It’s not hard to pick a sensitive person out of a crowd.
We’ll be the ones who are visibly startled when a phone rings; who react to the death of a TV character as if we knew them intimately; who couldn’t say ‘no’ even if our lives depended on it; and who read far, far too much into even the most offhanded remarks.
Does that sound exhausting? It is – and there’s a lot more where that came from.
Here are seven common experiences (more aptly described as ‘personal crises’, in some cases) every sensitive soul knows all too well.
1. You become way too invested in the plight of fictional characters.
Reading a book or watching a movie is, in theory, a leisurely activity. But for the sensitive soul, the emotional impact runs deep – and doesn’t end when the credits roll.
Like Frodo carries the One Ring, you carry the emotional burden of every single one of your favourite characters. When they cry, you cry… sometimes for days on end. Just reading the words “Stark family” or “Sirius Black” wrings your heart, and you’ve often found yourself lying awake at some ungodly hour of the morning plagued with worry – not about your own life, but about how your fictional friends will overcome whatever plot complication they’re currently facing.
"Just reading the words “Sirius Black” wrings your heart." Image: giphy.com.
2. The actions of perfect strangers can cut you deep.
Take commuting, for instance. When you observe your fellow passengers actively choosing to sit next to someone else as they board the bus/train, or your seat buddy gets up and moves to another spot the second the opportunity arises, you can’t help but interpret it as a personal slight.
‘There must be a reason I seemed so unappealing,” you tell yourself, before brainstorming the possibilities. Perhaps you were a little heavy-handed with the perfume this morning. Maybe they were judging your choice of reading material. Or do you just have an unfriendly face??? From there, the anxious spiralling begins.
3. The concept of “not taking it personally/seriously” is foreign to you.
There is no piece of advice less useful to you than “don’t take it personally”. Ha! If only that were possible. You even take it personally if a neighbourhood cat or a two-week-old baby doesn’t respond to your affections.
"There is no piece of advice less useful to you than “don’t take it personally”." Image: Giphy.com
4. Ditto “letting it go”.
There’s no telling how long an incident, fleeting as it may be, will affect you. You can bump into a stranger in the street one day, and a whole week later you’ll still be musing over whether they thought you were a horrible person for it.
Even the distant memory of a vaguely mean thing someone said to you in Year Two, or of an RSCPA advertisement about puppies circa 2008, can make you misty-eyed. So it’s hardly surprising that you don’t deal well with rejection or breakups. In fact, you’re not convinced you’ll ever recover from those...