Sensitive folks overload easily. The cause is not because we are delicate or weak. We are just wired to pick up all the layers of information at once. This means we pick up the subtle nuances most miss, like the sound of the doves singing outside the window, or that a friend is cranky even though she hasn’t said or showed any indication. On the flip side of this is we can take in all that information and fry our brains and emotions when it gets way too much (picture the heads exploding like in that old horror movie, Scanners. Yup, not a pretty picture and of course, not literal.) You can be pretty sure a sensitive has gone into overload when they show signs of shutdown which include a blank look, anxiety/nervousness, spaced-out feeling, or signs of insecurity. Symptoms look different in each sensitive. And what every sensitive wants is to be understood and known. So non-sensitives, LEARN THESE. And sensitives, share this list with your non-sensitives.
The Top 10 Ways to Overload a Sensitive
(and to be loving and kind to your sensitive AVOID these):
This warning label (“do not push”) should come with every sensitive born into this world. Pushing does not motivate a sensitive. It forces the automatic shut down valve to go off. Pushing only speeds up the “take in-sort through-digest” process making overwhelm happen faster because there’s no time to digest. It also just really pisses us off.
2. Load a ton of responsibility on our shoulders, be sure to not acknowledge or appreciate what we are already doing, and then add more.
That one speaks for itself, but I must say, as a tribe, sensitive folk are usually over-responsible and will take on a great deal as it is.
3. Increase sensory input.
Add very loud music we can’t control, or let in a swarm of flies in the room that can’t be caught. I am a tolerant person but when my neighbor plays country music on full throttle until 2 a.m., I’m going to get a little out of balance.
4. Expect a day of constant stimulation out of us.
Start the day early by taking us out for the day shopping, then stop at a crowded restaurant, go sight-seeing, and then dancing all night with a ton of noise and people. Just see what happens. Observe. Be sure to not include any breaks or alone time.
5. Add any illness to the day and then introduce either 1/, 2/, or 3/. Heck, even 4/.
Add llness or even a woman’s “time of the month,” and we are down for the count. Then all the sensory input and noise just swoops right in because our thin walls are way down. It’s a little like having the radio on several channels at once.
6. Add a crowd.
I still write about the Willie Nelson concert I went to that had a line wrapped around the casino to get into, then I was surrounded by a huge stadium-filled crowd screaming. Thank goodness it was outside because a crowd packed into a room with no walls? Oh fun.
7. Increase time pressure.
This one goes along with the “pushing” category. Sensitive folk like to flow in the zone moving to their own rhythms. We are great with deadlines but we need to control how we get there. I watch Project Runway and each episode when the designers get closer to presenting their creations, we can feel their tension through the screen. Let us control our rhythm.
8. Layer on the emotional sad stories.
We can sometimes overload from reading the Facebook feed of sad stories everyone is feeling. We feel compassion when our friends are going through rough times. Our hearts can jump out of our chests and MERGE. Our empathy is our superpower and it can be unbalanced at times when it’s multiplied.
9. Give us too much change at once.
We like our change in smaller steps; a little like slowly entering the pool rather then diving right in. We get in there, it just takes a little longer.
10. Add too many little technical things that don’t work.
I am sure this one matches everyone not just sensitive folk. Have a day where the bank screws up your account, or your computer doesn’t respond, or there’s a glitch in Photoshop and you lost all your data, and we will get rather testy. THEN add any two from the above list and we frazzle up quite good.
So, be kind to a sensitive today. Understand what creates overload and what makes life work swimmingly well for your sensitive friend. And for goodness sake, never ever say, “You need to toughen up instead!” That’s like being short and being told to be tall! Say that and you will see a different kind of overload.
Have you recently gone to the movies (or rented on Netflix) and thought, “Dear Lord, why didn’t you warn me!” Yes, me too. So I thought, why not start a bi-monthly report here at The Designing Fairy, to warn my fellow sensitives and save them a ton of therapy.
This week’s selections: Bates Motel and The Awakening
photo credit: Netflix
- Netflix description: “Everyone knows what happened in Psycho, but this chilling series takes viewers inside Norman Bates‘ world before Marion Crane checked in.”
- Warnings posted: The show is listed under “scary and dark.” My gut should have alerted me since it’s not a happy bunny kind of subject.
- My warning: Don’t watch the Pilot. If you are a sensitive, you will need years of therapy to process the senseless violence you just witnessed for the sake of entertainment. *Spoiler alert* there’s a rape scene halfway through that can’t be stomached, and I do understand the writer’s motive including it to show the breakdown of the psychological state of Norman’s mom, but c’mon! The character committing the act was cartoonish, one-sided aggression/craziness and the act portrayed and showed in the movie, just out and out horrible. I can’t tell you if the rest of the Pilot was worse or better as I pretty much stop watching at that point and had to fill my mind up with happy things like dancing bunnies and happy wagging tails. (Several episodes of Adventureland seemed to help)
- Sensitive consensus: I talked to my friends on FB who all agreed that they also stopped watching after the senseless violence.
photo credit: Netflix
- Netflix description: “A haunted boarding school calls on Florence Cathcart, who disproves hoaxes for a living. But the strange place leads Cathcart to question rationality.”
- Warnings posted: It is listed as a horror movie and categorized as “chilling and suspenseful.”
- My warning: This was a really interesting plot for a ghost story and very clever. Many, in the reviews I read, compared it to The Others, which haunted you psychologically way after watching it. The scary element isn’t too bad more like lots of “boo” moments. No visions that will stick in your mind until more toward the climax of the movie is a scene of sexual violence that matched Bates Motel. The character culprit was useless to the plot, the moment contradicted the story as the main character was rather powerful and strong, and viewers did not enjoy watching her helpless, at least I sure didn’t. I did enjoy the movie up until that point, and it was so distasteful it was like hearing someone write on a chalkboard with their nails.
What’s with it, Hollywood? A movie nowadays isn’t complete without violence to women? Rethink your writing. Then we all wonder why politics takes our rights away out from under us. As for you my fellow sensitives, stay away from these two and for scary, stick to old episodes of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Until next time, Fairy blessings,
Today’s word is FUSSY. My clothes feel constricting, lights are too bright, and things can’t be fast enough today.
As empaths and sensitives, we know we are very affected by the energies surrounding us. We know when the air is too cold, or someone’s mood has just hit fiery before he realizes it, or when the overall mood theme for the day on Facebook is FRANTIC. Like little caterpillars we feel out the environment with our exposed feelers.
So if we have a full moon happening, and especially a lunar eclipse, do we feel the effects of that energy?
Years and years ago, there was a lunar eclipse followed by a solar eclipse, and my body went haywire. I was releasing a ton and have all kinds of weird symptoms, but was it the planetary action or what I was experiencing in my life at the time?
As women, our bodies are tuned into the moon through our cycles. And many who are not longer experiencing cycles still feel the effect of the moon. If the moon is more feminine then both male and female can relate when it is speaking, right?
I looked to the experts for my answers. The astrologers talk of this upcoming lunar eclipse and the many changes that will affect us.
Magical Recipes Online talks about the Druid Willow Moon. That name in itself sounds so imaginative and magical!
My friend Julia talks about the astrological overall themes we are feeling right now during this moon phase.
Several metaphysical astrology sites talk of huge emotional impacts this lunar eclipse will have. Hmmmmmm.
- According to NBC news, full moons can give us restless sleep. Link is over here.
- And over at this Australian news site, full moons and eclipses can cause mood swings. Feel like howling at the moon?
- Wikipedia coins the phrase “lunar effect” and says there is even a “lunar lunacy.” Nice! Now we have an excuse to go a little crazy.
As sensitives and empaths, we can swing past the research and go right to how we feel in this moment. I know when there is a full moon I do have a hard time sleeping, partly because the moon is shining so brightly into my window, and being so sensitive, I can feel it. I like a dark room when I sleep.
Perhaps we are picking up all the beliefs about the moon, and that collective unconscious is affecting what we think, influencing our thoughts. Regardless, I am fussy. I am restless. And I have this overwhelming urge to dance under the moonlight, ditch these restrictive clothes, and howl. Please don’t tell my neighbors. Now I have an excuse for my craziness. I have Lunar Lunacy. ;)
From FIELD OF DREAMS: “Ease his pain.”
Like many of you, I wake up in the morning, fresh from dreaming, bringing back some kind of message or understanding. The lesson downloaded into my brain this morning was about empathy.
What is empathy anyway? Most of us would define it as feeling what another person is feeling, relating, and being able to step into their shoes. You feel the sadness and relate when someone posts on Facebook about saying goodbye the last time to their beloved dog. Your heart hurts for them. You feel when your friend is sick and want to make her better. You watch the devastation on television of those who have lost their homes in a tornado and your gut aches for what they are going through.
There is different levels of empathy–how much it is turned on. When I was in high school, I remember feeling so much pain in middle school that I learned feeling was a not a safe thing. I shut that part of me off. I stayed on the surface. It wasn’t gone; it came out in stomach aches.
There are folks who are very extroverted who only feel their own space and don’t always feel the space of others. They have empathy, it’s in there, they are just more focused inward.
There are folks who read this blog who are Empaths. We feel everything. The empathy button is on so strong it can be overwhelming and debilitating. We feel times a hundred. That’s why sometimes it shuts off and we numb over or we couldn’t function.
There are many closet sensitives out there who appear un-feeling who are really our fellow brethren who felt way too much at some time and were seriously hurt, and so they can’t feel anymore. It isn’t safe to.
Then there are folks out there who have no empathy. They came in for special purposes, some of them, and perhaps, feelings would get in the way of that mission. They don’t feel when you are hurt. They don’t see how their actions affect others. They don’t hurt when others hurt because they don’t know how. The parts of the brain that feels that is broken. They live a different life. Do we have empathy for them? Maybe we can just understand what’s missing and see them differently.
I watch empathy in my dogs. If I am crying, they can feel my sadness, and will rush over and try to comfort me. It goes beyond instinct.
In my life right now, I am being asked to live at a deeper level of empathy, to put my feelings aside, for what is best for another. My little family lost a member the other day. Bun-Bun, my parakeet of almost nine years died suddenly. Before she died she had communicated very strongly that she missed Prosperity who had crossed over in September. She loved us but her body was starting to slow down and her heart ached for her companion. I’m being asked to look beyond my selfishness of wanting her to be here–to hear her beautiful little song-y chit chat throughout my day and having her companionship–and to honor her wishes. In this situation, I need to step into her spirit feet, feel her happiness and joy now of being reunited, and honor what she wanted and what is best for her first. It’s here where my empathy is a gift I can give her.
Here at The Designing Fairy, I often receive questions concerning being intuitive that folks are scared or puzzled about. This is the beginning of a series where you can ask questions about your psychic abilities, and I will attempt to help and answer. I’ll be answering from my own experiences, and if I don’t have the information or answers, I’ll do a little research and find out.
“Sarah” shares that she is beginning to pick up what feels like spirits in the room. She’s scared and confused and wants to know what is “wrong” with her.
Sounds like you are an empath who has abilities in being aware of the energies around you. It’s like your “Spidey” sense. I liken psychic ability to playing the piano. Everyone can push a few random keys and make music. Not everyone becomes a concert pianist. Everyone has intuitive abilities. It’s to what degree and how much, and how turned on it is.
With feeling or noticing spirits, you have some mediumship abilities. You are just seeing what is there, but not noticeable to everyone. You can “tune in” to spirits by striking up some conversation or simply tune in and see what images or information receive. But always do so with boundaries. Just like you would be cautious letting anyone into your home, you would do the same with your personal, psychic space.
The more you talk to people who have similar abilities, and the more control you feel over them, the less fearful you will be.
Hope that helps!
If you have a question, feel free to fill out my Contact Form.
This is a crazy time for a sensitive person. The energy out there alone is a little on the wonky side. So, here’s a little tip from my eBook, Help for the Holidays if you are Sensitive.
Need the ebook? Here’s a link.
December is a wrap-up time. It’s a time of looking at the year you’ve just gone through and sizing up and determining which way to go next. How do you do that with all the choices and opportunities? It can be overwhelming. As someone who is very empathic, I have a built-in radar system that I often curse at and ignore, which, I should be making friends with.
What’s this radar, you ask?
How I feel, especially in my body.
Now I can be slow in the intake, but the situation is improving. The time between getting upset/having an emotional or physical reaction and figuring out that I am upset has shortened. Gone is the time when I’d feel horrible for several days, even weeks, and not know why, because I am now finally noticing with the help of this tool which I will now share with you.
I was faced with a decision over the weekend when an opportunity presented itself. It sounded good and glossy and enticing, but the rest of the day THE MOOD hit. Now, sometimes THE MOOD is one of those empathic “picking up someone else’s shit and I’m carrying around not realizing it is not mine and yet I’m feeling it” kind of moods. I tuned in, and asked this time around, and got a NO from my body that this wasn’t the case.
I explored THE MOOD. I am not a big time fan of this time of year, so there was a little of that melancholy thrown in that I acknowledged. Having experienced many losses this year, I knew that grief was lingering around and was part of what I was feeling. A good cry was needed which I indulged in by watching a sappy movie, but THE MOOD persisted. What was going on?!
A big thank you to my good friends who helped me realize that I was considering go down the wrong way by possibly accepting the opportunity I was presented with. My body was letting me know that opportunity was not aligned with me! It was the wrong fit. Yes, logical mind had a ton of reasons why this choice was a good one. I’d get out of my comfort zone, tackle doing things I wasn’t good at but could be good at. I’d meet new people, and the choice would eventually lead to the direction I wanted to go, maybe. Logical mind is very good at molding me and squooshing me into boxes. But I am a soul that likes to break out of boxes. Body, on the other hand, has a direct line to my inner, empathic radar. It just reacts and lets me know: “Ronni, what the f(*%K are you doing, Girl?” Unlike logical mind, the body knows the simple answers to these questions: will this choice really make me happy? Is this a JOYFUL choice for me? Is it right for me?
We have all had experiences in our lives where we made a choice from logical mind because it looked really good on paper. How did those work out for you? Looking back, I haven’t had one that did.
Thank God and my body for THE MOOD that day. It quickly went away when I acknowledged I was compromising and heading in the wrong direction. (Another good clue). Further insight, and I realized that choice actually would have had me going backwards, not forward. (And that was a really good insight).
So look at your ‘symptoms’ differently today. That stomach ache you keep getting around a certain relative? Don’t curse it, understand what it’s saying. That persistant cold you have every Monday morning you have to go to work? Listen. When THE MOOD hits, don’t berate yourself for being too emotional. And when we bitch and complain we have no guidance and are abandoned, look again in your own backyard! Literally, your own backyard. Your body as your backyard? Get it? Oh, never mind. Just pay attention.
Oh, and incidentally, sometimes the body is saying YES to something that seems totally crazy and illogical, but is a fabulous great decision or the right road to pursue. I felt that way adopting my newest dog family member and going back to school. I’m so glad I listened.
Be sure to check out my book Help! I’m Sensitive and new book on animal communication, Speak Woof and Meow. And for further tips and tools for being sensitive, sign up for the January session of the EMPATH SKILLS ONLINE CLASS. And one more, keep your eyes on the lookout for my new book, YOUR TURTLE SHELL.