5 Soul Authority secrets for unfulfilled empaths and sensitive experts
(Source: Unsplash Jason D)
Many highly sensitive people (HSPs) realize as early as in kindergarten (me!) that something is not quite right. I shed more tears than my siblings, friends, and cousins combined, and was flat-out told that these tears were ‘crocodile tears’ and not real. Why? Because they lacked ‘good reason’ — as if feelings ran on logic.
In grade school, HSPs like me often get teased for being cry babies. We get in trouble for being too much or too little in comparison to the norm: in first grade, I needed to go the principal’s office for being too soft spoken, too timid and too easily shaken up by my teacher’s loud reprimands, when I wasn’t even the one in trouble.
It doesn’t stop there. In middle and high school, our peers think we’re weird, overly dramatic, too serious or too intense. Our parents want us to open up when we’re overwhelmed and shut the world out, yet glaze over and tone us down when we share our full range of feelings. They can’t wait for our precocious, emotional, hormonal phase to end.
By the time we’re adults, we’ve got HSP symptom shame and self-blame down-pat. We’re convinced that it’s our fault that we can’t crack this confusing relationship code that everyone else seems to get.
“Self-blame, symptom shame, and fear are the biggest self-love and self-compassion crushers.” — Loraine Van Tuyl
Start to reframe self-blame with this truth: we sense and are impacted by subtle nuances and other people’s disowned shadow parts and emotions that the rest of the population (80% or so) either benignly neglects, actively rejects or entirely misses.
This places us in a lose-lose double-bind. In order to belong, we need to artificially dim the light on our version of reality and push truth that’s unacceptable back in the shadows. Being the harmony loving creatures we are, we often become masters at doing whatever it takes to fly under the radar. We chameleon through life, even when overwhelmed by stimuli and imbalances in our environment — a key characteristic of HSP. This initially pays off but eventually takes a big toll on our well-being.