What Does it Mean to be Sensitive?

What Does It Mean to be Sensitive?

What I mean when I refer to myself as a super sensitive person is having a highly developed, highly responsive, complex nervous system. Yes, I believe some people are naturally more sensitive than others.  You know how you can change the setting on your laptop's touchpad to respond to lighter touch? It's like that. Some of us respond more intensely to the same stimuli. 

If you combine the psychic concept of being an empath with the psychological concept of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you basically have what I am talking about. In this chaotic world, being sensitive can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how well it is managed. Managed poorly (like I did most of my life) it can manifest as mental and physical disease, like my particular nemesis: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Managed well, sensitivity can be an amazing gift and make you one of the luckiest people on the planet. It can become like a super power

My Story

My story in regard to sensitivity is that although I was a very shy child to the point of being diagnosed with selective mutism, I didn't know I was sensitive at all until sometime in my 20's when therapists began describing me that way, and I read the psychology book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Survive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron. But that just made me feel like an unlucky introvert. I didn't know I was super-duper sensitive in an empathic, old-soul kind of way until age 31 when I started working with another super-duper sensitive person named Kevin. It was like being discovered by a spiritual talent agent. Kevin is still trying to convince me to this day how amazing and talented and unusual I am. (Well, I always knew I was unusual, I just didn't know it was in a particularly great way.) 

Kevin explained that I was shattered by something (I still don't know exactly what) really early on. For people like us just being born into this world can be traumatizing. And if that wasn't enough, then we have to put up with all the people who just don't get it and shatter us even more. It can feel like being raised by apes. Have you ever read Clan of the Cave Bear? The main character Ayla is a homo sapiens raised by Neaderthals and you bet she developed some serious self-worth issues. I'm still working on building my confidence and understanding who I really am. I'm not even all that comfortable talking about this old-soul stuff in public for fear of sounding arrogant and flaky.   

Are sensitive people psychic?

They might be. I don't consider myself a psychic. I don't have visions, hear voices, see colors, talk to spirit guides, predict the future or anything like that. I do consider myself intuitive, but I'd call myself more of a mentalist than a psychic. For example, I'm just extra good at reading people. I know when they are lying, when they are upset, when something weird is going on with them. But for the most part it feels very normal, and based on concrete facts: a thing they said, the tone of their voice, and the look on their face when they said it.

That said, sometimes I get uncomfortable feelings in my body that can't really be explained any other way than I'm picking up on someone's energy from nearby or far away. Like maybe someone I don't really know well has texted me something that could be interpreted in multiple ways and I wonder if I am making up the peculiar discomfort that I am perceiving, but it later turns out I was spot on.  

Why should I read your blog if I'm not highly sensitive?

Well, first of all maybe you are and you don't know it. Like I said, I didn't really used to think so. I just thought I was fucked up! Seccondly, as a highly perceptive and discerning person I have a unique take on and can offer high level insight into a lot of subjects. There is plenty of content on this blog that has to do with the wholesome things I like and approve of as a sensitive person, like paleo diet and organic gardening, things that can be enjoyed by everyone. 

Third, anyone can benefit from enhancing their natural capacity for receptiveness, openness and discernment. Just about all of us can improve our sensitivity because this planet can be a harsh place and hardly anyone makes it through completely unscathed. Traumatic childhood experiences, love affairs gone wrong, drugs, poisons, and toxins: all of these things can contribute to a callousing of the senses and a hardening of the heart. Understanding these blockages and bad habits can free up enormous amounts of energy for experiencing more pleasure and manifesting the life you want.  

Ugg, I don't want to be "sensitive". That's a wimpy word.

It's true the word "sensitive" is often seen as synonymous with whiny, irritable, easily offended, unstable, touchy, wussy, in other words: overly sensitive.  "Don't mind her, she's just sensitive," they say with a sneer of contempt and a roll of the eyes.  It's also true that being sensitive can sometimes suck balls. You might feel like you ought to go live in a cave somewhere, that you just aren't meant for this world. I still have those thoughts all the time. But turning that perception around is what this site is all about. As a sensitive, not only do you have access to the lowest of lows, but also, potentially, the highest of highs (I promise I'll tell you about them when I finally get there). 

Dictionary.com states that in the early 15th century sensitive simply meant: Pertaining to that faculty of the soul that receives and analyzes sensory information. Isn't that a faculty you'd really like to have working at full force? Look at it this way, would you rather be the antonyms of sensitive: unaware, ignorant, indifferent, numb, heartless? I wouldn't. And best of all, what if you you knew all those things you always thought, always felt, that others denied, were actually right! Let me tell you, It feels amazing. I'm not an expert...yet. But, I hope you'll stay with me on this journey as I figure out how to leverage my sensitivity to its full benefit. 


Emily, the Super Sensitive Human


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