Have You Been Called "Overly Sensitive?" Read This.
I'm a "deep feeler." At least that's what my therapist calls it.
Emotional. Receptive. Connected. Sensitive.
I laugh whole-heartedly. I cry somewhat often. I love others into the depths of my soul.
At this point in my life, I don't use substances that tamper with my feelings (a couple of green teas in the morning; a caffeinated coffee if I'm really in the mood to party); so that means there are no barriers. I really feel. This is not always easy to do.
I bet you can relate; perhaps you're a deep feeler, too?
The truth is, I think there are a lot of us out there - hiding away, hoping no one finds out our dirty, little secret (that we actually have emotions - oh my!). And that's exactly why I decided to write this article.
I feel compelled to reach out to other sensitive people because I know how challenging it can be.
I know sometimes you can be hard on yourself; I know your sensitivity can feel like a curse. I know you fear that your feelings might distance you from others, and I know that sometimes they probably do.
I also know that there is nothing wrong with you. You just happen to be a deep feeler. Like me, you experience the twists and turns of life fully and profoundly in your heart.
In this article, I'm going to share with you how I cope with my feelings. I hope these tips serve you as you continue to ride the beautiful, emotional waves of life.
1) Find your people.
Deep feeler friends are necessary in a sensitive person's tribe. Truth be told, we keep good company.
Sensitive individuals tend to be compassionate and empathic. Anyone who is in touch with their emotions knows what it's like to suffer; that can make for support, kindness, understanding, and love.
My deep feeler friends are natural humanitarians; they just can't help but outpour from their hearts.
It's refreshing to hang with people who are as sensitive as I am because I feel understood! I can fall apart in my friends' presence, because they have fallen apart in mine.
Not to mention, people who are brave enough to be vulnerable are warriors of the heart. They can be straight-up, heart-centered, fierce and kind all at the same time. That's some good stuff.
2) Go to therapy.
Ahhh… therapy. Another crucial component in the deep feeler's repertoire.
I don't know what I'd do without my regular hour on the couch. Hands down, therapy is best money I spend all week.
For me, therapy acts as a container for my feelings. I can dive into my emotional world and trust that my therapist will be with me through the entire process until I emerge on the other side.
My therapist gets me. She sees my most vulnerable parts and loves me because of them. I can't tell you how healing this process is!
I wouldn't be as joyful as I am today without the guidance and love of my therapist. As she continually accepts all parts of me, I am able to find deeper acceptance of myself. There is no greater gift than this. I am so grateful for her.
3) Take full ownership of your feelings.
Your feelings are your feelings. They belong to you.
Our feelings get activated with other people, which makes us want to blame them. Unfortunately, doing so leads us to feel abandoned and alienated. Because other people are not responsible for your emotional experience; and when you make them responsible, a common consequence is for them to walk away.
Of course you get to talk about your feelings with others and try to resolve your triggers in relationships. However, asking someone to avoid making you feel a certain way is just unrealistic. If you're prone to certain emotional experiences, you are going to have them, regardless of who is in your life. It's your job to work through that.
Best case scenario is you have some people who can stay present with you during emotional times. But know that at some point, you are going to feel dropped. That's just part of the human experience; no one can be 100% attuned to your feelings all the time (except you, and even that's asking a lot).
When it comes to your feelings, avoid "You statements" at all costs! "You made me feel…" is one of the most offensive statements there is. As a deep feeler, you must learn this rule if you're going to have functional, safe relationships.
4) Don't believe it when people tell you your feelings are wrong.
Feelings can't be wrong. They just are. It's not negotiable.
When people don't feel comfortable with their own feelings, they aren't going to feel comfortable with yours. If you express your emotions in front of these people, don't be surprised if they judge you for it.
You don't get it.
Just get over it.
These are common statements from people who have a hard time with big feelings.
Unfortunately, sometimes these statements can make us second guess our own emotional experience. Wait a minute, am I over-reacting? You're not. In my opinion, there's no such thing (check out my Facebook Live here where I talk about this very thing).
Whatever your emotional reaction is, it's true for you. Someone else might see it a different way, but that doesn't mean your feelings are wrong. Just remember, your feelings are your feelings.
Keep in mind that not everyone is going to understand your feelings. A lot of people won't. In fact, sometimes the people you're closest to will have the hardest time with your feelings; it's very difficult to witness suffering in the people we love.
Stop trying to force people to get it! When you're having a strong emotional reaction, reach out to the people who do understand, then maybe have a conversation about it once the emotions have passed.
Personally I wouldn't change my sensitivity level for anything. My feelings might even be getting deeper with age, and I'm okay with that.
I love being able to connect so profoundly to love, joy, abundance, and bliss. And I know what to expect on the other side of the coin; I'm going to experience disappoint and hurt sometimes, too.
Luckily, I accept this. I hope you can find acceptance for your feelings, too.
Please leave a comment below telling us why you are grateful to be a deep feeler in this world. I look forward to hearing from you!