Wednesday, May 7, 2014

When Sensitivity Goes Too Far...{I Take Things Too Personally}

This is another "Scary Story" post
(you know, a post where I make myself vulnerable
by sharing one or more of my MANY insecurities, faults, shortcomings, etc
that I usually find difficult to talk about,
but know I need to if I'm ever going to overcome it...
yeah...scary story).
This post is all about a HUGE insecurity I have
that frankly I'm sick of dealing with.
It's exhausting and completely ridiculous
(even I know it's ridiculous...but, unfortunately, I still struggle with it).
Just warning you.

This kind of post is the reason I started this blog.
I needed a place to share my scary stories.
And now I have one. we go.

I can honestly say that I have never been accused of being insensitive
(not to my remembrance anyway).
I care A LOT about the people in my life.

Whether they be new co-workers or someone I have grown up with,
I care deeply about them and try my best to show them.
I'm an imperfect person.
Therefore, I know that I'm not going to get it right every time,
however, if I feel that I am failing in this task,
I do my best to quickly correct the situation.
(You read another post about this topic here.)

I am a great empathizer.
I do not wish to sound puffed up,
it is simply the truth.
I can witness a child falling off of his bike
and see the mother running up the street, longing to comfort her child,
and immediately I will start crying
and praying for that child and the mother
because I can empathize with what the mother is feeling.
Whenever I pass a car accident on the road,
or see multiple emergency vehicles with sirens blazing and lights flashing
heading in the same direction,
an overwhelming sense of compassion envelopes me
and again, I start crying and praying for everyone involved.
I have a great capacity for love and sympathy.

But unfortunately there is a flipside to this.

I take things too personally.
I really do.
There are times when someone I care about
will express an opinion that is different from mine
and I feel as if my guts are being ripped out of me.
Now, I know in my head that this person was not trying to hurt me.
That they simply do not feel about the situation the same way I do.
And that it is their God-given right to have an opinion that differs from mine.
But that logic doesn't resound in my emotions
and I usually end up spending the next few minutes
talking myself down from edge of panic.
I'm not exaggerating.
I tend to be THAT sensitive...
RIDICULOUSLY sensitive, I know.

Like I said, I take things too personally.
I always have.
And I actually think I know why.
I think I associate someone having a differing opinion than mine
as someone who thinks my opinion is incorrect and/or stupid.
I kind of attach my self-worth to the idea
that the opinion I have or the suggestion I make is the "Right One".
Therefore, I naturally try to put a LOT of thought and effort
into my opinions and suggestions.
But if someone still disagrees with me,
I immediately think that my thought process has been incorrect from the beginning
and that I should be ashamed of myself for thinking I was right.
And woe to my self-esteem if someone decides
NOT to follow through with a suggestion I made.

For example, I helped my cousins pick out clothing
to wear to ACTS Student Convention.
I carefully helped them plan every outfit in general.
Then apparently after I left their house,
they completely changed some of the outfits
and/or disregarded the suggestions I made of what days to wear what.
When I first saw evidence of this,
I literally felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.
And the first thought in my head was,
"Obviously they didn't think my ideas were good enough."
Then my second thought was,
"I can't believe they would hurt me like that."

Then logic finally found it's voice:
"They aren't changing their outfits to hurt me.
They aren't doing ANYTHING to hurt me.
It's not about ME at all!
It's about them and what clothing they want to wear."

When I look at it in that light,
the truth is glaringly obvious:
This is something that I need to work on.
This is something that NEEDS to change.
And I know, in my own strength, I can't change anything.
The Lord is going to have to help me A LOT with this one.
And I have no doubt that in the coming days and weeks
He will do just that :).

Have you ever overcome an insecurity?
It's a battle isn't it?
But a battle worth fighting :).
Have you ever taken someone's words or actions
as a threat or abuse when that's really the last result they had in mind?

I would love to hear your stories!

Thank you for visiting!