Sorry if This is a Bit Dark: Hating my Sensitivity

Warning: This is a bit dark.

I hate that I’m highly sensitive. I wish I was normal. I wish I wasn’t bothered by so many small things. I wish I could just be happy instead of always wishing things were better.

And these feelings make me angry at myself. Why do I have to complain so much? Why can’t I just suck it up and deal with small annoyances? Why can’t I just relax and have fun? Why are things so hard for me and easy for everyone else?

I hate that it limits my life in some ways. I can’t drink coffee; consume violent, scary, or extremely sad movies, TV shows, or books; and I sometimes feel other peoples’ feelings, which drains my energy, is exhausting, and can bum me out.

I hate that even at a young age, before I knew I was an HSP or introvert, I knew I was limited to a few, certain careers–like writing–because so there were so many aspects of others careers I didn’t like: like sales, or jobs with too much social interaction or too much pressure.

I hate that if, for instance, a friend suggests going on a trip with a group of friends, instead of my first reaction being of excitement and happiness, it’s of worry, and “what ifs”, and thinking about all the things that could make it uncomfortable for me.

I hate that noise and bright lights bother me so much and that I seem distracted–to the point that I have to change seats or ask people to turn the music down–and everyone looks at me like I’m weird.

I wish I could let things go, and didn’t replay things in my head. Or obsess about things.

More advanced-level HSPs (said with tongue-in-cheek) value their sensitivity. They appreciate it like a gift.

HSPs are often great listeners and great friends. We often have a deep appreciation of nature, art, and music, and can have strong connections with animals. We are good listeners and incredibly empathetic and intuitive. We have good imaginations, tend to make careful decisions, and are curious, compassionate, conscientious, and creative.

People who make art and poetry, who make it their life’s work to try to lessen the pain of others, who are willing listen and help others who are struggling–are important to have in this world.

Comments

  1. Sharleen Nelson says:

    wow. could have written this myself.

  2. I really can relate to what you have written. Thanks for sharing. Sensitivity is the richest gift I have for myself and to give to others, and yet, the over-sensitivity when I am not balanced, is pushing people away at times. I know I am deeply loved by the people who know me, but I also am extremely aware that for most people, I am not understood. (This sentence was actually told to me by a family member….since then it daily leaves a question mark for me. I tend to analyze my words, movements, expressions on my face, and on and on…just wanting to fit it at times. My way to get some perspective on this, is when I am visiting with others, if I get on overload…I just say I need to go for a walk. Somehow, the breathing, the movement and just being quiet in nature….brings me back to a center for awhile.

    • Ahh, your description of “breathing and being quiet in nature” made me feel more calm…just by reading that sentence! I love taking walks alone in nature when it’s totally quiet. It just feels amazing, doesn’t it? Thanks for the nice comment. 🙂 I am glad to hear you reference your sensitivity as a “gift”…I still have a ways to go before I feel that way. 🙂

  3. Catalina Aguirre Aguirre says:

    We all go through “stages” in the acknowledging of our sensitivity. But once we get to the bottom of it.. and we also learn to enjoy it.. we can look back and see it was not that bad.. it was just misunderstood.. even by ourselves. Acceptance.. was my key. I am not going to be “wired” different.. for i came with the full package to be my own. So.. i might just as well enjoy it as i learn new things.. about me .. and others .. through my new discoveries and the ones of people like me that will let me understand.
    So, Kelly .. keep on writting.. people read.. and of course.. ( we are 20%) so we are few.. but we do appreciate.. and it will take sometime before one of them like me will post anything for everyone to see. ( And that is part of our trait too)… so cheers! i like your comments..

  4. I feel like I found the Golden Ticket by finding your blog in the San Diego Reader today. What I read describes me perfectly. I am so down on myself for being so in my own head and unable to just enjoy life. Thanks for this positing. I will share it with my husband who is so opposite of me socially. I know this will help us talk about how it feels to be HSP.

  5. Hello everyone. I´m from Spain. So I´m sorry for my poor english. I´m totally right with this article. I feel in the same way. I´m always suffering about everything. I´m trying to learn more about HSP in english. Can you imagine how people like us in other cultures can be for the worst? Living in a latin and traditional culture is very hard. I feel completly alone. In Spain there´s nothing about HSP. Except a blog and a book for a hollander woman who write in spanish about this characteristic. When I had my son all my sensitivite wakes up more intensity and all about no rest and being more overwhelming was for the worst for me. Now I´m trying to take a rest (feeling selfish) when I can and it works for the best. Sometimes I feel some relax when I think that I´m not going to live for ever, maybe a few years more. Because I can´t bear more suffering. I feel like I have been living for centuries. It´s a relief to know that you are in this planet and that I´m not alone. Thank you for doing this world better.

    • Hello Bea, thank you for sharing and hello to you in Spain. I never thought about how being HSP might be even more difficult in cultures that are more outgoing. It is good to take plenty of rest if you need it. Please don’t feel selfish! Maybe you could start a Spanish blog about HSPs?? 🙂

  6. Hi Kelly,
    I´m so glad for your answer. I really enjoy all your articles. It´s like a therapy for me. Reading all the comments it´s like: wow!! It´s great to share the same feelings and it helps me to be more calm because I now know that my nervous system and brain works in that way. Fifteen years ago I was in the USA for several times because I had a boyfriend from Philadelphia. I met the most wonderful people that I have met in my life. Some of them are non-HSP but they were respectful and open minded and I felt like “home”. Living in a latin culture is more depressed and upseting. I can see all the details, the things that are invisibles and creates the differents cultures. The chauvinism is something that hurts me deeply. I tell myself to start a blog in the next future but I am divorced and I have a small son. Maybe in the next months. I feel the huge responsability to show this characteristic to many latin people that suffer believing they are crazy, weirds or have mental sickness. These affects me so much. The sad is that many latin HSP are sceptical to believe it, it´s a crash with their beliefs and with the people are around them. They don´t want to listen it. When I say something about this and it´s the first time they listen something like that. They don´t know what they think. They could think I´m crazy or weird. Fortunately I have helped two women to learn about HSP and I feel I have done the exact. Thank you so much from my heart.

    • Bea, that is great you have spread the word about HSP to others! You could even start a blog for yourself to help get out your feelings, like a diary. And then it could grow into something more (or not!).

  7. So why is being HSP a good thing? That’s the only thing I can’t understand. You are more sympathetic, understanding towards others and have so much anxiety. What’s the point of being kind to others when you can’t even have friends due to social anxiety/awkwardness,sensing small things that people do that tells you that they don’t want to be with you. The feeling of always being the one who doesn’t belong in this group of people. Maybe those signals you perceive aren’t true, but nonetheless you sense it and it bothers you. What’s the point of feeling emphatic towards others when people can’t even grasp how much small things, like someone not replying/ignoring a question in a message bother you and keep haunting you with anxiety, “am I bothering them? how am I? What’s wrong with my question? What’s wrong with me feeling this way? etc”, when all you want to do is to be friendly. And it’s so difficult for you to ignore a message because then you think, “what if this really hurts them? What if it really bothers them if I don’t reply? and in the end you reply. What is the point of even trying when in the end you just end up being hurt and you look at these “normal” people who can move on easily in life, make better of their lives and not deal with their strong emotions and sensitivities to the smallest things? Sure other people are highly sensitive as well “you aren’t the only one that’s deals with situations like this” but don’t you feel disadvantaged compared to others who aren’t highly sensitive. Those who don’t have as much anxiety about everything, whose emotions are thrown haywire at the smallest things. Wouldn’t you want to live a life like that?

  8. I’m having a hard time understanding how this is supposedly a “gift”. I feel like I can’t connect with anyone who is not like me. People take advantage of our empathy. I feel so misunderstood. I can’t explain my hsp without sounding crazy to non hsps. Where is my place when everyone around me is so cruel. Where is there room for different people when everyone is trying to be the same. I just want to be normal. Why do I have to be different.

  9. I hate it. I hate it like I hate nothing else. It’s a curse that cannot be lifted. It’s like being trapped in some weird place where someone controls my reactions and emotions. I hate to cry when I hear a beautiful song. I hate having to care what everyone thinks of what I say. I hate that I care. I hate that I think it matters. Because it does not. But I care. I am the one who cares. It’s just me. I am the one who cares. That makes me alone.

    I hate it.

    It’s just me.

    It makes me alone.

    I hate it.

  10. I hate it, too. I haven’t had a hard life, but it has been incredibly painful. Being a HSP with generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety has led to me be isolated and alone. I always get cagey in relationships and keep one foot in the door, ready to break-up if i feel too vulnerable. I work a low paying job because I would rather undervalue myself than feel overwhelmed and unqualified. There are mornings I get to work and feel utter despair at the amount of work that has to be done. I feel terrified all the time that I will make a mistake and mess up someone else’s day. I am a reliable person (I wouldn’t dare let someone down) and because of this I constantly get taken advantage of and left to do other people’s work. If I stand up for myself I feel like a jerk and am plagued with regret. If I don’t take up for myself, I feel like a spineless loser and play the encounter over and over again in my head until I have a migraine.

    I long to spend my days at home doing crafts or writing or making music. Solitary confinement sounds like heaven. The only way for me to escape my inner critic is to avoid people, because the only time I like myself is when I’m alone. I don’t feel awkward or embarrassed or perplexed by other people’s actions when I’m alone.

    No one would force an extrovert to be isolated all day long, yet we HSPs are required to participate in a world that is traumatizing to us. It just wears me down and I’m tired of asking why I have to be this way. I’m tired of being controlled by this fear and heartache. I’m tired of feeling like if I tried to explain the way I feel to someone, I’d be chalked up as a self-pitying attention-seeker. Every time I think I’m strong enough to face the world, I just get beat down again, not by the world, but by my own delicate nature. I think I’d rather be a sociopath than be so vulnerable to pain and perceived rejection. I am 33 years old and I don’t know how to make it stop.

  11. I am the way you describe, but I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I attribute these traits to my illnesses.

  12. You are amazing in my eyes. Im a sensitive person myself. Im more sensitive to just others. words hurt me so easily… they hurt me even though they are simple lame jokes. I cry so easily if someone not even close to me says “I’m busy cant talk”. I.assume the worst thinking they don’t want to speak to me. I like to be reassured when I’m speaking to someone. I wish I can change and be a stronger person. but I cant. I find writing helps me also! and im oddly a social person. we can email each other and speak about about there. I’m here to listen.

    • Hi nuna, I completely relate to everything you have said. . My life is a living hell because of how over sensitive I am.. my friends and family make me feel like a freak because of the way I am.. they tell its all in my head and I need help .. I hate being like this, I wish I wasn’t but I can’t control it.. (even tho people say that I can and I need stop) im just heartbroken and lonely that people avoid me because of this and I don’t know what to do anymore. .

  13. You just described me. I guess I’m your male counterpart to the letter.

  14. hi I AM HSP and my youngest daughter is also,
    I am looking for a little help, my daughter is working where i work doing her co-op hours for school, and my boss is forcing her into doing work with other people in the shop, more people than she is comfortable with, and it upsets her very much,,my boss feels that this is good for her, but i see that she is shutting down,
    I just want to know what i should do and if my boss is right, by putting her in a group

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you are having a difficult time. When you say “putting her in a group”, what do you mean?

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