My list of quirks doesn’t stop at just anxiety and misophonia; I also happen to live life as an empath and highly sensitive person too. Lucky me…
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Although two different personality traits, being highly sensitive and an empath are not mutually exclusive. They don’t have to occur in tandem, but often they do.
An overarching characteristic of these two traits is the feeling of emotions more deeply than usual. It is also common to be more emotionally reactive, be more sensitive to annoying sounds, and even suffer from anxiety and depression. It may sound somewhat overwhelming – and don’t get me wrong, it can be – but for the most part it is pretty amazing to feel emotions on a crazy scale.
They say around 1 in 5 people are highly sensitive, possessing different traits that make them deal with emotion a little differently. I have always been acutely aware that I am highly emotional; and that this, my misophonia and anxiety had to be linked somehow.
And no, my rollercoaster emotions aren’t just due to whatever my hormones are doing at the time. Squealing with delight and dancing around the room at good news, before finding someone to message to share my joy, does not have anything to do with my hormone levels. Nor does sharing in my friend or acquaintance’s pain. I take on emotion and wear it proudly, be it overly happy or very sad.
Unfortunately, no matter how many people tell you to harden up, or calm your farm, it just doesn’t work. You just can’t help but feel things deeply. Rather than just touching the surface of emotion, or skirting around it altogether, us highly sensitive fold tend to sit on things a while longer and process them more deeply.
It happens across all areas of life too, not just in relation to emotion; we tend to think a lot, try our best to understand and process, and mull over things for a while. It is just the way that our mind works.
Being highly sensitive isn’t a bad thing at all, it is just something else you have to understand about yourself.
Sure, reacting more in a situation than other people can be embarrassing sometimes (trying to hide your tears in a children’s film is A-OK), but in some instances it can come in handy. Showing more concern for a friend in a trying situation, or being overjoyed for them when they achieve something is a beautiful thing. It is more beautiful than not understanding the way they may be feeling. You sort of get over the embarrassing side of it and just learn to live with the way you are.
I often wonder what it would be like to never feel elation, or euphoria; or at least not feel it often. I couldn’t imagine a life without that immense sense of joy and calm that I feel when I see a calm blue ocean on a sunny day. I could probably imagine a life in which the water works didn’t start at the slightest of upsets though. And a life where I could make decisions more easily, not feel obliged to constantly apologise and not have to deal with anxiety.
But if I can’t change it, why fight it? We are all made that little bit differently, and these different little quirks are what make us so unique and special!