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The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make unlovable, undesirable, or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human.

You don’t ever have to apologize for feeling sad. You aren’t being too sensitive. You aren’t imagining things or being overdramatic. You’re being true to yourself by honoring your emotions, and that is never something you have to feel ashamed of. Whether you have a need that isn’t being met, an old wound that’s been reopened, a person in your life who is making you feel small, a painful memory of something from the past, or an emptiness from the loss of someone you care about—there is always something underlying our sadness, and whatever it is, it’s important and valid. Whatever it is, it deserves to be expressed and felt.

Oversensitivity isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re hurting, and your insecurities point you toward what needs to be healed.

I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness of others pain and my passion for it all.

Sensitive people should be treasured. They love deeply and think deeply about life. They are loyal, honest, and true. The simple things sometimes mean the most to them. They don’t need to change or harden. Their purity makes them who they are.

You may never know what someone is going through, but if you notice any signs of pain—hostility, negativity, or oversensitivity—then odds are, you know how they feel. Respond to the pain instead of judging the signs.

Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. It’s a sign that you have a big heart, and that you aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.