Intense emotions are a hallmark of the sensitive person’s life. As the BuzzFeed health writer Shannon Rosenberg puts it in her hilarious article, 16 Graphs That Will Help You Understand Your Highly Sensitive Friends So Much Better, HSPs feel “all the feels all of the time.”
I’ve tried to tell myself that “all the feels all of the time” is only comic exaggeration. Of course we don’t feel everything at every moment. But the fact is, we might get triggered into emotional intensity at any moment. This reality can put us on edge, and justifiably so. It’s like having a huge construction crane following you around, dangling a Steinway grand piano that could drop on you at any time.
This sense of emotional pressure is heightened by the reality that most of us have only two strategies for handling our emotional intensity. (There is theoretically a third option, the “nuclear” option. But I say “theoretically” because I’m assuming that like me, you would never choose to lose control and explode, because it leaves you feeling mortified, wishing you could sink into the ground and not stop until you arrive in China.) [Read more…]