What Does It Mean To be Sensitive ?

Emotional sensitivity is necessary building block for close and satisfying relationships. Human are made of emotions, but some people are too sensitive. You are easily overwhelmed and particularly aware how other’s behavior affects you. You take things personally, you react defensively to other people, and judge others as being hurtful to you. If you are overly sensitive, you constantly aware of the ways others do not meet your expectations and you become critical to yourself.

Why Am I Sensitive ?

These are common reasons why we are sensitive ?

You’re Human

Human experiences broad range of emotions. We can be happy, sad, angry, annoyed and it is part of normal human emotions. Unless your emotions interfere with your daily living. God Grace and He prepares us with lots of emotions (Read: Wheel of emotions). We need all these emotions to live. We need laughter, smile, happiness, sadness, anxiety, angry, disappointment; all in our lives to help us with daily living. Just imagine you are in the middle of the road and you were chased by a dog; if you don’t have the anxiety, you won’t run away and you will be bitten. If you don’t feel the pain of hot water, you won’t withdraw your hand. Emotions are part of our protection.

Genetics (nature)

While emotions are normal, being emotional sensitive may have genetic components. If a family member has affective disorder such as depression or bipolar disorders, it somewhat can be inherited. There is a personality trait called Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) where someone possesses the world more deeply. This include heightened salience of moods and emotions including the environmental noises.


An overly sensitive people are someone who has been hurt in their childhood relationships. There may experience trauma, abuse, neglect thus making them having difficulty to trust. It is an unconscious reluctant to prevent the feeling of hurt.  They may have deep underlying fear that they are not loved and have no value.

Medications Or Physical Pain

Certain illnesses and long-term use of certain medications may make you feeling low and overly sensitive. The feeling of burden to others due to chronic illnesses may make you feeling sensitive. Any hormonal imbalance may cause change in emotions such as thyroid issues, menstruation, menopause, or hormonal contraceptives.

Lack Of Sleep

Everyone knows what it’s like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, so too sleep. Sleep can affect your emotional well-being. Sleep deprivation may make you Have trouble to concentrate, Higher risk of anxiety or depression and Weakened immune system.

Life Events

Life is full of tests and challenges. Sometimes the life challenges really taken toll on our coping skills and leave us with no choices. Financial issues, workplace stress, family problems, big life decisions, divorce, new jobs may make you feeling more sensitive.

Psychiatry Diagnosis

You may have mental disorder such as Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Mood Disorder, Personality Disorder etc. Get this check if you feel or notice your love one has suggestive symptoms.

Is Being Sensitive a Bad Thing ?

It is blessing in disguise to be honest!!

Being emotionally sensitive can be a very valuable quality when is bind together with the emotional awareness. It is a superpower not everyone has. By being emotionally sensitive, you can empathize with people more and empathy is a very much needed in today’s society. Feeling easily sensitive making you able to love at deeper level and this is part of good emotional quotient (EQ).

Despite being easily overwhelmed, most of emotionally sensitive people able to appreciate their sensory details very well; the sounds, the songs, the touch, the taste, the smell and the feel. Appreciating this ability, make you better able to understands yourself more and help you grow. Sensitive people able to appreciate meaning deeper and this make them aware of their inner emotional states. They are creative people who best being writers, actors and artists.

How to Handle Sensitivity ?

Admit It

Realizing you have emotional sensitivity is the first step to handle it. Your eyes don’t see what your mind doesn’t see. By acknowledging how you react to emotions and you perceive your emotions is a good way to start. We can’t handle things we don’t know. Love not always star from the first sight. Take responsibility for your mental health and self-care.

Choose What You Can Control

If you are feeling strong emotions, learn to let it be. Sit with your emotions and understand that the emotions will pass. Like the wind blows, your emotions will move on. If you’re projecting others emotions that aren’t yours, it is your responsibility to deal with it. If someone disturb you and caused strong emotional reactions, you are responsible for your feelings. That person may be a catalyst but the emotions are yours.

Write It Down

Write down your thoughts. Every single emotion that you feel, write it down on a paper. Look on the lists of your feeling, examine it. Write what happens or incidents causing that incidents. By writing it down, you help your brain to untwist the anxiety of having that feeling. Write down, what can you do to improve or to prevent the feeling next encounter

Mood Diary

This is a good practice. Write down your daily mood in a diary. Write down also what food you ate, what medications you take, what time the emotions are worst, what trigger the emotions, what relieve the emotions. By doing this, you can identify your mood patterns and this will help you to plan.

Good Self-Care Routine

Taking care of yourself is a number one priority. Sensitive people tend to be selfless, so you need to establish a good self-care routine so can have your rest and recover.

Routines includes :

  • Eating well
  • Sleep well
  • Exercise
  • Travelling
  • Scheduling your activities
  • Socializing with friends
  • Social media use for positive growth.
  • Family time

Self-care routines help you to recharge.

Watch Your Thoughts

Not all your feelings are your feelings. Sometimes you are absorbing other people feeling into yours. Examine your feeling. Is it yours? Am I reacting to other people feeling? Am I reacting to another people’s stress?

If it isn’t yours, let it go.

Talk To Someone You Trust

Good friend is like a mirror. Talk to someone you trust may ease your feelings. They can help lessened your overwhelming thought. Of course, it is not their job to fix your emotions, it is your job to fix your own emotions but someone you trust may make you believe, that you are enough.

Practice Assertiveness

Setting boundaries is a good way to control your emotions. Sensitive people tend to give in to others because they don’t want to involve in fights. But you need your own space and safe based. People shouldn’t put their value on you.

Get Professional Help

If feeling overly sensitive disturb your functioning, and you fell so much affected; feeling hopeless, useless and worthless for a significant duration of time, getting a professional help is the wise things to do.


Spirituality is something we ingrain in ourselves. Spirituality helps us feel connected and see things different way. By putting trust to God, you believe that everything that happens, never without reasons.


  • Ni, Preston. Are you Highly Sensitive? How to Gain Immunity, Peace and Self-Master. PNCC (2017)
  • Ni, Preston. How to Communicate Effectively with Highly Sensitive People. PNCC (2017)
  • Aron, E; Aron,A. A Sensory-Processing Sensitivity and Its Relation to Introversion and Emotionality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (1997)
  • N, Jade. Why Am I So Sensitive and Is It Bad? (2020)
  • Vandersteen, S. Being Emotionally Sensitive (2014)

Dr. Nurul Syuhaida , Fellow YoungMinds

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