Oh, it pains me to even write this. If there’s one thing about being highly sensitive that surely doesn’t feel like a Superpower, it’s managing tension and conflict with someone else. If you’re like me, fellow HSP, you feel it all over and inside your body. The discomfort, the unease, the ickiness of it all. It’s just, blech! Am I right? If you’re at all sensitive or empathic, I know you know what I’m talking about!
After years of massive effort to become IN-sensitive paired with the highly ineffective technique of running away, I simply can’t seem to figure out how to live a conflict and tension-free existence on the planet. So the next best thing? Acceptance. Yep, I’ve had to learn how to just deal with it. Moan! Groan! The good news is, there are things you can do to help move through it, so keep reading!
Here are my best tips for managing the extreme discomfort of tension and conflict and I hope they help you. If anything, know that you are not alone.
- Let yourself feel it: Back to the moan and groan, right? But the sooner you acknowledge the ickiness of the feeling and allow it to be there, the sooner it can move through. You can even add vocal acknowledgement to the feeling. Just this morning, I found myself hugely uncomfortable over an exchange with someone. I loudly acknowledged to my empty living room: I AM SO UNCOMFORTABLE! I FEEL REALLY, REALLY NOT GOOD ABOUT THIS! This empowers you to own your feelings, acknowledge your right to them and help move the energy.
- Move it through your body: HUGE, friends! Movement is essential. For me, dance is highly therapeutic. When it comes to tension or anxiety, not only do I put on powerful music and dance, I literally shimmy it out of my body. This kind of looks like a whole body shake session, like the hokey-pokey on speed. I shake it out of my arms, my legs and I shimmy my shoulders back and forth. You can even add some sound to this practice. This is POWERFUL! Tension and conflict can make us feel small and helpless. What’s the best antidote to feeling small and helpless? Creating the feeling of power in your body and energy field! You are POWERFUL! Remembering your power when you feel powerless over your empathy can help ground you in your body.
- Remind yourself that it’s temporary: “I’m not going to feel this way in a few hours.” Think back to another time you were deeply upset or uncomfortable about something. Do you still feel upset about it? Likely, no. It passed. Emotions always pass. Reminding yourself that you have always moved through past emotions and have never been stuck in a feeling can help reassure you in the moment and make the feeling a bit more bearable.
- Tell yourself it’s ok if someone else is upset: For empaths, this is such a toughie because it can feel so heavy and unbearable to feel someone else’s feelings. I very often have to consciously tell myself: “It’s ok for someone to be upset.” Reminding myself of this helps me to acknowledge their right to their own human journey, emotions and all. It’s essential to consciously relinquish control and let go in this moment. Acceptance of the moment requires us to acknowledge that it’s ok for them to feel. Saying out loud: “I can accept this moment” will remind you of the badass empath that you are.
- Thank the moment: Huh? How can you be grateful for something that has crapped all over your energy? Well, it’s an opportunity to practice all these awesome techniques, for one. It is also a great opportunity to look at what has triggered you and why. Finally, there might be a hidden opportunity the moment will provide. For me, my highly uncomfortable exchange this morning led to this blog post. Thank you, unnamed person who triggered me!
Finally, be gentle with yourself. Be loving. Do something that makes you feel really, really good. Honor your sensitivity and your beautiful soul. While sensitivity can challenge us to our core, it is also a Superpower.
With so much love,