We're getting too sensitive

I am extremely sensitive - how do I deal with it?

Whether at school, in a university seminar or in professional meetings: Wherever many people meet, energies arise. Both positive and negative. Sensitive people perceive these energies more strongly and react more sensitively to them than others. This is a gift - but it can also lead to stress. With this article we would like to show you how you can specifically use high sensitivity as a strength and protect yourself from feelings of overwhelm and overstimulation.

What is the expression of high sensitivity?

Highly sensitive people have extremely fine antennas. They respond more strongly to stimuli than others, both on a physical and on a social and psychological level. For example, they are particularly sensitive to smells, tastes or noises. But they are also particularly receptive to moods in social situations - be it sympathy or disharmony, serenity or restlessness - as well as to feelings of individual people - from sadness to happiness, from anger to meekness. This goes so far that they internalize the feelings of other people and feel physically uncomfortable when the other person is suffering from pain, for example.

What are the causes of high sensitivity?

Although high sensitivity has not yet been adequately researched, there are already findings about its biological background: As behavior researcher Birgit Trappmann-Korr has found out with the help of magnetic resonance imaging, the areas of the brain that process sensory information are more active in highly sensitive people than in others. This can result in a A multitude of different stimuli make their way unfiltered into the nervous system. According to the psychologist couple Elaine and Arthur Aron, high sensitivity is not a disease, but an inherited personality trait. According to their research, about 15-20 percent of people are affected by it - although the type and intensity of sensitivity can vary.

What are the strengths of extremely sensitive people?

Highly sensitive people initially have a extremely strong empathy and a strong intuition. They usually understand faster and better than others how people are doing and what moves them - without them having to say it. You also do not miss what is going on below the surface. Others feel understood and recognized by them without words.

Both in private life and at work, highly sensitive people step through theirs empathic strength not infrequently as an intermediary. When it comes to interpersonal issues, they are often asked to advise: Due to their high level of observation, they usually have a very good understanding of people. In groups, they are also often the balancing element, as they know how to create a pleasant climate.

Due to their pronounced attention to detail, another strength of highly sensitive people is their conscientiousness. They mostly work especially considered and prudentso that they rarely make mistakes. Friends and work colleagues therefore particularly value their high level of reliability.

Due to their high susceptibility to different stimuli, highly sensitive people also take everyday things particularly hauntedly true. There is therefore no need for intoxicants or roller coasters to experience a "kick". Stimuli from nature, such as intense smells in the forest or the colors of a flower meadow, are sufficient for this.

Emotionality itself is also a great strength of highly sensitive people. You are able to do so develop strong feelingsthat they can perceive many moments in life much more intensely than others. When used correctly, these emotions can act as important drivers of your actions and support you in making decisions.

When can high sensitivity become a burden?

Overcrowded train stations, loud concerts or hectic open-plan offices: wherever many stimuli act on them at the same time, highly sensitive people often feel themselves exhausted and overwhelmed after a short time. People talking wildly, booming loudspeaker systems or bright colors are just a few examples of such stimuli. They often cause a kind of "nervous hangover" in them, which they have to cure in peace.

Even on an emotional level, extremely sensitive people often suffer from special stress. Because of their strong empathy, other people's feelings, demands, and problems quickly become their own. Your intense exercise may also lead to misunderstandings, overreactions or misinterpretations. Often highly sensitive people sense even the smallest discrepancies in communication with others, attach excessive value to casual comments and relate things to themselves that actually have nothing to do with them. On the one hand, this can stir up great potential for conflict if, for example, you feel attacked and want to defend yourself. Or they feel rejected and as a consequence withdraw more and more from social situations in order to avoid these feelings. As a result, they can quickly become loners or outsiders.

Anyone who is not aware of their high sensitivity or does not yet know how it can be controlled in a targeted manner can quickly reach their physical or psychological limits. It is therefore important to develop strategies to deal with the symbolic overstimulation.

What helps when dealing with high sensitivity?

  • The first way to prevent overstimulation is as apparent as it is effective: Try to minimize stimuli. For example, use earplugs when sitting in noisy buses or offices and, if possible, often go to quiet places where nothing will distract you and where you can relax.
  • Take yourself enough time to process the many stimuli. After large events, meetings with many people, or other overstimulating situations, you should regularly plan time out in which to withdraw. It can also help you to keep a journal in order to write down your thoughts and thus reflect them even better.
  • If you are facing an exciting situation, such as a presentation in front of a large group, prepare well for this and make a note of what you want to say beforehand. At least in part, this takes away the fear of having to act spontaneously or of losing the thread due to the many unfamiliar stimuli that affect you in the spotlight.
  • Speak openly about your high sensitivity. If you explain to your friends or work colleagues what this is all about, they have a chance to be more considerate and to communicate with you more carefully.
  • Choose your personal environment carefully. Think carefully: what and who is good for you? Who do you want to surround yourself with and who may not understand your sensitivity? If you notice that you always feel drained after meeting certain people, you should ask whether you should avoid them or at least reduce them.
  • Realize that not everyone perceives and feels as much as you do and try to do so too Forbearance for the otherness of your environment to develop.
  • Plan in times when you consciously only devote yourself to things that you enjoy and during which you can spare your fine antennas - true to the motto: Do more of what makes you happy!
  • Learn to set yourself apart emotionally. Try not to relate every discomfort to yourself and trust that other people would come up to you if they had a problem with you. If in doubt, approach your fellow human beings proactively in order to verify your own perception with the help of direct communication.
  • Stand by your sensitivity instead of suppressing it. Learn to be aware of your own needs and to communicate them openly. This is often forgotten, but it helps you and those around you enormously. Only in this way can you develop an understanding of your different perceptions and avoid misunderstandings.

Hopefully, with these recommendations you will soon find it easier to deal with your sensitivity and use it as a strength. If you would like to deal with high sensitivity in more depth, the podcast Proud to be Sensibelchen and the book Das Drama des Talented Kinder are also recommended. We hope you enjoy listening and reading!

The most important basis for professional success and personal satisfaction is a lifestyle that is in harmony with your personality. Knowing them is the first step. With our free Trial test we offer you the opportunity to walk it and get a first glimpse of yourself.