feel lower lows, but that also leaves the potential to feel higher highs. I don't really have any good advice right now because lately I've been feeling the lows and getting upset easily over little things my boyfriend says etc. but I just wanted to let you know how much I relate to how you feel. I do think it's something that can be worked on, and we should learn how to channel it into artsy, spiritual, or even intellectual things.

 
Old 11-11-2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

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Originally Posted by digmusic View Post
Wow, this title really grabbed my attention!!! I am hypersensitive. It helps to think of it how larrylou requested- that it is an attribute. We feel lower lows, but that also leaves the potential to feel higher highs. I don't really have any good advice right now because lately I've been feeling the lows and getting upset easily over little things my boyfriend says etc. but I just wanted to let you know how much I relate to how you feel. I do think it's something that can be worked on, and we should learn how to channel it into artsy, spiritual, or even intellectual things.
Hi, Digmusic, I appreciate your reply. It's good to know there are other sensitive people out there. It's true that in addition to feeling really low at times (especially when I let people "get" to me), I can also have great joy in nature, a good conversation with wonderful laughter, getting chills when I hear powerful music or something someone says, identifying with something I've read.... When someone else is suffering or celebrating, I feel it, too. I can tell that many people go through life not feeling these emotions, because when I comment on one of these sensitivity things, they look at me with a blank expression and I can tell that they just don't get it; so I just recently have been learning on the web that being sensitive isn't always a curse.

I think I understand what you wrote about channeling sensitivity into art, music, etc. Getting totally engrossed in something can be wonderful and can make the world (especially hurtful things) disappear for a while; can actually heal the hurt.

I do feel better after a harmful encounter if I get out and do something else or interact with others who aren't poisonous to the psyche.

So I find your comment helpful. I think with my family members and with your boyfriend, the issue is how to deal with harmful remarks without it hurting so much. Besides the fact that these people probably aren't sensitive as we are, I do think they may act/speak this way bc they knowingly or not have learned that this is a way to control us or make themselves feel better about themselves. Also, I find that people who seem to take an immediate dislike to another person that they really don't know is sometimes due to jealousy/envy or a felt threat of some sort that they may not even be aware of.

I do hope you can make your boyfriend understand your feelings when he hurts you and hopefully he will stop. I was so young and naive and nonassertive when I met and married my husband that he always had the ability to hurt me without feeling bad about it (and would actually blame me for being hurt.) He has grown up and isn't as bad as he was, thank goodness. And I'm more assertive, though not enough.

My point is, now is the time to "straighten out" your boyfriend instead of years down the road when the pattern is set and it's so much more difficult to change their attitudes/comments.

I really wish I had known then what I know now, as they say! I still obviously am having trouble dealing with this, so I'm only able to express an opinion on this one area! I hate to envision someone else being hurt by a boyfriend's remarks as I know how it hurts (the empathy thing!)

 
Old 11-11-2009, 08:49 AM   #13
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

I wouldn't try to be less sensitive emotionally, in some ways it's a gift.
you might want to read the book "the gentle art of verbal self-defense"
it will help you learn ways to respond to people and get your point across and also in a nice way, but they will see they can't push you around

 
Old 11-11-2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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Re: how to be less sensitive emotionally

Thanks, Rosequartz for the book suggestion. I've been trolling Amazon for books on how to be assertive without being obnoxious and this sounds like it would fit the bill.

Being able to stand up to people in a non-aggressive way would surely help my self-confidence and vice versa.

 
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