Living via an Open Heart

The Difference Between Being Sensitive and Reenergetic

Posted September 18, 2015


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When growing up, did you hear objections like, “You’re also sensitive; don’t be so sensitive?” Have you felt assaulted by such words lately?

It is our human nature to be sensitive to life and also to how we communicate with others. As attachment theory says, we’re wired to desire safe, caring connections.

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When someone who’s vital to us is important or contemptuous, we"re impacted. Our sensitive nervous mechanism experiences the fight, flight, freeze response once tbelow is a genuine or imagined threat to our wellness and also security.


Being told that we’re also sensitive is a hurtful, shaming judgment. Rather than be displayed empathy or appreciation for being sensitively attuned to life, we’re struck for being flawed. If we buy into this attack on our sensitivity, we experience.

Need for Boundaries

We have actually no regulate over people’s shaming proclamations, however we have actually a lot influence over exactly how we respond to others’ perceptions of us. If we deserve to affirm that it’s okay to be a sensitive perchild, then we can recognize that their opinion about us says more about them than us.


If someone clintends that you’re also sensitive, you may desire to remember that:

There’s nopoint wrong through being sensitive.Tbelow are positive things around being sensitive. It suggests you’re alive rather than asleep.Perhaps the person criticizing you is even more sensitive than they realize. Maybe they’re reluctant to acunderstanding their very own vulnercapacity.


We need sturdy boundaries through those who can judge or shame us. Cultivating an inner boundary allows us to understand and also affirm ourselves, regardless of just how we’re treated.

As expressed in The Authentic Heart:

"Until you learn to identify your very own truth from that of others, you’ll remain painfully enmemelted in your relationships — maybe without being mindful that you’ve let yourself fade right into oblivion … Your feeling of self becomes overshadowed by just how others treat or check out you … Boundaries store you disentangled in a method that supports the healthy and balanced expansion of love and also intimacy."


Sensitive Versus Reactive

There’s a vital distinction between being sensitive and also being reenergetic. Being sensitively attuned to life is a positive top quality. We live through an open, accessible heart. We’re affected by the setting that we’re a part of. This is various than the knee-jerk reaction of obtaining triggered.


For example, if our companion seems to be staring at an additional male or woguy, we can be convinced that they’ve surrendered to a trance of attractivity. Perhaps we’re correct, however it’s also feasible that we’re in a reactive mode based upon our past background. If we’ve had a partner that strayed or a parent who had an affair, we can watch the people through a fearful lens of being betrayed.


In truth, our partner’s attention might have sindicate wandered temporarily—a casual noticing of an attrenergetic or amazing perboy quite than anypoint we must feel intimidated by. Observing our partner’s attention wander, we may be sensitive to possible rejection. We’re enduring a reenergetic sensitivity based upon a painful background.


There’s nopoint wrong via being sensitive in a reenergetic way. But it can behoove us to be mindful of this tender inner location and offer it some gentle attention. Perhaps we can put our arm roughly our hurt or fear — or be with it in the exact same way that we’d be gentle through a hurting son or pet.

Gently attending to reenergetic places is a way to soothe ourselves once we get prompted. Methods such as Focutilizing and Somatic Experiencing deserve to help us heal hurt feelings and old traumas.


As we develop a spacious mindfulness about our automatic reactions, we tfinish to react much less. We acknowledge our triggers and capture our reactions at an previously moment and also realize even more clearly where they’re coming from. An crucial component of individual growth is recognizing as soon as old wounds are being reset off and engaging via them skilltotally so that they deserve to progressively heal. Working via a experienced therapist deserve to regularly assist this process.


As old wounds heal, we’re more able to live and also love via an open up heart. We come to be even more sensitively attuned to world and life. Hurtful words may still sting, but we have inner resources to satisfy the world’s insults.

We’re empowered to honor our sensitivity as we worth ourselves just as we are, which has recognizing old wounds that can gain triggered. The more we validay ourselves unconditionally, the less we enable others to weaken the gentle nature of who we are and the integrity of our tender being.

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John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT, is writer of the award-winning book, Dancing via Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships. His other books encompass The Authentic Heart and Love & Betrayal. He has been a licensed marriage and also family therapist for 35 years in the San Francisco Bay location and has actually carried out workshops internationally on relationships and also couples therapy. www.johnamodeo.com