How to stop suffering from this character trait?

“Shield yourself”, “you’re not going to cry about it anyway”, “you take things too much to heart”, “stop ruminating”… If you are made these remarks – not really useful – very frequently, you are maybe hypersensitive. Do not panic: this is not a pathologybut of a personality trait that would be shared by nearly 30% of the population, according to Elaine Aron, a pioneering American psychologist on the subject.

Contrary to popular belief, hypersensitivity – which is the world day this Friday – is not just about untimely crying fits. “The hypersensitive are permeable to others, to their remarkstheir emotions and their environment, explains Anne Landry, psychoanalyst and author of Hyperempathy, revealing this extraordinary gift and developing it. They feel what the other feels, just as if it were them. Deeply and lastingly affected by others and injustices, “they are also very sensitive at the sensory level”, adds Marylène Danino-Alonso, psychologist specializing in hypersensitivity.

An emotional sponge

Characteristics that can quickly turn their life into hell. No longer supporting the bursts of laughter from a friend during a party, ruminating all day after an inappropriate remark from a colleague, being barked at by a man in the subway and burst into tears as soon as you get out of the train: the life of a hypersensitive person can be painful. “The hypersensitive will not know how to distinguish between the emotion of the other and his own emotion”, analyzes Anne Landry. When a person is not aware of their hypersensitivity, they suffer from it, believes Marylène Danino-Alonso. And then she can literally make herself sick. “By dint of identifying a lot of information, hypersensitive people are saturated, overwhelmed and exhausted. » Of the addictive behaviors and eating disorders may even stem from this overflow of emotions.

First step therefore: accept its particularity. This is the work done by Jérômine, 34 years old. “Other people often ask me why I cry. Before I hid my tears. Now I say that I am hypersensitive and I fully experience my emotions. “This mother of a four-year-old child confides, for example, sometimes having trouble supporting the cries of the little boy. But she now manages to make her loved ones understand when she needs to be alone, in peace.

Second step: learn to dissociate your own emotions from those of the other. To do this, Anne Landry advises children and adolescents to practice an artistic activity such as theatre. “It allows us to play roles and to distinguish between what is ours and what is not. Dancing or a team sport can also help. “On the other hand, when there is a malaise with attached addictions, psychotherapy should be considered. »

Distinguish your emotions from those of others

The idea is therefore not to cut oneself off from one’s emotions, but to put words to them and understand them. “For example, many hypersensitive people do not dare to affirm their anger for fear of conflict, analyzes Marylène Danino-Alonso. Their anger then turns to sadness. Jéromine can testify to this. But crying helps him accept and understand what is happening to him. “As my emotions come out, I don’t keep this ball of anguish or sadness deep inside me and I feel lighter afterwards. »

Accepted and understood, hypersensitivity can even become a strength, both personally and professionally. Identifying your child’s discomfort, who nevertheless assures us that everything is going very well, understanding at a glance if the candidate we have in front of us really wants to get the job thanks to small details, being Listening – really – attentively to this friend who has just been left are all assets for hypersensitive people who know themselves and take responsibility for themselves. “Once the hypersensitive person manages this very heightened perception, they are one step ahead of the others”, guarantees Anne Landry. Here’s what you can say the next time you’re told you’re too sensitive.

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