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What A Typical Day Is Like For Highly Sensitive People

What A Typical Day Is Like For Highly Sensitive People

Would you say you’re more emotional than most people? Do you like your alone time? Perhaps you find yourself worrying and agonising over small decisions – and don’t get started on the big ones.

If this sounds a lot like you, then you may be what’s called a highly sensitive personThis may sound like someone who cries at the slightest mishap or throw-away comment but it’s much deeper than that. Highly sensitive people have a lot of positive traits too including empathy and sensitivity towards others as well as being highly creative and deep-thinkers.

A Day In The Life Of Highly Sensitive People

The mindset and perspective of a highly sensitive person can be different from the ‘norm’ and shapes their day in an individual and distinctive way. If you feel you might be highly sensitive, see if you identify with this day in the life of a highly sensitive person.

7.00am – Drag yourself out of bed to go for a run

If you’re a highly sensitive person then getting yourself into an exercise routine can be quite challenging. You tend to put off looking after yourself physically and even skip meals because you feel you don’t have the time. Getting up for your run takes a huge amount of motivation and may feel highly uncomfortable.

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7.15am – Go for your run…alone

You like doing things by yourself and avoid doing things in groups. You dislike the sense that people are watching your every move even if they’re not paying attention to you whatsoever. Going to the gym is your worst nightmare – a place full of people watching what you’re doing and placing judgement? No thanks! You’d rather workout in the comfort of your own company away from any prying eyes.

8.30am – You take more time than necessary to pick out your outfit

Highly sensitive people tend to take ages making decisions – even the small ones. You ponder and dwell on whether you’re making the right or wrong decision even for small things like what clothes you’ll wear to work. You change your mind several times for minor reasons and feel uncomfortable in the whole process. It may even leave you a little stressed.

8.45am – You apologise profusely on your packed journey to work

You’ve started your commute to work and it’s busier than usual. The bus or train is packed and you have to stand for the whole journey. This in itself is making you uncomfortable because you’re hyper aware of how close everyone is to you and you to them, you notice the stuffiness of the bus, the unpleasant smells, the sounds and you try to keep yourself calm.

But this hyperawareness also extends to you apologising to others around you – maybe for accidentally knocking them when the bus braked or just being in someone’s way when it’s not your fault. Over-apologising is a common trait because you’re constantly aware of being a burden to other people.

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9.00am – Smile as you arrive at your enclosed office cubicle

Your company recently moved to new offices and instead of the open-plan layout, you now have your own cubicle – four walls cutting you off from the world around you. You were pleased with this because you hated being openly exposed to others and, like running, prefer limiting any stimuli around you.

You’d secretly prefer to be able to work from home or dream of being self-employed so you can get comfortable in your solo work environment but for now you are happy with your cubicle offering less noise and more privacy.

9.01am – Roadworks are going on right outside your window

Loud, continuous noises irritate you considerably. You can’t seem to block it out like other people do and you feel like you’re slowly going mad. Your stress levels rise and you try to turn the music in your headphones up to drown it out.

2.00pm – Finally finished writing and finalising your work proposal

You have the tendency to spend a lot more time than necessary finishing a project because you’re very detail-oriented and a complete and utter perfectionist. You know you should have finished your work proposal two hours ago (and skipped lunch in the process) but it was worth it for your peace of mind.

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3.00pm – You enjoyed your team meeting

You had a good team meeting today because, as a deep-thinker and a person who typically weighs up the pros and cons of everything, you work well in a team environment and add value to the discussions. However, you never like having to make the final decision because you’re a worrier and often don’t like the pressure that comes with making decisions (a bit like the outfit you had to pick out this morning). Luckily today you didn’t have to, so the meeting was enjoyable and a success.

3.30pm – Your boss points out a mistake in your proposal and it crushes you

Yes, as a highly sensitive person, any kind of criticism big or small will weigh down on you like a tonne of bricks – in fact it devastates you. After all, you spent more time than needed just to avoid any criticism in the first place. Going out of your way to avoid criticism is a common trait in highly sensitive people and this is achieved through major ‘people pleasing’.

6.00pm – You notice something’s up with your close friend or family member

You’re home and glad to be in the comfort of your own privacy. You decide to call your loved one but notice they’re a bit off with you. Being a highly sensitive person, this is on your radar almost immediately and you feel it affecting you more than it should.

Your emotions are always at the fore and you worry that someone else’s feelings and emotions may be down to you even though they may just have been having a bad day. It leaves you with a sense of sadness and may even cause you to cry – taking you a while to shake it off.

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8.00pm – You watch a horror movie and regret it

You fancy a change of film genre and heard good things about a movie a friend recommended. However, the problem is you’re highly sensitive to frightening and scary situations. In horror movies, you can vividly imagine the situation and put yourself in the character’s shoes. Your high ability to feel empathy and your brain being easily overstimulated, causes you to be far more affected by horror movies than others.

11.00pm – Go to bed and think over your day

Highly sensitive people tend to dwell a lot on what went wrong in a day. Small things have great impacts on you and it may take you a while to pass it and move on. But it’s all about how you deal with it – many things in life can be a blessing or a curse, both positive and negative but remember these are what makes you a unique person so embrace your day and wake up ready to tackle the next one!

Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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