Disclosure: I am very sensitive, and I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been told, “you’re too/so/overly sensitive”. I used to try to defend what was being said as a negative (and as an accusation as opposed to a compliment). Now, I simply say, “Yes, you’re right. I completely own that I’m very sensitive, but that makes me perceptive of how others are feeling as well.”
I no longer apologize for who I am. I’ve developed a sort of “built-in armor” to deflect what may have—decades ago—hurt my feelings or caused me to feel something less-than-positive. Now, working with other people like me on the sensitivity scale, I’m able to teach what I once had to learn.
Sometimes, labels assigned to sensitive people, read like negatives, like “easily harmed”. But, the word “sensitive” means “having perception” or “aware of and responsive to the feelings of others”. (I’m perfectly happy being labeled that way!) Insensitivity is defined as: “unfeeling, numb, heartless, unaware”.
So, how do you begin sensitivity training if you’ve never been exposed to it?
1. Awareness: paying attention to how you talk to other people
2. Listening: slowing down long enough to hear voices other than yours
2. Releasing Judgement: honoring that your thoughts and opinions are valid, but others’ are too
4. Seeing: through a different lens; allowing perspectives, that you may have previously dismissed
5. Practicing Empathy: by being aware of what’s happening on a sensory level
6. Recognizing: when people are hurting or distressed (recognize when you’re hurting, too; you are after all a human being, not a machine)
In the Bible (1 Peter 3:8) it’s written, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart”. So even from a biblical perspective, we’re called to practice sensitivity to one another.
What if, instead of judging, we try to understand what the other person is feeling?
What if, contrary to jumping in and “solving”, we listen first—consciously hearing what’s being said beyond the actual words?
What if we get out of our own sphere of influence and consider—really consider—what the person in the same room as us is feeling?
What if we consciously choose to be kind, aware of each other, empathetic and listening?
Please help spread the word of peace full home® and invite your friends to our peace-filled conversations.
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I’ve always loved your sensitivity, that’s what makes you, YOU!! Thanks for your insightful words, the whole world could benefit if we were all more sensitive.
Thank YOU Betsy!