For the majority of my life I put on a front and pushed myself to be a badass who isn’t sensitive. I may be a female but I’m not a girl! I had no intention of being viewed as “just a girl” or as a sensitive person. I was taught those were negative and weak.
There is so much negativity in our society around the term sensitive and the phrase “like a girl.” I think one of the most common statements I can think of is “she/he throws like a girl.” I can rattle off a bunch more statements, but I think you already get the point.
I was taught that being sensitive was unacceptable and you better not cry or I’ll give you something to cry about. Sensitivity was a derogatory reference and I wanted no part of it.
So I really tried and pushed to be a badass who could lift this or dig that or take care of this or a woman who was strong and never cried. I never wanted to be viewed as sensitive or weak.
Until I couldn’t hide my sensitive side anymore. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but there was some kind of switch that was flipped and I think it was around the time that I fell in love and all of my barriers were crushed. I had no walls to hide my sensitivity anymore. Over the years, I have become more and more sensitive and more and more introverted. Especially since I quit drinking.
I’ve struggled with being sensitive and overcoming the negative connotation that I grew up with. And then I heard someone refer to themselves as an empath. It intrigued me. And once I started hearing it more, I finally decided to look into it. What exactly is an empath?
I found an article on healthline.com titled 15 Signs You Might Be an Empath by Crystal Raypole which references work by a couple of different people. Just reading through these 15 signs opened my eyes to more of an explanation of who I really am. Yes, I am sensitive, but even more so I am an empath. I feel like I finally have a description to a lot of my feelings. The 15 signs included in the article are:
- You have a lot of empathy
- Closeness and intimacy can overwhelm you
- You have good intuition
- You take comfort in nature
- You don’t do well in crowded places
- You have a hard time of not caring
- People tend to tell you their problems
- You have a high sensitivity to sounds, smells, or sensations
- You need time to recharge
- You don’t like conflict
- You often feel like you don’t fit in
- You tend to isolate
- You have a hard time setting boundaries
- You see the world in unique ways
- You sometimes find it tough to cope with sensory and emotional overload
Almost every single one of those describes me without any further detail. If you do want further details, the link to the article is above.
Personally, I’m going to be reading the book she references next and I think I might share a series here about each sign. I feel like there might be some of you out there who could be inspired to hear that you are not alone in some of the feelings that go into each of these characteristics.
Being sensitive is truly just fine. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I simply have to keep reminding myself of this.