Four sure-fire ways to increase family emotional health and deal with overly-sensitive people

by Rod Smith

I have received several very welcome and lengthy letters from readers who find themselves in very complicated family relationships.

Here are four broad principles for all members of a family:

1. Get yourself out of “the middle” of other people’s relationships! Don’t carry messages for others, or think for others or feel for (on the behalf of) others. Allow other adults the joy or communicating their own messages, thinking their own thoughts and feeling their own feelings.

2. Regard all other adults as complete adults and your complete equals. If you’re “on eggshells” around anyone (a parent, boss, child, spouse or former spouse) this person has inappropriate power over you that I’d suggest you address. The “eggshells” means you are not seeing yourself as an equal.

3. Never allow yourself to be intimidated, dominated or manipulated. Persons who use intimidation, domination or manipulation (emotional bullies) to get their way must be confronted if you want any degree of healthy dialogue.

4. Despite age, rank or status, don’t “tread lightly” around other adults. While it is unnecessary to knowingly inflict hurt upon others, some people are so inappropriately sensitive that their oversensitivity can restrict others from normal behavior. If your actions are not in themselves hurtful, but are interpreted as such by some sensitive soul, I’d suggest you be yourself and challenge Mr. Mrs. or Ms. Oversensitive to grow up.

One Comment to “Four sure-fire ways to increase family emotional health and deal with overly-sensitive people”

  1. Rod, I like most of your comments, except the very last one on item 4 of this particular topic on overly sensitive people.

    I just find that people that are deemed overly sensitive cop a fair bit of flack from those that are outspoken or even at times overbearing or rude. Why on earth is it then that those people are not deemed as “rude”, “overbearing”, “outspoken”, why blame it on the overly sensitive person for being in the wrong.

    If the tables were turned then how would it be? The people that are sensitive don’t usually go out of their way to be sensitive they are however in the company at one time or another with people that are overbearing, critical, rude and are of course then cornered by the outspoken person with opinions or way of being, thus upsetting and unsettling the “overly sensitive person”.

    I just feel that the sensitive person is in actual fact just putting up with whatever is being said or done by these other people, time after time (seeing as these others are much stronger in personality) and therefore, the frustration, anxiety and the hurt builds up and then the sensitive person can no longer take it any longer and then they either blow up or ignore them entirely and maybe in some cases disassociate from them.

    Why do people have to be rude and opinionated in the first place? If they are this way, then why not try out their statements and behaviour on someone just like themselves and see where it gets them? Why go to someone that just wants to be left in peace, maybe they know they can and it gives them “power” perhaps? Who knows. Anyway, this is just my personal opinion and I just thought to share.

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