When you hear or read the term: “The Highly Sensitive Person,” what kind of person do you conjure up in your head? Likely, that person has the following characteristics:
- No people skills
- Usually female
- Cries all the time
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “You don’t look sensitive!” or “You don’t seem sensitive!” It’s the ultimate irony that I went from being a child who was incessantly told, “You’re so sensitive!” to hearing that people find it hard to believe that I’m highly sensitive. It’s likely because:
- It’s easy for me to talk to people.
- I’m outgoing.
- I stand with presence.
- I am not shy in the least.
- I’m funny. (or so I like to think!)
- I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve.
- I am assertive.
- I laugh a lot and enjoy life.
So what does this say about our assumptions of sensitivity and what it means? Culturally, we don’t have a good understanding of what it means to be sensitive. In fact, we have a very negative stereotype of sensitivity.
Or, perhaps we think it’s an all or nothing: You are either sensitive or you’re not.
Let’s set the record straight, shall we?
Highly Sensitive People come in all shapes, sizes, gender, sexuality, personality type and color.
We can be compassionate and assertive.
We can be emotional and strong.
We can be outgoing and love time alone.
We can be intellectual and fun-loving.
We can be highly sensitive and badasses.
I want to hear from you. Please comment below and share your thoughts here. Have you been stereotyped? What do you think of when you think of sensitivity? Do you feel that your sensitivity is honored by your social circles? Your family? Your culture? Or do you feel that you have to hide that side of yourself? Do you feel like parts of yourself seem at odds – that you can’t be sensitive and also strong, for example?
Food for thought. 🙂
With so much love,