I've mentioned before that I work at a high school. I keep up on information about how to work with students with behavioral issues at school. One that I am learning more about is sensory processing and the living with being too sensitive. It was startling to read a chart that described me so completely. My counselor also told me that I was too sensitive for the environment I am in. He described that some people are like puppies that love to rough a tumble bite and play and no feelings are hurt. Others are more like bunnies wanting to sit quietly and be left alone. I'm a bunny in a puppy world. I am starting to recognize students that are bunnies expected to function in a puppy world.
I discovered that I can't turn into a puppy however I can learn a number of helpful skills. I am learning to recognize when others are being playful but not malicious. I am learning to express a need for quiet time and leave me alone time. I am learning that bunnies can be quiet ferocious. Don't piss off the bunnies. Puppies are startled when bunnies turn ferocious. Sometimes they really were just kidding and I need not take their behavior seriously. I can share my perspective to help them see that not everyone appreciates the same type of play. I spend a lot of time alone because I spend 7 and a half hours with people at work and sometimes I need to be alone. Taking a day off to be alone is a legitimate reason to call in sick. I'm sick of too much information, too much commotion and just too much of everything.
A chart like the one above helps me see that:
1. I am not alone.
2. There are ideas and ways to cope.
3. Too sensitive can be an asset when it is understood.
Hyper-sensitive I often anticipate the needs of others. I look out for and am aware of others that are also feeling overwhelmed. I am willing to give other people space when they need it. I check in with others to make sure that I am not overstepping boundaries. I stay aware of non-verbal clues that other people may miss. I still need to be alone a lot but I no longer feel guilty about it. It is simply a need that I have. Nourish that need and I can function better the rest of the time.