Your Sensitivity: Blessing or a Curse (Part 1)

Your Sensitivity: Asset or Curse?

If you are like me, the answer is BOTH—especially if you include the ancient history before we had any empowering tools or perspective.

Many of us grew up in hectic or uncertain homes.  The more I connect with people and hear about their pasts, the more I realize that hectic was normal  for the majority of is.

When we grow up with a lot of uncertainty around us, our survival mechanisms demand that we become very sensitive in order to assess situations around us: what is the emotional landscape right now?  Am I safe, or do I need to blend into the woodwork so that I can be sure to survive one more day.

Many of us did not have extreme abuse in the home but did respond to uncertainty as if we did.

Many of us experienced the threat of violence even if it was never expressed on a physical level.

A parent or loved one who tended to be narcissistic or moody could be enough to make us as children wonder, what do I have to do in order to get through this moment, day, life.

Our sensitivity comes with us into our adult lives and that is the good and bad news!

Let’s start with the bad news first,

Sensitive types can get locked into a space of victimhood and self pity.  It can be the go to whenever someone around us does some thing that we don’t like.  Some of the ways that sensitivity can hold us back include:

  • We can get very agitated if someone has an uncontrolled emotion.
  • We can go into retreat mode, compromise our integrity and fail to self-advocate.
  • We can get into perpetrator mode, when we don’t feel heard (usually because we don’t have to tools to express ourselves) we can become punishing, vengeful, or dismissive.
  • These are all extreme ways in which we respond to our sensitivity.
  • We take other people’s emotions personally—we get emotional about others being emotional!
  • We can shrink up and quietly resent


Like any pickle that we find ourselves in, we can always make room to breathe.  When I remember my breath,  I can then ask myself these questions:

  1. What is really going on here?
  2. What need is not being met?
  3. Am I so emotional about this actual instance or is an old belief getting activated here?

Usually, it is an old limiting belief that comes up and is actually getting fed and supported.  When I get emotional, it never really has to do with what is happening in front of me.  It has everything to do with the old belief system that I have subconsciously upheld and created through my actions and reactions to life.


This is where the bad news becomes the good news.  By breathing and allowing this hurt to come through, I can then acknowledge and heal in a safer environment.  When these hurts are originally made, we don’t have the language or the coping mechanisms to address them in a way that could resolve them.  How could we?  We were in pure survival mode.

Now, breathing into the old hurts, we can graduate to thriving mode.  Where we are able to experience true intimacy with those around us, we can include them in this journey of discovery.

Your Homework:

When your sensitivity gets activated, how can your introduce breathing room?  When you feel the pressure of hurt feelings, can you create a space to heal the old limiting beliefs that hold you back?  Yes, you can.  Breathe and ask yourself what is really happening and what you need to thrive rather than survive!



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