March 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm #197539
I am very thin skinned. Is there any way to deal with this? The point is I am not too much of an introvert but my hyper sensitivity comes in the way of my interaction with people.
I am chatting away or joking about or in general being an extrovert and then maybe I say something which ‘I' may feel is inappropriate but not necessarily have hurt the other person. There is no way to tell. Especially if it's a group interaction. Or I worry if some forwarded message has hurt someone's feelings. It takes me a week or so to come out of beating myself up.
I am a talented person but my hyper sensitive reactions prevent me from utilising my full potential. It takes days for me to get back to normal from my overthinking habits.
I take extreme steps of getting off social media because information overwhelms me sometimes. That is not to say I am not courageous and so on. I want to toughen up on the inside. Is there anyway I can do it
I want to live a normal, peaceful life which does.not require me to hide from people because of my high emotional stimuli. I love interacting with people along with having my alone time.March 16, 2018 at 4:55 am #197587
I used to be very scared of saying the wrong thing. I would say something to someone, can be something logical, empathetic, sensible, and then I felt distress: maybe I said the wrong thing, maybe I offended the person. I didn't know if I did say something offensive, but I was scared that I did. What I did next was to explain myself, to restate what I just said, to attend to all the possibilities that what I just said can be taken as offensive and explain that I didn't mean this and I didn't mean that and so on.
What a torturous way to live!
I learned that this torture came about because of my experience as a child (and onward) with my mother. I said something and she accused me of offending her, of saying what I said with the intention of hurting her feelings. And she expressed how hurt she was, crying and so on. I knew it wasn't true that I meant to offend her, and I knew I often said what I said with the intention of helping her!- but she accused me otherwise, again and again. She was my mother, so I believed her.
Problem is, she accused me a whole lot of things I said that were not offensive. She was delusional. She believed something that was not true. And because she accused me of what was not true, there was no way for me to prevent it from happening again. Other than not to say anything at all except that she accused me of that as well, of not saying what I should have said…
And so, the habit was born: I say something, innocent or sensible and well meaning, trying to help… doesn't matter, I feel distress anyway, AS IF I said something with the intent to offend. As if I am a bad person who can't help but to offend.
It has been a long process for me to learn that I was not a bad person as a child, inclined to offend and that I am not a bad person now. It took a long, long time for me to learn that I am not full of poison, so to speak, and that when I open my mouth and say something, or move my fingers and type these very words, that the poison will come out of me and …. poison others.
anitaMarch 16, 2018 at 8:59 am #197571
I can definitely relate to how you are feeling as I used to beat myself up as I am also hype sensitive. The thing you need to remember is yes you probably said or did something you don't feel proud of, however, the fact that you noticed your behaviour and didn't mean any harm by it proves that you are a great person. The only person that is putting pressure on you is yourself.
When I used to do something I thought was stupid, insensitive or rude I would self harm and say a lot of mean things about myself. Truth is, nothing good ever came out of that. We are human. We make mistakes. Now when I say something I feel is silly or insensitive or rude I pause, take a deep breath, and then write down what I did or said that is bothering me. I will then write down what I can say next time so I don't do the same thing again, avoiding beating myself up. Once I figure out what I could have said or done differently I burn the piece of paper and as I burn the paper I can feel bad, stupid, etc. Once the paper is completely burnt I am not allowed to have any negative feelings or thoughts about what happened because I have come to a conclusion and have made a solution. Good people make mistakes, it's what makes us grow. Your sensitivity isn't a downfall it's a superpower. You are able to empathize like no one else because you are sensitive. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive.
Every time you have a negative thought about yourself such as “I'm stupid” “Why would anyone like me?” etc. Do me a favour and put the opposite statement down with a reason as to why it's true. For example, if you were to say “Wow, I'm so stupid” write down on a piece of paper “I'm smart because I am able to empathize with someone and truly understand how they feel”. When you write it down, put it in an envelop or a container. At the end of the day before bed, go through your envelop or container and read them out loud. This will help you turn those negative voices into voices that are friendly.
You only get one mind my love, make sure your mind is your friend and not your enemy. You deserve to love yourself and to think good thoughts about yourself.
Hope this has helped,
let me know if I can help with anything else 🙂March 16, 2018 at 10:13 am #197679
Exactly Anita. Now I don't know the difference, if I ve actually offended someone or not. Growing up, I built up a different belief system and now I am unlearning. I ve learnt most of my lessons from the world which is hard sometimes. I am so so happy you are doing well now. Stay happy 🙂
I really appreciate you taking the time to write out this reply, Ashley. I like the exercise you ve mentioned. I'll try it out 🙂 . My sensitivity feels even more tangible now because my food allergies are getting more. I have to work really hard to be extra aware and root it out of my system. Thank you so much 🙂March 16, 2018 at 10:36 am #197691
I have not read this book but know of others who found it useful: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You – Elaine N. Aron.
MarkMarch 16, 2018 at 11:05 am #197707
Thank you for the good wishes. I wish you well too. If you would like, you can share about that “different belief system” that you are unlearning.
anitaMarch 17, 2018 at 5:15 am #197789
Heyy Mark, I wrote this post elsewhere and a person recommended the same book:)I should pick it up. Thank you 🙂
Anita,stuff like, if I am not perfect, then no one loves you. Many other things but it has eased out now. I am glad 🙂March 17, 2018 at 6:30 am #197799
I am glad your distress has eased out.
If there is anything you need that I may help with, in the context of this or another thread, now or later, let me know.
anitaMarch 17, 2018 at 7:15 am #197801
Thanks Anita 🙂