When something emotionally triggering happens, I might get affected.
I might express how I feel, cry, or get upset.
I might seclude myself. I might go for a walk. I might physically disappear for awhile.
You meet me with a confused look. There’s silence in the air. Before you say it, I can already see it on your lips. I’ve heard it all my life from many different people, and hearing it again now won’t be so strange.
You want to tell me I’m being sensitive. You want to show me that you found fault in my expression, tears, emotionally fueled words, and discomfort.
You want to shame me for my feelings. You want to make me feel weird and out of tune.
I see what you’re doing. You’re turning the tables and trying to make me at blame. “You’re too sensitive” is your way out of all this emotional “mess” before you.
And maybe you think I will get defensive and prove you wrong. You think I will drown in sorrow and guilt for being called sensitive. You think you’ve won.
Or maybe you think I will feel ashamed and tell you, “Yes. I am sensitive, and I’m sorry. I will be more careful next time. I will be cool.”
Yes, I’m sensitive. No, I’m not sorry.
I’m deeply tuned into my body and feelings. I’m receptive. I’m emotionally aware. I feel too much, and I’m sensitive to almost everything around me.
Hurtful words, shocking news, a wounded animal, a withering plant, death, loss…can all affect me equally.
There are days I might not handle a particular situation well, and yes, my emotions might get the best of me, but I’m only human after all.
All you want to say is “you’re being too sensitive,” but all I’m hearing is “I’m not sure how to deal with your emotions right now.”
I see that emotions aren’t your cup of tea. We only hate what we don’t understand. Consequently, I don’t think my sensitivity is the real problem here.
I’m not expecting you to treat my temporary tears or hurt any differently than my laughs. And I’m not telling you that my sensitive nature needs to be handled with extra care.
All I want you to do is honor it and give me the much-needed space to process my emotions.
I want you to meet my vulnerability with empathy.
I want you to make me feel okay about any emotion that moves through my body. I’m not looking for advice or counseling. I’m just looking for a safe haven. I’m looking for validation—understanding.
Before telling me I’m sensitive, I want you to know that sensitivity is not a flaw. Don’t say it if you intend to make me feel bad, ashamed, or wrong. (Or maybe end a discussion that feels too uncomfortable for you.)
We all process situations and experiences differently, and processing mine strongly does not make me any less deserving of empathy and understanding.
Before telling me I’m sensitive, pause. Stop. I’m not “too sensitive.” I just am.