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How To Overcome Emotional Sensitivity

How To Overcome Emotional Sensitivity

Highly sensitive people tend to get their feelings hurt easily. Their fear of failure may make them less likely to take risks, and their heightened emotions may cause relationship problems. If you’re a highly sensitive person, take these six steps to overcome your emotional sensitivity.

1. What Am I Feeling?

Identifying your real feelings is an important first step in overcoming emotional sensitivity. Determine whether you are feeling disappointed, sad, angry, or something else. Once you have clearly labeled the emotion, you can begin to uncover the reasons you feel this way and what you can do about it.

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2. Why Do I Feel This Way?

Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. For example, did you have high expectations for how something would turn out and then became upset when it didn’t turn out the way you wanted? Or did someone say something to you that you found offensive?

Identify exactly what caused you to feel sensitive and why it made you feel that way. Often, unmet needs and unmet expectations lead to hurt feelings.

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3. What Would I Say To My Friend Who Had This Problem?

Most people are much kinder to others than they are themselves. Ask yourself what you would say if your best friend approached you with a similar issue. If you’re blaming yourself or exaggerating how bad a situation is, it can be helpful to listen to the sound advice you would offer a friend.

For example, if you find yourself thinking, “No one at work likes me,” ask what you would say to your friend who came to you with that problem. It’s likely you might say something such as, “I’m sure some people at the office do you like you. Just because you didn’t get approval for that project doesn’t mean everyone at the office dislikes you.” Then, use those kind words on yourself.

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4. Should I Address This Or Let It Go?

Determine if the situation needs to be addressed, or if you are better off to let it go. If your feelings are seriously hurt by a good friend or close family member, not addressing it can lead to anger and resentment. In those cases, you may need to talk to the person in a calm, diplomatic manner to clear the air.

There may be other times when you discover that you are best to just let things go. If you felt slighted by a co-worker or annoyed that a friend didn’t call you, you may be able to recognize that bringing it up may make things worse. Instead, you can decide to let go of your hurt feelings.

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5. What Can I Tell Myself To Feel Better?

Highly sensitive people tend to be hard on themselves and others. Changing the way you think about a situation can change the way you feel. For example, if your thoughts are focused on how unfair your boss is or how mean your sister is, you’re likely going to continue to feel bad.

However, replacing those thoughts with healthier, more balanced thoughts, can help you feel better. Try reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes and accept the fact that others will hurt your feelings at times.

6. What Can I Do To Feel Better?

Changing your behavior can also change how you feel. Try doing something positive that will help you feel better. Practice coping skills such as going for a walk, calling a friend, or participating in a hobby. Doing something enjoyable can get your mind off things.

Once you feel better, it may be easier to look at the situation another way. When you’re calm, you may be able to see that your mother didn’t set out to hurt your feelings on purpose or that you aren’t at fault for an issue at work. Taking a break from the problem can give you much-needed perspective.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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