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How to stop being over sensitive?

(6 Posts)
goldenlilliesdaffodillies Fri 11-Jul-14 10:30:02

My earliest memory at school aged 5 is being screamed at by a teacher that I was "so over sensitive". She probably didn't scream or shout at me but that is how I remember it. I am 40 I am still "over sensitive" but don't know how to stop.

My Mum is also extremely over sensitive and I know many of my feelings are learnt behaviour. I think being a stepmum for many years has also coloured my view of life.

I take things really personally. Even if they are personal I can't seem to brush them off like other people do and get easily hurt. I have zero confidence but try and be thoughtful to others. DH says I try too hard and shouldn't bother.

I hate being like this and want to change but don't know how. I have tried hynotherapy, homeopathy, thinking of other people worse off than me. I don't want my children turning out like me. How can I stop being like this?

Sorry this is all sounds so trivual compared to what other people are going through.

WooItsAGhostCat Fri 11-Jul-14 10:36:23

This really all boils down to your confidence and self esteem. Fix those and the rest will follow.
Yes, definitely easier said then done.
There are no short cuts or quick fixes but have you tried CBT? (Cognitive behavioural therapy)
You can get referred by your GP, although the waiting list is huge, or pay privately. 3 sessions is usually enough to start you off with.
This isn't trivial and bollocks to other people's problems. Their problems are not your problems. They are adults. You are not being selfish by looking after yourself occasionally.

OriginOfSymmetry Fri 11-Jul-14 10:42:12

It's not trivial. I believe being sensitive is a personality trait (i.e something quite fixed) and not necessarily negative. I bet you're extremely empathetic to other people and able to read people/situations really well aren't you? The problem is when you have low self esteem and haven't been taught how to handle your feelings or emotions well as you were growing up (espeically if your mum was the same and didn't handle her own well).

It is not possible for you 'not to bother' with other people, because that's the way you are, but learning how to get things into perspective more would probably help, plus not seeing your sensitivity (or empathy) as being a totally negative thing - in other words being kinder to yourself! There is a book called 'The Highly Sensitive Person' (I think) by Elaine Aron that might be worth you looking at.

wordsmithsforever Fri 11-Jul-14 10:45:19

OP have a look at Elaine Aaron's website - The Highly Sensitive Person at and take heart - it's not all bad to be an HSP!

I read her book "The Highly Sensitive Child" after I had my DC and saw that they too were HSPs - not surprising with dh and I. It changed my thinking about being highly sensitive. I know it's often seen as a bad thing in this world but after reading the book, I've realised a lot of stuff that I'm good at is linked to being a HSP.

It's estimated that (I think) around 15% of the population is highly sensitive. The message of the book and website is that it's ok to be an HSP and it's probably not something you can change much (it's inherent) but you can learn to manage your reactions and gain perspective.

PS: I love HSPs - most of my favourite people are HSPs - they're clever, creative, capable, kind (bit of alliteration going down this morning)!

wordsmithsforever Fri 11-Jul-14 10:50:02

Cross post with OriginofSymmetry! grin

goldenlilliesdaffodillies Fri 11-Jul-14 13:04:55

Thank you so much for all the suggestions .

I looked at the HSP website and it sounds spookily familiar! It also explains why my Mum used to lock herself in her bedroom for weeks on end and not talk to anyone when I was growing up. I do read situations and am usually spot on and end up taking on other peoples problems.

I do have very low self esteem. The only way I have learnt to deal with it is to do lots of acting on stage and play different parts. Then I don't have to be me for awhile (which sounds weird).

I will buy that HSP book and look into CBT. Thank you.

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