Last week I talked about needing a break, you can read about it here. This week I want to share with you about being a highly sensitive person. If you haven’t read the about us section, please do. We are two highly intelligent, yet sensitive people living under one roof. There’s a lot of emotions in our house.
How would you define a highly sensitive person? According to several definitions, it can be defined as an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli.
What exactly does that mean? It means that a person internally has a deeper sense of everything around them. Dr. Elaine N. Aron has written several books but the two that I have read are titled, “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You” and “The Highly Sensitive Child”. She has a lot of information, including a few self-tests on her website, which I included in the links below.
For my household, both Mommy and the princess would be categorized as highly sensitive and when you add the fact that the princess is going through puberty and Mommy has PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), you will know we get all the feels!
Last week alone, I cried on my way to work because I was tired and overwhelmed. Last night, the princess cried because I didn’t tell her where we were going to eat for dinner as we drove to the restaurant.
When I am mad, it’s best to stay far away from me. As I have matured, I can handle things a lot better but I have been known several times to break out full tears when I am hungry. The princess’ anger is like a time bomb that blows when you least expect it. She is as sweet as pie until her feelings are hurt. And if we feel like you are have hurt, mistreated or used someone else, then you really should stay out of the way. We take on others hurt and pain sometimes worse than if it actually happened to us.
But we aren’t sad and angry all the time. We get the same extremes from all the good stuff. We love and we love hard. Babies and love make my heart melt. I love watching TLC wedding stories, all the blogs I follow are about love, marriage, and family. I literally cry tears of joy at not only my own happiness but others as well. Seeing happiness literally makes my heart smile.
The princess is all about the love. Even at 10yo, she still wants to snuggle with her mommy. Every night she must get a good night kiss.
We love to be reaffirmed that life is good, we are awesome and we are loved.
In the past, just as others tend to do, I viewed being highly sensitive as a negative character trait. I tried to hide it. Being “so sensitive” made others question if something was wrong with me. I dated a guy that once told me you care too much about people’s problems. And it’s true, I am a true empath. I feel what others feel and who wants to feel hurt and pain so I want to help others have hope, feel loved and be happy. My life mission statement is “Through love and compassion, lead others to grow to their maximum potential and fulfill their purpose”.
Highly sensitive people tend to be great leaders due to our empathy to help others, being detail-oriented and creative, which is probably why I work for a nonprofit and I oversee our programs and the princess is the student council president this year.
As a working mother, supervising a team and overseeing several programs, trying to balance and excel in my career, being a mother to a daughter who is the student council president, a competitive dancer on at least 4 teams and identified as gifted and talented, trying to work through being a good girlfriend but also being there for my family and friends, it gets hard. Especially when I start taking on all of these feelings and emotions, there are times I feel overwhelmed and I must remind myself of what I need to be the best me I can.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” Anthon St. Maarten
But what is most important is learning what one needs to live as a highly sensitive person. You need life balance, which is what I blog about. It’s about making sure you set boundaries and learning what to say no to. It’s making sure you make time for yourself. Focus on self-care, rest when you need it and make sure you have some alone time on a regular basis. Most importantly is make sure others are clear about the expectations of your needs.
For more information about PMDD, click here.