#1 Trap That Keeps Highly Sensitive And Empathetic Women At War With Themselves And The World.
When I was early in my 20s I went to visit my boyfriend’s family for the first time. As you may imagine it was a big event for me as I was crazy in love with him and, of course, wanted to make a good impression. I was a shy, young girl at the time, I blushed as easily as I burst into tears. I was anxious, self-conscious and I got overwhelmed easily with too many people around, especially if I didn’t know them. My emotional hypersensitivity level was so high that even standard social situations caused a great deal of internal stress for me.
What was supposed to be a casual meeting turned out to be a huge family dinner. From my perspective – a crowd of strangers, talking and laughing loudly, having a great time together – and me – the only one out.
After the first half an hour, I felt as if there was a volcano of emotions in my body, ready to explode at any minute. And of course, it did! One of my boyfriend’s cousins, just a bit older than me, after not being able to get much of a response from me, said “God, you are so weird’. That was the last drop. I ran out of the house with tears rolling down my face (and to be honest never came back).
This comment haunted me for years, well into my 30s, mostly because it felt so… true. Deep inside I believed it, too. I did feel I was quite ‘weird’ – too emotional, too sensitive, too reactive. Crying for no apparent reason, feeling deeply hurt by the slightest criticism, getting anxious, or even panicky in the most inappropriate moments.
And of course, there were plenty of people in my life who didn’t hesitate to make it very clear to me that it was all my fault.
Do you also ask yourself these questions?
Am I too sensitive, Am I too emotional, Am I overreacting?
Emotional Hypersensitivity – The #1 Misconception About Being ‘Too Sensitive’ And ‘Too Emotional’ And Where It Leads To.
If you are waging war against parts of yourself you dislike,
don’t be surprised when they fight back”
A. R. Neal
If you are a highly sensitive, empathetic and warm-hearted woman you might be constantly doubting or dismissing your feelings, emotions, and reactions (or even beating yourself up for having them) as they feel like ‘too much’ and they seem to be messing up your life and your relationships.
You might also react strongly when other people get emotionally triggered. As a result, the boundaries between your own emotions and the emotions of others can get quite blurred.
This is the cause of why you get tired, confused and overwhelmed easily, and often feel emotionally drained.
And if this happens on a regular basis, your relationships, both personal and professional can be quite difficult to navigate and, at some point, life starts to feel like too much.
In our fast-moving, action-focused culture having emotional hypersensitivity is seldom met with understanding and compassion. Quite the opposite, it is often treated as a sign of emotional weakness.
But the worst thing is, that because we often get so little understanding and validation, not to mention the kind of support we truly need, we ourselves start to believe that there is something wrong with how we react to the world. We start to think that there is something wrong with our emotions and reactions, with how we think, feel, and respond.
And as a result, we often turn against ourselves.
And this is a very difficult place to be in. It is like living with an enemy under your skin. You can’t trust your body – it comes up with embarrassing symptoms like getting all red and shaky. You can’t trust your feelings – they make you either lash out at others or totally freeze, unable to utter a word. You can’t trust your actions as they sometimes seem beyond your control- the impulses are so strong that you say or do things you regret later.
This is like living in a war zone especially if you’re not sure what triggers these reactions in your system, so they seem mostly unpredictable.
It is one of the most painful traps we can be stuck in – believing that our own body, our own emotions have betrayed us and act against us.
The truth about being ‘too emotional’ and ‘too sensitive’ and what to do about emotional hypersensitivity.
So, here is the good news!
Your whole body is always doing its best to keep you safe and well.
I know it might be difficult to believe in at first as you seem to have so much evidence against it. But thanks to the latest discoveries in neuroscience we understand better and better how our nervous system works, and how and why we developed these intense emotions and physical and what purpose they serve.
We know now that these reactions may have different roots. They may come from our genetic makeup (if you are a highly sensitive person ),
-be the result of trauma we experienced in our life (or even generational trauma coming from our parents/ grandparents),
-or accompany conditions like anxiety, ADHD, or depression.
But whatever the root cause, your body and your nervous system created these reactions and responses in order for you to cope with the challenges of life. It created them to protect you from hurt and pain so that you can survive and be as safe and well as possible.
Understanding that your ‘being emotional/sensitive/reactive’ is an ADAPTATION, not a disorder – can bring a real breakthrough in how you relate to yourself and how to manage your emotions.
The moment you start recognizing that your nervous system is on your side you can stop the inner war.
And then… you can start to be on your side, too!
Instead of guilt-tripping yourself and beating yourself up, instead of feeling ‘worse’/guilty/ashamed, you can start learning how you can support your nervous system to cope with the challenges of life in a way that feels more manageable for you.
If you keep asking yourself whether you are overreacting, feel like you live on an emotional roller-coaster or often feel emotionally drained – be sure to check my Emotional Resilience Checklist & Action Steps -you will learn exactly what to do to start building your emotional strength today.