11 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Sensitivity

11 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Sensitivity

11 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Sensitivity

Sensitive Soul, 

If you identify as sensitive, whether you’re introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between, your sensitivity is your foundation. Or perhaps it’s your softly sculpted flowery edge. Either way, you carry it with you, and it either guides or derails you.  

Sensitivity is so beautiful, yet so fragile and misunderstood. We spend so much of our lives resenting it, fighting it, trying to smother it down, instead of nourishing it. And the more we resent and dismiss it, the more it sabotages us. 

Sensitivity is a soft trait, with a powerful backlash if it’s not honored. 

I’ve always been very sensitive. I pick up on other people’s feelings, emotions, and energies very quickly. I absorb them. I feel them internally. And so my reactions to people can be strong. Strong but patient, sometimes too patient, sometimes not patient enough. 

There are so many ways I didn’t honor my sensitivity throughout my life. Ways I’ve been learning to correct. I thought I’d share some lessons here, for your own sensitive self… 

11 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Sensitivity… 

1. Flex Your Sensitive Fierceness.  

The funny thing about sensitive people is that they are some of the strongest people out there. They’re the ones you want around if you’re in a bind, if disaster strikes, if all hell breaks lose, if tragedy hits you. Sensitivity is often labeled as a weakness but in reality it cultivates a strength most people don’t ever experience. We’re used to feeling more so we can often simply handle more, when push comes to shove.  

Being stuck in our own heads sometimes gets in the way making us feel weak, but put us in a situation that gets us out of our head, and quite frankly, we’re unstoppable

Take a person who outwardly appears “tough” and put them in a sticky situation and you may find them running selfishly for the hills, trembling the entire way, leaving everyone behind. It’s the sensitive soul who’ll be there to pick up all the pieces with focus and determination.  

All the years we’ve spent feeling, absorbing, and internalizing, builds up a thick foundation of bravery and strength, despite a sometimes soft exterior.

Honor that foundation, tap into it, explore the ways it works in your favor.  

2. Know and Respect Your Perceived “Limitations.”

There are many areas where you’ll feel limited as a sensitive person. Certain energies won’t jive with you. Some situations will overwhelm you. Don’t beat yourself up over them, respect them, create space around them. Give yourself the room you need to breathe, to flourish.  

Here are some things that overwhelm me that I make conscious efforts to fix, avoid or reduce my time with: an overflowing inbox, too much time on facebook (lately I prefer Instagram, feels more intimate), too many open windows on my computer, people who consistently put others down (even if they’re joking), people who only talk about themselves, letting my snail mail stack up for a month (did this for years! now I check it as it comes in), too much clutter in my home (I am constantly de-cluttering lately), too many social outings in one week, etc. 

I used to ignore the effect these things had on me. I just tried to deal with them because otherwise it must mean I’m weak, I’m “too sensitive”, I’m being selfish, etc. But no, I’m stronger and happier now that my inbox consistently has less than 35 emails in it and now that I no longer hang around people who love insulting others.     

My limitations teach me things, so I respect them, and it makes life feel better everyday and far less overwhelming. 

3. Treasure Your Radical Intuition.

Your sensitivity likely makes you extremely intuitive – radically so, I’d say. Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in dismissing our sensitivity that we shove our intuition aside in the process. Don’t, it’s an amazing thing to be so in tuned with the world around you. 

People who follow their intuition the most, without letting themselves get in their own way, seem to achieve endlessly. Your intuition is your guide, it’s your compass, it’s incredibly accurate, but it will go haywire if you surround it with negative self-depricating mental magnets (trust me, I know!). 

When you feel your intuition pointing you in a certain direction, stop and listen. Pay attention and honor it. As your mental magnets start attacking, stop yourself and focus only on the intuition, let it guide you. 

4. Take Care of Your Health. 

If you’re sensitive, it’s likely not just mental, it’s physical as well. I’ve been meeting endless sensitive women lately and they have all experienced health issues throughout their life of some sort or another. Taking care of your health helps to take care of your mind. 

I’m not perfect and pregnancy has definitely affected my healthy eating habits way more than I’d like to admit – sugar and carbs call to me like never before in my life! And I can see the affect they have on me, on my mood and my energy level – or is that just the pregnancy, hard to tell! Either way, I’m eager to get back to the old me!

Pre-pregnancy, healthy eating and exercising was simply my way of life. There was no dieting, no starving, no resisting, just simply flourishing with healthy food. I’d get some weird remarks from people about my diet and I’m often made fun of at group gatherings, but it’s okay! I know what I need to thrive so there’s no apologizing. Instead I celebrate it and try my best to live by example. Now if only I could get my pregnant self to get more on board ;) 

Learn how food and exercise affect you. Prioritizing your health helps you thrive in every other area of your life. 

5. Accept that It’s Okay to Want to Please Others.

Sensitive people often put the needs of others before themselves. We want to please, bring joy, satisfy. I used to view this as a weakness, a flaw. But I realize now that this trait in and of itself isn’t the flaw, it’s when we take it too far that it becomes detrimental to our well-being. 

But in and of itself, there’s a joy in pleasing others. It makes us hard workers, thorough, detail oriented, conscientious, caring, easy to be around, helpful, and more.  

If we disconnect from that too strongly, we lose something that brings a deep joy and sense of accomplishment. The trick is to combine our need to please with completely honoring ourselves and what we want out of life. It’s not pleasing just to please. It’s pleasing with purpose, with intention, with self-awareness and self-love. It’s about finding a please-others-please-self balance.

6. Practice Putting Yourself First.

While it’s okay to find the joy in pleasing others, if you revolve your whole life around it you’ll be living according to other people’s agendas, and your priorities will get lost in the shuffle.

Practice putting yourself first. State your opinion. Put your foot down when you need to. Choose the restaurant you want to go to. Tell people “no” so you don’t overextend yourself.

You should always be your first priority. You’ll take care of others more effectively if your needs are being met.     

7. Pay Attention to Your Environment.

A chaotic environment for a sensitive person is like living a waking nightmare. That chaos could be in the physical aspects of your environment or the mental/emotional energies of those around you.

To me, this may be the most important way you can protect yourself. If you’re surrounded by ugly energy for extended periods of time (nasty coworkers, constantly grumpy family members, messy cluttered homes), it’s gonna be detrimental on your energy, happiness, sense of peace and overall well-being. Fix it. It’s imperative. It’s vital. You will absorb that energy more than most.  

Sometimes I think about the reasons I consider myself so happily married. And one of the main reasons (out of many, darling <3) is the unbelievable peacefulness of my husband’s personality, and of the home we’ve created together. It’s not our ideal home, it’s too small, but it’s calm and peaceful, always. My husband may be an aggressive attorney at work, and he can certainly keep me debating and on my toes, but our relationship and home are always peaceful. Even our bickering feels peaceful.

That’s not something I will ever take for granted and it’s no accident. I needed that so I followed my intuition to a man who could give me that.

Create peaceful environments for yourself and limit the time you spend in harsh environments.  

8. Be Selective with the People You Let Into Your Mental Space.

Similar to #7 above, it’s so important to be careful with who you let into your life. I used to not discriminate, at least not enough. I have an extremely high tolerance for annoying and selfish personalities. I spent years just keeping my mouth shut and subjecting myself to any personality that came my way and wanted to be in my space.

It’s taken a lot of self-honoring practices to learn that I can choose who I let in my life. And I find that the more that I choose, the more my life fills with wonderful, positive, happy, encouraging, nourishing, just plain lovely people. 

You only have a limited amount of space in your life. Make sure you leave that space open for those who truly lift you up. Fill up your cup with negative energies and there’s simply no room left for others to jump in. 

9. Treasure the Lessons Your Past Has Taught You.

Sensitive people often spend so much time caught up in the ways their sensitivity has held them back in the past. Understand that your past wasn’t always in your control. You were subject to the opinions, agendas, and preconceived notions of those around you. People weren’t taught to nourish sensitivity, they were taught to “toughen up”, “grow a backbone”, “be like everyone else”, “fit in”, etc. 

A lot of those lessons were simply just WRONG. And so we spent much of our lives fighting against our very natures. The very thing we should have been nourishing, we were condemning. And so we swam upstream and learned to resent the tide. 

The tide was going in the right direction all along, you just needed to learn to swim with it not against it.  Now that you know that, forgive your past. Learn from it. It’s not a reflection of your future, if you don’t let it be. It’s just shown you how important it is to swim with the tide.

10. Be Bold.   

Similar to #1 above, being sensitive does not mean you can’t be as bold as you could dream of being. Sensitivity is not weak. Sensitivity is not being a coward. Sensitivity is strong so take bold actions. Do things you never thought you could. Extend yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself.

Let sensitivity be your bold accomplice. Let it be your guide in unchartered territories. 

It’s not trying to hold you back, it’s helping you experience your life more deeply. It’s your subtle sidekick, the Robin to your Batman, the thing that separates heroes from the power hungry. 

Embrace it as you make bold moves in life. The more bold moves you make, the more you’ll see what an asset your sweet sidekick truly is. 

11. Choose to Love Your Sensitivity. 

Love it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Treasure it. Nourish it. And you will love, embrace, celebrate, treasure and nourish life a little bit more fully! 

Soooo do you like or resent being sensitive?

To the wonders and joys of your beautifully sensitive heart!

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41 Responses to 11 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Sensitivity

  1. Catherine says:

    oh my…you said it sister! just what I needed to hear…many thanks!

  2. FlowerSpirit says:

    I love your posts Liz, your deep understanding of being sensitive. This resonates in so many ways and I've been smiling and nodding all the way through. A few years ago I lived with a chaotic not-so-sensitive partner and the house was filled with his crazy-making clutter that just jangled my energy field constantly and made it impossible for me to feel peaceful. I had one room that was my sanctuary of calm. He said it was a waste of a room, I told him it kept me sane. He didn't understand. It means so much that you do xx.

    • Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for reading and sharing! I'm so glad it resonated, it felt really good to write it. And I know exactly what you're talking about, been there many times. I'm so glad you found your way out of that and hopefully your home is full of peaceful rooms now. xoxo!!

  3. Wow, it's like you jumped inside my head! Everything you've just said resonates so so deeply with me. Growing up, I always thought there was something wrong with me, and I was always trying to "fix it." But as I've reached my 30's, I've realized that I bring a lot of value the way that I am, and I should honor and strengthen those traits. What I also find interesting, is that people that don't know me well often see me as weak or delicate, but those who know me really well, know that I am very strong when I need to be. I am proud of my strength in tough situations, and just because I am kind and thoughtful doesn't mean I can't be bold and tough when I have to be. I'm very happy with who I am, and I'm still learning to harness my sensitivity even more. Thanks for this amazing post! It really confirmed a lot of feelings for me. :)

    • Kimberly I love this! SO much of what you wrote resonated right back with me. It's unfortunate that children aren't taught to honor their sensitivity more, almost every sensitive person I know felt like they needed to be "fixed" at some point. People who don't know me well also sometimes think I'm delicate – but same thing, the ones who do know me well think I'm shockingly strong. And if anything I think being kind and thoughtful should be an indicator of strength, not weakness. In many ways it's actually much easier to be harsh! So glad you're so happy with who you are now!

  4. Kimberly Vardeman says:

    I love this article. Love it. Thank you for empowering sensitive people and reminding us to how to take care of our sensitive selves.

  5. Especially like 7 , Have found it to be very healing to embrace this….focusing on a calm, zen like environment that is free of clutter. When too many things begin to come into my space it is clearing time. Then everything becomes balanced again.

    • Me too Lisa! I really feel like that's become the most important one for me. My home is my sanctuary, it needs to be. Coming home to a peaceful environment makes every issue in life feel easier to tackle. Thanks for reading!

  6. Jennifer Kem says:

    Liz, this article describes me to the tee. Many people don't know how sensitive I am because I "show up" and "tolerate" many things that would imply the contrary. This article is, I bet to a whole lotta people who may mistake their sensitivity for weakness. I'm embracing my radical intuition! :) xoxo.

    • Hey Jen! I feel like a lot of sensitive people have learned to just "show up" and "tolerate". I think it's one of the things that while perhaps affecting us negatively also makes us stronger and capable of handling a lot more than we often give ourselves credit for. So glad you're embracing your radical intuition!! xoxo!

    • Isaac Miller says:

      Being highly sensitive can become your greatest strength if it's embraced and developed. You're able to connect and relate with people on a much deeper level than most can, intuitively.

      You can sense and feel the inner state of those around you, and if you are able to feel other people's emotions and not mistake them as being your own, you have the gift to pretty much see in to another's soul.

      You have to be willing to become very in tune with your emotions and most people are too afraid to. You also have to be willing to let yourself become vulnerable to other people's energies. It can hurt a lot to be sensitive, but if you can feel without identifying with the pain it's a powerful tool for sure.

      • Liz says:

        I agree with every word Isaac, so well put. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      • Aziz says:

        Thanks Vera and BobBon for always being such suporrteps….let me here from more of you, especially if you haven’t posted a comment ever before! xoxoxo,Deb

  7. Gayle says:

    This just came up recently in my online group, so the timing is perfect and I shared it with them. Thank you!

  8. [...] what if you’re sensitive? Does that make it more challenging? (Not [...]

  9. I was hooked from number one – Flex your sensitive fierceness! Exactly. I always felt and knew that as a HSP, despite my obvious compassionate and gentle nature there have been many times when I have terrified people with my mental strength. There they were picking on me when WHAM! Needless to say, they were left speechless and afraid and I shocked at my own inner fierceness! I also like number nine because it is true that sensitive people are hung-up on their past so-called failures, when in actual fact, we never failed at all. We simply experienced, learned, grew and moved on just like Non-sensitives do. Good job here. Thank you. :)

    • Liz says:

      I love that – “terrified people with my mental strength”!! It can certainly be shocking when it’s so unexpected! Nothing more powerful than the roar of a silent lion :) I’m so glad you’ve embraced your own inner fierceness so fully. Thank you for reading!

  10. Anonymous says:

    This was so great! Thank you for sharing it. I shared this with my Type 2 (soft and subtle) friends on our Type 2 facebook page and it really helped us all. Have you ever heard of Dressing your truth by Carol Tuttle? This program is amazing! Usually the Type 2s are the most sensitive. It has changed my life in SO SO many ways. Thanks for sharing your heart with everyone.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing with your group, I so appreciate it! I’m so glad it was helpful. I have heard of Dressing Your Truth (I know someone who loves it) but I haven’t looked into it personally, will have to check it out!

  11. Alison says:

    I just found your website and feel like I have found a kindred spirit.

    I, too, am a sensitive Cancerian who sees everything through emotion.

    Thank you for this insightful article.

  12. SensitizeME says:

    Most sensitive people are born with this trait. I hear all the time that some men crave to become more sensitive to the feelings of others, especially women. I believe it can be learned and developed. http://www.sensitizeme.com

  13. Ritu Kaushal says:

    I really liked how you've written this. Something I needed to hear today. I think a lot of the articles on sensitives don't always shine a positive light on our trait. Sensitivity feels like a thing to be managed and a disadvantage. But this truly framed it in the correct way. Thank you for the lovely words.

  14. [...] sensitive people don’t realize it but one of our greatest powers is our ability to heal those around us. And in [...]

  15. Heather says:

    Liz,

    Thank you for the beautifully written article. You touched my heart and I am grateful for the words of wisdom. It is so encouraging to hear a positive spin on the reality of being a sensitive human being. Thank you, thank you!

    Best,

    Heather

  16. Thanks for this information! It’s like my “condition” no longer has a stigma!

  17. Cara Martin says:

    This article was exactly what I needed to read! Ty so much :-). It's amazing how the angels lead us to what we need to learn. Good luck with the new baby!! 0:-)

  18. Really wonderful. Love the intuition tip!

  19. Angi Abernathie says:

    I am enjoying your posts so much. I finally feel validated as a sensitive person. It's like all if these posts are an explanation of how I have always been but never understood and even felt like it was somehow a fault rather than a strength.

  20. My Journey says:

    I’m very much convinced with your “11 ways to protect every person’s sensitivity.” I, too, am a sensitive type of person (sensitivity to insult most especially) but I’m slowly learning to turn such a weakness into strength. Thank you for sharing this.

  21. […] article on coping here. And hey being sensitive isn’t all bad. I’ve been told that my sensitivity and […]

  22. me says:

    Thank you. I needed that. Thank you. I feel less alone.

  23. Kitti Lawton says:

    XLNT post! It reminds me of a self-help book I read about empathic persons. I suspect that most sensitive people are extraordinarily empathic (hence, intuitive) and often suffer from over-stimulation that is difficult to control. Protection is vital, and we need to hear words of encouragement and compassion often, especially as children. Thanks! I often envision a protective bubble around me (teflon!), or I go to "my happy place" when I'm feeling overwhelmed, with mean-spirited people, in most crowds or in a chaotic situation. Leaving the area and taking a nice, peaceful walk helps too.

  24. Linda Sandåker says:

    Thank you.,

  25. […] and cat toys and clothes stuffed into closets and under the beds.  It reminded me of this lovely article on Gentle Living that I read awhile ago about protecting sensitivity and it’s stayed with me. […]

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