High Sensitivity (Hypersensitivity) is still not a term widely known in the society and not even common among specialists (especially in Poland). I believe this trait should get more attention, so it could be understood. Therefore, I decided to take a certification course in Nickerson Institute in US and so far I am very satisfied, it includes the latest research about High Sensitivity and it’s comprehensive. Therefore, you will see some more and more articles about HSP on my blog 🙂
Today I decided to write about High Sensitivity in a relationship. Many stressors are coming from relationship problems and as HSP we are naturally more prone to get troubled in one – simply because our partner might not understand our sensitive soul and how to approach it.
Thus, I decided to write this article and give you practical tools to help you feel better in the relationship.
- Remember that you understand and feel things, situations and people differently – deeper.
As HSP we analyze and see things deeper . We often divide things into smaller pieces to understand the core of the problem. We often expect that others do too, especially our loved ones. Personally, I had situations when my totally normal way of thinking was not understandable by my husband and after communicating clearer we were both surprised what we both meant. Communication, patience is essential in the relationship and fundamental when it comes to high sensitivity! Patience is needed for communicating persistently what do we mean and what is our point of view. Nervous system of HSP is super sensitive and very careful, so it can easily “overheat”. To prevent a volcano of emotions our breath is one of the best and easiest accessed tools. Take a deep breath in – count to 4, hold on 2 and release counting to 8 and let calm your system down. This will prevent you from the “emotion volcano eruption”. Even one deep breath can soothe your nerves and you will be able to calmly explain your point of view and explain your feelings.
- Your second half might not understand why you are in a bad mood.
This point doesn’t only relate to HSP, but to everyone. We are often expecting that our closed ones will figure out what we mean, what we feel and why we are in the bad or melancholic mood. Moreover, Highly Sensitive People have natural tendency to overanalyse and be hung up about injustice of this world and things,and behaviours around them (well, I also have it sometimes). In those moments it’s worth communicating that our mood is not caused by our partner but we simply need time to “digest” our feelings. If you are able to tell your partner the reasons for your mood and why you can’t pull your wandering mind into the present, then it’s amazing. However from the experience I know that those thoughts can be crabbed, so it can be extremely hard to explain them. Just communicate that – exactly that it is difficult to explain your current overload of thoughts and that you need time for yourself. That this time is really needed for you, even essential for your well-being. The most important thing is that your partner knows that your mood is not caused by something he/she has done.
That is also an advice to you -a highly sensitive soul – don’t try to push away those thoughts, reflections and feelings – it can have an opposite effect. Let them flow in your body, give yourself time to digest them, but of course don’t let yourself to be in this state for too long. I understand that it’s easy to say, but harder to do! I know that very well. Therefore you can use mindfulness – to practice being in the moment and receptive music therapy to help you express your emotions. Adjust the music to your mood – ISO rule -then gradually alter it to affect the desired mood state. I recommend you to use those methods, they help me a lot!
- For your partner to be able to use your needs, limitations and stressors, you need to understand them yourself.
This is a very important point. Many of us simply don’t understand our own needs, limitations, stressors and stress signals, so how come our partner is supposed to do so!
That is why it is super important to get to know them yourself. The practice of everyday self observation is extremely important, especially in stress management and emotion management. You can start from filling a stress management table which I offer you for download as a freebie, just write your email in the pop-up 🙂 This will help you to create a habit of self observation. Thanks to that you will start noticing and understanding your stress signals and stressors – in the result yourself and your emotions which you will be able to communicate to your partner.
- Divide truths, beliefs from facts.
Those 3 are so often big reasons for misunderstanding. In our intensive relationship talks and fights we are the most often communicating our beliefs and truths not the facts.
We do that, because those (beliefs and truths) are based on our feelings – therefore it’s natural to do that in the relationship. Although those are based on our own perception,subjective perspective, and our own way of thinking. Therefore we cannot look at the situation from outside, we are just getting more frustrated.
Thus, talk in a language of “facts” and say “I, me” not “you”. For instance, your partner lost your keys and your belief is that he lost them, because he was clumsy and irresponsible. Instead of saying you are irresponsible – say for instance I feel stressed about those lost keys.
I know it’s not easy, but try communicating language of facts and say more “me” instead of “you” step by step and you will see differences. Talk about this way of communicating with your partner, so he also understands the concept. I hope you got it yourself, ask me in the comment if you have any questions.
- To get rid of emotions (or calm them down 😉 it’s worth to approach situation analytically, strategically
When we are in a relationship, emotions are our companions and that’s normal, because we love our second half. Although emotions are not always best advisors in making decisions together with a partner (well also when you have to make a decision by your own). Highly Sensitive People feel even more and they have well-developed intuition, so they can sense if a certain decision is right or not – but everybody can be mistaken. Especially in big decisions like moving, buying a car or a house it’s important to take them rationally and together. I want to recommend to you methods which I am using with my husband and they are helping us to keep emotions down and make rational decisions.
For us, extremely helpful is writing down different scenarios and pluses/minuses of them, to base our decision on the most facts. We are even doing a set of rules for such conversations to make it like a business meeting and remember not to push our subjective perspectives.
“Feeling” and intuition are also taken into consideration at one point, but we don’t let it take over the decision. Looking at facts, especially for HSP is super helpful to calm down the nerves and look at the situation/decision from a perspective. Decisions are naturally connected with some kind of stress, so make the process possibly smooth.
Sometimes it can turn out that our intuition is misleading and it’s worth to figure it out during the process, not when a decision has already been made.
Writing down different scenarios, taking into account advantages and disadvantages of them (also writing down finances of those scenarios), have helped me and my husband make life changing decisions. It was also a way of stress management in decision making for us.
I really recommend it to you.
Do you have your own methods fora balanced relationship?
Write in the comment 🙂
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