Do you try to hide your sensitivity because of the fear of criticism and misunderstanding from other people?
When we keep our thoughts and experiences inside they can become larger than life. Distorted, exaggerated, we begin to spiral with overthinking and overwhelm.
We need to release our emotions in order to make sense of them, process them and find solutions if we’re in the middle of something that needs to change.
Welcome to the highly sensitive healing podcast, where we meet the joys and challenges of our sensitivity with open minds and hearts to awaken our best highly sensitive selves.
Welcome Friends, Tonya here, and today we're chatting about criticism, specifically criticism from other people. I love this quote from Aristotle, criticism is something that we can avoid easily by saying nothing by doing nothing. And by being nothing. I used to try to hide my sensitivity, usually very unsuccessfully, because I was afraid of the criticism and misunderstanding from other people. And what is criticism Exactly? Well, it's defined as, quote, the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. So what's the key part of that definition? Perceived, perceiving someone else's faults, someone's disapproval of another based on their own personal perception of how something should be or how someone else should be behaving. The more criticism I received as an HSP heard things like just get over it. You're overreacting. Why can't you just let it go? You've heard them all before, the more withdrawn and introverted I became. And to be clear, this was an introverted in an introspective and self reflective way. This introversion came from a place of fear. Have you ever heard this acronym for fear? False Evidence Appearing Real. My fear grew over time with each small and sometimes large criticism of how others perceived my sensitivity. And this perception came from their own limited life experiences. I was afraid of the false evidence other, others believed was real and true about me. And it made me uncomfortable to make others feel uncomfortable. I'm sure you know, this feeling all too well as HSPs.
So I kept pushing my sensitivity down and pushing it down, until it rose to the surface in sometimes unhealthy and sometimes really destructive ways. The last time this happened to me was early in twenty-twenty. When I had what I personally call a nervous breakdown, I was trying to function in a really toxic work environment for over four years trying everything I could, and then some to make it work. But it was only when I reached this breaking point that it finally started to click for my husband, John, that I needed to change and a big one if I was going to keep my mental and physical health intact, I had worked so hard to keep all of my feelings and emotions about situation hidden, that they finally just exploded. When we keep our thoughts and experiences inside, they can become larger than life. Sometimes they can get distorted and exaggerated. And sometimes we begin to spiral with overthinking and overwhelm. I don't recommend keeping your feelings hidden or internalizing your emotions. We need to release them in order to make sense of them, to process them. And to find solutions, especially if we're in the middle of something or a situation that needs to change. Yes, it's true, our sensitivity makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Okay, so what discomfort is how we all grow as human beings HSPs and non HSPs both. It's how we learn to see other points of view, how we learn to respect the experiences of others, how we learn to listen and embrace the fact that every experience is valid, even if you don't understand it. It's okay if other people feel uncomfortable, but we have to get comfortable with the fact that they might be an easy around us. Sometimes, it may take time, it may take lots of time. But if someone is important to you, and the feeling is mutual, if we keep working with them and talking it through, we can get to a good place with time and effort. The people who are meant to be in our lives will always gravitate back towards us, no matter how far it may seem that they wander away. Remember, others don't always need to understand our sensitivity. But in order for us to have healthy relationships, they need to respect and honor our sensitivity as part of who we are. And in my personal experience, this is the simplest and most straightforward way to explain it to those who struggle with our HSP trait. Someone who isn't sensitive and the ways that we are simply will not have the ability to comprehend what we feel and how we feel it. And that's not their fault. It's okay the world needs It's all kinds of people. But respect is key and others will not respect our sensitivity. If we don't embrace it and respect it first, if we apologize for it as if it's something to be embarrassed of, or a defect that needs to be fixed. Over time, I've developed a healthy relationship with my high sensitivity, through much trial and error, believe me. But ultimately, what it came down to was giving myself space, giving myself space and also grace to understand my high sensitivity, how it manifested and grew within me throughout my life experiences, and also embracing healing practices that have allowed me to grow into my sensitivity, without apologies, but I needed tools and support to get to this place of self love and acceptance. And it's not always easy, and my life is not perfect, but I'm not seeking perfection. I'm seeking peace and a healthy sense of ever evolving balance. In our next episode, we'll talk about some ways that we can process these waves of emotion and all the overwhelm that they bring, and some healthy and productive ways. If you enjoy the highly sensitive healing podcast, please take the time to share it with your friends and remember to subscribe so you don't miss any of the good stuff. And I'll see you next time. Thank you so much for spending time with me here on the highly sensitive healing podcast. New episodes are released Wednesdays and please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments and never forget, we were given this highly sensitive life because we're strong enough to live it.