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In an argument? This is how to confront someone if you're a highly sensitive person

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Being in a relationship or a friendship means having a quarrel sometimes. Initiating a solution can be stressful, especially when you’re a highly sensitive person. Do you want to get back to your partner or friend after you’ve had a row, but you don’t know how? This is how you do it, preserving your energy level. 

You sense before you understand 

If you’re highly sensitive, you’re very empathetic. You experience stimuli and emotion more intensely than others. Noises, other people’s emotions, tension… you sense all of it. And then there’s your own emotional life. If you’re in a conflict, you tend to feel twice the tension, anger, frustration or grief. In other words: your antennas are very powerful. An attribute to cherish, because your sensitivity makes you empathetic and intuitive. At the same time, it takes a lot of energy. 

These six tricks help you to confront people in such a way that it doesn’t wear you down, yet it increases the chances of a positive outcome. 

1 Filter your emotions 

Do you feel the tension in your body increase? Imagine a gigantic whirlwind raging through your body, blowing away all feelings and physical sensations that aren’t yours. It’s like counting to ten, made visible. For some, this works better. 

2 Set an intention 

By setting an intention of how you want to feel during the conversation, in fact you’re creating a constant reminder. For example: ‘speaking out what’s important for you in a loving way.’ When things get emotional, your intention reminds you to slow down and be true to yourself. 

3 Imagine your protective coating 

Exercise: imagine there’s a big egg around you. When you’re riding your bike, on the sofa, sitting behind your desk, walking in the street… Wherever you are, this egg protects you from unpleasant or negative emotions. You can imagine your egg exactly the way you want, as long as it makes you feel pleasant and comfortable. How do you feel? What kind of feeling do you want to hold on to? This way you can imagine your egg in every color you want. Or maybe you want an egg with glitters or stripes. If you’re able to imagine it very well, you’ll feel protected from other people’s emotions. Your egg is extra useful in difficult situations, like confronting someone. 

4 Create your own mental safe space

This trick, originally created for introverts, works well for highly sensitive people. It requires some practice, but once you’ve created it and know how to find it, it can really help you. It’s about creating your own mental safe space. 

This is how it works: think of a precious moment or a lovely place you’ve been. Create a place in your memory for it, a place you can always ‘reach’ in your mind. Be aware of the place before you confront someone. This helps you to start the conversation in a relaxed manner. 

5 Write morning pages 

Writing morning pages helps you to clear your mind, shut up your biggest enemy (your inner critic) and calm your mind and anxious feelings. Put a notebook and pen next to your bed before you go to sleep. The next morning, as soon as you wake up, you write three pages. Just jot down everything that comes to mind. It’s like a braindrain: you allow your brain to release everything. It’s a great exercise to break down hurdles that keep you from feeling good and to be more aware of our emotions. It helps to start the day with a clean slate, ready for every challenge crossing your way. Including, if necessary, handling a conflict. 

6 Stone for support 

The healing powers of a piece of mountain crystal help you to be close to your emotions, to sharpen your intuition and maintain your ability to focus. Convenient, because sometimes – in the heat of the moment – you need to be ‘present’. Besides that, mountain crystal cleans your aura and helps you to get rid of negative energies. Just put a piece of it in your pocket, or use it as a pendant on your necklace. 

Photo: Lacie Slezak