Stop Taking Things Personally: How to Be Less Sensitive

There are ways to be less sensitive and more resilient. Are you someone who finds themselves getting hurt or upset by even the smallest of comments or actions? Do you feel like your emotions are always on high alert, leaving you drained and overwhelmed? If so, you may be a highly sensitive person.

One way to become less sensitive is by practicing mindfulness. By focusing on the present moment and observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment, we can learn to regulate our emotions and reactions. Another strategy is building our emotional regulation skills, such as learning to tolerate distress and delay our responses. Writing about our feelings in a journal can also help us process and manage our emotions.

It’s important to note that being less sensitive doesn’t mean suppressing our emotions or becoming numb to the world around us. Instead, it means learning how to manage our emotions healthily and constructively. By implementing these strategies, we can become more resilient and better equipped to handle life’s challenges.

How to Be Less Sensitive

Understanding Sensitivity

What is Sensitivity?

Sensitivity is a personality trait that refers to the ability to perceive and respond to emotional and environmental stimuli. Sensitive people tend to be more aware of their own emotions and the emotions of others. External factors such as noise, light, and crowds may also affect them more.

Sensitivity is not a disorder or a weakness but a natural variation in human temperament. Some people are naturally more sensitive than others, which can be influenced by genetics, upbringing, and life experiences.

Types of Sensitivity

There are different types of sensitivity that people can experience. Here are some examples:

  • Emotional Sensitivity┬árefers to the ability to perceive and respond to emotions in oneself and others. Emotionally sensitive people may be more empathetic and compassionate but also more prone to anxiety and stress.
  • Sensory Sensitivity: This refers to the ability to perceive and respond to sensory stimuli such as sound, light, touch, and taste. Sensory-sensitive people may be more easily overwhelmed by certain sensory experiences and may need to take steps to manage their exposure to these stimuli.
  • Cognitive Sensitivity┬árefers to the ability to perceive and respond to cognitive stimuli such as information and ideas. Cognitively sensitive people may be more reflective and introspective but may also be more prone to rumination and overthinking.

Understanding the different types of sensitivity can help us better understand and manage our sensitivity. Recognizing our sensitivities can reduce our exposure to triggers and build our resilience to stress.

How to Be Less Sensitive: The Impact of High Sensitivity

Being highly sensitive can have both positive and negative impacts on our lives. This section will discuss some of these impacts on relationships and personal life.

Effects on Relationships

High sensitivity can affect our relationships in various ways. Here are some examples:

  • Overreacting to Criticism: Highly sensitive people can sometimes overinterpret or overreact to perceived criticism or judgment, leading to relationship conflicts.
  • Difficulty in Trusting Others: Due to their heightened emotional responses, highly sensitive people may find it difficult to trust others, impacting their relationships negatively.
  • Being Highly Perceptive: On the other hand, highly sensitive people are often more perceptive of subtle differences in others’ behavior, which can help them build stronger and more meaningful relationships.

Effects on Personal Life

High sensitivity can also have an impact on our personal lives. Here are some examples:

  • Lower Tolerance for Sensory Input: Highly sensitive people may have a lower tolerance for high levels of sensory input, such as loud noises or strong smells, which can lead to discomfort or even anxiety.
  • Feeling Things More Deeply: Highly sensitive people tend to feel things more deeply, both positive and negative emotions, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
  • Need for More Downtime: Highly sensitive people may need more downtime to process information and avoid overstimulation, impacting their productivity and daily routines.

High sensitivity can positively and negatively impact our lives, including relationships and personal life. Understanding these impacts allows us to manage our sensitivity and live a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Strategies to be Less Sensitive

If you are looking to be less sensitive, there are some strategies that you can try. These strategies are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but they can help you build emotional resilience and regulate emotions effectively. We will discuss some of these strategies below.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. They can also help you develop a sense of calm and inner peace, which can help reduce your sensitivity. You can try mindfulness and meditation in various ways, such as:

  • Guided meditations: There are many apps and videos available that offer guided meditations.
  • Mindful breathing: You can practice mindful breathing by focusing on your breath and observing your thoughts without judgment.
  • Mindful movement: You can try yoga or tai chi, which involve mindful movement and breathing.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions effectively. It can also involve understanding and empathizing with others’ emotions. Developing emotional intelligence can help you be less sensitive by giving you the tools to manage your emotions effectively. Some ways to develop emotional intelligence include:

  • Identifying your emotions: Try to identify and label your emotions accurately.
  • Understanding your triggers: Identify the situations or people that trigger your sensitivity.
  • Developing empathy: Try to understand others’ perspectives and emotions.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an essential part of being less sensitive. Boundaries can help protect your emotional well-being and prevent others from crossing your emotional boundaries. Some ways to set boundaries include:

  • Saying no: Learn to say no to things that do not align with your values or goals.
  • Communicating your needs: Communicate your needs clearly and assertively.
  • Avoiding toxic people: Avoid people who are negative or toxic to your emotional well-being.

Becoming less sensitive requires effort and practice. The abovementioned strategies can help you build emotional resilience and regulate your emotions effectively. Remember that being less sensitive does not mean suppressing your emotions. It means managing your emotions effectively and developing a healthy emotional balance.

Professional Help

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may still struggle with being overly sensitive. In these cases, seeking professional help may be the best option to help us cope with our emotions.

Therapy

Therapy can be a helpful tool for those who struggle with being overly sensitive. A therapist can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for us to explore our emotions, identify triggers, and develop coping strategies. Many different types of therapy are available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy, among others.

We may learn techniques to manage our emotions during therapy sessions, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive restructuring. Therapy can also help us work through past traumas or emotional wounds that may contribute to our sensitivity.

Support Groups

Another option for seeking professional help is to join a support group. Support groups provide a space for us to connect with others who may be going through similar struggles. They can provide validation and encouragement and help us feel less alone in our experiences.

Support groups can be found online and in person and may be led by a trained therapist or facilitator. Some examples of support groups for sensitive individuals include the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Meetup Group and the Sensitive Empowerment Community.

Seeking professional help through therapy or support groups can be a valuable tool for those struggling with being overly sensitive. By working with a trained professional or connecting with others who share similar experiences, we can develop coping strategies and feel more empowered in managing our emotions.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

When it comes to being less sensitive, we can make certain lifestyle choices that help us feel more balanced and less reactive. Here are some key areas to focus on:

Exercise

Physical activity has been shown to positively impact mental health, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress. It can also help us feel more confident and empowered in our bodies.

To incorporate more exercise into our lives, we can start by finding activities we enjoy, such as dancing, hiking, or yoga. We can also incorporate movement into our daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking during our lunch break.

Nutrition

What we eat can also have a significant impact on our mental health. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can give us the nutrients we need to feel our best. It can also help regulate our mood and energy levels.

To make healthier food choices, we can focus on adding more whole foods to our diets and reducing our intake of processed foods and sugary drinks. We can also try meal prepping and planning to make sticking to our goals more manageable.

Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for our mental and physical well-being. Lack of sleep can increase stress, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. It can also weaken our immune system and increase our risk of developing chronic health conditions.

We can improve our sleep habits by creating a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed. We can also establish a consistent sleep schedule and limit our exposure to screens before bedtime.

By making these healthy lifestyle choices, we can support our mental and physical health and feel more resilient in the face of stress and challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we develop thicker skin?

Developing thicker skin means becoming less sensitive to criticism and negative feedback. One way to do this is by practicing self-compassion and reminding ourselves that we are imperfect and everyone makes mistakes. We can also focus on the positive aspects of ourselves and our accomplishments rather than dwelling on the negative.

What are some practical ways to become less sensitive?

One practical way to become less sensitive is by setting boundaries and learning to say no when we feel overwhelmed or stressed. We can also try to practice mindfulness and meditation to help us stay grounded and present in the moment. Additionally, we can try to challenge our negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, and focus on positive self-talk instead.

How do we stop taking things personally?

To stop taking things personally, we can try to practice empathy and see things from the other person’s perspective. We can also remind ourselves that other people’s opinions and actions are not always a reflection of us, but rather a reflection of their own beliefs and experiences. It can also be helpful to take a break and step away from the situation to gain a new perspective.

What are some tips for dealing with criticism without getting upset?

One tip for dealing with criticism is to listen actively and try to understand the other person’s perspective. We can also try to separate the criticism from our own self-worth and focus on the specific behaviors or actions that are being criticized. It can also be helpful to ask for specific feedback and suggestions for improvement.

How can we build self-confidence and reduce our sensitivity?

To build self-confidence and reduce sensitivity, we can try to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, and practice self-compassion and self-care. We can also challenge our negative beliefs and thoughts about ourselves, and practice positive self-talk and affirmations. Additionally, seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can be helpful in building self-confidence and reducing sensitivity.

What are some strategies for managing emotions in the workplace?

One strategy for managing emotions in the workplace is to practice mindfulness and meditation to help us stay present and calm. We can also try to communicate effectively and assertively, and set boundaries to prevent burnout and stress. Additionally, seeking support from colleagues or a therapist can be helpful in managing emotions in the workplace.

 

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