I spend a lot of time being sensitive on purpose — feeling, responding, thinking deeply, paying attention and noticing everything — so I can write about it and validate and legitimize my way of being in the world and others like me.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying not to be sensitive and feeling wrong, feeling othered that I’ve been defensive about being sensitive and all the ways I’m “too” everything — too emotional, too soft, too apprehensive, too reactive.
When I first started my blog, I wrote as if I was fighting against a culture and a majority of people who valued being callous, tough, unemotional, and unaffected. My attitude was “they’re too much — too dead on the inside, too blind, too jerky, too insensitive.”
To feel strong as a sensitive person I had to think about how different the 80% non-HSP were from me. How other they were.
But, the more I write about high sensitivity, the more I understand and accept it, the more I understand those others, those non-HSP and the less defensive I am.
Just because they’re not highly sensitive doesn’t mean they aren’t sensitive at all. Everyone is responsive, aware, intuitive and feels things deeply…just at different degrees. Everyone is affected by the people around them.
Everyone is porous.
Everyone is vulnerable, scared, gets triggered, feels wounded, and overreacts.
Most people aren’t insensitive jerks; they’re simply unaware. I hope this is true.
I like to imagine everyone occasionally lies in bed at night, unable to sleep, replaying and thinking about things said and unsaid, reliving the slights, real or imagined, they wished they could go back in time and stand up to and feeling the pain of knowing they can’t go back in the safety and darkness of their bedrooms.
I like to think everyone becomes overwhelmed and overstimulated by our world every once in a while and needs to retreat in solitude and silence.
We are all sensitive people.
I like the idea of walking around Manhattan and suddenly seeing a message on the side of a truck that reminds me that we’re more alike than not. A reminder to be kinder.