There’s one thing I’ve been noticing a lot lately online, and it really bothers me. I’m going to call it sensitivity shaming, since I don’t think there’s a technical term for it. But it’s exactly what it sounds like – shaming people for being sensitive. To me, it’s a disturbing trend, one which has a lot wrong with it. I can understand that you prefer people not cry over every little thing – the sky, their underwear, spilled milk, whatever. But here’s the thing – not every issue that people are sensitive about is something stupid.
It’s a part of this trend to put yourself out as tough, brash, blunt, and to use that as an excuse for singling people out and bullying them. Being that I feel (Oh noez, feelings! o_O) that the so-called tough, brash and blunt people are overrepresented and that I prefer not to follow that trend, and also being that I am proud to say I’m sensitive, I am going to give my angle on the issue.
I get it. You’re blunt. You’re to the point, and you’re honest. You’re opinionated, and you won’t hesitate to put your opinions out there on a silver platter for everyone to see. It’s great that people have their own opinions about things. We’re all different – sometimes (and sometimes not), an opinion is a new way to look at things, even if you may not agree with it completely. Sometimes, an opinion helps to expose new ideas and ways of looking at things. It’s great that we have the freedom to think freely, and to be ourselves.
Wait a minute. Let me restate something. “It’s great that we have the freedom to think freely, and to be ourselves.” That’s just the thing, isn’t it? We’re all different – none of us are the same, and while you may feel comfortable being blunt, or whatever – some people just happen to fall on the more sensitive angle of the spectrum. Why? Because we are all different.
Some people have truly been through a lot. Some have been through abuse and bullying. Some have been through hard times, in which they were close to homeless. Some people have had a lot of people hurt them in the past, and therefore have a hard time trusting anyone. Some haven’t had to deal with those things. You cannot adequately judge someone else’s reactions to their own experiences. You can try but most of the time, you’ll miss the mark.
Some things bother people, and those things may not bother you. But at the same time, you are most likely also bothered by some things which may not bother others. For instance, if you are the “blunt and brash” sort, you may be bothered by sensitivity. If you are sensitive, you may be bothered by the “blunt and brash” sort. Don’t expect people to be unbothered by everything you are unbothered by. You can’t adequately justify what someone else is thinking or feeling – and the rationality of it – by what you are thinking and feeling. We’re all different people, with different personalities and different reactions to things. Don’t use your bluntness to justify what you are doing to someone who may be bothered by you.
Being sensitive does not mean being dishonest. Someone who shows sensitivity and who states things carefully is not necessarily being dishonest or sugar-coating things. You can be very honest while still being considerate towards others. You can still state your opinions and thoughts without being accusing about it.
Sensitivity can be the cause of inspiration. You may choose to do something because you have strong feelings about. Sensitivity can help you in dealing with others in a way in which no one is angry or upset, and being sensitive can help you and the other party to think up resolutions to problems, rather than leaving the anger there and leaving things unresolved. Sensitivity can inspire many things – art, music, charity – and there’s no reason to shame anyone who has sensitivity as one of their personal qualities.
Sensitivity can indicate strength. If you are sensitive because you’ve been through a lot, then it means that you’ve endured a lot and therefore, have strength. It can mean that you’ve been through a lot of harshness in life and have still come through as a caring, decent person. In this life, it’s often hard to be sensitive. We are often made to feel that we should not show our feelings – that we should not express who we are, and that is alienating. It makes you feel alone, like there aren’t other sensitives out there, like something’s wrong with you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being sensitive!
If you feel that someone jumped on you for saying something you didn’t mean to be harmful, okay, then attack that issue itself. Be honest and tell them that you meant no harm by it, and tell them what you really meant. Don’t start a drama-fight about how they are “too sensitive.” Fact of the matter is, you are actually being sensitive about someone else being sensitive. It’s a highly hypocritical thing to do.
Not all sensitive people are “bleeding heart,” cry about everything types. Most of us just have issues that we are sensitive about. You may or may not agree with those things. In fact, you can even *gasp!* say so. But if someone doesn’t wish to talk about it, then just let it be. Treat people with the same consideration you would like to be treated.
I realize my opinion here might not be a popular one, and that’s okay. I don’t strive to be popular. But as a sensitive person, I feel that it’s my right to be myself, to express myself, and to state my own opinions on things that I see going on. Don’t agree with me all you want, but don’t start shaming me because I feel differently than you do. There’s no logic in that.