Hey, highly sensitive person: You can survive to this world.

The world is full of these nice and sweet things.

I’m receiving the living proof of it each day, like this little lemur getting his belly scratched, while you’re torturing yourself about the future of this world (Lemurs are not aware of the global economical system, don’t blame them for that):

or this story (where the morale is about the fact that kids are vicious creatures and squirrels furry gods. However, it could be that my opinion has been biased due to the extreme cuteness of the squirrel design):

Or perhaps with this ASMR chocolate cake’s recipe (I dare you not to die in ecstasy when a divine sound, similar to the ones of a choir of angels can be heard : the one of chocolate sprinkles getting softly grinded):

Do not thing that world’s turpitudes (I love using the word « turpitudes ». Not only because it’s coming from old French,but mainly for the flavour written language can sometimes provide, similar as the one of chocolate chips melting on the tongue). Not a day goes without the constant reminder of the human soul’s absurdity, with its fair share of daily horrors, the beauty of its fights, or its deliciously weird records (aka the one of the biggest turnip in the world).

I’m part of the club of these people living things in an intense way.

Seeing the ending of the movie Antartica (with these abandoned huskies ending up finding their ass of owner, after weeks of a terrible journey in the South Pole, leaving them stick and tired to the paws) is awakening in myself the same emotion each time, similar to the one I had when I discovered it when I was 8:

When I’m eating something good, I have sometimes the impression to experience a real orgasm. Which can be embarrassing if you’re feeding me with something extremely tasty for the first time (furthermore, I have developed a sort of fascination for the anime version of the manga Shokugeki no soma, illustrating perfectly, in my humble opinion, what a « foodgasm » can look like. After this, you will never invite me to eat at yours):

Facing a situation that I consider unfair, whatever It’s a big or a small cause, I feel sometimes this familiar feeling hitting me hard in the guts, transforming me in a pasionaria with short legs. This phenomenon have given rise to some hot speeches with the titled « Why short people should only have access to the sticky part of the metal bar in the metro » to « The absurdity of people harvesting cocoa and never having the chance to taste chocolate ».

All my friends shared the same story about me: how, while they visited my humble abode, they ended up having an unexpected dinner, a tea, a take away home made burger, a blanket or a foot massage with a machine (depending on the season). My family witnessed surreal moments, when as a kid, I was chasing the lizards without tails in order to apply some bandages on it (poor lizards), or when the mere sight of a fluffy dog provoked trances of infinite joy ( and the fact of putting my hands across the fences to pet them, regardless of any common sense. Well, at the very moment I’m writing that post, I can certify that I’m still the happy owner of all my limbs).

My moments of sadness are following the same path, where the details of a word has a great significance, because I consider that everything is of importance. If words can be used as a weapon, a shield, to create or appease tensions, we cannot always be careless or light when we are using it. I hate the sentences: « Ohh, I did not really mean it », or « My words might have been too strong ». This is a perfect nonsense, as words are giving shape to something existing, there, whatever it is (fear, discomfort, something we want to take some distance with).

So how do we not ending up dying under the weigh of a world made of steel concrete? Where we are taught that we should regulate our emotions like we are adjusting the temperature of an oven before cooking a Christmas turkey, in order to live fully happy and remained socially accepted ?

Here are some tips I have applied to myself and that allowed m to survive to this world during 35 years (not without getting my soul or my toes bruises, but experiencing as well unsurpassed joys, about important and non important thing. But I guess that this is the pleasure of our time on this planet earth).

If this short post can help some of these joyful and tattered souls out there to see things more clearly, or giving some useful insights to the ones having in their surrounding one of these sensitive Ewoks, I’d be quite delighted.

1. Being higly sensitive is making you a superhero. Not the opposite.

If the universe might slightly give you sometimes the will to puke, strains your sensitive heart is or turns into pulp when the manual is misunderstood, while still allowing you to be amazed by the beauty of a poem, by laughters between friends, or something surprising able to plant a smile on your face for hours, it’s because your high sensitivity made you gift: the super power of being an emotional sponge.

Sometimes, you can be ashamed of the fact that something that could seem insignificant to your surrounding can move you deeply (Like the heroic but tragic fate of this penguin in this BBC’s documentary), or you would love to slap you hard in the face when your tendency to take the issues of the full planet earth to heart invade all of your private space.(from the inflamed toe of your Auntie Janine to the rough night of sleep your colleague had due to a stye).

You should know that with every super power come responsibilities, but you have won a nice one there : the super power of the natural empathy.

Not just the fact of being nice to get praised and appreciated by other human beings, nor the fact of being able to have compassion for any living creature.

Nope.

The capacity of identifying and understanding the emotions of the others and building connections trough it. And when some people might need to swallow a full stock of personal development books to get it, you just have it, right there, in your hands.

Not everybody can wear existential and emotional glasses. However, you have the ability to wear the ones of the others and to bring joy whenever darkness is too prompt to invade everything, to get understanding of thins when everything seems stuck, and even to pierce to pierce armours we thought impregnable for ages.

You know it requires a lot of strength to be able to joke with a sweet irony or to find detachment when it comes to the world and its obstacles. And it requires even more to keep going, keeping faith in the humanity and its capacity to move us around important and insignificant things :

Believe me: considering the amount of bitter things life can bring you, your sensitivity is the trademark of an ordinary super-hero.

2. Silence and repression are your cryptonite.

Like the strengths of our friend Superman can be threatened by this rock, the ones of the highly sensitive person are annihilated when he-she is repressing his-her emotions and silencing it.

But as Superman, your best enemy is not Lex Luthor or an old piece of rock, but the judgement you can have on yourself and your own emotions.

Society advocates for the repression and moderation in each action, for the common harmony and well-being. It’s not acceptable to moan because you’re hungry or cold over 2 years old, even if you’re finding yourself stuck at the gathering you accepted, in order not to break the dynamic of the group. And it is not acceptable neither to almost implode, due to boredom, at a meeting you spent 3 hours of your precious life commenting on a pie. For years, the highly sensitive person was told, regardless his-her gender, that exposing feelings is not socially acceptable, because: 1. It’s embarrassing / 2. Outlets to purge these bad excess of emotions exist (sport, Pornhub, courses of bakery online, stamp collection, etc.).

So what does the high sensitive person do? He-she internally piles up emotions, smiles, handles it like a nice piece of human jelly, buffeted by other people emotions, the world, Excel pies. The highly sensitive person thinks that : 1/ He-she does not want to bother or force anyone into doing something, because he-she knows how it FEELS 2/And it’s not normal to be that sensitive about everything, there is a bit of toughening up needed there (because the others must have found a way to manager their frozen extremities and to synchronize the sounds of their agonizing stomach with the rhythm of the bass during the DJ set / No one in this meeting room seems to be on the verge of the aneurysm , contrary to you).

And once the repression and silence operated until reaching the point of no return, that’s when and emotional geyser will find a way to erupt, similar to lava going out of the anus of the earth .

Thanks to the anus analogy, you can capture the burning pain experienced at that moment.

I have witness so many time this type of devastating eruptions, coming from myself, or from other people in a more spectacular way (These people were the ones who opted for the option « tortured soul because of their life path », which can be a lethal combination).

My very own personal eruptions have taken the form of conversations from another world:
– You’re ok?
– Yes, yes *sobbing full of snot*, I’m ok.
– I know you’re not ok….
– Yes, yes *Double sobbing and snot*
– Well, people who are ok do not have their voices full of snot….
– I…..I…I WILL NEVER MANAGE ANYTHING IN MY LIFE !!!!!

Or these messages coming from nowhere (You know, like the one you’re sending to your ex or your crush drunk as fuck at 4 in the morning, but in the worst version ever?) : « I liiiiike you. You knowww that i like youuuuuuu…. » (Followed by 10 pages of pure nonsense).

From these painful experiences (both for the receiver and the sender), I have extracted some useful pieces of knowledge for any highly sensitive rookie :

  • Emotions are healthy. That’s repressing it and not analysing it that is not: all your emotions are sending you signals about yourself. If its joy, bingo : you identified something with a high potential of satisfaction that yu must cherish and keep. If it’s anger, bingo either way: maybe there is a fear, a frustration, something to dig and learn. Don’t be ashamed of it, whatever you’ve been told about it. Don’t try to erase it or hide it under the surface of cynicism or an attitude of Sir/Mrs Happyhappyjoyjoyallthetime.
  • Welcome your emotions as they are. Some words have hurt you? Say it instead of saying to yourself that it does not matter. Something made you sad? Cry if you want to, live your sadness until the last drop to know the source of it. And yo have the power to talk, or write, which is far more than what an upset amoeba could expect. You have the legitimise and the possibility to use this power, in a direct and honest way. Chill, no one will die in the end.
  • Surround yourself with quality people, who can understand you. It can sound like a total cliché (thank you Captain Obvious), but the highly sensitive fellow will need a land where trust is a rule in order to share, talk and connect, give and receive. Your close guard may have an operational mode that is the total opposite of yours, but being able to debate, analyse and understand our respective way of framing the world is the key to healthy expression of emotions (and yes, they will have to accept the idea that you need 6 pages to allow what’s going on inside of your brain to run wild, but they know as well that they will received dances of joy and tap dancing at any time of the day or the night. Who would not want tap dancing to wake up at 6 in the morning, come on ?).

3. The standard of the highly sensitive person is authenticity

In a scene of Nymphomaniac of Lars Von Triers (a movie I do not recommend to watch between two sessions of Scrabble with your granny Rosie, except if Rosie is really, really, really open minded) the voice of Charlotte Gainsbourg comments : « Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colours when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.« .

That’s why an average lemon cake, hidden behind an outrageous icing, will always appear to me as an unforgivable fraud. When we know the beauty and the potential of something that could be so simple and so good, that’s what we will always want and expect: something simple, true, without artifice . A lemon cake does not need an icing from outer space, and like one of my personal superhero would say : « the ultimate sophistication lays in simplicity ».

The highly sensitive person is not asking for the moon. He-she is only craving to enjoy a bit of each small piece of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Nice words not hiding some favour to ask, simple jokes without pretension, moment of brief happiness that will be lived fully. The highly sensitive person knows that the pure authenticity of things is precious and more valuable than any diamond on earth (my favourite saying is : « No need of precious stones or flattery. Just give me the ultimate lemon cake, a joke about the penis of the neighbour, and the favour of a real human interaction »).

So yes. The highly sensitive will need to escape sometimes from the world, can be intense and exigent in his/her moment of pleasure, because « they will have to matter for real », will prefer the reserve to the perfect pun at the right moment, and will always be touched by the gesture of the gift of a stupid rock that will mean something (the one from this place were we walked some days, the one were we had an unbelievable burgers. And that’s how you’re always ending up facing weird and cruel dilemma when you have to do a bit of clean up of your possession).

Because the highly sensitive one will always know how these brief moments of grace, of intense and authentic joy can be so brief, intense, and special. And how it’s crucial to know how to enjoy it until the last piece,

To conclude, I would never recommend enough the videos of The School of Life channel about How to process emotions , or the super-power linked to the high sensitivity called Emotional intelligence (and for the French speakers out there, there’s the excellent episode of the podcast serie Emotions about high sensitivity by the Studio Louie Media. However, I should say that all their productions are like emotional lemon cake).

In another vein, but still related, there are all these short movies that created these small and so special twinges like « Still Wylde » (It’s funny, authentically human on a peculiar subject) :

Like the one of Bastien Dubois « Souvenir-Souvenir » :

Take care of yourself and of your emotions.

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