As highly sensitive and introverted people we can easily let other’s actions, words, and body language affect us in negative ways.
I used to be extremely consumed by other’s opinions about me.
What I said, what I liked, what I wore, WHY I did something. As a child, I was a giant ball of shyness and anxiety. I barely spoke to other kids in class because I thought nothing I said would be valued.
Being an introvert and an HSP I'm a natural observer. I’d pay close attention to others, what they said, how they acted, what they wore and when I did the comparison I just didn’t match up. So that lack of self-worth wound up shining through when I would talk because I devalued myself beforehand and I just came off as insecure and awkward. If someone laughed at what I said or seemed like they were giving me a look of judgment I’d shut down and replay everything over and over again in my mind wondering why I was such a weirdo!
This poured over into future instances and I became more and more affected by how others acted and perceived me, even if it was just in my head.
Sounds like a terrible and stressful way to live huh?
Take a look at some negative effects this type of thinking causes:
- Insecurities with speaking up for yourself
- Closes you up and you feel wrong for voicing your opinion
- Feel like you’re wrong for feeling the way you do
- Self-sabotaging thoughts that lead to anxiety and self-doubt
- Prevents you from sharing yourself and things you enjoy because of some people’s lack of understanding of who you are or your fear of being misunderstood
- Limits what you allow into your life and you wind up missing opportunities
- Makes it harder to truly connect with people
- Lack of self-esteem and self-worth
Let me just make a point here and remind you that we’re not “curing” you of your sensitivity or introvertness, these are traits you’re born with and you don’t just get rid of them or undo them, you learn ways to manage them while you build up confidence in the person you are and on your strengths as an HSI.
Ways to decrease the effects others have on you
Have an understanding of who you are and your personality type
The better understanding you have about your unique personality type, the better prepared you’ll be when you encounter people who don’t get you. You’ll gain more confidence in who you are and will be able to focus on the good you can do in this world and the strengths God has blessed you with.
Understanding that not all people will understand you
You were made differently, and that’s ok. Everyone is different in some way, shape, or form. It doesn’t lessen your value or opinion because someone doesn’t agree or get it. That’s why there chocolate and vanilla and about 100 more flavors of ice cream, not everyone enjoys the same stuff.
I once read that throughout your life 25% of the people you meet won’t like you. Sometimes we just don’t mesh with people, it’s not a reason to devalue yourself and who you are because of it. It’s better to put your focus on the 75% who DO rather than the 25% who don’t!
Remember Whose you are
You’re a child of God, The Most High and he made you perfect in His image.
I often repeat Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” I change us to me so it’s God speaking directly to me. Pretty comforting, right?
If He’s not judging you, you shouldn’t be concerned about someone else who can’t hold a candle to your beloved Lord.
Write it down
Write out situations that have happened and how you felt or reacted. What feelings were you experiencing? In what ways did your emotions cause you to react?
Then, go back and ask yourself are these things true? Should I have let them get to me on such a deep level? What ways can I do this differently next time something like this comes up?
List out your old and new ways of dealing with that situation.
Why am I bothered by it so much that it affects me to the point that I feel bad about myself and am fearful of expressing myself?
What is my worst fear that could come true that’s preventing me from being myself or saying or doing something I want but am fearful of being judged? What would happen if it did come true? How could you make the situation lighter so you could see if differently and be able to move on?
These steps are actual steps I’ve used during my journey as a highly sensitive introvert. It hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows, and there are still times it’s not, but having a better sense of who you are, your personality type and some things to stop and think about are big keys to success and living a more happy and fulfilled life being who you are!
Feeling like you're totally absorbed in your thoughts that have just taken over? Do you feel alone and like no one gets it or understands?
If you answered yes, then you might just be a highly sensitive introvert who is overloaded with internal processing and thinking patterns, but just don't quite get how to handle it all.
Not being aware of your introverted or highly sensitive personality type can put a damper on your self-esteem, decrease your sense of worthiness, cause tons of overwhelm, and just flat out make you feel like there's something "wrong" with you.
The first step towards to moving forward with your struggles is to get a better understanding of your personality type, so let's grab a virtual cup of coffee and I'll help you gain some clarity and figure out some steps to get you feeling more confident in yourself!