The reason why highly sensitive people often struggle with relationships is a complex issue.
While one may assume that sensitive individuals possess an inherent ability to form strong and healthy relationships, both platonic and romantic, because of their conscientious and empathetic nature, this is not always the case. In fact, sensitive individuals often reveal that relationships are one of the biggest challenges in their lives.
The reason why individuals who are high-sensitive struggle with relationships.
Do you recognise how many sensitive individuals struggle to maintain successful marriages and friendships?
Need extra rest compared to your friends or partner to recover from stimuli.
Recovery from conflicts with loved ones takes longer for some people who are easily overwhelmed by arguments, raised voices or other expressions of disappointment or anger, including loud slamming of doors.
Prioritising the needs of your partner, children or friends over your own to the extent that you experience exhaustion, burnout or losing your own identity.
As a sensitive person, it can be difficult to feel understood by others who do not experience the world in the same way.
The desire for a deeper mental, emotional and sexual connection is often not fulfilled by most people.
Discover a group of individuals who not only understand your nature but also appreciate and value your sensitivity, commonly called "your people".
In a world without sensitivity, a person can feel out of place because they are sensitive.
If you recognise yourself in any of these points, don't worry - there is nothing inherently wrong with you. You are not the only one who feels this way; you simply possess a heightened level of sensitivity in a world that does not always prioritise sensitivity. According to Elaine Aron, an expert on sensitivity, sensitive people tend to experience less satisfaction in their relationships compared to their less sensitive counterparts. This conclusion was drawn after conducting a series of studies aimed at testing individuals with different levels of sensitivity.
When comparing individuals with different sensitivities in marriages, those considered more sensitive reported feeling bored and stuck in a rut more often within their marital relationships.
For what other reasons are sensitive people less comfortable in relationships?
There are several options, although not all of them apply equally to every sensitive person or relationship.
One reason is that sensitive people simply experience the world differently and have different needs. Sensitive people often bond with less sensitive people, and the bond is often beneficial: a less sensitive friend can lead the way to new adventures, while a less sensitive partner may feel overwhelmed by the other time to take over. But opposites attract, misunderstandings are inevitable.
Just as sensitive people's bodies react more strongly to the stiffness of a new pair of jeans, their minds react more strongly to critical comments.
Persons who are highly sensitive need more rest than those who are less sensitive, even if they are extroverted and social. It is possible for those who are less sensitive to see this need as unpleasant or unacceptable. Being overstimulated and facing stress are common challenges for sensitive individuals.
It is important to recognise that stress plays an important role in the lives of highly sensitive people. Because of the increased sensitivity of their brains, these individuals tend to process information with greater intensity, resulting in a more rapid experience of stress and anxiety compared to those who are less sensitive. For example, some HSPs find it challenging to adapt to the tumultuous and noisy family life that often accompanies young children. Moreover, many sensitive individuals have reported finding it stressful to share a living space with roommates or family members. As a result, they are more likely to become overstimulated and need a peaceful refuge, but finding a suitable space can be difficult when surrounded by individuals who do not understand their needs.
There is a significant need for deep depth.
Above all other factors, one thing stands out as a crucial element in any relationship. This feeling is repeatedly expressed by those who are sensitive: the need for a deeper connection to feel truly fulfilled. Without it, there will always be a sense that something is missing. While many people may find it unsettling to talk about personal challenges and deep-seated issues, chit-chat alone is not enough for highly sensitive individuals. They crave more intimacy, more connection and more understanding in their relationships. This instinct is well-founded, as research shows that strong relationships provide numerous benefits, such as longer lifespan, better recovery from illness and more productivity and happiness in the workplace.
Initiating the process towards greater depth.
Be prepared to acknowledge and accept when something proves challenging, frustrating or intimidating for you.
Express your admiration, respect, attraction or love for someone when you feel it for them.
It is important to be open to sharing stories from your past, both the positive and negative experiences.
It is important to communicate with individuals when they have caused you harm or inconvenience.
It is important to express your true emotions, including negative ones such as sadness, frustration, disappointment and embarrassment, instead of masking them to appear polite.
Do not hesitate to express your point of view, even if you expect it may conflict with the opinions of others.
Do not hesitate to ask for help when needed.
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