Hypersensitivity is emotional manipulation

The difference between being highly sensitive and being overly sensitive

Last update: 04 October, 2017

Although the terms "highly sensitive" and "oversensitive" are often confused with one another, they are two completely different things:

  • The hypersensitivity is the emotional fragility, the sensitivity of the feelings.
  • The high sensitivity is a biological fact with which emotions can be easily understood.

An example of an overly sensitive person would be this one work colleague who misunderstood a statement and not only gets upset about it and goes off like a bomb in the middle of the office, but also complains to the boss. On the other hand, while an example of a highly sensitive person might be someone who is more concerned about someone else's reaction due to a certain event in the past.

Biology vs. feelings

As described above, high sensitivity is a biological predisposition. That means that it actually doesn't have much to do with the world of emotions. It is just like other human characteristics High sensitivity is very complex and shows up differently depending on the environment. You can be highly sensitive, but you don't have to be overly sensitive. In the first case, it can be incredibly difficult to hurt your feelings when you have emotional skills.

One thing is certain: Highly sensitive people are able to perceive the state of mind of their fellow human beings. This can make it easier for them, if they wish, to make life difficult for others. But it is not for this reason that it is appropriate to manipulate them or to get on their nerves. On the other hand, if they have developed positive emotional skills, they can be of great support to their friends and family members.

Usually a person has become hypersensitive as a result of experiences and lessons learned. If this person has not received support on the way that makes him emotionally strong and gives him the tools to face the world appropriately, he is offended by the opinions of others about himself.

The characteristics of highly sensitive and oversensitive people

Since it can be difficult to differentiate who is oversensitive and who is highly sensitive, the following is a list of characteristics of both groups of people:

Hypersensitive people are:

  • Unsure. Because they do not understand how to correctly distinguish between an "attacker" and someone who makes a comment without the intention of harming them.
  • Often times they haven't learned to deal with their feelings. As a result, they hide their feelings until they can no longer and they go to the ceiling.
  • During a conversation, they use negative tools such as emotional blackmail and aggressive behavior. They act this way because they want to feel superior in a way.
  • You are very irritable in relation to what other people do or say.
  • During their childhood and adolescence they had negative experiences that they still struggle with today. This can range from parental divorce or “over-mothering” to bullying or domestic violence.

Highly sensitive people are:

  • Endowed with the great gift of empathy. While this may seem like a very nice quality at first glance, it can be very confusing to you. It gets confusing when they haven't had a good emotional upbringing.
  • They can distance themselves emotionally from their environment. This often happens when they haven't learned to get involved enough. Everything they perceive depresses them.
  • They are very intuitive about their surroundings. You can easily understand people, animals and devices.
  • You like to do something for yourself so that you can concentrate better on your goals. If they haven't learned how to deal with their high sensitivity, they can easily feel stressed when they are supposed to work with others.
  • You are good watchers. If you have a highly sensitive friend, he will surely be the first to notice any change. Regardless of whether it is in a room, with your state of mind or with regard to your external appearance - a highly sensitive person will perceive this change.

What both have in common

Highly sensitive and oversensitive people definitely have one thing in common: they can learn to be stronger. Remember that while you cannot change your biology, you can acquire skills that will make you a better version of yourself.

Even if highly sensitive people have difficulty distinguishing certain voices or feelings, they have the great ability to notice stimuli that others do not perceive. The way in which they learn emotional skills should also be the one that best adapts to each of their fellow human beings.

An effective solution for someone who is oversensitive or highly sensitive is to simply speak to others. This can help that person learn to understand others. If that doesn't help, there is always psychotherapy as an alternative. With the help of therapy, certain important behaviors can be relearned in order to enable coexistence with other people.