Does it Pay to be Sensitive?

January 24, 2019


I've been asked to not be so sensitive, as if sensitivity is a flaw. For as long as I can remember people have made sensitivity as an indicator of weakness. For a long time I believed that my sensitivity made me less capable than those labeled as laid-back, indifferent, or even heartless.


People couldn't have been more wrong about me or their aversion to sensitivity. Sensitive people have brought about some of history's greatest art. Whether your medium is literature, music, paint, film, etc., my bet is that you have some form of sensitivity that you live with. 


Here is what sensitivity does for the artistic community:


  • According to Psychology Today, sensitive people have, "a greater ability to listen and affirm, greater empathy and intuitiveness, better understanding of others' wants and needs ...." This is the reason for songs that can move you to tears, book and movie characters that come to life, and art that stays imbedded in your mind forever. Sensitivity opens the mind to a higher level of observation; we take notice of things that others might ignore or pass by. Take a look at some of the words listed as synonyms for sensitive: perceptive, tuned in, sentient, empathetic. Unfortunately, there are many words listed as synonyms that many would associate as negative too.

  • According to HuffPost, sensitivity makes you a great team player. I must admit that the #writingcommunity I joined on Twitter has proven to be supportive, instructive, and invaluable to me.

  • This same article points out that sensitive people pursue projects that have meaning. It's how we have ended up with books like To Kill a Mocking Bird, movies like Schindler's List, and songs like Imagine

  • According to an article on, sensitivity sparks creativity. The deep emotions that sensitive people feel often evoke a deep need to express those feelings in the form of art. Some sensitive people are introverts, some are extroverts, and others both. Regardless of which category a sensitive person falls under, the passion that is associated with the sensitivity—when applied to work of any kind—can bring about masterpieces. 

  • Forbes says, sensitive people are often rated as, "the best performers in their organizations." Sensitivity can be channeled into highly successful lives. Sensorial people are good readers of mood and situations. They are thoughtful and introspective, which can often mean that they are all in when it comes to problem solving.


High levels of sensitivity can also negatively impact your life if it seems to be overwhelming your everyday activities. Finding positive activities that you can express yourself with help to funnel emotions in a healthy way. If sensitivity acts as more of a block from a happy outlook on life, then you may need some strategies that can help keep those emotions in check and back to their functional statuses. For tips you can check out this list from Psychology Today that helped me. One really important note I'd like to make, that is echoed by most medical and mental health providers, is NOT to be afraid to speak to a professional if your sensitivity gets in the way of leading a healthy and happy life.



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