As a highly sensitive INFJ, I feel things deeply all the time. This includes reading about my highly sensitive nature. Blogs written with this theme in mind always make me feel less alien in a society that is unforgiving of sensitivity. But why is it, that sensitivity blogs, can still have such overstimulating articles? The 7 tips to help me cope with high sensitivity are usually pretty intelligent and well thought out. However, after reading the first three, my brain is already mentally exhausted from the strain of reading, interpreting and imaginatively applying the suggested changes.
I wondered why it was customary to go through 7 tips in as few words as possible instead of deeply and thoroughly explaining one point at a time. If highly sensitive people were reading these tips, did they feel overwhelmed like me?
Today, I want to talk to you about my first tip and one I hope can touch many kinds of thoughts.
Tip One: Learn how to accommodate your highly sensitive nature.
I was driving through traffic today, in the rain and in the dark on my way home from work. I thought to myself, the majority of people are going to either be driving extremely slow because they do not know how to drive in the rain or driving too fast and lose control. (Have you noticed this too?) In order to be safe, I decided to drive in the right hand lane, or the slow lane as I call it. I stayed calm, not worrying about possibly dying or hitting someone because I was being cautious by going so slow. It might not be the go to solution for everyone, especially at the end of a long work day of too many meetings, but it works for me. I cut out the anxiety of not knowing how hard the person in front of me is braking, not being able to determine how my car react and the always present factor of human error. It felt good to take care of myself and accommodate my sensitivities. Even if it was difficult for other people to understand.
Let’s continue on this ride.
After I exit the highway, the road is always clogged up. People push to merge, cut each other off and honk their horns. All that anger seems to grow with each heartbeat until it feels overwhelming. I dissuade those feelings by letting people in front of me. If people want to push and shove just to be one, two, three cars ahead of me, be my guest. It’s very likely, the person won’t get home any faster than me. I like to let at least one car into the lane or turn. I feel like I’m taking action to be the “bigger person.” I can deal with the so-called “loss” of letting someone in front of me for the sake of my sanity and peace of mind. I hold those ideals very near and dear to my heart. I will always choose those over negativity.
I will always choose peace of mind over negativity.
The third way I accommodate my highly sensitive nature is by taking the long way around. One particular spot on my route often becomes fairly congested. There is no space to merge. Therefore, people will go in the wrong lane, just to cut you off. This in turn, backs up the line, leaving people in the middle of a busy street because of the people cutting the line. Instead of being angry by the audacity of people (to think of none other than themselves) or becoming furious at being stuck in the middle of the busy road (with multiple cars honking at me to move) I take the long way around. I go completely around this congested area and elect to sit and wait at more stop lights than I need to just to avoid the rising turmoil that overcomes me whenever I try to take the same congested way as everyone else.
I will be the oddball.
I will choose to do what is weird or complicated to accommodate my highly sensitive nature because I value caring for myself over worrying about the thoughts of others.
These small changes in my daily routine may seem trivial to some, but to us highly sensitive people, we know how invaluable these changes can be to our overall tranquility and sense of self. We can choose to do whatever is required in order to take care of our feelings and our needs. Whether doing laundry in your apartment building on a Saturday night, or going grocery shopping at 11pm on a Monday, just to avoid the crowds, go about your business however you decide to. Stay safe and stay sane is a good motto to conclude here I think. The world seems to be constantly pushing us to the edge until we feel like we are always there waiting to tip over. Stay safe, keep from falling over and stay sane, stepping back from the edge as effectively as you can.
I’d love to hear some of the ways you accommodate your highly sensitive nature.
Write me on my contact me page.