Always Been Too Sensitive...

When I was young, I was always told that I was too sensitive. I agree, I was too sensitive.  I cried very easily, and would be called "crybaby" by the kids at school.  I quickly learned that crying was not a socially acceptable trait, so I developed my own way of dealing with things that upset me.

When someone upset me, I wouldn't confront them (because I thought I was just being sensitive, and confronting them would mean I was overreacting), but instead I would make up a story in my head that would justify their behavior. This kept me from crying and being upset.  Unfortunately, this self defense mechanism carried on into adulthood......and led me to become a pushover.  I would rarely tell anyone they upset me and make them justify their behavior, but instead I would justify their behavior for them in my own head.

I didn't realize that what I was doing was making me a pushover until about 2 years ago.  Since then, I've had to work hard at noticing when I do this (it's automatic for me) and I've had to work hard at realizing when I need to confront someone about something they did and when I should just let it go.

That is the downside to my sensitivity.  However, the upside is that I believe I see and understand the world in a lot more meaningful and interesting way than others who are less sensitive than me.  I believe that sensitity is a beautiful trait.... we just have to learn to manage it so that we minimize the negative impacts that it can have on our lives.

OliviaHart OliviaHart
3 Responses Mar 13, 2010

Hi Olivia,<br />
<br />
It's interesting how you say you don't want to hurt the other person, because that's exactly how I feel. Also, I tend to feel that everyone individually believes they are right and that there's no one right answer.<br />
I remember when I was in primary school I got suddenly angry a couple of times, for pretty small things and I was then shocked at my sudden retaliation (breaking one kid's tooth and making the other kid cry). I remember the girls in the playground were cheering me and the other guy was getting put down and I thought that wasn't right. <br />
After that I didn't want to hurt anyone.

It amazes me how some people can just confront anyone on anything, without even giving it a second thought. They can l just say what they think and how they feel. And they do it with complete confidence that they are right (even if they aren't). <br />
<br />
It took me awhile to realize why I'm such a pushover with people. In addition to what I mentioned above about the defense mechanism I've created, I think the fact that I'm sensitive to other people also makes me empathic. Empathy can come off as being a pushover. My mom has told me this story about when I was young. I was playing with a doll. Another child came up to me and asked for the doll. So, without any argument, I just gave the other child my doll. My mom told me she was horrified when she saw this. It's interesting that my mom didn't think "Oh, that's nice of her... she's sharing her toys." Instead, she saw it as a sign that I would let people take advantage of me and not stick up for myself. <br />
<br />
Confrontation has always been a difficult thing for me. And what's interesting is that when I am most right is when I have the hardest time standing up for myself. It's like, I don't want to hurt the other person. I would rather be the one that gets hurt.

thanks - I've recently been trying to work out why I'm such a pushover.<br />
My wife even tells me I'm too sensitive (which hurts) - sometimes I wish I had a "sensitive" partner who could understand me.<br />
I'm always in a stalemate because I don't know when to confront and when to let go as well, but as I haven't had much practice confronting I tend to go for letting go, which maybe is not all that good.<br />
I tell myself that I need to confront to get some practice at it, but that doesn't seem "real".