Have you ever found yourself freaking out because someone else told you about something that made you fuming mad and yet in the end, it was not such a big deal and you appeared to have over-reacted? Surely such situations fall into the category of those which you wish you did not do. We are all humans and yet have different levels of emotional outbursts. Do we really have to end up with tantrums and be the talk of the town?
Often times, emotional reactions, whether freaking out or crying inside, is a fruit of a long-delayed set of incidents that have not been addressed emotionally and ends up filled up to the brim and leads us to bursts of strong feelings.
The good news is – any emotional situation can be managed. You can be less sensitive and be more positive. The way you have reacted to the series of situations in the past is a decision you made – whether consciously or unconsciously.
You have primed up yourself to react in situations that are your pet-peeves. The solution is about resolving issues as they come or at least far from becoming a big fire.
Here are 6 easy-to-follow tips that will help us tame our wildfire emotions and have less sensitive persona.
#1 Develop the habit of relaxation or meditation
Without waiting for situations that threaten your emotional tiger, you need to develop practicing relaxation or meditation.
An article by Andrea Bartz in Psychology Today (Sense and Sensitivity) says meditation is a powerful way to drain down stress hormones. Meditation guru Dr. Judith Orloff prescribes quick three minute meditations during the day: “Sit quietly, put your hand over your heart, deepen your breathing or focus on something beautiful”
If you have developed this habit, you can also perform relaxation when the situation requires and it will be easier to manage your feelings.
#2 Validate the message
Someone subtly mentioned about you doing something else rather than your job and it gets you irritated and flared up. Was that supposed message intentional or it was your imagination that made you interpret it that way?
Often times, a statement that has gone wrong is a fruit of wrong interpretation and perhaps different points of view. Hence, clarifying on the message can help a lot in starting a dialogue and avoid an unnecessary conflict.
- Validate the message by repeating what was said: “You said that I was busy doing something else over this urgent project”
- Share your interpretation of the message: “It comes to me as saying I did not prioritize on my job as expected”
- Offer to listen to his side of the story: ” Is that what you meant?”
#3 Think it over
Is it worth an inch of attention? A passing comment by a stranger in the train no matter how mean is not worth your time and emotions. A critique by your colleague requires some attention as it impacts your work. A nagging statement by your spouse can affect you if it is demeaning your self-esteem.
But it all depends on the situation, the issue and your capacity to handle them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the scenario in your “ecology”, that is, your family, home, work or any facet of your life? Or is it in public such as train, park or anywhere else where parties involved are strangers?
- Is the issue talking about my personal life, the things I care about or the things that matter to the society such as social issues, crime, etc.?
- Am I the sensitive type who broods over a criticism? Am I able to distinguish between a passing comment and a serious deep-seated remark? Is this a recurring issue?
#4 Talk things out and learn from others
Talking to someone you trust allows you to release the tension without having to build it up inside you. By doing so, you also get another’s point of view and see things in a better light.
By sharing the burden with another, you do not only get a different outlook but support as well!
#5 Express your dislike about something in a nice way
If at its worse, you really think that what was expressed was insulting, demeaning or in bad taste, there is nothing wrong about confronting it. It takes one brave soul who can do this and hopefully change the mindset of the person about the issue or about you. Often times, such rude comments come when you keep allowing people to do that to you.
State your dislike clearly: “I did not like the way you described my work as …” or “I beg to disagree with you but…”
Always apply the golden rule in managing relationships: Mutual Respect. There is no need to see the other party as the enemy. See him or her as a collaborator in making a good person like you.
Don’t be too serious about everything
Highly sensitive people tend to “inhabit a teeming world of vibrant colors, sharp smells, striking sounds and powerful tugs at their emotions” says Bartz of Psychology Today. Part of the nature of highly sensitive people is that they see everything else in a higher level. While sensitivity brings about closeness to happy things, it also drains energy when entrapped into negativity.
Applying everything else mentioned above, focus on the more important issues and lighten up your heart and mind with something positive. Then you will be less sensitive.
Best of all, you can even use your own sensitivity to see the beautiful things in your environment – things to feel good about!
About the author
Rob Leonardo created ConfidenceCues.Com as a safe haven for those who want to gain more confidence to achieve success. His FREE email series Manifesto of Confident People is opening its doors for a new batch this month to the first 100 new subscribers. Reserve a slot HERE and be part of the growing community supporting each other to boost self-confidence!