Although sensitivity is not always akin to emotional instability, cultural bias often makes no such distinction.  Therefore, the highly sensitive person may confuse the former for the latter, placing greater confidence in the social mirror than his own perspicacity.

~ vincenzo ©

“Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying harder in the wrong direction.” ~ Mary Delaney

Teaching art is full of rewards and challenges. I wholeheartedly enjoy concocting art projects and later being able to sit back and watch students engage…  On the other hand, my work also requires navigating in an overstimulating environment where a class can be derailed if I am not well grounded.

Students arrive to class in a festive mood and are prone to get out of control in an instant. They compete for attention, throwing out four or five requests simultaneously. These and other habits require me to reexamine my unexamined teaching approaches in order to reduce my emotional distress.

Being someone of heightened sensibility, I battle with hyper-sensitivity and overwhelm. I have neurotransmitters that make me especially vulnerable to emotionally intense environments. Prime symptoms are over-emotionalism, over-reaction and fatigue.  Try to imagine a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer coping with patients/clients without the aid of a waiting room to buffer the demands? As Phylameana lila Desy says,

“Being hypersensitive could be described as being allergic to life. For the highly sensitive person (HSP) a seemingly ordinary day can be overwhelming. Energies associated with touch, noise, scent, light, etc. are quickly and deeply absorbed by the HSP. As a result, the HSP may become mentally confused, emotionally upset, and/or physically uncomfortable. Hypersensitivity is also associated with a heightened sense of awareness and intuition.” 

Highly sensitive individuals often overemphasize their emotional expression as a way of compensating what often seems an invisible existence. They may swing from conflict avoidance to emotional dysregulation. This can have a debilitating effect upon their sense of self confidence.
~ vincenzo ©

Emotional Validation awakens an interest in me perhaps because it was scarce while growing up. Ridicule, reprimand, rejection and sarcasm on the other hand were the order of the day. These made daily interactions painful, intimidating and confusing. As a boy, I’d often gaze at the reflection in windows or mirrors to look at my face. I wondered how my visage could trigger such intense despising and contempt. Was it my dark skin, my slower speech or my hesitancy?

When I was growing up resources about emotional issues were also scarce. Personal computers and/or Internet access were not dreamed possible. There were no online forums, support groups or blogs to compare notes. In order to survive, sensitive souls had little light with which to navigate, so they grew up out of touch with their emotions. By example, they learned to suppress pain as much as possible.

As adults, many sensitive people have chronic difficulty identifying feelings. They are susceptible to indecision, self-doubt, anxiety and irrational fears. They experience emotional instability including a gnawing sense of emptiness. Some become incoherent in their verbal communication when over-aroused, fatigued or distressed. These issues may or may not interfere with their work, yet for me when work is finished, I am usually drained and unfit for any other kind of activity.

For those who exercise and pay attention to their nutritional needs, these go a long way to maintaining a more stable emotional system, yet for all the inner work and personal development, parts will always remain vulnerable.

It is imperative to raise awareness of the need to model Emotional Validation even when it is generally disregarded. Here is one example of EV and the difference it may make.

http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2014/04/19/why-you-need-a-good-relationship-with-difficult-students/

~ vincenzo ©

* “Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding, and expressing acceptance of another person’s emotional experience. Emotional validation is distinguished from emotional invalidation, in which another person’s emotional experiences are rejected, ignored, or judged.” — http://www.about.com
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