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Why Being Sensitive Is A Double-Edged Sword

Why Being Sensitive Is A Double-Edged Sword

Sensitivity is, for the most part, seen as an overall positive human characteristic. But it’s not necessarily always beneficial to an individual. While there are certainly times that being sensitive can be advantageous, there are other times in which being overly sensitive can be absolutely draining on a person. As with all other aspects of life, sensitivity seems to be most effective and beneficial when practiced in moderation. Here are a few of the things that go along with being sensitive.

You understand people’s problems

Sensitive people are able to see from a variety of perspectives. They almost live vicariously through other people’s emotions, especially when dealing with people they truly care about. This leads to deeper human connections, as their loved ones will see how much the sensitive person really cares by how they react in a given situation. The reinforcement a sensitive person gives a loved one just by their response makes it clear that the person genuinely enjoys seeing others happy.

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You take on other people’s problems as your own

When things aren’t going so well for your friends, you’ll feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Being a sensitive person means you often take on other people’s struggles without even realizing it. Obviously, you just want everyone around you to be happy—but that won’t always be the case. While it’s obviously justifiable to be upset when your friend is feeling down and you’re doing your best to help them out of a funk, overly sensitive people are unable to separate themselves from the situation and realize the sadness of their loved ones is not their sadness. Obviously, if both parties are upset, it becomes increasingly difficult for either of them to snap out of it.

You’re in tune with overall mood

Sensitive people pick up on the overall mood of a place or event immediately and instantly find themselves in that same mood, regardless of how they felt when they walked in. This allows them to fit into a variety of social situations, as they understand the appropriate way to act wherever they find themselves.

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You’re too in tune with overall mood

Of course, sometimes the way a sensitive person is acting is simply that: an act. But the longer the act goes on, the more likely it is to actually hijack a person’s mood. For example, obviously a funeral is a somber occasion, so regardless of whether or not you were close to the deceased, you still feel sad or upset when paying your respects. An overly sensitive person might become overwhelmed and anxious in such a situation, even if they weren’t very close with the dearly departed. Despite not having many personal feelings for the person who has passed, the idea that this passing has deeply affected others is enough to send the sensitive person into a downward spiral.

You experience the world on a deeper level

As we’ve discussed, sensitive people are incredibly in tune with the world around them. But this goes beyond being aware of the mood of a certain person or group. In the most literal sense of the word, a sensitive person will actually experience heightened sensual feelings. When they taste their favorite dessert or hear their favorite song, they immediately become enraptured by the moment. They become Zen-like, and are able to let all else fade away while they focus on the absolute pleasure they are currently experiencing.

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You become too invested in events around you

But sometimes, this is not a good thing. When a sensitive person experiences pain, it’s almost impossible for them to let it fall away. They’re incredibly in tune with minor fluctuations in a place’s aura, so something as simple as a change in volume or brightness in an area can have a negative effect on a sensitive person. Busy city streets can be overwhelming, as they can potentially send a person into sensual overdrive, leaving them too anxious to function normally.

Featured photo credit: Emotional… / Sean Meets via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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