Friday, May 13, 2011

Deconstructing the Highly Sensitive Person: Part Two

Earlier I wrote the first part of this blog series, you can find it here. This blog is more of a personal nature. I examined the archetypal empath from many perspectives, mostly scientific and psychological, but there was very little of an actual HSP inside. This blog is the other half. The yin to it's yang.

A more apt title would probably be: Confessions of  a Highly Sensitive Person

I'm going to start off by saying I'm probably not a good pick for an average "empath". I don't claim to feel other's emotions, I don't claim to work with energy, hell, I barely even lay claim to the title of empath. But I do know I'm very sensitive. Spiritually, I've had experiences with the 'paranormal'. I've had shamanic experiences that science has difficulty describing, and I've had powerful emotional experiences as well. But the biggest part of being an empath, that ability to "take on another's feelings" I don't do. Instead, I work a bit differently.

I have a naturally adept understanding of emotions, my own and other people's. I've worked for years on tuning my awareness into the language people use and choice of words. It reveals a lot about how someone feels. I take that awareness of linguistics, and I analyze every word a person uses. It's almost second nature now, but I still have to work on it more. When I know what someone is feeling, I can then put myself in their shoes. I build that situation in my mind, create the emotions, and feel it. I don't emotionally feel it; it's more like an understanding. Now, if I connect deeply with someone, then I may feel it emotionally, but that's really a different matter. It has been my experience that if I feel an emotion, it's my own, not someone else's.

My main defense mechanism, when I feel hurt or threatened, is to build up a gigantic wall around my emotions, and become almost completely robotic. I become cold, calculated, and logical. Now granted, most of the time I'm logical and calculating, but in this state, I am completely emotionless. I do this because I am so sensitive. Weird, huh? If I allowed myself to be emotional every time I felt threatened or hurt, I would fly into fits of rage at the smallest of trespasses or cry uncontrollably from the lightest of passing remarks. The more I'm hurt, the more robotic I become. This has a benefit, and a huge detriment. The benefit is that I can assess small remarks rather logically, realizing that the person may have just been frustrated or angry, for one reason or another. Sometimes it works, other times I'm left puzzling over two words for hours. The problem with this tactic though, is that people expect emotion in that type of situation and they don't get it. In some extreme cases, I barely respond at all, leaving people feeling as though they're talking to a brick wall. That doesn't help in a situation where I am supposed to respond.

But, when I'm alone, I'm very emotional. I have nobody to feel threatened by, allowing me to stop being robotic. I see it this way: take your average joe's emotion, and multiply it by a factor of about 10. In everything. Happiness, elation, remorse, guilt, anger, rage, everything. For me though, especially rage. Rage and guilt. It's really tough to know when I'm angry though, because I never show it. I have a lot of anger stored inside me, so when you release a little bit, you get a lot. Though, I also become robotic. I feel it, but I don't act on it. Fights for me become almost like a game of chess. I feel the anger, and it becomes almost like a fuel. The adrenaline speeds up my thoughts, allowing me to be angry, cold, calculating, and lightning-fast. Though those times are few and far between, 99% of the time I'm too afraid to actually fight. Anxiety and fear are multiplied by 10 as well. Really, the only way I could possibly come up with to cope was to be robotic, otherwise I'd just be slung around by my emotions, all the time. And I'm male too, so that's not exactly socially acceptable, at least, by the unwritten rules of society.

Alone, I can be emotional. It's the only time I really get to be me. I can't be me for any of my other friends, really. I need to be who they need me to be, even if that's a leader. I have one person in my life who I can just be me with... and that is the owner of this blog, Misuchi. I really do need to find a healthier method of coping though. Really, it wouldn't be so much of a problem if everyone was hyper emotional, because then I'd just be normal. The problem is that I react much more strongly to things than everyone else. It affects me more. 10 times more. Though that's just a rough estimate. It could be more. I really don't know.

Maybe, on some level, I want to be alone. I want to finally just be who I am. I don't like that thought at all, but there's something freeing about not having to bend to anyone else's ideals anymore. I love my friends, very much so, but I always just feel alone. Maybe if I let myself be who I really am, I wouldn't feel so alone anymore. I would have me. Again, I don't know.

Hmmm... a list of my daily struggles as a highly sensitive person... Getting out of bed in the morning because I'm so sleepy. Dealing with my anxiety about damn near everything. Hyper analysis of every word everyone says. Hyper analysis of everyone's body language that I can see. Struggling with feelings of self-doubt. Struggling with self-confidence. Dealing with people who aren't kind to me, and who conjure lots of anger in me. Struggling not to cry during sad movies and chick flicks. Attempting to make friends with people, and getting hurt at the smallest of things, like them forgetting I exist. Getting lost in emotional music. I know there's more, but I can't think of it right now.

I have a lot of anger inside me. Though, that could also be passion. Like a fire burning inside your heart. Perhaps, what's inside me isn't pure anger, but a bonfire? An inferno. Any emotion I feel touches that fire, and the fire becomes that emotion. An interesting metaphor, but it feels the most probable. Curiosity, as soon as it touches that fire, I can't satiate my lust for knowledge. Passion... if love touches that fire, it poses a serious health risk, as I'm very capable of suffocating someone with love alone, let alone the ferocity of the hug it would take to satisfy that love. If I'm taken by a fit of inspiration, and it touches that fire, I will barely sleep until I either complete my work, or fall over dead. Like now. This is me, taken by a fit of inspiration that touched my fire. I do believe I just had an epiphany. I don't feel burdened by uncontrollable anger anymore. Perhaps I just vented it all earlier, but I don't think that is the case.

There really isn't much of a point to this blog. I already examined the highly sensitive person in extreme detail. No, this blog is more seeing a highly sensitive person in reality. The opportunity to empathize with me. That's really the goal of this blog. Empathy. That's always been the point.


  1. the entire post! I wouldn't recommend listening to the song "Uninvited" by Alaniss Morrissette. The tears were just flowing...
    You sound like an awesome person by the way! Thanks for the post.

  2. I was just told I was a hyper-sensitive too. Its so true, I am EXACTLY like you, except I'm a girl. I feel as if someone finaly understands what I have to go threw everyday, this fucken fakeness, anger, sadness to any "bad" thing someone does to me even if they did not realise it! And its like the more I open up to someone, the more it hurts! It always hurts! Thank God I am not alone, I really wish I could be me but it hurts too damn much. I ruin all my relationships either because it hurts too much or Im cold as ice, no jokes. And when Im alone, oh thats not fun either, cause it all comes out. Ahhh well at least Im not the only one. But still have faith, and I believe that I can use this to my advantage, it can be a beautiful thing if I know how to control it :)