Sensitivity

One debacle I’ve encountered in dealing with human beings (to sound alien-y) is that, well, some of us are more sensitive to certain things than others are. I’m not necessarily talking about your super-sensitive front teeth or your friend from Chicago who wears a t-shirt and shorts in the middle of winter. I’m talking about how, emotionally, we human beings are sensitive or more likely to (over)react to a certain topic (stimulus) based on our unique experiences.

And now it’s time for me to play faux psychologist.

I’m a firm believer that we’re shaped by our experiences, especially those that are negative, as the sensitivity I’m talking about is how certain topics evoke strong reactions from us. Here’s an example: you were fat as a child, but slimmed out as you got older… However, you feel ashamed or angry at yourself when you step on a scale and you’ve gained 10 pounds in the last month, because you fear returning to your previous unsightly state. Or, perhaps, you get upset when people discuss others’ weights and the like. Therefore, I’d infer that you’re sensitive to weight issues.

I, personally, am sensitive to the issue of honesty, or, more accurately, lies. From an early age I embraced the old maxim “Honesty is the best policy” and clung to it like a raft in the middle of the ocean. After being lied to quite often (as we all are), I’ve become in a close-to-paranoid state when it concerns the truth; I find it extremely hard to trust people completely in a short period of time. At the risk of sounding like Steven Colbert, it’s all because I believe in the truth and try to maintain my integrity the best I can, eschewing political correctness (a whole ‘nother post, PCism is) with little effort. This has led to me being called things like arrogant and disrespectful from those who’d lie to gain favor, and I can’t stand them or their doctrine, again, just because I have clung to that maxim with such childish naïveté in an effort not to become a “liar”. Am I right? In my mind, I am, but to another person, it may seem that it is all too naïve, and it is. However, I can’t control that I react so negatively to lies because of how I was brought up and my experiences.

Ironically (or fittingly?), I love politics — something that involves lots of lying. Perhaps my obsession wants to fix all the lies that permeate the political acts everywhere. I’m not sure.

What are your sensitivities?

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  1. oh, thought-provoking this is. i’ve been called sensitive by almost everybody i know, and i do admit i am sensitive. things that i think are big deal, people think i make it one, not that it is one.

    i’m particularly sensitive when people accuse me of being something negative – whether it’s demanding, manipulative, inconsiderate, or even sensitive (it’s all about tone and context). to me, when people say i am this or that, if i didn’t feel i displayed this trait in the situation they’re specifically referring to, then they need to back it up. when they don’t (which people usually don’t, they just refer to some event and expect me to arrive to the same conclusion without much detail on exactly why they think i am this or that), i feel very indignant.

    i’m also sensitive to lots of other things, but i’d be writing a whole post if i elaborate any further. 😆

  2. Totally agreed with the negative accusations! I always get “Brett, stop being so damn negative” from friends and family — to which I simply reply, “Stop being such a hypocrite; by telling me to stop being negative you’re being negative yourself.”

  3. I, like you, Brett, love politics – this is indeed irony.

    I will tell white-lies so not to crush a persons feelings, but I have been called ‘Too blunt’ even in polite company.

    Am I arrogant? I have been told so. Am I too blunt? Again, I have been told that I am. But I don’t sit well with idiots – or what I deem an idiot.

    The worst of those is an educated-idiot. Those I loath!

  4. Brett – get that share button I have. It works with one bit of code and will direct people to all social sites. 🙂

  5. The worst are the educated-idiots indeed. The ones who have no desire to learn but are well educated and are excellent students. They just come off as ignorant because they know absolutely nothing outside of the classroom.

    And the share button doesn’t work since I don’t have the theme editor available. I need my own domain to do that.

  6. Been meaning to get back here to comment on this one, and now I have several others to read…you are going to keep me busy! I surely have my sensitivities, too, and I’ve dealt with the lying thing for a long time. I’ve become convinced that we all lie (one way or another) and the only reason to do so (unless we are sociopaths or something) is to protect ourselves. To join you in getting psychological, somewhere along the way we discovered that if we deny or fabricate something, the person we sense danger from (our parent, the bully, the teacher) will go away and leave us alone (at least temporarily).
    I have a lot of compassion for people who lie. If they’d learned a better way to cope, they would. It becomes a habit, and socially acceptable in many ways.
    That being said, I do endeavor to avoid saying “that which is not so.” Still, though, in my odd belief system, truth is relative…




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