All my life I have been called sensitive. I’m not going to sit here and try to deny it; I’m perfectly aware that it’s probably not only the most commonly used description of me, it’s also ridiculously [and painfully] accurate. The truth is, I care too much. There, I’ve said it. People walk all over me and I let them, because I take absolutely everything personally and wear my heart on my sleeve. Hell, I could ask someone for their honest opinion about something, and if they didn’t like it, I’d still completely take it to heart. All my life I have considered it to be one of my greatest weaknesses, and wondered why I was cursed with such a crappy personality trait.
However, in my 21 fab years on this Earth I am slowly growing to realise that it is actually quite the opposite. Yes, I may get a bit over-emotional from time to time, but in my opinion it has so many more positives than it does negatives. Maybe it’s my alteration of mindset and my refusal to live on the negative side of life over the previous 6 or so months, but what’s the point in focusing on the bad side instead of finding out the ways it can be a strength? Perhaps I’ve gone too extreme to the other side of the spectrum, but if you ask me, being sensitive is bloody great, and I’m going to tell you why.
It encourages creativity.
When a person is sensitive, they experience the world around them through slightly deeper emotions. Due to deeper emotions, you have a stronger awareness of not only yourself, but everything around you. For instance, an ordinary person would notice 2, 3, maybe 4 things in a room when they walk in. A highly sensitive person would notice practically everything; it would be subconsciously and we may not even realise we’re actually doing it, but we are naturally more aware of our surroundings and absorb everything around us. Whether it is the temperature, the sounds, the things in the room itself, sensitive people are more inclined to notice. I guess there’s no surprise that this ultimately leads to you being able to express yourself more so than your less sensitive peers. You can respond to the atmosphere around you and channel it into creativity, using your awareness and emotions to an advantage of others. People who are sensitive are usually good at art, drama, and have an eye for more creativity than other people as a result, and also because being creative is a great outlet for all of these high-powered emotions that sensitive people feel in excess. This can lead them to excel in specific hobbies, subjects, and even careers.
Shows true character.
When you are more sensitive, you have the ability to be more yourself. This sounds a bit daft, but it allows you to have a stronger sense of self, as you tend to over-analyse every situation that you find yourself in. You think of every possible scenario that could be the outcome of any possible situation, and so you prepare yourself on how you would react. It’s no wonder you have a stronger sense of self, as you act in a way that is entirely authentic and natural. Sensitive people are also good at self-reflection. Although this is effectively ‘thinking about yourself’, that’s not the way that the thought process leads to. An increased ability of self-reflection means that we are able to think about our decisions on a deeper level, analyse how we have come to them and why, and know how we will respond to similar situations in the future. You are able to be the real you.
As a sensitive person, you tend to overthink anything and everything. Although I originally considered this to be negative aspect, struggling to find how it could be positive, it actually proves that you have the capacity to think about things on a deeper level. You may tune your brain to only think of negative thoughts more deeply, but if you work on adapting your mindset to being more positive, this has the ability to be an amazing personality trait! If you’re able to be more thought-provoking and inquisitive, it allows you to be a more creative thinker, which can help you to excel in all areas of life. You’ll have new, fresh ideas about certain topics, you’ll be able to think about a situation from a different perspective, and you’ll be able to find the good in every situation, no matter how bad it may seem at first. You’ll be able to make good choices and have faith in yourself when making them.
Rather than fearfully shutting down your sensitivity, dive in deeper into all possible feeling. As you expand, keep only those who are not afraid of oceans.
Increased compassion and deeper emotions.
As with the previous point, sensitivity brings with it emotional awareness. You understand your emotions, and you can spot those same emotions in the people around you. In not so many words, you can be sympathetic and empathetic and have more compassion for your family, friends, and peers. In some ways, having such ‘deep’ emotions allows you to almost feel more. I’ve always hated this aspect of being a sensitive person, because I’ve always felt that I feel everything too deeply, whether it’s happiness or sadness or excitement – I feel it so much more extremely than those around me. But I don’t think this is a bad thing. (Not anymore, anyway!) In truth, how amazing is it to actually feel something? To listen to music and feel goosebumps on your skin, to cry tears of happiness when someone does something that makes you proud, to care for someone so much that it makes your heart feel so full, and to feel exactly how someone else is feeling, and experience those emotions with them? How on this lovely Earth could that be considered to be a bad thing?
Makes a good leader.
Many people think that to be a good leader you need to be strong and confident and authoritative; and although these may be good personal qualities to possess as a leader, they are not the most important. It is also important to have emotional awareness, passion, and fairness, which are all strong qualities of a sensitive person. When you are highly sensitive, you have the ability to understand the emotions and atmosphere around you, meaning you can positively react to situations, and be fair in the process, much as was discussed in the point above. When you over-analyse your thought processes, you are able to empathise with others, understand how they might perhaps approach a situation, and apply it to a fairer, more positive atmosphere. In my opinion at least,this is crucial for leadership, more so than being confident and authoritative. (There’s a question you can have nailed at your next interview – you can thank me later!)
Following from previous points, being sensitive means you can have a broader understanding of life around you. This doesn’t have to be in an emotional perspective of self-awareness. We are able to notice subtleties not only in ourselves, but in those around us too. Due to this, we’re better at noticing errors, minor mistakes and can usually pick up errors of judgment. In essence, a heightened awareness (despite being a benefit within itself) can also make you a kinder and more honest person, who has a sense of inner peace. As well as this, it can allow you to identify the strengths and weaknesses within yourself, and within other people, so you know how to work to your strengths, and improve areas of your life that aren’t as strong, and helps others around you to achieve.
In this generation, it is very rare for someone to have presence. We live our lives comparing, contrasting, and never really thinking about it. However, when you’re as sensitive as I am, you learn to be more present and in the moment with your actions. This might sound daft, but how often do you have conversations with your friends, and their heads are stuck in their phones, and you know they’re not really paying attention to you, or in fact anything around them? They’re trapped in a bubble of social media or texting, and they don’t really care for what’s in front of them. When you’re sensitive, you take this sort of thing to heart. You wonder why you’re not worthy of being listened to, so you make a point of ensuring you never do the same thing. You are then able to listen intently to people’s conversations, have a deeper sense of empathy and understanding of the conversation, and when it’s your time to talk, respond with a highly thought-out, inquisitive response. You don’t just listen to reply, and turn the conversation back to yourself. Not only does this (in my eyes, anyway) make you a better person, it also makes you a good communicator (Oh, look, another thing to put on your CV – who knew!)
This links strongly with the concept of mindfulness, with the notion of being completely in the moment and having a level of respect for not only people, but nature and life around you. In itself, being mindful has a huge number of benefits for life generally, and by being a super sensitive person, you already have the capacity to incorporate it into your life. So, really, it’s a win-win situation.
Do you have a personality trait that you’ve always considered to be negative, until recently? If so I’d love to hear how a positve mindset has changed your perception!