I’m (not) too sensitive

I’m (not) too sensitive

Growing up, I was told, “You’re too sensitive — you’ve got to toughen up!”

Did you hear this too?

Besides it being a mild form of verbal abuse, it’s also not true.

You are simply as sensitive as you are…saying you are too sensitive is like saying you are too blue eyed. Or intelligent.

It’s just that some people don’t see sensitivity for the gift that it is.

Yes, it comes with “side effects” that may be annoying to us personally, but that is OUR story to tell, not for someone else to impose on us.

These painful words are words of dismissal, particularly when they come from people we love,  and their effects can be so brutal, especially to us sensitive and empathic souls.

What we need to guard against–or work towards healing if it has already happened– is internalizing these words. Believing they are true. Believing they mean there is something inherently wrong with us and it is too much for the world to handle. *

How often do we say it? “What is wrong with me?”  Rolling our eyes at ourselves and getting angry.  This is shame talking, shame that you don’t deserve.

Without our sensitivity there would be no subtle art, sublime music, or the “heart” in the best books. Beyond even what sensitive people can produce, without our sensitivity the world would be a dull and ordinary place.

I can’t say it enough — we need to love and care for ourselves because the world isn’t going to do it for us. And yes, we need more love and care than the average bear. So fill up!  Fill yourself so that what pours out is beautiful.

Know that you are such a gift. Sensitivity and all.


*I understand developmental trauma can cause some forms of high sensitivity by changing the brain and how it reacts. So in effect there is something "different" about some of us, something "outside of normal." I'm referring more to thinking there is something wrong with our heart and soul, something wrong with what makes me ME, when I'm talking about thinking there is "something wrong with us." (I'll talk about this more in a future post.)


4 thoughts on “I’m (not) too sensitive

  1. Excellent post, Amy! Not only have I heard the words ‘you are too sensitive’ when I was growing up but I hear them quite often now. You are right, they are shaming words. They make me feel that there is something inherently wrong with me and I must change. But if I changed then the best parts of me would be gone. I am in a bad place right now and I think some of my troubles are rooted in this issue of being ‘too sensitive.’ Thank you for your words. They have helped shine light on some hard issues for me.

    1. You’re welcome, Julia, I’m glad they have helped. It’s so hard to drown out the voices of our past (and present) isn’t it! I really like what you said, “if I changed then the best parts of me would be gone.” So true. Here’s to not toughening up, LOL. I hope you have a good week.

  2. I just cried after reading this because it really spoke to my heart and where I am right now. I am searching for ways to fill myself up so that beauty can pour out. It always seem that there is no time or space for me to even figure out how to fill up. I am working on it though. This is the first I have read on your blog and will be sifting through some more posts to gather ideas. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m sorry I made you cry. 🙂 But I do understand where you are coming from. I think finding out what fills us up when we spend our time pouring ourselves out for our family is one of a highly sensitive homeschooler’s biggest struggle! (I’m sorry, that grammar seemed awkward, LOL). This blog is just in it’s beginning stages, but I hope you do stick around. We can find out what works for us, together. 🙂

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