Sensitivity Is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

May 4, 2016

Sensitivity in our behavior, understanding, and communication is not a sign of weakness, but strength. This goes against what most people seem to think, which is that feelings make people weak.

Emotions and feelings have been looked down upon throughout much of our history, so it’s not strange that society believes our feelings diminish our efficiency, strength, and competence when it comes to making decisions.

Fortunately, this is starting to change, and we’re giving more importance to our emotions, as well as the capacity to show sensitivity when we communicate and interact with our surroundings.

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Intimacy, authenticity, and sensitivity in communication

Sensitive communication requires frankness. But when we say what we think, people might get hurt, so while we should be honest, at the same time we also have to express ourselves in a way that causes the least amount of harm possible.

What is the key to sensitive communication? Expressing a sentiment, not a judgment. Judging others means destroys any kind of sensitivity and frankness in communication. In other words, instead of telling someone “You’re a liar,” we should ask ourselves what that means before we make this value judgment.

Instead of condemning someone, we should talk about how we feel in response to that person’s behavior. For example, “It makes me angry when you do that.” Always be very concrete and emphasize how the situation made you feel. Words that express judgment lack sensitivity, and their only function is to protect one’s ego.

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There is no vulnerability in our feelings and emotions

Many people communicate through judgments because they’re afraid they’ll look vulnerable and sensitive if their feelings show. However, that could not be farther from reality. While judgments and opinions are pure conjecture, feelings are based in lived experience.

When we encourage sensitivity in our closest relationships, we allow ourselves to show more vulnerability. We assume that nobody will take advantage of that and we use our feelings to promote effective communication.

However, in less close or solid relationships, we tend to take a cold, judgmental stance, as if this entailed a triumph over vulnerability. We think it makes us look good, and that gives us reason to be insensitive so that we can be more objective.

As a consequence, we don’t communicate clearly and candidly, but rather we fall into the temptation of easy and quick judgments, fearing that they’ll discover that part of us that we think is inferior, but that really makes us wise at heart.

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Appearing sensitive and making others see that we’re not made of stone means expressing ourselves in a secure, open, relaxed, and enthusiastic manner, and showing that we’re inclined to learn, understand, and mature.

It can be difficult to talk with sensitivity, but it’s worth it to try. There are many benefits of maturing within a competitive society and forgetting that the things that make us strong are perceived as vulnerability.

As we already know, criticizing, ridiculing, or ignoring the things that bother us will only heighten the tension and create conflicts that are difficult to resolve. That’s why society’s message of appearing insensitive is only useful in some circumstances, but not in the majority of cases.

Attacking others instead of revealing our feelings is a mistake that we may have to pay a high price for. Knowing this, it should be clear that sensitivity is a gift that should be maximized, because living “from the heart” is what makes us special and authentic.

dripping moon