“Sorry, but you’re sensitive” is a statement that never fails to shock me every time.. I see being sensitive as a compliment while others are apologizing for “accusing” me of having it.
People seem to view sensitivity as a negative trait. “It’s a sign of weakness,” they say. “You should be numb and indifferent to portray strength and power,” they debate. For someone who has been brought up to define sensitivity as being respectful, I think you can imagine how it feels.
You see, in my home, being sensitive means that you’re sensitive towards other people’s feelings and needs. Being sensitive means that you respect others’ privacy, space, decisions, and you never cross the lines.
Being sensitive means that you like to be treated the same way that you treat others. Would it be too much to ask for what you constantly give? Life is give and take after all.
Sadly, I came to realize that society has started to confuse being sensitive with being overly sensitive.
Being overly sensitive is a sign of weakness, as many believe, and I completely agree with that. When you’re overly sensitive, you lack the strength that is needed to face life’s hardships. It’s extremely difficult for overly sensitive people to deal with different personalities and various situations since they get hurt so easily and/or they may misinterpret some verbal or non verbal actions. In the end, I believe that this type of people are just struggling with issues that have built up throughout their lives.
So, back to positive sensitivity, has the Internet, social media, and the revolution of technology played a role in making people lack this positive sensitivity that was once an admirable characteristic?
You might be wondering how, so let me explain.
In 2014, a former friend can easily defriend you, unfollow you, or even block you without any explanation or confrontation. This friend does not feel the urge to talk to you in person or express his/her thoughts or feelings. A friendship could be terminated with a simple click of a button and that could be for a mere misunderstanding, for all I know.
Back in the days, if you called me or sent me a letter, I would be expected to call you back or send you once I’m free. Now, with all the different ways of being in touch – via Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram etc.- 24/7, people do not see it as important to promptly reply. They could answer back two days after or even a week and that has become somewhat of an accepted norm since everyone is doing it as well. However, surely work related emails is an exception. I’m mainly talking about how we conduct our social lives these days.
They could find a missed call but never call back not giving much thought about how the person would feel. Then come back a month or two later like nothing has happened. And this is happening in an era where caller ID is visible in almost every mobile phone out there and the status clearly says “online” when you click on Whatsapp but hey.. who cares, right?
Now the question is: Wouldn’t you agree that sane, respectful people would naturally feel offended if you insult them, hurt if you use offensive language, degraded if you’re being abusive, and simply uncomfortable if you’re trying to pull them down in order for you to shine so bright at their expense?
It’s always been common sense like 1 + 1= 2, however, people have gradually become desensitized with all of what’s happening in today’s world. Having so many relationships online may have contributed in making some people lose sight of how friendship (or any type of relationship) is invaluable and needs time and effort to help it to forever blossom.
Having said that, I strongly urge everyone reading this article to stop and think twice before fighting sensitivity.. positive sensitivity. Getting completely desensitized is one of the main reasons why we are all suffering from violence, abuse, selfishness and many other actions that have created our current repulsive reality of today.
We need to go back to thinking before speaking or acting because being sensitive actually means that you CARE.