I’ve heard it all before. As a child and as a young adult.
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You’re such a crybaby.”
“OMG. Why the hell are you crying over that?!”
And the kicker: “STOP CRYING.” They didn’t realize that was the trigger that made me cry even more.
Yes, I was a sensitive child. And it wasn’t a trait that was accepted or appreciated. So what did I do as a result? I stuffed my sensitivity down deep inside to “protect” myself from the ridicule.
I thought I was “fixing” myself, or getting rid of a weakness. The truth is, I was suppressing my biggest strength. But it took me decades to realize it — and to realize how much good you can do in the world when you embrace your sensitivity.
Even though I acted tough, my intuitive ability still came through. I was extremely sensitive to everyone’s emotions and could easily feel their needs.
I Hid My Sensitive Side — and People Noticed
Hiding my sensitive nature didn’t end when I grew up. I kept on doing it through adulthood and into my work life. Through my entire nine year career as a teacher, I played the I’m-strong-and-I-got-my-sh*t-together role. The tough teacher. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside.
People could see it at a glance. I was known for having that “RBF.” (You know, the Resting B*tch Face.)
“Smile!” everyone would tell me in passing.
But they couldn’t see what was inside. As a highly sensitive person, I was always in deep — and I mean DEEP — feeling and contemplation mode about everyone. Even if I didn’t show it.
Intuitively, I was following their emotions and their thought and behavior patterns, and responding to their level of emotional intelligence — while, at the same time, picking up on all the side conversations around me.
Even though I acted tough, this intuitive ability still came through. I was the teacher known for being able to engage students in the heart-space. Able to easily facilitate a safe space in the classroom for students to vocally open up, not just about deep intellectual conversation, but about their emotions.
Their real emotions. The ones they never told anyone else. Including their fears. Open-hearted conversation was easily integrated with intellect in my classroom.
But the facade remained…
I would not dare to let myself shed a tear in front of anyone. Watery eyes might appear once in a blue moon during inspired conversation with students. I felt safer around children. But I definitely forced back my tears around adults. The waterworks were saved for when I was alone.
But all that changed when I began to acknowledge my sensitivity… years later… as a gift, not as a curse of shame.
Here’s how it happened.
He told me that this breakthrough was his answered prayer, one he was needing for a very long time.
I Could Feel Their Pain, and I Answered
While scrolling through my news feed, I stopped at a pre-recorded Facebook Live that didn’t feel “right.” It was an acquaintance. I new “of” him, but I did not “know” him — yet.
It was a cry for help. His words did not say it. In fact, his words affected positive self-talk to get out of a funk.
But I could see the despair in his eyes, feel the pain in his body, and the frazzle in his energy. At the core, it felt like he was about to lose it.
Immediately, my heart jumped out. I felt compelled. I could not NOT reach out.
So I messaged him.
“I’m sending you so much love… I can see your soul… I can feel your pain.”
I offered to help him. Immediately, he said yes.
At that moment, a wave of grief rose through me. I stepped away from the computer and began to sob heavily. I placed my hand on my heart and said out loud, “It’s gonna be okay… it’s gonna be okay… it’s gonna be okay.”
I felt like I was speaking directly to him, energetically. In those 60 seconds of my intense sobbing, I could feel his pain points and exactly what he needed to release them.
Allowing myself to cry also helped me understand that this pain was not mine. Crying allowed me to acknowledge it, feel into his pain, and then release it completely.
When we jumped on a video call, he told his story and began to cry. Flustered with confusion, he so badly wanted to break through the turmoil and make sense of it all.
As a Love and Liberation Coach, I facilitated the sacred space for him to look within through a process of targeted questions. He saw what he had been rejecting, made sense of it all and broke free of the misery.
Within 90 minutes, I watched him transform from a place of despair to a place of gratitude and clarity. He understood what was happening “back then,” in the times that traumatized him; what is happening now; and what he needed to do next.
I could feel in his energy that he returned to a state of peace, ease, and confidence to move forward. We both ended up with tears in our eyes. But this time, they were tears of inspiration.
Later he said to me that this breakthrough was his answered prayer, one he was needing for a very long time.
In that moment I realized that I would no more try in vain to put up a front and hide my sensitivity.
If you are also sensitive, and you can feel others’ pain: Do it. Let nothing stop you.
Sensitive People: Honor Your Gifts
I could have held back when I saw that video. I could have stuffed my sensitivity down once again.
I could have dove into my own inner turmoil, teetering on the fence of whether or not I should open up to him. It would have been the easy choice. The way out.
But I didn’t.
And if you also are sensitive…
And you can feel others’ pain…
And you feel compelled to offer your support (if they truly want it)…
Do it. Let nothing stop you. Because you never know when your gift of sensitivity will be someone’s answered prayer.
And you know what else? You may realize that they were your answered prayer, too. Because you allowed yourself to be appreciated, just as you are, in your perfect gift:
The gift of being sensitive.
It is safe to be who you are. And it is time. The world needs you.
Are you a sensitive person who’s dealing with toxic repeating patterns, unhealthy relationships, or a fear of being alone? I can help. I offer intuitive coaching around love, liberation, and recovering from toxicity for awakened souls. Learn more at Love and Let Go.
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- Why HSPs Get Mentally and Emotionally ‘Flooded’
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