Being Sensitive Isn’t a Curse

Home » Hot + Brave - The Blog » Being Sensitive Isn’t a Curse

Being sensitive

Written by Meg Kant

I am a wildly sensitive human

I am a wildly sensitive human. What does this mean for me? It means that I feel things bigly (I googled it, it is indeed a real word lol). I’m sensitive to images, sounds, light, and touch. I’m especially sensitive to the content I ingest or the information I come in contact with.

In order to support my mental health I do not watch the news, or scary and heavy movies/tv shows. My social media intake is limited mainly to work purposes. I choose not to drink alcohol or take recreational drugs because they give me significant anxiety. I cannot drink coffee or any beverage that has caffeine (which is hard as a birth worker!)  Needless to say, being sensitive definitely impacts how I navigate the world.

Being sensitive is a pain

Based on the above list it may seem like being sensitive is a pain in the ass, and honestly it really is sometimes.  For a long time I felt shame about being so sensitive. I engaged in activities or  substances that made me anxious in order to fit in. I pushed past my own boundaries because I felt like I “should” be able to do these things, like drinking alcohol, or watching horror films, etc, but my anxiety just got worse.

Eventually I came to a crossroads and had to choose between trying to fit in and suffering greatly or to lean into my sensitivity and learn to move through my life differently. I chose the latter, but it took a lot of time, trial and error as well as boundary building to do it. As a society we have been conditioned to believe that being sensitive is weak, or bad but that is simply not the case.

Wise words from my therapist

I had a lot to unlearn about sensitivity, and it has been a consistent topic of discussion with my therapist. Actually a part of what helped me begin to normalize my sensitivity was the insight she gave me. 

During one of our conversations I told her “I wished I could just be normal like everyone else” in reference to the nightmares I had after reading a violent fiction book that came highly recommended. I was so frustrated that in my mind almost everyone else seems to be fine watching/reading these films/books but they sit so heavy on my heart. 

My therapist’s advice helped me so much:  

“What if it is actually normal/okay that you are upset by reading about sexual assault? What if it makes sense that reading about someone being killed left you feeling heavy? Reading or seeing violence is upsetting.”

Mind blown

Hearing that was the first time someone put the normalcy of my feelings into perspective. I have spent years and years ashamed/embarrassed/frustrated with being so sensitive and feeling like I was so weird.  All of a sudden it didn’t seem strange.  In fact it actually made sense that as a highly sensitive person, the idea/image and/or words of violence made me upset. Instead of feeling like an outsider, I felt like I understood myself, just a little bit more. 

After this realization I started to view my sensitivity less as an area of weakness and more as a normal human emotion. Afterall, it is not something that I can change about myself. I can pretend that watching Game of Thrones doesn’t spike my anxiety and leave me feeling stressed and heavy, but that is not how I want to spend my days. The more that I have leaned into my sensitivity the easier it has been for me, and the people around me to navigate it together.

My husband gets it

One brilliant example is what my husband and I choose to watch on TV. Max is well aware of things that I will not be able to watch and he never pressures me or makes me feel guilty or bad about needing to watch something on the lighter side. Heck, the other night we started to watch a movie and the first scene was filled with violence so without skipping a beat he handed me the remote and asked what else I wanted to watch.

He doesn’t make me feel like my sensitivity is a hindrance but sees it as a part of what makes me who I am. He knows that same sensitivity and empathy are part of what makes me a loving partner, parent and friend.

Being Sensitive + Birth Workers

I have had the honor of connecting with thousands of students, alumni and birth workers over the past 7 years and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if a good percentage of our community are highly sensitive. We feel things passionately, care deeply and feel compelled to make a difference in the world.

Highly Sensitive Person

According to Elaine Aron, approximately 15-20% of the population is considered a highly sensitive person (HSP).  She actually developed a Highly Sensitive Person self-test and one of the questions is a very accurate summary of what physical support can look like at a birth. 

The question is YES or NO: “When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).” Sound familiar lol?

#sensitivtyforthewin

If you are like me and have been trying to get rid of or disengage from your sensitivity I want to introduce a potential alternative for you. Rather than fighting it, own it. Being sensitive is part of what makes you who you are. There is nothing wrong with you.  You are not alone and the world is lucky to have such a beautiful, sensitive soul!

#sensitivityforthewin! 

xoxo


Are you highly sensitive? If so, how does your sensitivity show up in your life? Do you embrace your sensitivity or try to ignore and/or avoid it?

Being Sensitive Isn’t a Curse

Xoxo,

Meg Kant

relaxing-linedrawing-1

FREE ONLINE MINI-COURSE

BLISS IN BUSINESS RETREAT

Your future is created by what you do today — that's why we created a completely FREE mindset mini-course to help doulas and birth workers find bliss in their business!

4 Comments

  1. Bianca Sprague on April 19, 2022 at 11:13 am

    I loved this! Thank you for sharing. I am also a HSP and I used to feel shame about the conditions in my environment that I required to be comfortable. Like, entertaining at home rather than out in public. Not loving staying over a peoples homes over night bc I need my sound machine and bed. Finding friends that also do not drink so that we could do fun sober activities together. I was called a princess in my family of origin and felt a lot of guilt and shame for this. Now as an adult, I know that this is how I survive and thrive and that is the goal. So, yes, I need gentle, quiet, safe, comfortable, warm, cozy, environments. No surprise, once I started being really clear about this ALL my friends aligned and were also HSP. It is delicious!

    • TeamBebo on April 29, 2022 at 11:26 am

      I love this ❤️, I feel like our HSP traits lap over so well lol. Thank you for always being thoughtful and kind of my sensitivities; I always feel so seen!!! – Meg

  2. Meli Andrinich on April 19, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this Meg! As I was reading, I was discovering that I am probably a highly sensitive person. Strong smells or noises disturb me to the point that I can block myself. Many times I feel like I need to be in a place alone in the dark to find myself and go on. I have only been able to watch 1 horror movie in my life and since then I decided not to do it anymore. My ears are the most sensitive organs in my body. And so many other things…

    Thank you really, because from now on I will see them from another perspective ❤️

    • TeamBebo on April 29, 2022 at 11:29 am

      Meli, you beautiful human you! I am so glad this was helpful for you, and that it resonated with your experience. I totallly get what you mean and I’m so glad you have respected your own boundaries and sensitivities. We are both HSP and I think it is one of the reasons why we get a lot soooooo well ❤️❤️❤️

Leave a Comment