Emotional Intensity & Sensitivity: The 4 Unknown Emotional Gifts
As a highly sensitive, introverted, empathetic, or emotionally intense person, you have been repeatedly told that "you're too sensitive," "you're over-dramatic," or "you think too much." As an emotionally intense person, I myself have allowed these invalidating remarks to injure my self-esteem. But what if everyone else had it wrong? What if people with emotional intensity and sensitivity were some of the most gifted, powerful, creative, and caring human beings in the world?
The Unknown Emotional Gifts
When I first received my diagnosis for emotional intensity disorder, I thought my world was coming to end. I sobbed for hours. All of my self-work seemed pointless and useless. I would never achieve true emotional balance or my actualized self.
Eventually, moping around depressed was no longer sustainable, and I looked to the internet for hope.
I found that recent studies identify emotionally intense and sensitive people to have a high capacity for empathy, compassion, and intuitiveness. Unfortunately, many of these people become incorrectly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or ADHD.
Because the society we live in has placed very little value in the development or awareness of emotional gifts, most highly sensitive and emotional people are left in the dark about their innate abilities. At the very worst, they are invalidated, criticized, and some become the scapegoats of their families. This leads to issues with shame, guilt, and emotional dysregulation.
According to psychotherapist, Imi Lo:
People who were born emotionally intense, sensitive, and gifted with heightened perceptivity are like powerful sports cars. It is as if they have a potent engine that requires a special fuel and a specific kind of care. In the right condition and with the right keeping, they can be one of the most high-performing machines in the world and win many races. The problem, however, is that they may not have been taught how to run this powerful machine.
Discovering your hidden gifts can be a catalyst for positive change. As a person with emotional intensity and sensitivity, you more than likely possess one of these innate abilities:
1. Empathy and Compassion
You have extreme consideration for others and a high sense of morality. You seek to relieve pain and suffering from the people around you. Many of your friends or family confide in you and look to you for comfort.
If your parents or teachers were unable to identify your empathetic abilities, you may have felt shame, guilt, or even frustration because you were unable to solve everyone's problems.
At your best, you have a powerful ability to understand and connect with others. Your strong sense of morality inspires you to bring massive positive change to the universe.
2. Introspective Giftedness
Since a young age, you have had the capacity for deep introspection. You have a high sense of self and an established rich inner wisdom.
You may have been told that you are "over-analytical", but your inner thoughts allow you to achieve self-actualization quicker than most people your age.
At times you may feel depressed, guilty, and shameful because you feel the separation from who you want to be and who you are now. This process of positive disintegration is just a stepping stone during your growth and transformation.
3. Existential Giftedness
Since a child you have had a deep concern for life's ultimate issues. You constantly pondered, "why are we here?", "what is the meaning of life?", "what is the meaning of death?", etc..
You may have felt that you didn't belong because other kids did not share your concerns. When you asked teachers or parents for their perspectives regarding life's toughest questions, they failed to answer you. This made you feel isolated, misunderstood, and dismissed.
At your best, however, your natural curiosity about the world inspires you to lead others. Your existential angst propels you to become some of the most influential thought leaders and creative geniuses.
4. Spiritual Giftedness
You have always been able to see the bigger picture and perceive ideas on a symbolic level. You feel a deep connection between ourselves and the entire universe.
As a young child, you have been able to achieve heightened states of consciousness through fantasy play.
When you shared your wisdom or spiritual experiences with adults or friends, you may have been dismissed as "over-imaginative" or "crazy." You may have even been told that your ideas were wrong.
This made you feel dismissed and undervalued.
But at your best, you have a strong appreciation for life, nature, and the creative arts. You have a strong capacity for compassion and forgiving others. You have the potential to become some of the world's most inspiring spiritual leaders and gurus.
Take Control and Reclaim Your Emotional Gifts
If you related to one or more of these, it is likely that you posses an innate talent. It's time to let go of the hurt and pain from being invalidated and dismissed. Your emotional intensity and sensitivity was once looked as genetic vulnerability, but new knowledge proves otherwise.
You have the uncapped potential to create, connect, and ultimately change the world.
Stay strong, and transform your gifts. You're awesome. <3
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner)