If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, I’d be Lotto 649 rich! But when those words were cast my way… I felt anything but rich. I felt broken and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I FELT things other people did not, I SENSED things other people did not, I SAW things people overlooked and HEARD things in conversation that other people did not. To be blunt… it sucked. Being “too sensitive” implied that there was an imbalance, a flaw, something that shouldn’t be. It was devastating at times and my self esteem plummeted. For a time, I consulted every self help book on the market to “get rid of my problem”.
And then… came a conversation that turned out to be a game changer for me. A colleague said, “I can’t help but notice that you relate to your gift as a flaw”. Huh? WHAT? Hold the phone… are you kidding me? Could you repeat that? Did you say gift? “Yep”, she said… “an asset”.
Well… turn me on my head. It was during that conversation that I realized that I’d been mislabeled. (No one should ever be labeled anyways.) Lo and behold… I wasn’t flawed or suffering from anything. I went on to discover that 15 – 20% of the world’s population have this trait. Credit to Elaine N. Aron, PHD who has written several books on the subject. She writes, “Highly Sensitive People are often unusually creative and productive workers, attentive and thoughtful partners, and intellectually gifted individuals.”
It’s taken me some time to learn how to look after sensitive me. I can’t handle violent movies, I need solitude and silence in order to regenerate me and most of all I’ve learned to love and accept my sensitivity for the gift that it is.
Have you ever been told you are too much of something? I’m curious what your gift is…