Emotional Oversensitivity and How to Manage it

Emotional Oversensitivity and How to Manage it

What does being emotional mean?

Being emotional does not imply that you lack control; it has to do with three tendencies that produce emotional stimulation in various ways. These include:

Emotional Reactivity

Emotional reactivity is the term often used in connection with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). An individual with BPD not only responds with excessive emotion, but also behaves intensely, and in ways that don’t suit the circumstance. They may scream in public, sleep for a few days, or harm themselves. Shari Y. Manning, PhD, in her book “Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder” explains that this reactivity is not manipulative or self-indulgent, which is a common  myth connected to BPD.

Alternatively, research has put forward that individuals with BPD have an emotional baseline that is very high. If the emotional baseline of an average adult person is around 20 (on a scale range of 0 to 100), then for people with of BPD the average emotional baseline is at 80. The only things that can moderate their reactions are the secondary emotions of guilt and shame – they are aware that their emotions are uncontrollable. Manning explains. “Imagine the one you love is angry. To add to the primary anger, these emotions that are secondary feel insufferable, and their dread of all this emotion, in irony, seems to light up another group of emotions—maybe rage that is now moved to you, for some unexpressed motive or ‘not assisting’ the one you love.”

Emotional Sensitivity

The ones, you love, aren’t the only ones perplexed when a person with BPD reacts emotionally, apparently out of nowhere. People who suffer from  BPD might not be informed of the cause. In contrast, they still react strongly. As Manning accounts, emotional sensitivity makes individuals stimulate to cues and have the reactions acted upon. He continues to explain that: “To get to know emotional sensitivity, think  of the individual with BPD as ‘raw’. The emotional nerve endings of him are brought to light, and therefore, he is sharply influenced by something emotional.”

Returning to Baseline Slowly

People with BPD have a difficult time  calming themselves and remain disturbed longer than  people who don’t have the disorder. There is interesting evidence  that supports this . “In an individual with typical emotional strength, an emotion lights up in the brain for close to 12 seconds. Evidence is available that in persons with BPD, emotions set off for 20 percent longer.”

Managing Over Sensitivity

There are a number of methods that can help  you manage your over-sensitivity, but many of the ways are basically from one source, altering the way you think and your perception of circumstances.

If you suffer from  emotional oversensitivity, it can be hard for you to change and manage the situation, as you may feel defensive, vulnerable, threatened, or you might not be aware of the steps you can take  to become less sensitive. Nevertheless, it is very important to find solutions on exhausting emotional oversensitivity since it might be  affecting your way of life. It is  possible  to balance your emotional sensitivity. Do it with understanding and patience.

Be sincere about your feelings

At the same time that others most probably can help you, you will always be the master of yourself. Look within yourself and be true to your feelings. Make  some guidelines for  yourself;  that way, you have the capacity for your actions and can still manage yourself.

  • Examine your sensitivity

Try to examine  what or who starts your sensitivities.

  • Meditate

Meditation is another way that can help  you look deep into the sensitivity. In case you’ve been ignoring it  because you consider it a waste of time , or feel afraid or nervous, then it is the best way to get to know what is urging you to have that thought.

  • Take Your Time and Find out What Triggers the Sensitivity

Ask yourself whether there is a specific thing that triggers your sensitivity. Most of the time sensitivity stays in particular regions that have major triggers. Mainly, these triggers develop from the five senses, like color, an image, a scent, a sensation, sound,  remembering a past occurrence, or reminding you of an individual.


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