Are you or do you know a person who is deeply sensitive? What follows are some important check points to identify towards a greater knowledge and respect for
higher than average sensitivity, as well as helpful suggestions in living your lives, together and individually.
I have come to know what I want to relay to you through working with many clients with sensitivities in their bodies. Those
sensitivities often show up as symptoms that are undiagnosable by the doctors they have sought treatment from. The symptoms are real, and can often represent many other issues besides the illness that is unknown in origin.
Or, clients have come in for close relationship and family issues because they experience
them in a magnified way. Often they are artists, writers or musicians whom are bursting with the urge to create or perform their craft, and yet can feel blocked by all that comes up inside of them on a feeling level.
If you are one of these remarkable individuals, your more pronounced senses and emotions are intertwined into your very being, your insights and your soul.
First off, an understanding is needed of how the very system of a sensitive person experiences life on an amped up level.
If your system is very reactive to events and interacting with both people you know and don't know
well, then it will be felt strongly and is not something that one can just ignore or shut down - or would necessarily want to!
There tends to be the assumption by well-meaning individuals that it is a bad thing to react or feel this much, and that it would be
best to be controlled. Another huge misconception is that by self or other criticizing it - or attempting to direct it to just not happen - that it is helpful and the best way to "handle" it.
The big news is, neither will get rid of the sensitive parts of a person or yourself, and there are actually some wonderful and
teachable things to enjoy from yourself, or this kind of person. Aside from that, no one really wants to be "handled", or finds benefit from seeking to control others.
There is a difference between noting depth of experience in a feeling and hyper-reactivity.
One who is
seemingly reacting with big feelings to so many situations can often remember being that way from early childhood, implying that
one may be born as the sensitive self, or with a propensity towards developing in that direction. If so, then regardless of the
environment or events in childhood, they will "feel" in an intensified way. Significant here is that this can be a great gift!! Someone
in touch with that depth inside has a creative link to becoming an artist, a body healer who automatically has an innate
understanding of what the body goes through, or one who supports others in sad or painful situations. We have so much to learn from those with above average sensitivity.
In relationships, although they may seem difficult to be around or feel themselves that the significant other could not
understand...they are far more likely to reach out towards being understood and well equipped to really getting what their partner is
all about. In addition, it is easier for this kind of person to communicate to the extent that when their partner feels "gotten" a sense
of mutual acceptance has a greater opportunity of occurring. Why? For the reason that these sensitive beings come fully
equipped with the means to do so, which is different from having a learned skill.
Hyper-reactivity can accompany the already large feeling sense that a person of this nature has. This reacting or jumpiness is from
some kind of traumatic experience most likely, and can make being around bright lights and certain sounds difficult, yet this can
happen without trauma occurring as well, simply from an already highly tuned system absorbing too much and needing to have a break from the active energy of the world around the individual.
I can tell the difference when in my practice, I am seeing someone for trauma issues. When the trauma is released, the reactivity changes and becomes milder or non-existent.
If the same path is taken with an already sensitive client, then I'll see that the
reactivity is there but in a unique way for each individual. Therefore the way of being with certain reactions that disturb the person
is then tailored to that individual while in the session; I am going to trust that their body and mind knows better than anyone else what it needs for soothing or bringing the system to a quieter level.
Another point I want to make is that the word sensitivity contains "sense," and indeed, indicates
how things are felt in the body.
For this reason, it can be very valuable to let the body speak to all of us as far as what
might be useful or even inspiring because it is coming from a deep place, filled with rich resources. A person with a sensitive
system is ahead of the game in this way, yet may do well with guidance back to being in that rather than avoiding it because our culture gives out the message to pay little attention to feelings.
How can your seeking
therapeutic assistance be effective?
In a few ways:
1. Clearing what may have gotten stuck inside from growing up as a very tuned in child
2. Connecting the mind back to the body's feelings can find your best resources for growth and getting through difficult periods in life or with people and situations you encounter every day. A professional
whom has had this particular type of training and experience can provide excellent guidance for you.
3. The sessions can really teach you how to settle an overly amped system, and prevent
accumulation of too much on a felt level and assist with how to release. This enables you to keep the beauty of your sensitivity while enhancing your ability to be fully sharing time
and space out in the world with more inner ease.
4. Learn how to celebrate and enjoy this powerful gift you own! How does it relate to
expanding or creating your career or your passion for living and loving the colors, sweet sounds, and variant textures of life? Find others like you to share it with and feel a lovely
healthy closeness, yet still have boundaries.
Know that others are not always out to make you change or be someone you are not, they are just puzzled and frustrated. In
accepting yourself there is heightened ability to accept others who may avoid fully knowing what they could, even if they are not
aware of this. Self-soothing first - and then approaching others you feel conflict with or misunderstood by - is imperative.
For those who have a deeply sensitive soul in your life:
Know that she or he really does feel that much, and that it is not made up or necessarily used to manipulate or control you. They
are simply trying to monitor and live with less struggle around what is going on inside and how to share it with you. Allowing them
to fully express to you is so helpful, as well as comforting if that is desired. Also understand that labeling them or using
judgmental terms only creates more intensity in what feelings come up, so it will make it easier on you to be gentler and more accepting.
To both sides:
Viva la Difference! If we were all the same our existence might remain superficial and colorless.Carol Jaron, MS, MFT, CHT