Have you been told that you see too much, hear too much, or think too much? Are you an emotionally intense person?
Being in touch with your emotions is one of the best things that can happen to you.
Feeling Intensely: The Wounds of Being “Too Much”
Some people feel more than others.
They are often told—spoken and unspoken—that they are ‘too much,’ ‘too intense,’ ‘too sensitive,’ ‘too emotional,’ and that their behaviors are either ‘too dramatic’ or ‘too timid.’
People who feel more deeply and intensely than others are more aware of subtleties; their brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. People with emotional intensity are sometimes described as sensitive, caring, and attentive. At their best, they can be exceptionally perceptive, intuitive, and keenly observant of the subtleties of the environment. Yet they are also overwhelmed by the constant waves of social nuances and others’ emotional and psychic energies.
“For a highly sensitive person, a drizzle feels like a monsoon.” ― Anonymous
They tend to notice and remember a lot and can be overstimulated when things are too chaotic or novel for a long time. This ability to feel deeply and intensely often starts from a young age when emotion regulation skills are lacking and can lead to psychological wounding associated with shame and loneliness.
Growing awareness of this trait has generated much inquiry, yet psychologists have so far been unable to agree on a single defining attribute. If you identify with the description, there are a few possibilities:
- This may mean that you are one of the 15-20 percent of the population wired differently as a Highly Sensitive Person.
- This may mean that you fall on the right side of the bell curve as a gifted person.
- This may mean you do have or are mislabeled as having a mental illness such as Emotion Regulation Disorder, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, or Dysthymia (chronic depression).
The world is gradually coming to embrace the concept of neurodiversity — the idea that particular groups of the population are ‘different’ from the norm, with specific kind of sensitivity, intensity, and giftedness.
However, with little awareness, many emotionally intense adults confessed to having felt lonely and misunderstood for years, being plagued with self-doubts, and living with a lingering sense of existential loneliness.
Emotional intensity comprises of the following five components:
1. Emotional Depth, Velocity, and Complexity
You experience emotions to an unusual level of depth, complexity, and intensity. This makes you feel incredibly alive, sometimes painfully so.
- You have a constant stream of both positive and negative feelings, sometimes together, sometimes from one to another in a short period.
- You soar high into bliss and plunge low into the gloom in rapid succession.
- You know the meaning of despair, but you also know beauty and rapture. When art or music moves you, you are flooded with waves of joy, or get transcended into a state of ecstasy.
- You are passionate, even if you do not show it on the outside.
- You tend to form strong emotional connections with people, places, and things, and sometimes that makes separation difficult.
- You experience life with much tenderness and nostalgia.
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.