Being Sensitive is not a Taboo!!

What is sensitivity?
Sensitivity in simple terms is “feeling too much”. But this “too much” is only when it is compared to other people who are not so sensitive. So the real problem arises when we compare the intensity of our feelings to others.

Book 'The Highly Sensitive Person' by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D states:

"Having a sensitive nervous system is normal, a basically neutral trait. You probably inherited it. It occurs in about 15–20 percent of the population. It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long, bombarded by sights and sounds until you are exhausted in a nervous-system sort of way."

So truly speaking, why should one feel embarrassed by his natural trait? 

How does our society view it?
The society views it as a negative personality trait. How often do we hear “Why do you get upset over such small things? Be brave! Don’t think too much! You’re over-reacting!” and so on.
This gives us an idea that we’re odd one out, and we don’t fit into this society. Hence, the sensitive people start to hide their sensitivity so that they’re treated at par with others.

Its negative impact on kids
Some kids are more sensitive than others. And it’s difficult for parents to accept this fact, because of the fear as to how they’ll cope up in this practical world.
So we try to do as much as we can, to turn our sensitive kids to practical. But in the process, we are actually asking them to not to be what they’re, but what society expects them to be.
This becomes detrimental to their growth. We’re actually deteriorating their self confidence by telling them they’re not okay as they are, and they need to stop feeling so much and become practical.

What we can do about it at our level
Be it a sensitive person, or a sensitive child, the first step of self confidence is to let them know they’re absolutely okay as a human beingThey need to know that they are not bad people, just because they feel too much.

The next step is to learn how to convert those ‘sensitive feelings’ into ‘sensible actions’
One essential element of positive parenting is to teach our kids “It’s okay to feel anything, but it’s not okay to behave as per those feelings.

There are 3 steps for taking sensible actions:
  • Make a list of the situations where you being a sensitive person/your sensitive kid get overwhelmed by strong feelings. Preparing this list can be done over a period of time, as and when the situations will arise.
  • Write down a course of action to be taken in those situations. This course of action can be determined with the help of a trusted person who believes in us. Writing is a very powerful tool to keep the mind on right track.
  • When encountered with those situations again, take a few minutes/seconds gap and recall what you’d decided about how to act. Offer help to kids to recall the above course of action, and how to apply.
Everyone can become highly sensitive at times. So we should offer the same grace to highly sensitive persons/kids, as we wish others should give us.

I hope these simple solutions will bring positive changes in the life of readers!!