Are you naturally quite sensitive and find that navigating situations is often much more intense than you’d like?
See if you recognise yourself in any of the following, more detailed scenarios.
You experience things more deeply than other people seem to.
And unlike most people, you get really affected by the quality of surroundings and interactions you’re in.
For example, your being is deeply nourished when it’s in a beautiful, uncluttered space. At the same time, stuff somehow accumulates in piles and volumes in your space in a way that feels heavy.
You long for affinity with people around you.
But it’s difficult to find and it’s difficult to create that given how often you don’t feel safe to show who you really are. What you are is often tender and… different. It’s as if you don’t quite belong even though you also feel exhaustingly responsible for everything.
People who know you see a very caring, perceptive and thoughtful person.
These are great assets. But you’re also extra vulnerable around those who seem not that way inclined. You get both underwhelmed and overwhelmed by what you see people (or yourself) do. You feel quite powerless about initiating change, especially when you try and see the results fall far from what you intended.
Unexpected obstacles knock you off balance.
Even if it’s something small, like somebody saying “no” which you didn’t see coming, or a person being a bit critical of you. You worry about how easily things de-stabilise you.
You would love to find ways to navigate difference, pain and conflict that would deepen the connection. But you’d also rather run for the hills.
There’s this almost visceral distress around confrontation. It gets to your body and in your depleted state, you can’t think straight anymore, let alone solve problems.
Knowing what you need is not easy.
Particularly so when decisions are expected quickly as they often are at work. You don’t like to fight for what’s yours and besides you genuinely don’t see how your needs are any more important than others. Yet, something is not getting tracked. Your needs.
Time pressure, deadlines and expectations make things ‘impossible’ for you.
Unlike those who like competition and buzz, your wellbeing and capacities go down when intensity goes up. It’s not for the lack of commitment: you care very deeply and try to help so much. Yet, you stall when you most want to succeed and it scares you.
You get easily drained, energetically and emotionally.
The gift of seeing and caring deeply about others’ needs has a challenging side: overstimulation. You get filled with people’s problems, thoughts and emotions and you doubt yourself in the gap between the needs you can see and those you can attend to.
If you relate to these scenarios, does it mean there’s something wrong with you?
These struggles are very common amongst people who are naturally more sensitive and whose way of being has not been considered in the world, let alone in the workplace, until very recently.
People are suffering in the absence of guidance for interacting and working from inside thin skin. Thankfully, there’re learnable skills in this area just like in any other.
Things can start looking better with a bit of help.
You can be your sensitive self and learn to connect and contribute without personality transplant expected from anyone.
This has been the path I’ve been forging and I now help others to experience more gentleness and effectiveness in their work life.