Do you find yourself riding an emotional roller coaster, catapulted to great heights when good things happen and sunk into the depths when bad things happen? Do you cry too often and too easily such that its difficult to get your message across and people don’t take you seriously? Do you feel inflamed by injustices and turn people off with your intensity regarding hot button issues? Are you overwhelmed by other people’s emotions; feeling awkward around those who are anxious, easily drained and hassled by others’ problems, devastated by their criticism, or terrified of their anger? Do you fall head over heels into romantic relationships only to be crushed with disappointment when they don’t work out?
If so, you may be a highly sensitive person with emotional “superpowers” which you haven’t learned to harness. Emotions are signals that provide information about ourselves, other people and our environments. They can be very useful when managed skillfully, but they can wreak havoc when allowed to run wild.
Emotions are adaptive when they:
•motivate behavior in order to respond appropriately to a situation.
•help us make good decisions.
•help us remember things we need or want to remember.
•warn us of trouble or alert us to new opportunities
Emotions are maladaptive when:
•They are too intense
•They last too long
•We are unable to manage or cope with them.
•We react impulsively or destructively based on them.
Emotional sensitivity might be likened to Spiderman’s “Spider Sense”. Emotionally sensitive people may be much better at receiving emotional signals. However, the trick is to be able to see these signals for what they really are and respond to them appropriately – just like Peter Parker had to learn what his Spider Sense meant and how to harness it for good. Learning to harness your emotional superpowers will improve your ability to:
understand other people’s social cues
self-soothe in order to cope with life’s ups and downs