How to Stop Being Overly Sensitive

You are standing outside the funeral visitation room trying to compose yourself. You can’t stop crying or bear the thoughts of going in to talk to your grieving friend. You are sobbing as though the loss is yours. You know you’re over-reacting, but you can’t stop. The friend standing inside is a work colleague that you barely know, and the deceased is her father-in-law, a man you didn’t know at all.

You get furious with yourself if you cry when your boss is vaguely abrupt, but you feel the tears welling up in your eyes every time he does it. Your husband doesn’t understand why you get upset and moody because he’s watching Monday night football. You don’t understand it either, but you continue to feel insignificant on Monday night.

You are easily upset and always internalize other people’s problems; like the time your sister told you she was getting a divorce, and you had to take a day off to compose yourself. It’s embarrassing and exhausting to carry the sensitivity burden everywhere you go. How can you stop being overly sensitive and gain control of your emotions?

Think Realistically

Most people do not mean to hurt your feelings. If their words sound hurtful at first, take a deep breath and think about it for a minute. Was your boss in a hurry, or simply distracted? Was your husband’s team about to make a touchdown? Don’t gauge other people’s reactions by your own. Overly sensitive people often read more into responses than they should.

Don’t be Afraid to Voice Your Opinion

If someone is rude, hurts your feelings, or makes you feel insignificant, don’t let it get the best of you. Swallow hard, and confront the situation. Standing up for yourself does not mean provoking conflict. Simply let the offender know that his words were inappropriate or hurtful, and that you didn’t appreciate it.

Set Emotional Boundaries

Super sensitive people often find themselves in the middle of other people’s drama. You have to take responsibility for your own emotional well-being. Avoid people and situations that are emotionally exhausting.

Stay in Control

Demand respect from others. People will treat you the way you let them. Break old patterns. If you are not happy with a relationship, you are the one who can change it. Your life is yours. People may not always like the way you do things, or the way you think, but you don’t have to buckle under the pressure of their opinions. Smile graciously, let them know you appreciate their concern, and handle things your way.

Being sensitive is not a personality flaw unless you let your sensitivity override your common sense. There is a right time to be compassionate, and to let the tears of emotion flow, but that time is not at the parent-teacher conference, or at the company Christmas party when you overhear malicious office gossip. Take control of your emotions, and give yourself a pat on the back for gaining emotional strength and the respect of others.

How to Stop Being Overly Sensitive: ""
Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Stop Being Overly Sensitive," in PsychologyDictionary.org, February 21, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-stop-being-overly-sensitive/ (accessed August 15, 2018).
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