sensitive

When Your Sensitivity Gets In the Way

Adulting, Author: Mary Grace Donaldson

“Leave your emotions at the door.” 

It’s a phrase that you may have heard over and over, and it’s possible that for you, it’s an easy concept. You’re the type of person who can walk into work, or any social situation, and separate your emotions and your personal or professional life. You can leave them at the door, in a corner, in a box — pick your metaphor.

But when you’re very sensitive, it’s not always the easiest concept to wrap your head around. Maybe that fight with your roommate that you had in the morning, before you left for work, was more than you could handle, and you cried throughout the majority of your commute. Or multiple criticisms from your boss led to you fighting back tears while trying to give the appearance that you were just sitting in your cubicle, minding your own business, totally unaffected. But, you fail miserably. Even when all of the career advice books and articles you’ve read tell you otherwise, you head for the second floor bathroom and return with red-rimmed eyes and a puffy nose. And then, you feel all the more self-conscious, because the evidence is all over your face.

Unfortunately, you can’t go through life giving in to every single situation that could potentially lead to an emotional reaction. Sometimes, being able to feel so deeply can get in the wayand it can be to your detriment.

But, how can you make sure that your feelings, sensitivity, and emotions don’t get away of your tasks, whether they are personal or professional?

Step away for a bit
Get in tune with your emotional reactions, and learn to sense when one is coming. If you’re able to catch it before it arrives, don’t bury it, but instead, step away from the situation that’s causing it. Take your lunch break. Walk to the bathroom before it’s obvious that you’ve walked out the door in tears. Go for a drive. Have a snack and drink some water. Then, come back to the situation. Chances are, you’ll see it with a fresh, less emotional perspective. And you won’t be reacting in the heat of the moment, which will just make things worse.

Know your limit
If you know you have a lot of emotions and you’ve hit the point where you’ll know you won’t be productive due to the extenuating circumstances, don’t try to force it. I’ve used my paid time off to take a mental health day, and by the time I went back to work the next day, I’d processed everything that happened outside of work, to the point that I could focus on what was in front of me. Remember your self-care, and that includes knowing when to take a step back, and focusing on yourself for a bit.

Stand clear of emo music, violent movies, and the news
We all loved 2000s emo music, but when you’re feeling particularly sensitive, emo lyrics are actually not going to help you. Violent movies and TV shows also won’t do you any good, either. In fact by listening to that music or watching those types of shows, you’ll likely end up having even more feelings that you just don’t know what to do with. And while it’s important to stay informed, the times in which you are feeling particularly emotional are really not the times that you need to be processing news.

Write, write, write
And the best part of it all? If you don’t want anyone to read it, they don’t have to. It’s up to you. No one’s going to judge your private thoughts, when they’re written in a place where only you can see and read them later on. Just getting these thoughts out on paper can be beneficial to you. When you name the thoughts, you give them life, and you can then figure out how to process them. But, if you’re one to publicize your thoughts, go for it, and create a space for yourself by starting a blog, so long as it’s appropriate, of course.

Talk to someone who gets it
You know what’s better than one person who has a lot of feelings? Two people with lots of feelings. Chances are you’ll make the other person cry upon telling your tale of the fight you had with your roommate, or the nasty remark your boss made, or the fact that you saw that damned Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA commercial again. But you’ll cry together.

As You Get Older, Birthdays Become About More Than Just Gifts

Author: Emmanuel Pepis, Real Life Stories

Celebrating a birthday in your twenties and thirties is quite the different experience than it once was. I, as I’m sure many of you have, flashback sometimes to the birthday parties I used to have when I was a kid. As I’ve gotten older, each passing birthday has magnified something even more: how the best gifts truly are intangible.

I was never big on receiving gifts. When I was younger I didn’t ask for much. And on my past birthday, I didn’t receive any gift that you could put in a box. What I did get was the gift of precious time well spent.

As you celebrate a birthday in your twenties and thirties, it more often times than not includes needing to go work. This can cause us to complain, because who wants to spend their birthday at work? But I switched my perspective. The whole day was really all about the blessings that I’m thankful for each day. 

In a twist of events, I ended up not having to go into work. It should be a cause for celebration; however, the day started with taking my mother to her knee surgery. But, while I was waiting around, I got to hang with my dad. We went and ate lunch together, and just had fun. When I left to go get my mother, I was thinking about the whole day that had just transpired.

It’s true what they say: each moment with the people you love is never to be taken for granted.

Sure, it doesn’t sound like the most exciting birthday in the world. But this was special to me for reasons that can’t be seen but rather, felt in my heart. This day was special because I was blessed with intangible presents, and it’s a day I will always hold dear.

This birthday was unique just like each one before it. By the end of the day, I didn’t have any gifts that I could see or touch. That didn’t matter though. What did count was the quality time I got to enjoy, and am blessed to continue to have every day.

A birthday has been described often as “our special day.” It’s more than that though. We aren’t here without a mother, a father. We aren’t the people we are today without the guidance and support of the people in our lives whether that be a grandparent, a sister, a brother, a spouse, a best friend, or whatever the case may be.

The best gifts truly are the people who you get to share my special day and every day with. The people who have made an impact on my life. The people who have helped make me the person I am and strive to be every day. I couldn’t ever ask for more, and neither should you. 

Now don’t get me wrong. Birthday parties and celebrations are fun. However, this older birthday was another example to me of why the best things in life are those you can’t tear the wrapping paper off from. Use birthdays as a reminder to be grateful for everything you have in your life. Use birthdays as a day to spend time with your loved one. And use birthdays to put your life into a positive perspective.

Actions vs Words

Actions vs. Words

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

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Actions speak louder than words.

I know you’ve heard this your entire life. You may have even taken it for granted. But as we’ve gotten older, this phrase has become more relevant.

It seems like a simple concept. Almost like common sense, right? The things you do show people much more than the things you say. If you go on and on saying one thing, but you keep doing another thing, people are going to stop believing you, and stop believing in you.

As we continue to grow older, this saying becomes more and more relevant. You learn to stop solely trusting people based on their words, and you instead start looking at their actions. For many of us, it may have taken getting hurt, or scarred, or lied to, to finally come to this realization — and that’s not a bad thing. Yes, it probably felt horrific at the time, but it was a learning experience.

A person’s actions show you who they are. Anyone can put together some words and make promises to you, tell you secrets, persuade you to believe them. But it takes a very special person to show how much they care about you through their actions. And those are the people you want in your life.

Millennials, be action people. Our words are important too — but make sure your words are backed up with actions. Let the things you do, and the way that you treat people, speak volumes. Be there for people, do good in the world, spread love and happiness, and don’t lose people’s trust.

We’re a generation that wants to implement change in the world, and the way to do this is through our actions. Start small — be there for your friends, family, significant other. Then work your way up to a community level, state level and so on.

Just always remember that your actions are what show people the real you. Your words are important, but your actions can diminish your words in an instant.

Cut the Crap, Speak the Truth, Say How You Feel

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

Ah, millennial dating. We know, we know, you’ve seen a lot of posts about it. But the point I am about to make here is exceptionally important — and not just for millennials, either.

Remember back when we were in middle school and it took three separate emissaries to tell someone that you “like liked” him or her? Sometimes it took a note, a passive-aggressive away message with song lyrics or the old standby… the cootie catcher.

But at this point, whether we like it or not, we are adults. The time for emissaries has passed and it’s time for us to step up and tell that person exactly how we feel.

If only it were that easy.

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Sure, it’s easy for some of us, but that’s not to say that it’s easy for everyone to be honest about feelings for another person. And that’s especially frustrating for those of us who don’t want to beat around the bush.

There are a number of people in my life who have theories as to why I’m “still single” — and while I firmly believe that it’s okay, one of the reasons why I know that I’m “still single” is that I want to say exactly as I feel to another person. I want to text first. I want to say that we should date. I don’t want to have to worry about “coming on too strong” or about choosing my words extra carefully as in the card in the photo above.

But since others choose to make it complicated, I very often say nothing.

It shouldn’t be so complicated. We truly shouldn’t need emissaries anymore to express our feelings, or play games with another person. If my feelings for another person aren’t reciprocated, I would much rather have it said to my face than to have to go through a two week period of superficial texting followed by being ghosted… and left wondering. Sure, I’d be sad in the moment, but the truth wastes less of my time than two weeks of “talking” to someone.

So, please, millennials… stop with the games. Say how you feel.