Happiness Secrets.

By David Joel Miller.

Happy people know and practice these secrets.

Many happy faces

Happiness Secrets.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Happiness is not an accident. Being happy is not about luck. There are happy people in the humblest of situations and miserable people in mansions. Mostly this is about your attitude and developing the skills to keep your life in balance. Below is a list of happy life secrets gleaned from a variety of sources. You can have these as my gift to you. Pick through the list and see which happy life skills would benefit you and then adopt those principles today. Most of these are skills. To be effective you can’t just do it once. Being happy is a something you should be practicing every day.

Happy is a choice.

You can stay sad, angry or unhappy as long as you want. Being happy is less about what you have and what happens to you, and much more about how you decide you will react to the events of life.  Make a choice today that you plan to maximum your happiness.  When you look down you see the dirt.  When you look up you see the clouds and at night the stars.

You can be miserable if you chose.

Pain, that stuff comes and goes. Some people get way more than their share and others not so much, but the happy person learns that the pain is out of their control but the suffering is voluntary. You can make the worst of the situation or you can look for the gem stones that come mixed in the gravel of life.

Happy people study to become happiness experts.

An expert can see things other people miss. A finish carpenter will spot a flaw in construction as soon as they enter the room. Others will never notice that flaw. The happiness expert studies happiness, they can recognize it far off and they are practiced at scooping up and holding on to those little dose of happiness that run by each day.

Look for happiness every day and everywhere.

Happiness is a shy creature.  It is often hiding, mixed in with the activities of everyday life.  Make it your task to spot those fleeting glimpses of happiness.  Collect those happiness sightings the way a bird watcher collects records of having seen a rare bird.

This is a real life, some days are happier than others.

Some days are inherently happier than others.  When there are less happy days make sure to remind yourself that there will be more happy days to come.  Stay open to the possibility that tomorrow something good might happen to you.

Life isn’t always the way you want it. You chose your attitude.

Be careful to not get hung up on the things that you don’t have, or the things that don’t go the way you want them to.  There will be times in life when things don’t go your way.  You may not get to choose the events but you do get to choose the attitude you take towards them.

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

When you find that the things you are doing are making your life worse stop doing those things.  Most of us have a hard time letting go of things that are not adding to our happiness.  Bad habits, drugs and alcohol, gambling, don’t make you happy.  Don’t spend a lot of time on people who are negative and drag you down.  Dispose of the things in your life that are holding you back and treasurer the things that make you happy.

Divorce perfectionism.

Perfectionism it is the enemy of happiness.  Chasing being perfect is a great mirage.  Trying to be perfect leaves you unsatisfied with whenever and wherever you are.  Be kind and accept yourself just the way you are.  A focus on your flaws robs you of the joy of the things that you do well.

Go on a low stress diet. – Stress is about attitude.

Life can be stressful.  Both the good things and the bad things can make you feel stressed.  Learn to not stress yourself out over things.  Accept what is.  Resolve not to stress yourself out over things which are outside your control.

Keep your life in balance.

A happy life needs to stay in balance.  You need time for family, for friends, for work and most importantly for you.  Take care of your body, your mental health and your relationships.  You need some money for basic necessities but you also need to occasionally spend a little on yourself and enjoyment.

Laugh and learn every day.

To be happy you need to practice every day.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Learn to joke and have fun.  Learn something new every day.  Make life a great adventure not a drudgery.

Happy people take risks.

You need to take some chances, stick your neck out and see what might happen.  Sometimes to find happiness you have to run the risk of enduring some pain.  The turtle who keeps his head in the shell never gets anywhere.  You will never know the things you might be great at and that might bring you great joy until you have tried them at least once.

Tackle the hard stuff first.

As long as there’s something hard or unpleasant waiting for you it’s hard to enjoy your day.  Tackle that difficult project first thing the rest of the day gets easier.  Start your day by dealing with something difficult or unpleasant and you will enjoy everything after.

Let it go. Don’t hold onto the bad stuff, grudges and arguments.

Your negative emotions will poison you.  Anger, fear, or resentments can sicken your life.  Let go of all the things that you may be holding against someone else and you will lighten your load and reduce your baggage.

Share your happiness, there is plenty to go around. Encourage others.

The more you share happiness the more there is.  Smiling at others will make you feel happy.  No matter how much happiness you give away you will always have some left.  People who are stingy with their happiness find they run out quickly.  Be careful not to equate sharing happiness was spending money or doing work for other people.  You can use money to create things which make people happy but more money does not mean that you are able to buy more happiness.

Get honest with yourself.

You may be able to fool other people, but if you want to be happy stop fooling yourself.  Tell yourself lies and you will be in the most unhappy relationship possible.

Happy people can accept help.

Doing for others can make you feel happy.  Don’t cheat others out of the opportunities to feel happy by helping you.  Happiness is one of those things that the more you give it away the more you have.  There’s nothing wrong with allowing other people to help you.  Learn to accept help graciously with a thank you.

Love life.

To enlarge your happiness, develop a love of life and a joy of living.

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

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Reasons to get mental health help now!

By David Joel Miller.

Some emotional problems need immediate attention.

Mental Health or Mental Illness

Mental Health or Mental Illness?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are some mental and emotional problems that shouldn’t be ignored.  Sometimes people think that if they’d just wait, the problem will go away all on its own.  Other people believe that by asking for help and let the problem get control of them. Unfortunately, many serious emotional problems get worse if they’re not attended to.  When should you wait to see if the problem resolves itself?  Which are the times that you need to take immediate action?

Here is my list of the times when you shouldn’t wait to see if a mental or emotional problem will get better. If you or someone you know is having any of the problems listed below don’t wait, seek help immediately.

Suicidal thoughts.

When someone is having thoughts of killing themselves, you should take immediate action.  Some people believe that when a person talks about suicide they won’t really do it.  That just is not true.  If someone you know has mentioned their thoughts of suicide, now is the time to take action.  If you are having these thoughts reach out for help immediately. One good resource is:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at : 1-800-273-8255.

Paranoia.

Paranoia is defined as an unreasonable fear.  When someone is becoming more and more afraid of situations or people around them they are at risk.  Paranoid people may take actions that put themselves or others at risk.

Hallucinations.

There are lots of reasons people might have hallucinations.  Hallucinations are a lot more complicated than just hearing voices or seeing things.  In another post I wrote about other types of hallucinations. Hallucinations can be caused by a mental illness.  They can also be caused by drugs, both street drugs and prescription medications.  Some other types of hallucinations may indicate a medical emergency.  When someone is hearing voices or other sounds, seeing things, feeling things crawling on their skin, or having another perceptual distortion, there’s no time to lose in getting them help.

Self-harm.

Besides suicidal behavior there are other types of Self-harm.  Some people do self-injurious behavior, like cutting or burning themselves as a way to regulate emotions.  The Self-harming behaviors can get out of hand.  By Self-harm I am not talking about everyone who does something dangerous or disturbing to their families.  If someone is doing things to themselves with the clear intention of hurting themselves, they need help.

Racing thoughts.

Many people have episodes racing thoughts.  Most of that time these turn out to be worry, or excitement over upcoming events.  But when someone begins to experienced racing thoughts on a recurring basis this needs to be looked at by a professional.

Impulsive behavior that is out of character.

Many people have times in their life when they do something impulsively.  But if this impulsive behavior is dangerous, reckless, and completely out of character for that person, this is the time that they need help.

Need to punish yourself.

Someone who develops a need to punish themselves is at risk.  It’s not uncommon for someone to make a mistake and then continue to beat themselves up, at least mentally about that mistake.  But if this self-punishment moves from being upset and reminding themselves not to do this act again, to active self-injurious self-punishing behavior, this person needs help.

Sudden unexplained changes in sleep and appetite.

Changes in sleep and changes in appetite are two of the diagnostic criteria for depressive disorders.  There can also be changes in sleep and or appetite in a number of other mental illnesses.  But when someone suddenly develops unexplained changes in sleep or their appetite they need to seek professional assistance.

Overwhelming fear or anxiety.

A certain amount of fear or anxiety when you are in a risky or dangerous situation is normal.  Many people experience overwhelming, uncontrollable fear and intense anxiety about the future.  These kinds of fears or anxieties can interfere with people’s ability to live life.  Anxiety disorders rarely go away on their own.

Serious loss of motivation.

Serious loss of motivation is likely to be a symptoms of a developing, or worsening mental illness.  When someone loses their motivation it’s time to seek assistance.

Extreme loss of pleasure.

Extreme loss of pleasure, sometimes called anhedonia, is one of the symptoms of a serious depressive disorder.  People who were unable to feel any happiness or pleasure are at higher risk to develop depression or another serious mental illness.

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

Why you should talk to yourself.

By David Joel Miller.

Talking to yourself, especially out loud has some benefits.

Girl talking out loud.

Girl Talking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

People who talk to themselves out loud can make people around them very nervous.  When we think about somebody who is talking out loud many people are likely to think of the psychotic person who was speaking to the voices or the disturbed person who is rambling on and on for no particular reason.  There can be some very definite positive benefits to talking to yourself.

Children are particularly likely to be talking to themselves out loud.  They have not yet developed the skills to self-monitoring and only speaking out loud when they are alone.  If you find that you are still talking out loud to yourself, this does not necessarily mean that are losing your mind.  But it may mean is that you have something very important on your mind and are forgetting to self-monitoring for other people around.  Below are some reasons that speaking to yourself out loud may be helpful.

You become a better public speaker.

Many famous public speakers began by practicing their speeches out loud.  If you know that you’re going to need to make a presentation, it can really improve your performance to practice that speech out loud.

Talking to yourself out loud reinforces memories.

If you just heard something and you need to remember it, saying it over and over again to yourself can help.  Going over a chain of events A happened and then B can help you to remember those events in sequence.

Talking allows you to practice what you are going to say.

Sometimes we know we’re going to have to have one of those difficult talks with someone.  It’s important to get the words just right.  Practicing what you’re going to say can help you identify things that may come out other than the way you want them to.  Listening to what you have to say can help you find just the right way to a convey that information.

Talking to yourself helps you learn the step to a process.

When you’re trying to learn a new procedure and there are several steps, it can help you to remember this process if you repeat each step as you do it.  In skills training the trainer may initially repeat the steps out loud to the client.  They will then have the client do the process while repeating the steps out loud.  Finally the client is guest to repeat the process while saying the steps silently in their head.

Talking aloud helps to clear a crowded mind.

People with very active, busy minds find that it can be helpful to clear that mind by going ahead and saying the things that are bothering them.  Sometimes this can be an automatic unconscious behavior.  While this is helpful to the person with a busy crowded mind it can be upsetting to others who might accidentally over hear.

You develop storytelling skills.

Good storytellers practice telling their story over and over.  If you’re going to be telling that story out loud to others it’s best to practice the story out loud.  Highly creative people often tell themselves stories. Sometimes when there alone they tell them out loud.  As you develop your storytelling and your self-monitoring skills you are likely to learn to tell the stories with your mouth closed and the words retained in your head.

You develop a supportive of relationship with yourself.

You’re going to spend a lot of time with yourself.  Work of becoming your own best friend.  One way of becoming supportive of yourself is to have those self-talks that you wish you could have with other people.  The more you practice these self-talks the better you will be able to contain them with in your head instead of having them leak out and others hear them.

It helps you to focus on a task or conversation at hand.

Sometimes we repeat things out loud during a conversation with another person.  It can help to confirm that we’ve heard things accurately.  You can also use talking aloud to help you focus your attention on what is being discussed or what you need to do.

It improves self-monitoring skills.

People who are working on their self-monitoring skills may find it useful to comment on their activities as they do them.

Self-talk helps you self-sooth.

When you’re feeling upset or on edge talking to yourself can be helpful.  Remind yourself that you are safe.

You improve your creativity by exploring possibilities.

Creative people may find it useful to have these conversations out loud to explore possible conversations.

So if you or someone in your life makes a habit of talking out loud consider whether this is a helpful skill or a lack of self-monitoring.

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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

Types of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)

By David Joel Miller.

Not all trauma and stressor related disorders are the same.

Trauma

Trauma.
car crash photo from wikimedia

Most people are familiar with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the granddaddy of all the trauma and stressor related disorders.  In addition to PTSD there are a number of other trauma and stressor related disorders.  There are two types of attachment disorders, Acute Stress Disorder, a number of varieties of adjustment disorders, and even a category for other specified or unspecified Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders that don’t fit these categories of disorders.  For more on these other disorders take a look at these related posts on counselorssoapbox.com

In Posttraumatic Stress Disorder there are recognized and unrecognized subtypes.

Recognized PTSD subtypes or specifiers.

Two subtypes of PTSD dissociative symptoms are recognized.

Depersonalization.

Depersonalization, that is the experience of feeling like you’re outside of yourself looking in.  You may feel like you’re in a dream or are an outside observer watching yourself.  It may feel as if time is moving more slowly or as if you are not real.

Derealization.

Derealization is the experience of feeling like the world is unreal.  You may will feel like you’re in a dream or that things are very distorted and different.

Delayed PTSD.

When someone experiences delayed PTSD we use the specifier “with delayed expression.” Delayed expression occurs when it takes more than six months after the event for the symptoms to become obvious.

PTSD subtypes used with children under six.

There are slightly different criteria used in diagnosing PTSD in children under the age of six.  As a result, we also have two additional subtypes for use with children.  All of the subtypes used with adults can also be applied to children.

PTSD with persistent avoidance of stimuli.

Children with this subtype go to great lengths to avoid anything that would remind them of the original traumatic event.

PTSD’s with negative alterations in cognitions.

Children with this subtype develop all kinds of negative thoughts about themselves and the world.  That may have high levels of fear, shame and guilt, confusion and sadness.  They may withdraw from other people and lose their interest in playing.

PTSD unrecognized subtypes.

Complex Trauma.

While not officially recognized in the DSM-5 a good deal has been written about a condition referred to as “complex trauma.”  Both research and practical experience suggests there is some validity to this idea.

 

This condition occurs when someone is repeatedly traumatized in a very similar way.  Think about somebody who breaks their leg and goes to the hospital.  They have it treated and the leg mends.  If they were to break the same leg again, in the same place, it is less likely to heal a second time.

These types of repeated traumatization are often the result of abuse or domestic violence.  Complex trauma also frequently coexists with substance use disorders or behavioral addictions.

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

Do you have an acute or a chronic illness?

By David Joel Miller.

Getting the right kind of treatment for your illness is important.

Acute or Chronic Illness

Acute or Chronic Illness?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Whether it’s a physical, emotional or mental disorder, getting the right treatment makes all the difference.  One of the problems we have in the behavioral health field is a tendency to treat chronic illnesses as if they were acute illnesses.

What is an acute illness?

Acute illness is something like breaking your leg. It happened suddenly, you go to the hospital and the Doctor sets it in a cast.  Eventually the broken leg heals and you walk normally. Another example of an acute illness would be a case of pneumonia.  This can be quite serious and may result in a hospital stay.  You may need emergency treatment.  Eventually the pneumonia goes away and you can return home.  You may have some after effects, But at some point you will be pronounced cured of your pneumonia.

How is a chronic illness different?

Chronic illnesses have to be managed not cured.  Things like diabetes and heart disease are managed.  With a chronic illness the Doctor continues to provide care and monitoring to keep the disease from getting worse.  In the past acute illnesses were the main things doctors treated, today more than 75% of what doctors’ treat are chronic illnesses.

Mental health and substance use disorders are chronic illnesses.

For years we’ve made a mistake by thinking that we can treat mental and emotional illnesses as if they were acute. Someone is under the influence of a substance and are sent to detox for 72 hours.  As if substance use disorders were the same sort of things as a broken leg or an overdose of poison.

The belief used to be that once the drugs were out of their system that person was cured.  If the substance use disorder was an acute disorder, like poisoning, that would have work.  It is common for people straight out of detox to pick up drugs again within a few days. Detoxification does not work to cure substance use disorders because they are chronic illnesses.

The person sent to the psychiatric hospital for a suicide attempt might be released after two or three days when they no longer were feeling suicidal.  Sometimes that person gets additional care after the hospitalization.  But not always.

This is often another case of treating a chronic illness as if it were an acute illness. Without further treatment after the brief hospitalization there is a good chance that the depression and thoughts of suicide will return.

Mental health problems and substance use disorders require long-term treatment.

Repeatedly we have found that people with mental health problems who get treatment over a longer period of time are less likely to have a return of symptoms. Those people who continue to stay in treatment for up to two years after an episode of depression are less likely to have a recurrence of that depression.

With substance use disorders we find that those people who continue to stay in some form of continuing care are less likely to have a relapse.  Staying connected to whatever program or treatment helped you to recover from your substance use disorder improves the chances that you will stay recovered. In drug and alcohol treatment this continuing care is often referred to as aftercare.

One thing that has been sorely missing in mental health treatment is some form of continuing care after the initial episode. Far too often mental health issues are treated as if they were acute illnesses rather than the chronic conditions they are. Providing some kind of continuing support, groups, or individual counseling, reduces the risk of relapse into an active state of mental illness.

One highly effective continuing care system is the development of a written wellness and recovery plan.

For more about aftercare see the post in the “What is.” series.

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

Could you have a Mental Illness?

By David Joel Miller.

You think you might have a mental illness, what should you do?

Could you be mentally ill?

What Causes Mental Illness?

Have you ever thought that you were someone close to you might have a mental illness?  Being faced with mental illness doesn’t mean you’re crazy or have lost your mind.  Many people go through episodes of depression, or you may have excess anxiety.  Sometimes the stress of life just is overwhelming.  Or you may be having conflicts with your family, your spouse, or your children.  If you are having difficulties with your thinking, feeling, or behavior you may be at risk for developing a mental illness.  If so what should you do in this situation?  Below are some do’s and do not’s for people who are at risk for emotional problems.

Don’t ignore it, get help.

Just like physical illnesses, mental, emotional, or behavioral problems don’t get better without attention.  Pretending you don’t have an illness doesn’t keep you healthy.  There’s no great virtue in toughing it out and suffering.  Seeking help when under stress can help prevent more serious emotional problems from developing.

Discuss your problem with someone who feels safe.

If you are thinking your problems have gotten out of control, now is the time to find someone safe you can talk to about it.  Sometimes that trusted person will be your friend or family member.

Talk about your symptoms with your medical doctor.

Whenever you’re feeling out of sorts, the first thing you need to do is talk to a medical doctor. Physical problems can often look like mental health symptoms.  It is important to make sure that your feelings of sadness or depression are not a physical illness.  Sometimes prescription medications can create symptoms that look like emotional disorders.

See a counselor or therapist.

Going to see a counselor or therapist does not mean that you have given in to mental illness.  Professional athletes have coaches, because they can help them improve their performance.  In the emotional area it helps to see a counselor to work on your stress and issues before they turn into something more serious.  Counselors are specially trained to listen to what’s going on in your life, evaluate your symptoms, and decide whether what you’re experiencing is normal or qualifies for a mental illness diagnosis.

Reduce your stress.

A little bit of stress is good for you.  We exercise to keep our bodies in top condition.  But holding onto too much stress over too long a period of time can overwhelm our emotional system.  Often it is not a huge overwhelming stress the causes people difficulty, it’s the accumulations of lots of little stress day after day.  Work on ways to reduce those little stressors and learn to stop stressing over the things that don’t really matter.

Increase your self-care.

Failing to take care of yourself is not a value.  Learn to take good care of yourself physically and emotionally.  Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat as healthy a diet as possible.

Work on solving those other life problems.

Often emotional crises are the result of failure to deal with other real life problems.  Work on career problems.  Get some help with financial issues.  Tackle those legal problems you’ve been putting off.

Consider taking medication for your problems.

Taking medication to help you live a healthy life is a reasonable thing to do.  It doesn’t matter whether those problems are physical or emotional, medications can sometimes help.  Have that talk with your doctor, and see if there’s some medication which might help you deal with your depression, anxiety or other emotional issues.

Taking inventory of where you are at.

After looking at all the possibilities listed above if you’re thinking that you might be experiencing a mental, emotional, or behavioral issues, something we might call a mental illness, now is the time to take action.  I hope some of the suggestions in this blog post are helpful.

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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

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