Hypersensitivity: it might not be a choice, but you can choose to get out of it
26 Feb 2017
Sucheta felt drained, fatigued completely. She was against criticized by her boss and then spent the lunch hour in the water closet, crying. She couldn’t fathom why it hurt so much, but she couldn’t help it. It hurt, like a stab in the heart. She could not take if someone screamed at her, or talked to her badly. And people would always make fun of her sensitive nature. She was emotional, yes, but that is not a crime, right? She hated death scenes in movies, they made her cry and had her puffy eyed. All her friends mocked and teased her about this, and she felt so belittled, so hurt. She was sure that she was not good enough and her friends were ‘cool’, hence they made fun of her.
But the tease and taunts weren’t the only things that hurt her; it was the attitude in general. She would go all out if a friend was in trouble, they rarely cared about her; or so she felt. Last month a colleague was unwell, so Sucheta took up the responsibility of couriering her files back and forth from office. Even after the colleague joined office, Sucheta would try to lessen her workload by doing her jobs, pushing her to take lunch on time, only to get tagged as ‘clingy’ and ‘overbearing’. Sucheta was just concerned, and she felt tormented when the colleague asked her not to interfere in her life so much, that too publicly. Her eyes stung with tears, only to bring over another set of abuses.
They had named her ‘cry baby’ since then, and ignored her pointedly. The boss was suddenly very critical, and would not let go of any chance to lash at her in the weekly meetings. Everything she did seemed wrong to him, and he would run them down point by point in front of all. It was so harsh, so rude that she could not comprehend how someone can do this to a fellow human being. Once she mustered the courage to talk to the boss about it, that it hurt her, so if he could tell her personally and nicely it will be better.
‘I am not here to sugar coat stuff so not to hurt your feelings,’ he said, ‘I’m your boss not boyfriend. And if you have so much issue, why don’t you simply do your work properly, instead of sulking all day long and making up things in your head? I’m just doing my job here, trying to run the company.’
In her personal life too, she would go out of the way to support others, be with them in their need. She was always available at her friends’ beck and call, but it seemed whenever she needed them they were busy with their lives or engaged otherwise. She felt they would avoid her in times of her need, and that she was not important to them in spite of all that she did for them.
Sucheta felt choked, bile rose up to her mouth. She was not good enough, she knew that, but was she really that bad?
Or she expected too much by expecting people would see her efforts, how much she cared for others and how much she helped them; and the only thing she expected in return was people would think well about her and like her.
She felt good when people talked to her nicely, but it was so rare, so rare. Was that too much to ask for? She cried most of the time, there was not one to understand her or love her. She felt lonely, vulnerable. She just wanted to die as she had no reason to live; and one night, she slit her wrist.
What was happening to Sucheta? Was she over reacting? Was she expecting too much of everybody? No; Sucheta was simply hypersensitive.
“It isn’t what happens to us that cause us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~Pema Chodron
How differently did Sucheta feel than others in situations?
Her general emotions were more extreme than others --- she felt pain when others felt sad, and the same time felt elated while others would just feel happy.
She was more self aware than others --- criticism came to her on a personal level. If her work was criticized, she felt she was being told off as not good enough.
She was more detail oriented --- she could keep a track of the times when her friends or family were busy with their lives rather than with her. Though having a look out for details is good, tracking details of the negative instances burdens the person more.
She overworked herself --- be it work or personal life, Sucheta would go out of her way to look good. It hurt her often, but she took the pain as she was unable to refuse lest make her look bad. This burned her out too.
She was easily overwhelmed --- as she took on way more than others emotionally and personally, she was always on a roller coaster of emotions and hence always felt overwhelmed.
She was quick to react, or not --- every negative instance of her life created a tidal reaction in her, though the outer world mostly saw her tears. She would make quick judgment that showed her in a negative light and stuck to it.
She would overanalyze situations and over think --- she always thought that she was being avoided when she needed others and thus analyzed every situation with this filter. It gave rise to negative thoughts and she over thinks to prove the point that she is not good enough.
Many women across the globe suffer from hypersensitivity. It is something they do not understand, and it causes them considerable distress. There are 5 key questions you need to ask yourself if you feel like Sucheta.
1. Was it intentional?
2. What am I feeling?
3. What’s really going on?
4. Where’s the relief?
5. How can I prevent it from happening again?
Saying that, it is not easy to live with hypersensitivity, but self reflective therapy can help you. We all have our insecurities—our wounds. Accepting and caring for those oversensitive spots helps protect them until they heal. And they will heal, just like every wound does.
If you are hypersensitive, then our ePsyClinic online reflective therapy will help you overcome the hurt, the sensitivity and come out stronger and be in control of your life and emotions. The sessions are conducted online and the format is talk based deep dive into your emotions with an expert psychoanalyst who shapes the session.
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Tags: hypersensitivity, sadness, lack of motivation, overthinking, self doubt, guilt