Do you feel like other people’s words have way more impact on you than they should?
Are you always overreacting to situations? Do you often sit around and feel guilty that you don’t have thick skin?
Well, let me first tell you that it is okay. It really is! I am sure you didn’t expect to hear that, did you?
The reason I say this is because every person has a different way of reacting to things, situations, and people.
And you just happen to be a sensitive person.
This means that you feel emotions more deeply. In many cases, this sensitivity can be quite useful. It can help you notice things that others miss, care about other people’s feelings, and think before you speak.
However, being overly sensitive is something you might need to check. And for your own good.
It could lead to unnecessary drama, emotional trauma, negativity, and a lack of peace of mind.
So, even though toning down your sensitivity may require some patience, you should keep going regardless. To do that, let’s take a look at 10 ways to be less sensitive.
1) Practice Silence
When someone says something rude to you, your natural impulse may be to yell at them or start crying.
But you know what?
You don’t have to respond to everything that others say or do. You just don’t! Especially when it is people that you are not close to. The best way to ensure that you don’t react impulsively is by practicing silence.
So, when someone says or does something that affects you emotionally, just stay silent consciously.
Let their words or actions pass through you without any resistance. But you need to be careful. There is a fine line between letting things slide and becoming a subject of someone else’s emotional abuse. The tolerance for the latter should be zero.
2) Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is really getting mainstream attention due to all its benefits.
It is a practice of bringing your attention to the present moment and everything it entails.
So, you need to be aware of your thoughts and emotions in real-time and pay attention to everything going on around you.
So, how does it help tone down your sensitivity?
When you are mindful of how you are thinking and feeling in real-time, you will be much less likely to react impulsively.
Essentially, every emotion out of the gate will get checked for being appropriate to the situation. You will also feel a lot calmer and clearer. Over time, this will help improve your self-esteem and develop a thick skin.
3) Write Your Feelings Down
This method involves writing down your feelings (preferably daily) in your journal.
The idea is that at the end of the day, you can pour your heart out without needing to hold back. This provides the perfect outlet for your feelings and emotions.
It also allows you to untangle your complex web of emotions and make more sense of them. This can give you a clearer understanding of why you feel the way you feel and what you can do to make things better.
Also, when you write your feelings in your journal, you don’t need to explode on other people.
So, let’s say a friend did something that made you angry. Instead of making them feel your wrath, you could release your anger on the paper. This would surely be beneficial for your relationship with them.
4) Train Your Brain
We, humans, are creatures of habit. As such, we like to keep repeating the same patterns over and over again.
So, if you are a sensitive person, you are likely to keep being that way.
Well, unless you learn new ways of responding to external stimuli. This learning can be considered as training your brain. This might require quite a bit of introspection and practice.
So, what you need to do is figure out what makes you sensitive.
In essence, you need to study all the external factors that lead you to overreact. Maybe you feel offended when people point out your mistakes. Or maybe, you feel hurt when you feel ignored.
Once you are aware of the things that have a deeper emotional impact on you, you can take steps to retrain how you respond to them. For instance, the next time someone points out your mistake, you can look at it as an opportunity to become better.
5) Use The Displacement Technique
As a sensitive person, when something or someone triggers an emotional response, you may become deeply engrossed in it.
It might therefore be too hard for you to come to your senses or to respond mindfully.
This is one of the main reasons why sensitive people keep adding to their pile of negative emotions and make the situation worse for themselves.
One way you can escape from your emotional swamp is by using the displacement technique.
Basically, what you need to do is, as soon as something triggers you emotionally, you need to use a predetermined tool to distract you.
Some commonly suggested methods are: taking deep breaths, holding ice in your palm, using dedicated apps on smartphones, etc.
The moment your mind is taken off of your trigger, you will start feeling calmer.
6) Don’t Seek People’s Approval
It is often seen that people who crave other people’s approval are more prone to being sensitive.
That’s because the moment they don’t get it or get the opposite of what they want, they feel annoyed, sad, or angry.
That is why you see teens being moody when they don’t get enough “likes” on their social media posts. As you can probably tell, this is a slippery slope.
What you need to do instead is be comfortable with who you are. You are unique and you have your own voice with your strengths and flaws.
Accept yourself for who you are, and you will less need to seek approval from anyone else. Yes, this applies to your flaws too. For better or worse, they are a part of you and contribute to making you who you are. So, love yourself, work on your self esteem and be free of the constant anxiety about what others may think of you.
7) Shift Your Perspective
This is a very interesting method that you should definitely try out.
So, the thing is, it is much easier to be sensitive when you look at any situation from only your perspective.
So, let’s say your friend didn’t reply to your chat message even though they have been online for quite some time. If you look at it purely from your perspective, you would get offended, and that would keep bothering you until they reply.
But think of it from their perspective.
Maybe they are on a call, or maybe they are talking about something really important with someone else. This might help you feel a little better.
To make things even more interesting, you can start thinking from the perspective of your future self. One year down the road, will this moment matter to you? Would it still bother you? Of course, not! So, why waste your mental resources on it?
8) Invite More Criticism
Most of the time, people are highly sensitive to any criticism they receive from the people around them.
It could be from your friends, family, or people at work.
You might feel hurt, angry, frustrated, or annoyed that people are pointing fingers at your flaws. This is somewhat a normal human behavior, but criticism hurts sensitive people much worse.
So, you can try to become desensitized to criticism.
That way, it won’t affect you that much on an emotional level. This is similar to how we have all become desensitized to seeing violence in movies!
So, how do you do this?
Well, you can invite your friends and family to point out things that you can improve about yourself. This should be done periodically and not all at once. This has another benefit. You will learn not to take things personally and use the feedback to improve yourself!
9) Learn To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
You might be sensitive because you have become too cozy in your comfort zone.
So, anything that lies outside of it can potentially bother you in one way or the other.
If you step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons, you will find that you automatically develop thick skin.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?
This happens because new experiences, people, things, and situations open your mind up, expand your perspective, and make you look at life through a new lens.
You gain maturity, and this makes you a less sensitive person. So, every once in a while, do something that you would not normally do. It might take time for you to completely ditch your comfort zone, but you will be in a much better position than right now.
10) Engage In Self-Care
Last but certainly not least, you need to remember that sensitivity may not only be limited to your emotions.
You might also be physically sensitive. The modern lifestyle compromises our health in a number of ways and leaves us open to many physical and mental conditions.
Overindulgence in junk food, sugar, alcohol, and other things can make it much harder for you to be in control of your thoughts and emotions.
So, you need to make sure that you engage in self-care and healthy habits. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and do things that contribute toward your physical and mental health. Simple things like these will help you become a better person that will, in turn, help improve your self-esteem. Naturally, you will feel much less sensitive.