How to be sensitive and not a pain in the behind

Well.  I’m probably still a pain in the behind.  😀

But to the point – you hear a lot about “sensitive folks” and how they’re just misunderstood, etc.  How we have to be nice to them.  Um.  I’m a sensitive folk… and I’d really rather NOT be a crumpled up tissue in the corner, thank you.

  1. Manage your weaknesses
  2. Play to your strengths

Insofar as managing weaknesses is concerned, I am negatively sensitive to things like loud noises, white noise, ugliness, certain colors, and conflict.   So – I avoid those things.  I don’t engage in entertainment with lots of loud noises (I very rarely go to the movies, for instance), I listen to my music at a low volume, and when a book or show promises to make me overwrought… I skip it.  It’s entertainment.  Entertainment is optional.  (Somehow people don’t seem to have this concept down, I’m not sure why).

I’ve learned to manage conflict by engaging in debate online.  It’s a safe way to learn to not be liked all the time by every single person – and you can take it in very small doses if necessary.  And again, it can be avoided entirely as necessary.  (Desensitizing oneself to anything is an exercise best engaged in while otherwise unstressed).

Other things that bug me – well, I just avoid them if I can, and give myself a minute to heal up when I can’t.  I know that not everyone can’t abide noise and crowds – I am willing to politely half-apologize for my weakness and encourage others to go enjoy whatever it is they’re looking forward to.

So far, pretty obvious stuff.  Lots of this online.  But what is this about playing to your strengths?

My sensitivity to color might make me do dumb stuff like get angry in the presence of a comforter because the color irritates me … but it also enables me to create a very peaceful visual environment for my family.   Because the emotional notes play so very loudly to me, I can adjust them for those who don’t hear so well… and very nearly everyone *does* notice color, texture, and style.   I do the same thing with my outfits, when I’m meeting someone – I can create a welcoming aura in myself, or a commanding one or…

Similarly, I can create an individually-tailored environment for soothing and comforting – because I am sensitive, I noticed what you liked, what you responded to well, and I can bring those elements out to play.

My sensitivity to flavor makes me an excellent cook.   My sensitivity to scent means that I can get a bit manic about making sure my home and body smell good.   Sensitivity just means that you’re noticing things that others don’t … it’s not a weakness in and of itself.

The joy that I take in beauty can be shared, as can beauty that I create for others.

So – yes, I’m sensitive, and no, I don’t want you to yell at me.  But I don’t have any interest in being weak or a burden – so I’m going to bring you the benefits of my sensitivity, not just the costs.


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