“That’s no big deal.”
“I was JUST Kidding, gosh I’m not going to say anything to you anymore.”
“You’re not really hurt, you are just overreacting.”
“You are TOO Sensitive!”
Some people are drama queens/kings and do complain, whine, bully, and berate to get their way.
Statistically, though, those people are few and far between. So, when someone tells you that you\’re too sensitive on a consistent basis, you may be in an unsafe relationship, and you could be with a controlling person.
Unsafe relationships invalidate emotions.
The expression of feelings is met with exaggerated, inappropriate are extreme responses. Communication is often punished, and an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are dismissed. Painful emotions and feelings are disregarded or attributed to “unacceptable” personality traits, and they may be told that they have to “change” to conform to the other person’s expectations. I’m ok, you are not ok is the prevailing message.
Controlling people always need to be right.
They tell you who you are and what you are “supposed” to be like. They don’t seem to see and do not validate the real you. They have a version of you that they want you to be and do not accept the real you. They are very reactionary when questioned and act as though being attacked when met with complex or negative feelings, never addressing your question, turning the conversation to your inadequacies, always implying that you are wrong. Your problem never gets addressed and even worse, is never even acknowledged.
These types of relationships lead to serious mental health problems.
People become disconnected from their emotions. Their heart and head start to give them conflicting messages. They become confused and question their own intuition. Often emotions become more intense and extreme displays of emotions become the norm. Numbing, shaming, blaming, and a whole host of disrespectful and harmful interactions follow.
Safe relationships are validating.
Communicating feelings, identifying problems while wanting to work together to fix problems is met with empathy, understanding, and supportive responses. Emotions are met with acceptance, and the individual is not judged. I’m ok, you’re ok is the prevailing message. Accepting the other’s point of view, negotiating and/or agreeing to disagree solve problems.
When we find ourselves in invalidating relationships, we want to protect ourselves.
Express to them how your feelings are valid, and that you would like to address and fix problems; not place blame or shame. When the other person is not willing to meet you halfway, limit your expectations, decrease contact, and seek support from a safe and trusted friend or family member. If any form of abuse occurs, please end the relationship and seek professional help.
Remember, you\’re not “too sensitive.” Your feelings are valid and your problems deserve to be addressed.
And you are just as important as the other person.
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Catherine Gruener, LCPC, NCC, DCC, PDTC. Catherine is a multi-certified and licensed clinical professional counselor, nationally and internationally known for her parent training programs. She is the owner of Gruener Consulting and the Chief Executive Officer of the Encouragement Parenting Division.