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Sensitivity can be a good thing. In fact, sensitivity can be truly remarkable and the ultimate blessing for yourself and others around you. Not many, especially Americans, might identify with such perspective. Be strong, be fearless, be bold, we hear quite often, particularly from leaders, motivational speakers and changemakers. But is that the solution to success and happiness? I’m here to say it isn’t.
Sensitive folks often have qualities and abilities, three in particular, that drive them to be great, do great, inspire greatness, and be the soil in which others’ greatness can start to grow and thrive quickly. How?
Sensitive folks care. They care about what they do, who they are, why they are that way, how it makes them feel and the list goes on. But this is not all.
Many sensitive individuals, including many women and women who are mothers, are able to love, comfort and support in ways that make others feel complete. (Non-sensitive folks might have these traits as well.) How they make others feel is so important, perhaps the most important guide to success and happiness.
These qualities, as I’ll explain, make others around them feel loved, comforted and supported, which is especially needed by young children and teenagers as they navigate a tumultuous and complex world.
Do you agree? If not, perhaps you haven’t discovered this yet for yourself. The qualities of being loving, comforting and supportive require emotional awareness. This begins with appreciation—yes, gratitude—for having or developing the qualities (i.e. being loving, comforting and supportive) yourself and then to recognize these qualities in others. At the same time, you can use your sensitivity to build empathy and better interpret the emotions and needs of others.
Most people who are sensitive beat themselves for feeling either too frequently sad, shy, sensitive frustrated, defeated or another tough emotion. Should they though? No. Feeling emotions more intensely or regularly gives them a pathway, as I discuss below, to be social butterflies, inspirational figures, changemakers and more.
Below are three qualities to appreciate that can make sensitivity the ultimate blessing:
Making others feel loved is one of the reasons I say sensitivity can be the ultimate blessing. When you appreciate showing love to others, you understand that it is the soil in which others are able to grow and thrive. Many times there are disagreements or tough emotions in even our closest relationships (e.g. siblings, parents, children) which makes this display of affection difficult, but continuing to show love is a good superseding goal. This is because it can contribute to social rewards, including more open communication, understanding, respect, trust, and friendship.
Making others feel comforted is the second reason I champion sensitivity. If sensitivity means making others feel comfortable in their own skin, then you have triumphed in a way few others have. Triumphant in your impact on others’ self-view, you can feel the strongest version of yourself.
Making others feel supported is the third reason that sensitivity can be your keys to victory, whether in your relationships, professional life or both. This effect on others (i.e. supportiveness) usually develops, I think, in consequence to love and comfort. It comes as an added bonus, but is so particularly powerful. Support for another can harness creativity, self-confidence, self-esteem and belief that leads to success, happiness, satisfaction and further appreciation for both the giving and receiving individuals.
Sensitivity can feel like a road block for so many. I’m here to say, if you appreciate the above three qualities, you can recognize or develop them in yourself—first and foremost—and then spread them to others as the ultimate blessing and rubric for success and happiness.