Would you consider yourself a sensitive person?
Years ago I purchased a book called 'The highly sensitive child' by Elaine. N. Aron in an attempt to understand my little boy a bit better. In the book there was a checklist to go through. Whilst my little guy ticked off a few of them, so many of them sounded like me so I got my hands on the adult version of the book and on that checklist I ticked almost every single one!
Turns out I am a highly sensitive person.
The kids list had things like:
- startles easily
- doesn't like scratchy clothing or labels in clothes
- notices the slightest unusual odour
- doesn’t do well with big changes
- asks deep, thought-provoking questions
and many others...
The adult list had things like:
- other people's mood affects me
- I tend to be very sensitive to pain
- I am easily overwhelmed by bright lights, coarse fabrics, strong smells or sirens nearby
- I startle easily
- I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things
- I am unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me
and many others...ME ALL OVER!
I think the biggest thing for me reading this book was realising I wasn't alone. That this was a thing, and there were plenty of other people who feel the same way. I felt validated.
For a long time I thought this sensitivity was a character flaw - something to fix, something to work on, something to be ashamed of but now I see it as a super power.
Yes my sensitivity sometimes makes things a little difficult for me but it also allows me to understand and empathise with other people, to feel things deeply and to care about the world.
I now own it and allow myself to be who and what I am.
I don't need to change myself, I just need to learn how to look after myself, and to honour what I need.
Are you sensitive too?