So this post is going to be much more anecdotal in nature in that I’m not trying to “prove” something to you, or even persuade you to believe a certain idea, but rather, I just want to speak my mind and share a little bit about what I’m feeling, and how I’ve been the past few weeks.
I’m not going to try to convince you why I’m right, or even why I’m wrong. I just want to speak my mind.
I recently came across a term the other day, one of which really surprised me, and definitely in a good. way.
What if I said to you, “you’re such a sensitive person”? What if i even called you a “highly sensitive person”?
How would you feel?
To be honest, it doesn’t have a nice ring to it. Actually, if you had called me a highly sensitive person I probably would have taken offense
But here’s a funny thing. Come to find out, being a “high sensitive person”, that’s actually a personality type. Who would have known?
A better way of describing the term would actually be “sensory processing sensitivity”.
Still, that might be confusing, so let me break it down a bit further.
Have you ever watched a movie, and in that movie you got so invested, so pulled in, it’s like you could feel every emotion he or she is feeling?
Have you ever read a book, and in that book, in that moment of reading, you could almost feel as if that story is your story?
Maybe you have, or maybe you haven’t.
But imagine this. Imagine that every moment of your life is like that. All the people you meet, the strangers you pass by, the conversations you accidentally hear, imagine if you could feel exactly what they’re feeling?
Imagine if you could feel the pain someone else is going through. Their loss is your loss. Their heartbreak is your heartbreak. When they have a bad day, so do you.
Seem pretty awful right? Who would want that?
But’s it’s not all that bad. That’s because the same goes in the opposite way. You also feel the victories held by others. When they get a promotion, a new job, a new relationship, or whatever that is, you also feel just as happy for them as they feel themselves. Maybe even more. Every win for them, it’s also a win for you.
Maybe that sounds a bit better? Or maybe it doesn’t.
My point is, this is how I am. The weird thing was, at first, I thought everyone was like this. Then I discovered, everyone wasn’t like this. Actually almost nobody was like this.
No one could understand the things I understand, or even feel the things I felt.
I cared so much about people. I wanted people to succeed, honestly, more than I wanted myself to succeed.
I wanted to fix the broken people, even if that meant I ignored the broken parts about me.
And with all of this, it made me feel different. It made me feel like, in some way, there was something wrong with me. Why did I care about a total stranger more than I cared about myself? Why did I continue to support and help someone who hurt me, lied to me, and took me for granted?
Was it because I was too weak to stand up for myself? Well, that’s how I felt. But I just knew, deep down, something was compelling me to do the things I did.
And now I have the answer. It’s not because there’s something inherently wrong with me, but it’s who I am. I feel things and emotions at deeper level than most people.
I empathize with people’s problems at such a deep level, it’s hard to distinguish if the problems are actually my own.
I understand people, and know what they’re feeling and what they’re going through. I help people, maybe even willingly give so much, offer so much help, it becomes suspicious.
And you may ask, how is that a bad thing? And I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something that can easily become dangerous.
It may cause you to hold on to people; onto relationships longer than you should. It may cause you to be used, mistreated, or taken for granted.
It may cause you to doubt yourself at times. To make yourself wonder why you’re like this and what you’re trying to prove.
Am I trying to prove to myself I’m a good person? Do I think I’m a bad person?
When we do something wrong, highly sensitive people feel the weight of their mistakes in full force. It doesn’t just bother people like me, but it crushes them. The guilt, the shame, the heavy feeling of knowing you messed up, you feel it all; I feel it all.
And in these dark moments, the only thing I want to do is to make it right, the best I know how. But I often forget, people don’t feel the way I do. They don’t have that burning sense of guilt I do.
I guess what I’m trying to say is all my life I’ve always felt a little bit different. It’s finally nice to know, what I am, who a I am… I’m not alone.
thanks for reading,
it’s nice to know it’s not just me 🙂
Sympathy vs Empathy : https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy
might shed some light.
I wholeheartedly agree. I would like to bring more attention to these kind of issues.
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Of course, I don’t mind at all!