The word “sensitive” has been hurled at me as an insult too many times to count. Before I could even speak, I was told not to be so sensitive, dramatic or to take things so personally. As time went on, a newer insult, “Can’t you take a joke?” was thrown in for good measure.
Last year my former CEO boss warned me to keep my sensitivity “in check” before an upcoming meeting by saying, “So, if you’re sensitive that day, do something so you won’t be sensitive.” First off, I’m a professional woman who conducts herself professionally in the workplace. Second, my sensitivity is not something I can switch on an off, like an overhead light. I’m not sure what exactly he was asking me to do to not be sensitive—take a tranquilizer before the meeting perhaps? Regardless, it was insensitive and inappropriate.
In the rare event that something would’ve triggered me to the extent that I could not remain professional in the meeting, I would’ve removed myself from the situation. As it turned out however, the meeting went off without a hitch—just as I expected it would, and there was no reason for concern in the first place.
Comments like these are designed to repress me and others who are sensitive as not “hardened enough” or “tough enough” to play with the big boys.
Or “smart enough” to negotiate with the best.
Or “thick skinned” enough to “roll with the punches.”
Relatives, friends, lovers and bosses used these words and phrases like these as a way to make me back down, retreat, and ultimately question my own motives and thoughts. Essentially this led me to shut down and repress my true feelings and actions. In turn, these repressed feelings resulted in a major depression for over 20 years, which included a nearly bedridden state for seven years. Yes, seven years. During that seven-year period, I did little else besides go to work. All the while “stuffing” my obstructed feelings with food.
One of the instructors for my Catalyst Training courses talked about depression as “Living the truth of others—i.e. who other people want you to be.” She went on to say, “The greater the gap between your truth and the truth of others, the greater the suffering.” I can tell you that other people certainly didn’t want me to be sensitive, that’s for sure. My sensitivity makes people uncomfortable and I’m not sure why. And while others were uncomfortable with my sensitivity, I was the one suffering because I chose to suppress my feelings rather than live authentically as myself.
What I am sure of today, is that I’m done suffering. I’m done hiding my true self. I am a sensitive emotional being and I’m showing up to this party called life as me—no masks, no costumes, no masquerading as a stoic, hardened, emotionless person with resting bitch face.
I’m proud to have sensitivity as a super power. Along with being “sensitive,” I’m able to see other peoples’ motives and actions as well their needs. I’m intuitive and can help people before they even know they need help. (Including my non-sensitive former CEO boss, which is why I consistently received exemplary performance reviews while working for him.)
Accepting my sensitivity and using it to my advantage, rather than working against it has helped me to connect with other people like me, network with like-minded individuals, establish business with arrangements with people who are in the same “realm” as me and connect with new love interests.
Once I started showing up authentically, instead of as a repressed person based on who other people wanted me to be, others mirrored authentic responses in return.
They are either more receptive to the authentic me, or they don’t like me at all. Either way is fine—I’ve got no time for suffering. I must help others with their Brilliant Transformations. Who is ready to dance?
Previously published on Shft.us
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