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Hypersensitive people?

(10 Posts)
Millie2013 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:16:36


I've known since childhood that I'm hypersensitive, I hate conflict, I'm often hurt by what people say (or how they say it), even if it wasn't intended in that way and I'm driving myself crazy with it! And just one incident can send me off track for a day or so (I suffer from depression too)

It is something that I'm exploring in therapy, but it's quite a slow process, but in the meantime, can anyone relate? Or does anyone have any tips on how to grow a slightly thicker skin? I'm really struggling with it at the moment

Thank you smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 10-Oct-13 19:14:38

I've been like this in the past. It is a bit of a curse but better than being completely Insensitive I think. At least we can grow a thicker skin.

I am much less hypersensitive now and SO much happier. Things that have helped me are:

1) being true to myself. It sounds a bit hmm but if someone doesn't like me when I am being my true self I have decided we are clearly not ever meant to be friends.

2) deciding that 99% of people are being neutral or even nice 99% of the time. I am not going to assume someone is being critical unless it is glaringly obvious/they have previous form.

3) trying to see myself as a best friend would or as I would see a best friend.

I hope you find a way not to lose your sensitivity (because it is kind of a gift you know? wink but stop it from taking over. smile

Millie2013 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:06:08

Thank you smile I'll have a good think about that and yes, I agree that I don't want to lose it completely. Because, as I pointed out to OH recently, while it feels like a curse, I am also very sensitive to the emotions of others too

FoxPass Fri 11-Oct-13 21:20:48

I am a highly sensitive person too smile. Google highly sensitive person and you will get loads of useful stuff. there's books and a website and forums out there. it's a recognized condition and it's not all bad.

MajesticWhine Fri 11-Oct-13 21:36:12

My tip is to try to investigate whether you are taking in information in a balanced way, eg if someone says something neutral to you, are you actually perceiving it as negative? And do you disregard positive information and only look out for and think about negative information? One way of correcting this kind of bias is to actively look for positive information that would disconfirm your usual beliefs. eg if you tend to think you are worthless or that people don't like you, look out for and write down examples of when that this might not necessarily be the case, even if you don't fully believe it. Get into the habit of doing this regularly. This can build up evidence and help to develop new beliefs about yourself.
I'm interested to know what type of therapy you are having.

AgentZigzag Sat 12-Oct-13 04:05:54

I'm different in that I'm not afraid of conflict, but I definitely do read every interaction I have with other people through a framework of them trying to subtly tell me they don't like me/are criticising me.

Mine's come about through a combination of genes, the way my mum taught me to find something to critisise in every situation so she could feel superior, and being bullied/isolated/excluded from 3 YO until I left school.

It's so easy to say to rise above it, find the positives in your life, think about things from a different angle (absolutely no offense to your lovely post Majestic), but some things are so ingrained that they become a part of you.

You can pretend it's all different when you're feeling a bit stronger than the norm, but as soon as something shakes that, you're back to square one and feeling twice as shit because you feel you've let yourself down.

I've found accepting who/how I am is the way to go. It might not be what's expected, but I can only work with what I have. I'm not saying that my solution is for anyone else, but I actively avoid other people and I can go a couple of days at a time now without freaking out big style with anxiety.

I was only seeing other people because I thought it was proof there was something wrong with me if I didn't want to, but it made me ill.

In the same way that it's not the person who has a disability who is the problem it's the way society reacts to their disability (steps not ramps etc), it's not that you have to strive to be similar to someone who doesn't have MH problems (or able bodied), but you should look at who you are realistically and do what suits you rather than what's expected of you.

Soz about essay, probably doesn't make sense/apply to you/is relevant in any way/wish I hadn't said anything now/you're going to think I'm judging you harshly/you'd hate me anyway/now I've gone on too long and losing any confidence I had <stamps hard on paranoia/low self esteem unsuccessfully to get it back in box>

kerstina Sat 12-Oct-13 08:32:40

I recognise myself as being highly sensitive too. It means that I do not handle stress very well and have left jobs where other people who were more ''tough'' or thicker skinned would have ridden it out.
As others say it does have its positives I can usually pick up on things regarding people situations that others would not be able to read. I can be a good friend because I am kind and sensitive.
Also I can appreciate the beauty of nature and simple things that someone more extrovert and less sensitive might find boring or not even notice!

MajesticWhine Sat 12-Oct-13 18:07:00

Agentzigzag - I absolutely agree that such things are so ingrained that they become a part of you. Acceptance is one way to go with this. And I really like the idea that being hypersensitive is a good way to be.
However there are also ways to change things when being hypersensitive is not helpful. It's not easy at all, and I wouldn't trivialise it or say it is about looking for positives. What I am referring to are systematic methods for finding new schemas to replace the self-critical judgemental ones.

AgentZigzag Sat 19-Oct-13 02:07:53

I know exactly what you mean Maj, it's about understanding that it's possible to have some control over it, that there are other angles you can view things from.

To have the confidence to stand up to yourself and (pretend even) know that things aren't necessarily as they seem.

But even though I'm pretty confident in myself, when it comes to what other people think of me, however successful I am at wallpapering over the cracks of my self esteem, there's always a voice nagging away that it is only a pretense and nobody can really like me.

Not in a pity party way, but the feeling that I look ridiculous, or there's something about me that I haven't noticed makes me a laugh in stock and causes people to snigger behind my back about.

One thought like that and it brings me straight back to square one.

ColouringInQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 22:30:48

This thread really rings bells with me too

In the past I would have said I was over-sensitive, but my counsellor is encouraging me to think highly or just sensitive ie its not a bad thing. Like lots of you say it can mean you can pick up on things with friends that others might miss.

But for me, recovering from depression, it can be v hard to deal with - today was convinced my siblings were despairing of me when they were probably just innocently taking the mickey. Paranoid.

I believe a cbt approach can help some people.

How to develop a lightly thicker skin. I think self acceptance has to be a big part. Some days I'm ok...

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