1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now US Daylight Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with BruceMC as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

A New Beginning | Being Sensitive

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Simplicity, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I've been doing the tms/mbs work for about 3 months now, been on the forum for about 2 months. I thought about stepping back from here completely, because it stressed me out too much; I've since come to reconsider and decided to stick around but in a different way. I think this is a great resource, it's just a matter of finding what works for you.

    Since starting the work I've been able to overcome panic attacks, vertigo, tinnitus, migraines and sciatica. I've managed to do that by taking the Unlearn Your Pain program (and continuing working with the techniques in the book) and by following Claire Weekes advice for overcoming anxiety. I've been working on my diet and started to exercise more; making sure to get back to nature and meet new people. I've simplified my life and I've started to change the things that aren't working for me; all in an effort to take steps towards a new life and a new, improved Me.

    I still suffer from general anxiety and fatigue (but to a lesser degree than before), numbness/tingling in my arms/hands/legs, clenched jaw/stiff neck (when I get very stressed) and on occasion blurry vision.

    Now, here's my question - How do you become less sensitive?

    I've come to realize that this is my main problem. I'm too sensitive. I feel things too deeply. I feel others pain and take it on, which at times destroys me. If someone is sad or angry or anything in between I feel it in my body and I need to find a way not to let things affect me so much. If someone hurts me I internalize it and fall apart and I just want to be able to handle things better. I've been standing up for myself a little more lately, but I haven't been able to handle the consequences in a healthy way - if I've been in an argument with someone I have trouble falling asleep and the next day I'm exhausted.

    So, how do I do that? How do become stronger in that regard?

    I'm thankful for any advice!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2015
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a list I'm trying to adhere to:

    Highly sensitive people tend to get their feelings hurt easily. Their fear of failure may make them less likely to take risks, and their heightened emotions may cause relationship problems. If you’re a highly sensitive person, take these six steps to overcome your emotional sensitivity.

    1. What Am I Feeling?

    Identifying your real feelings is an important first step in overcoming emotional sensitivity. Determine whether you are feeling disappointed, sad, angry, or something else. Once you have clearly labeled the emotion, you can begin to uncover the reasons you feel this way and what you can do about it.

    2. Why Do I Feel This Way?

    Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. For example, did you have high expectations for how something would turn out and then became upset when it didn’t turn out the way you wanted? Or did someone say something to you that you found offensive?

    Identify exactly what caused you to feel sensitive and why it made you feel that way. Often, unmet needs and unmet expectations lead to hurt feelings.

    3. What Would I Say To My Friend Who Had This Problem?

    Most people are much kinder to others than they are themselves. Ask yourself what you would say if your best friend approached you with a similar issue. If you’re blaming yourself or exaggerating how bad a situation is, it can be helpful to listen to the sound advice you would offer a friend.

    For example, if you find yourself thinking, “No one at work likes me,” ask what you would say to your friend who came to you with that problem. It’s likely you might say something such as, “I’m sure some people at the office do you like you. Just because you didn’t get approval for that project doesn’t mean everyone at the office dislikes you.” Then, use those kind words on yourself.

    4. Should I Address This Or Let It Go?

    Determine if the situation needs to be addressed, or if you are better off to let it go. If your feelings are seriously hurt by a good friend or close family member, not addressing it can lead to anger and resentment. In those cases, you may need to talk to the person in a calm, diplomatic manner to clear the air.

    There may be other times when you discover that you are best to just let things go. If you felt slighted by a co-worker or annoyed that a friend didn’t call you, you may be able to recognize that bringing it up may make things worse. Instead, you can decide to let go of your hurt feelings.

    5. What Can I Tell Myself To Feel Better?

    Highly sensitive people tend to be hard on themselves and others. Changing the way you think about a situation can change the way you feel. For example, if your thoughts are focused on how unfair your boss is or how mean your sister is, you’re likely going to continue to feel bad.

    However, replacing those thoughts with healthier, more balanced thoughts, can help you feel better. Try reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes and accept the fact that others will hurt your feelings at times.

    6. What Can I Do To Feel Better?

    Changing your behavior can also change how you feel. Try doing something positive that will help you feel better. Practice coping skills such as going for a walk, calling a friend, or participating in a hobby. Doing something enjoyable can get your mind off things.

    Once you feel better, it may be easier to look at the situation another way. When you’re calm, you may be able to see that your mother didn’t set out to hurt your feelings on purpose or that you aren’t at fault for an issue at work. Taking a break from the problem can give you much-needed perspective.
    Susan1111, Ellen, tgirl and 2 others like this.
  3. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    That's awesome, Mike!

    I'm bookmarking it. :)
  4. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    most of our reaction to what happen to us are learned responds. We learned how to respond to situations from our parents, siblings, friends, society... a simple example: I have 2 friends, if someone cut them off on the highway, one would scream obscene words, chase after that driver and give him/her a middle finger. The other friend would say "wow", he is in such a hurry, maybe he has an emergency, and he then continue to enjoy the music on his car stereos.
    I think if we try to pay attention at our respond to life and keep questioning ourselves: What is the best way to respond that would bring me the best feeling? If we adopt our answer as our respond, I think we will be much happier in life. Most of what bother us are so trivial, the rest always have a better way to deal with instead of anger.
    Simplicity likes this.
  5. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I think one problem is the fact that I never express anger or allow myself to be angry, even when someone treats me wrong. I've done some anger-release exercises and as soon as I express anger I am overcome with guilt (= more pain) - the same goes when I'm standing up for myself or saying no to someone. I don't want to react like this, because I know deep down that I'm a strong person, but I'm insecure and that is tripping me up.
  6. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's not about expressing anger. It's about not judging others for their behaviour and letting go.

    Anger has never done anyone any good, it's about understanding why you get angry and changing your relationship with that emotion.

    It's should be enough to conciously acknowledge you are angry then assure your inner child she is safe from harm and there is no need for concern. Quite often anger comes from our ego and it's not from our true self.
  7. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I think I'm internalizing the anger instead of acknowledging it; when I push down the anger it causes me more pain; emotionally and bodily - I need to deal with it, not deny it.

    If someone treats me badly and I allow myself to feel that it's not OK for them to do so and then deal with it in a proper manner; i.e. talk to them about it and then let it go, then it's different. Not being OK with someone hurting you is not about judging them, it's about treating yourself with respect (I often feel that it's my fault no matter what, even when it clearly isn't). I see what you mean though, often when someone does something hurtful it comes from a place of fear, there's always more to the story.

    The key would then be - Acknowledge > Let Go > Forgive.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2015
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Depends on the nature. Sometimes you have to stop at letting go. Forcing forgiveness never works.
  9. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Yes, of course.... and some things are unforgivable. I think in general, though, to be able to forgive means you have freed yourself completely from what caused you harm.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2015
  10. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Depends why you are looking for forgiveness, is it for self gain? Only you can free yourself, not others. Looking for forgiveness in other can halt healing. It may or may not ever happen.
  11. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    For me forgiving someone means showing Mercy and that is impossible to do with the mindset of self gain, even though by forgiving I free myself in the process.
    I'm only talking about me forgiving someone else, not being forgiven; that's not up to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2015
  12. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    What a fascinating thread, I see myself in so much of what you have said 'Simplicity', from the physical symptoms to the hyper sensitivity and anger issues. Thank you for starting this thread and for the great insight from 'Mike2014'
    Simplicity likes this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Simplicity. I have a suggestion on how to stop taking other people's emotional problems onto yourself.

    When I was in journalism school in college, a professor cautioned future newspaper reporters like me to "assume an attitude of
    detached studiousness" when covering a news event. I put that to practice a few years later when I was a Chicago Tribune reporter and
    covered a major school fire in the city in which many children died. I just did my job and did not let the awful sights I saw upset me.

    We want to be helpful to others, but it is not helping them or ourselves if we become emotionally involved. Maybe you need to modify your emotions regarding helping others.
    Simplicity likes this.
  14. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Yes, that would be a good thing to be able to do. I wonder how to get there, though. I want to find a balance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2015
  15. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Simplicity,

    As one sensitive person to another, I recommend The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aaron.

    You can't make yourself less sensitive -- nor should you want to. Sensitivity is a strength, if you understand it and learn how to make it work for you. Aaron's book is great for that. She teaches you how to keep from getting overwhelmed, stop thinking of yourself as defective for being sensitive (you're not), and take advantage of the special awareness that your sensitivity gives you.

    Get it today!

    Simplicity likes this.
  16. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I read that one some years ago. I've been wondering if I'm hsp or "only" sensitive with the anxiety issues making me highly sensitive, so by working on my anxiety I could cope better with being sensitive. Perhaps I didn't really take the book to heart because I can't remember if there were any concrete tips and strategies to help you deal with being hsp. You mentioning it now reminded me that I need to revisit it and see if it can help me further. Thank you. :)

    ... and you're right, we need to see it as a gift.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2015
    mike2014 likes this.
  17. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Simplicity,

    This is interesting to me, so I want to give you some feedback. What I see is that you are exploring anger and boundaries, which are related. Boundaries can work on the outside: doing what needs to be done for your benefit, or saying what needs to be said in your defense. Or the inside: disengaging from the Inner Bully or superego messages.

    When you feel guilty for being angry or taking a stand, this indicates to me that you are probably under attack by the Inner Critic or Inner Bully. In order to learn more about this, you can listen for specific messages that are embedded in the "guilty feeling." Messages might be "You're being too assertive" "People won't like you when you are angry" "You should be ashamed for making this person feel bad."

    If you can discern the Inner Critic voice, then you can disengage. A nebulous feeling of guilt is harder to disengage from.

    What you are calling being insecure, I suspect, is that you are on the ropes with Inner Critic attacks. Your growth to explore anger and set boundaries with others will lead you to setting boundaries on the inside, with the Inner Critic.

    This takes practice and anger is a good start. Anger at the way you are being treated on the inside, by an old, but powerful voice that you internalized from caretakers as a child.

    Andy B.
    Simplicity likes this.
  18. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Hi Andy!

    That makes sense, very much so!

    I've been trying to be kinder to myself, but I haven't managed to really deal with that part of myself. I just let the guilt overpower me and I don't really know how to handle it.

    It seems reasonable that the guilt stems from being under attack from my Inner Critic. I've been controlled by that voice for far too long, in part because I somehow believe that it speaks truth. The extra tension when standing up for myself becomes self-punishment and I can't keep doing that to myself. It's another lie I've been told by other people treating me badly in the past - it's not the truth because why wouldn't I deserve to assert myself or defend myself?

    This is something I really need to work on. Your post helped a lot. Thank you.
  19. kyrani99

    kyrani99 Peer Supporter

    You say others have treated you badly. You appreciate this reality but you are still thinking that the controlling critical voice somehow speaks the truth. This sounds like conditioning by others who want to have power and influence over you.

    You need to begin to make positive moves in standing up for your self, disagreeing with others where you feel strongly enough about some issue and sound off, be angry when you need to address some injustice or violation. When you begin to feel guilty, which is no doubt some rubbish ideas you have been fed by others that want to manipulate and control you, either write.. automatic writing or sit in meditation and watch the thoughts in a detached manner. See them as you would look upon traffic from the top of a sky scraper. Record them where possible and begin to see what they are and where they come from.. from whom. You will begin to appreciate that someone is messing with your mind.

    I recommend that you buy yourself and MP3 player if you don't have one and record on it some mental prescriptions. These are short recordings in your own voice so that when you listen through earphones you hear your own voice in your head telling yourself the affirmations . So for instance tell yourself:
    I am worthy,
    I am lovable,
    I have the right to be angry when appropriate,
    I express my anger appropriately and comfortably,
    I have the right to stand up for yourself when I need to and feel comfortable defending myself,
    I assert myself and make it clear known to others that I have a right to my authority,
    I am gentle but speak confidently and even forceful where needed to asset my rights,
    I have the right to be critical of other people when they act in a bad way,
    I am critical when I feel that justice is violated,
    I am not responsible for others (for instance if they are angry you don't need to feel their anger),
    if other people are sad or unhappy I sympathize with them but I sill maintain my peace and my own bliss
    I defend myself against all those who are disrespectful of me or wish me harm
    I forgive those who are worthy of forgiveness (ie they are genuinely wanting to make amends).
    I am free and untrammeled despite refusing to forgive those who are false and looking to deceive me.

    Realize that guilt is only valid where we have done some transgression and violated someone else. Standing up for yourself, being angry, feeling confident in yourself, having autonomy, etc., in no way violate justice. These are not transgression. You are being fed this idea by someone else who wants you believing in this way so that they can continue to abuse you or manipulate you or control you or simply to hurt you out of jealousy or for kicks.
    Simplicity likes this.
  20. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle


    I respectfully disagree with part of your post.

    We do need to become better at feeling our emotions and improving the art of communication. Two people may have felt the exact threat, but only one was person will be effected by it. It all boils down to perception. That said, if someone does feel like they've been wrongfully done, they can decide whether to love that person or let go. It's not healthy to encourage or promote anger.

    It is healthy to love yourself and become more in tune with others and learning to distance your self from potential feelings of threat.

    Anger only promotes more suffering and hate, which can in turn lead to regret, isolation and pain.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
    Simplicity likes this.

Share This Page