Which kind of sensitive are you?

By David Joel Miller.

Are you too sensitive or not sensitive enough?

Eye

How sensitive are you?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are at least two kinds of sensitive. One is generally considered good and the other is thought of as bad. Some people are just way too sensitive.  You know the kind of person I mean.  Other people are extremely insensitive. Have you ever thought about the two kinds of sensitive and why you need more of one and less of the other?

Some people are just too sensitive.

Have you met people like this?  With people who are way too sensitive, any little thing you might say they take as an insult. They are always experiencing slights and they are often looking for ways to get even for these slights, real or imaginary.  You have to be careful what you say around people who are so very sensitive.

I think of these people as being like someone who has been in a car crash, covered in blood and broken glass. The wounds need cleaning but even when you try to be helpful, in the most caring manner, they scream in pain.  You reach the point where you are just afraid to interact with them because of their extreme sensitivity

People who are extremely emotionally sensitive are like that, hard to be around. You are always on edge when near them. Say the wrong thing and you set them off. They are constantly touchy. You wish they were just not so sensitive. Their life is the center of the emotional hurricanes eye. Every day brings more drama and if you are not well grounded you can get swept away in their drama.

In fact if they want to stay connected to you what they really need to be is – well just be more sensitive, sensitive in a good way.

Some people are just naturally very sensitive.

These sort of folks just always seem to know exactly the right thing to say. They intuitively know how you are feeling and are supportive in every way.  Everyone needs a few people like this in their life.

Don’t you just wish your friend or partner could be more in tune with your feelings, if only they could be more sensitive?  Especially more sensitive to you and how you’re feeling each day.

What is the difference between the two forms of sensitivity?

If In the first variety, the too sensitive form, the person’s sensitivity is focused inward. They see everything as if it pertains to them. “Why did you say that to hurt me” is their mantra.  That other people have feelings and matter is beyond their understanding.

In the second form, the intuitive and sensitive, the sensitivity is turned outward. They are looking to see how what they are doing is affecting others. This kind of extra sensitive person is empathetic and attuned to others.

Which kind of sensitive are you?

Are you focused inwardly, expecting others to always say and do the right thing to make you happy? Or do you stay focused on others,  looking for ways you can be of service and helpful to them?  The topic of sensitivity justifies some thought.  Consider how you might work on becoming more sensitive to the needs of others and less sensitive to everything they say and do that might affect you

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Cheerfulness.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Cheerfulness.

Cheerfulness

Cheerfulness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Cheerfulness, it would appear,

is a matter which depends fully as much on the state

of things within,

as on the state of things without and around us.”

― Charlotte Brontë

“I love those who can smile in trouble…”

― Leonardo da Vinci

“It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.”

― Jimmy Buffett

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Lessons Anxiety teaches you.

By David Joel Miller.

What are your fears teaching you?

Anxiety and Fear

Lessons Anxiety teaches you.
Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha

Are you someone who suffers from high anxiety?  Have you learned the lessons that your anxiety is trying to teach you?  Anxiety can be a kind of bully, trying to scare you away from anything new and keeping you from the parts of life that might be beneficial. Or anxiety can become a good teacher and help you learn life lessons.

Below is the list of some lessons that anxiety might be able to teach you and ways that you could develop those lessons.

Just because it scares you does not make it dangerous.

A well-functioning anxiety system help you identify risks and warns you of danger.  Some people’s anxiety system is turned up way too high.  Overly sensitive anxiety systems give off warning sounds and flashing lights even when the danger is minimal.

An important lesson you should learn from your experiences with anxiety is that not everything that makes you fearful or scares you is in fact that dangerous.  Learn that your anxiety is a source of information not an absolute life ruler.

It is OK to feel scared.

Some people believe they should never feel scared.  One of the lessons about anxiety it is important to learn is that it is possible to feel scared and still have nothing bad happened.  Let anxiety teach you this lesson.  Just because you’re scared does not mean that anything terrible or awful will necessarily happen to you

It is OK to feel what you feel.

Are you one of those people who was taught that you shouldn’t feel whatever it is that you are feeling?  A valuable lesson that anxiety and many of our other feelings has to teach us is that humans use feelings as a source of information.  Information is neither good nor bad in and of itself.  Was is important is for you to feel what you’re feeling, decide what that means, and then decide what you wanted do with that information.

Feeling can be your friends.

Feelings are not automatically your enemies.  They can be your friends.  Sometimes anxiety and fear are friends warning you of danger.  What you need to decide is how real and how important that danger it is.  Every so often the danger is very real and very eminent.  During those times you will need to do something about it.  Other times your anxiety is detecting something new and unfamiliar and you’ll need to learn how you are going to respond to that new and novel situation.

Walking towards fear makes it shrink.

Fear is a natural-born bully.  Fear wants to have its way.  The more you give in to your fear the larger the fear grows.  Many things that look scary and are fearful at first sight become far less scary as you begin to do them.

If you walk towards something that scares you, what you will often find is that it is far scarier from a distance than once you get up close.

The first time is always the scariest.

Many people are afraid of something new that they’ve never experienced, but once they’ve tried it for that very first time that may discover that they enjoy it.  Don’t let your fears and your anxieties keep you from trying something that might turn out to be a great deal of fun.

Scary experiences create lasting memories.

Despite the fact that many people avoid things that make them anxious or scare them, most of us are also fascinated by the scary.  Scary movies draw large audiences.  Haunted houses are perennial Halloween favorites.

Because of the heightened level of hormones in the body during scary events the brain thinks that it is important to remember these times.  In thinking about the times that some event made you anxious it is important to remember the times that despite the anxiety those things turned out very well.

You can’t be calm and scared at the same time.

Ever notice when there’s a loud noise everyone turns to look at it and ignores everything else that is happening?  Anxiety and fear are like that.  They distract your attention from what else is going on at the same time.

One way of reducing anxieties impact on you is to learn ways to calm yourself.  Stress reduction techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation can all be very helpful in reducing your anxiety.  What you will quickly learn, if you try these techniques, is that it’s not possible to be calm, relaxed and scared at the very same time.

Learn to make this fundamental rule of emotions work for you.  Opposite sets of emotions don’t like to live together.  It’s difficult to laugh when you are sad.  People don’t seem to be able to be both excited and relaxed at the same time.  If you have found that your anxiety has gotten out of control, a quick way to reduce that anxiety, if is to learn ways to self-sooth and calm yourself.

The more skills you have the more you can handle.

In all aspects of life it is important to develop a good set of skills.  While initially it may be uncomfortable to work with strong emotions such as anxiety, the more you do this work the better you get at it.  Repeatedly putting yourself in situations that create a small amount of anxiety, which you discover you are able to handle, can result in increasing your ability to handle increasingly difficult anxiety provoking situations.

Whenever the size of your comfort zone, if you spend too much time cramped inside it, that comfort zone will prevent your personal growth.  Gradually work on stretching out that comfort zone.  Before long you will have the skills to handle situations they used to seem impossible.

When you do good self-care less overwhelms you.

Another lesson than anxiety will teach you is the importance of good self-care.  With poor self-care it’s easy to get stressed out and have everything overwhelmed you.  When you concentrate on taking good care of yourself you will be able to handle situations that you never thought possible.

You will handle most things better than you thought you would.

It’s normal to be very scared before something that you have never experienced. What surprises so many of us is how often we are able to handle far more than we ever believed possible.  Anxiety teaches you that you are capable of much more than you would have believed had you not been in those anxiety provoking situations.

Most of the things we worry about turn out better than we thought.

Many people discover that the majority of things they have worried about turn out better than they expected.  It is a human failing to expect the worst.  Let your anxiety teach you that many good things can happen.

You almost always have more options than you think.

One bad habit that makes anxiety far worse than it needs to be is artificially limiting your options.  Often we only see a couple of alternatives.  Make sure that you look for other options.  People will tell themselves they have to get something done by a deadline or they’re going to lose their job. Only seeing those two options results in not making use of the many more options that might have resulted in a better outcome.  Besides not finishing the report or getting fired, you may also have the options of discussing the deadline with your boss or requesting additional help in completing the project on time.

If you make anxiety your friend you may find that it’s a wonderful teacher.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Compassion.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Compassion.

Compassion

Compassion.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

― Plato

“Compassion is the basis of morality.”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Increase your emotional intelligence.

By David Joel Miller.

Emotional intelligence is more important than you may think.

Feelings

Increase your emotional intelligence.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Most people are very familiar with the idea of IQ, the kind of intelligence that written tests can measure.  What gets overlooked often is the concept of emotional intelligence, the ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling and to react to them in a helpful appropriate way.

If you’ve ever wish that you were better at understanding other people, what they were thinking and feeling, then you may need to work on improving your emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence is not something people are automatically born with.  We learn to be more emotionally intelligent by watching others around us, observing how they react emotionally and by practicing certain basic emotional intelligence skills.

If you would like to try to improve your emotional intelligence here a few simple ways that you may be able to expand and grow that essential skill.

Practice Self-Awareness, recognize you are feeling something.

Emotions, feelings anyway, has gotten a very bad reputation.  Increasingly we are discovering that feelings are not our enemies but are helpful to provide us with the information we need.  The Victorian era view that feelings were bad and to be suppressed, has been replaced by a modern vision that feelings can provide you with useful information.

That first step in making feelings your friends and becoming more emotionally intelligent is simply to recognize when you are feeling something.  Many people have spent so much time trying to avoid feeling anything that it comes as a shock that they need to pay more attention to what they’re feeling and why they are feeling that way.

Becoming emotionally literate.

It’s hard to talk about things if you don’t have words to describe them.  We humans use words and symbols to express and manipulate our thoughts.  Work on developing a larger feelings vocabulary.  If the only two feelings you recognize are good and bad, you have very few ways of feeling.  The more feeling words you recognize the more feelings you can identify.

Spend time and effort learning more feelings words for the times when you or others experience them.  Practice watching others then try to describe the feeling that they might be having at this precise moment.  One exercise we did back in graduate school was to turn the sound off on the TV and watch the people in the show while trying to identify what feelings they were having.

Use this practice of watching people and mentally identifying feelings in as many situations as possible.  With more feelings words and the ability to identify feelings when you see them you will increase your emotional intelligence.

Don’t let your emotions control you, distress tolerance and cravings.

People who are high in emotional intelligence, learn to control their emotions rather than being controlled by those emotions.  The ability to tolerate negative emotions without reacting to them is sometimes referred to as distress tolerance.

It is important to learn that just because you feel feelings you do not have to give in to those feelings.  It is possible to feel badly and have nothing bad happened.  Cravings for many things come and go, the emotionally intelligent person learns that because they feel cravings they do not have to give in to them.

Learn to control and manage your emotions.

You should develop the ability to recognize that you are feeling something and have learned a vocabulary to identify what that feeling is, then you are in a position to manage your emotions.  Emotionally intelligent people think to themselves, what is this feeling I am feeling, and then they decide what they want to do with that feeling.

Make your feelings a source of motivation.

Feelings can either be your boss or your employees.  Rather than letting your feelings control you and determine what you are going to do, work on using your feelings as a source of motivation to help you do the things you want to do.

Anger can be a feeling that provokes people to do things that they later regret.  Emotionally intelligent people can use anger as energy to spur them to take action and change the situation.

Learn empathy, what are they feeling?

Empathy is a very useful emotional skill.  One way to develop more empathy is to focus on what other people are feeling.  The more you’re able to recognize what they’re feeling and perhaps why they are feeling it, the more you will know how to approach them in a useful and helpful manner.

Practice Social Skills.

Social skills required a great deal of practice.  Learning those kinds of skills has somehow fallen out of fashion in this millennium.  Practicing social skills requires putting some effort into meeting and interacting with other people.

The increasing use of technology and the trend towards home schooling have both been forces which encourage people to relate to others indirectly rather than developing their social skills.  No matter where you find yourself or who you are with, use these interactions as opportunities to observe other people with good social skills and to practice your own.

Follow these steps and you too may become someone with a high level of emotional intelligence.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Closeness.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Closeness.

Family Closeness.

Closeness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Closeness means you get hurt; closeness means letting down your defences and letting people see the tender skin under the carapace.”

― Cathy Kelly, Never Too Late

I tried to put things in perspective but sometimes you’re just too close to it.

Cormac McCarthy

You can’t find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.

Carrie Fisher

If your relationship with someone is based on your desire for them to change into something radically different, there’s no real closeness there, no real communication.

Patrick Califia

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Finding Our Values.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Values.

Values

Values
New York City 1980’s
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

― Roy Disney

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

[Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, February 26, 1962]”

― John F. Kennedy

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.