Have you ever said to yourself:
I’m tired of being hurt and let down by other people. How can I be less sensitive?
Maybe you feel like you give a lot to other people but they don’t return your thoughtfulness. You care so much, but others don’t notice. You can’t trust many people because they will inevitably hurt you or let you down. Your empathy weighs heavily on you. It’s all so tiring. How can you deal?
Here are some strategies that may help you cope.
- Remember, you are the only one who can make you happy. Think about the way you talk to yourself in your head. Are you nice? Or are you critical and unforgiving? Would you talk to other people the way you talk to yourself? Be gentle. Give yourself a break. Being compassionate and empathetic to the world comes naturally; we have to train ourselves to use that same compassion to ourselves.
- Identify the things that drain you and avoid them (within reason.) Maybe you are drained by watching violent or emotional TV shows or movies, being around certain people, hot/cold weather, incessant noise, bright lights, whatever. Figure out what reduces your energy and find a way to lessen the amount of time you spend doing it.
- Identify the things that energize you and DO THEM regularly. Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, running, volunteering, reading, writing, or spending time with pets or human friends. Acknowledge the healing power of these activities and don’t neglect spending time doing things you enjoy.
- Set boundaries. Sensitive people often have a hard time saying “no”. Don’t let people suck your energy dry. Realize it’s ok to say “no” or let things go.
- Don’t impose your expectations on others. We’re human; sometimes we let each other down and hurt each other. Realize that while you may be highly perceptive and considerate, you can’t expect everyone to be that way. And that’s ok. Learn to enjoy your own journey and don’t expect others to understand or even be able to share in the way you experience the world.
- Talk to another sensitive friend or family member. It helps a lot to have someone who understands.
- When you are down, consciously choose to focus on things that lift you up. Remember moments when your happiness is amplified: finding a perfect flower in a garden, listening to the rain, playing with a dog, or making others happy. When you are feeling hurt and down, don’t retreat to a dark room to ruminate alone. Consciously make the choice to do something that will raise your mood. Step outside into the sun and take a walk. Watch a movie that always makes you laugh. Play with your dog.