Why sensitivity is okay


Graphic courtesy of Pixelbay

Sensitivity is often viewed as a sign of weakness. However, sensitivity does not deserve to be cast under such a dark light. It is a normal sign of our humanity and ability to empathize.

Sensitivity is undervalued in a world that favors strength, assertiveness and dominance. Often, those traits are associated with coveted jobs such as CEOs, politicians and managers. Meanwhile, sensitive people, who tend to be observant, deep thinkers and have intense emotions, are labeled with undesirable characteristics such as weak and dramatic. These negative perceptions tend to further perpetuate sensitivity being viewed as wrong. 

However, what makes the undercasting of sensitivity even more detrimental is its role in gender stereotypes. Sensitivity has become a gendered term, one that often refers to women. If a woman is emotional, she is overreacting and incompetent. If a man is sensitive, he is too feminine. By shaming people for their emotions, it encourages them to suppress their feelings, which can be overwhelming and detrimental to one’s mental health. In our workaholic culture, where people are encouraged to keep working despite being physically ill or having mental disorders, sensitive people are made to feel less than when their emotions become too much to handle and subsequently need a break. However, beyond the negative shell that sensitivity it is surrounded by, there is so much more nuance to such a complex emotion.  

While highly perceptive people are more likely to be affected by their surroundings, it can also mean that they are more self-aware, leading them to be more empathetic and reflective. This helps them understand multiple perspectives and create harmony. By being able to pick up on other people’s emotions from body language and mood, a sensitive person can be an attentive, caring friend with their nurturing personality. Their ability to notice fine details in their environment can allow them to work out genuine and sincere people and stay away from toxic ones. This intuition can be not only helpful in one’s social life but also when making big decisions in their career. 

You might be told to toughen up or brush it off, but it is important to remember that your sensitivity is vital. It allows you to find beauty in mundane situations. By observing the world so clearly it lets you see things that could go unnoticed and inspire your creativity. Your sensitivity is a strength and a gift that should be celebrated.