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Why it's okay to be sensitive

I was talking with my mum a while ago and she told me a story about my first day at nursery. My teacher said to her: "How would you describe Alice?" to which my mum replied, "...Sensitive." My teacher apparently thought it was sweet, but my mum told her as a warning! It made me think, though; what's wrong with being sensitive?

I will be the first to admit that I'm a massive crybaby. I will literally cry at most anything.

When I was in primary school, my teachers had to bribe me with a special colouring-in chart for every day that I could leave my mum without crying. She'd drop me off and I'd just feel such a sense of betrayal that my mum would leave me in the hands of strangers!

It's funny to look back on it, and it's really funny to think about the stupidest reasons that I've cried in my life. You know, the usual - crying over puppies, because I had to change the bed sheets, there was no bread when I really really wanted some toast... I could go on.

I used to be (and still am) terrible with goodbyes. Just saying goodbye to someone makes me tear up! I even cry at most happy things. I just can't help it!

It's a bit of a running joke in my family that I cry at everything. When I was a baby just certain songs used to make me cry - including the Eastenders theme tune (I mean, it's pretty sad). I would cry at every opportunity. But as I've grown older, even though I'm still pretty sensitive, I've realised that it's not actually such a bad thing, even though everyone makes me feel bad about it.

Being sensitive doesn't equal being weak. I'm not a weak person by any means. Mentally, I think I am very strong because I've gone through a lot of stuff by myself, in my own head. Being sensitive to me is just an ability to feel things deeply and to be able to sort through those emotions and deal with them.

I'm open to my feelings and although I find them difficult to talk about sometimes, I'm pretty attuned to them. I guess it took me quite a long time to realise that crying isn't necessarily a sign of weakness and for some people it's just a way of dealing with emotions.

Being sensitive isn't just about crying, though. I know that I take a lot of things to heart when in reality, they probably aren't a big deal. Like, for me, disappointment is one of my biggest triggers. I'm the worst for creating imaginary plans or scenarios in my head and as soon as they don't go to plan, I get emotional. For example, when Josh and I lived separately, I'd create a whole situation in my head where he'd drive to my house and stay over so I didn't have to sleep alone. Then I'd get personally offended when he said he couldn't, despite him never agreeing to my imaginary plans anyway.

I like to think I'm pretty relaxed when it comes to other people's opinions of me; I'm fairly good at brushing off negative attitudes. However, certain comments and opinions coming from certain people can affect me really deeply. I'm not bothered if a stranger gives me a dirty look, but if someone I actually care about says anything remotely critical about or towards me, then I'm immediately devastated.

Long story short, sensitivity isn't always negative and it's a side of my personality that it's taken 22 years to accept and learn to love! Sometimes it's entertaining and sometimes it's a pain in the arse, but I'm a sensitive crybaby and proud. Now, please excuse me whilst I cry into my dinner while looking at videos of dogs...

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1 comment

  1. Alice, I have so much respect for you for writing this! I couldn't agree more than sensitivity is not a weakness, it is a strong and brave thing to be open about your emotions and not bottle things up! I'm exactly the same - if I'm sad, I cry, if I'm happy, I'm on top of the world! I am so glad that you have found self acceptance because you're absolutely right, being sensitive is nothing to be ashamed of!

    Abbey 🌷


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