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365 Challenge: Day 30 – Sensitive

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Sensitive: (1) having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings, or (2) quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences

Being called “sensitive” can be both a compliment and a judgment, sometimes all at once.

  • If someone is sweet, caring and thoughtful, (s)he’d be called a sensitive person as praise, but it can also mean they’re too sugary and weak if their feelings are hurt quickly.
  • If someone is easily able to notice a change, (s)he’d be called sensitive to their surroundings, but it can also mean they are unable to tolerate change well.

At some point in my life, I think I’ve noticed all four of those interpretations when it comes to my personality or behavior.

  • I was very considerate, always called such a sweet and sensitive boy as a child. I was very innocent, but I’m much more worldly and mature now — a loss of innocence as one ages.
  • I can also have my feelings hurt rather quickly over some situations, potentially even holding grudges (a topic for another day). It’s much less now, maybe even quite rare for it to happen, but at one time, I was highly sensitive in a negative manner.
  • I’m usually sensitive to conversational or behavioral changes in other people. I notice the slightest alteration in tone or volume, if eyes are looking around or the subject starts to veer in a different direction. Perceptive is the way to describe it.
  • On occasion, I have been too sensitive to change, unwilling to accept it. I’d look for ways to hold on to the past, so as not to have to tolerate something different.

In the featured image is a picture of Augusto Cury, a Brazilian physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, writer and researcher in the area of quality of life and development of intelligence, who developed researches unrelated to universities focused on the theory of Multifocal Intelligence. The theory aims to explain the functioning of the human mind and the ways to exercise more dominion over our life through intelligence and thought. He said, “The sensitive suffer more, but they love more and dream more.” (Thanks Wiki)

This is not Cury, but Darwin talked about it, too.

I wholeheartedly agree with his statement, and I consider myself a sensitive human being. There are some areas where I am ultra sensitive, and a few where I’ve let those emotions weaken. Let’s cover a few examples:

  • I am unable to sleep on my left side, most of the time, because it enables me to hear and feel my heart beating. The sound of my heart beating scares me because I’m afraid one day, it will just stop. As soon as I sense one or two beats, I must shift positions, as I am very sensitive to that sensation.

So tempted to show a real one, but I didn’t!

  • For a long time, though I am neither Jewish nor impacted in any direct way (in my family) by the Holocaust, I was unable to watch or read anything about that time period. Perhaps I was impacted in a past life (I am very big on past life theories… another topic, another day), but the thought of an interment camp, the Nazis or the tortures are too much for me to think about. It took “The Book Thief” for me to become a little less sensitive.

  • When I do not win something, or I don’t get the job I wanted, or receive a rejection of any sort, I immediately tense up. My entire body shrinks a few centimeters, inside itself… I wince. I begin to hum in my mind, willing myself to accept it and move on. Accepting “no” is not easy for me, and it takes direct focus for a few seconds to a few minutes (and sometimes days depending on the importance of the item) for me to move forward.

How about you? Are you sensitive about any specific things… feelings… physical or emotional? Don’t leave me hanging out here all alone!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.

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365 Challenge: Day 15 – Sarcastic

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Sarcastic: marked by or given to using irony in order to mock or convey contempt

There aren’t many good images for “sarcastic,” but I was able to find this one. I liked that it should have said “sometimes I’m asleep” or “sometimes I’m sleeping,” but doesn’t!

Today’s characteristic is an unusual one. By true definition, I am absolutely not sarcastic, as when I exhibit the behavior I’m thinking of, it never comes from contempt. My brand of sarcasm is always humorous, and either meant to fill in a gap in silent conversation or an attempt to be funny and show my affection.

I’ve never intended to use contempt; I actually don’t condone that behavior. If you truly dislike something or someone, have unadulterated hatred or anger over it, figure out how to deal with it in a positive way. Don’t take it out on another person. Try to explain to someone why you are angry, figure out a way to fix the situation or convince them what they’ve done is wrong. But don’t ever mock them or physically hurt them because you don’t like what they’ve done (unless you’re trying to stop them from being violent, etc.).

Back to sarcasm. To be sarcastic, you need to be witty and timely. You need to know when to repeat versus leave it at one brief line and let the humor unfold all on its own. My sarcasm often comes out when someone asks me a question that opens an opportunity for me to provide the ultimate silly or stupid answer, thus bringing about a moment of laughter and connection.

Often on the receiving end of my sarcasm is my mother. I love to respond with slightly sarcastic answers to basic questions. For example, when she comes over for lunch and asks what time we’re eating, my response would be, “as soon as you leave, I’ll probably have some lunch. By the way, how long do you plan to stay today?” Or if she wants to know what I’m looking for in the bookstore, I’ll say: “Not sure. Something with words on paper, most likely.” And we’ll banter for a few seconds, get a good laugh, and move on.

Actually, thinking about my history of being sarcastic, the person on the receiving end is almost always the 3 or 4 people I’m closest to… parents, partner, best friend… how interesting it should be those you love!

As I write this, and truly think about the definition, maybe I’m not sarcastic. I wouldn’t call myself witty. Perhaps I’m sassy? Although, sassy to me implies a much more boisterous tone, and I’m anything but boisterous. Any suggestions for the best trait to use here? <i>I’m sure someone as literate and intelligent as anyone, like you, reading my blog must know the word I’m trying to use…<i/>

I think about the people I’ve interacted with over my time and don’t really ever recall being on the other end of the someone’s sarcasm. I tend to not engage with people who come across mean-spirited or contemptuous, unless there is humor attached to it. Humor helps ease the situation, ensure words aren’t bitter, or as bitter as they could be taken.

People often use sarcasm as a way to avoid the truth or intimacy, a detraction from something they are uncomfortable with. I’ve done that a few times. Someone asks a question that requires you to reveal or respond in a way you would prefer not to. So you deflect with a sarcastic comment and hope to end the conversation. It’s rare I will use it, as I believe I mentioned very early on in these daily challenges that I am honest, and prefer to just say what I’m thinking. But sometimes you just don’t want to engage in a specific conversation for any number of reasons.

If someone often brings up a negative item (constantly referring to themselves as overweight or not intelligent, etc.), and you’ve tried to convince them otherwise many times before, sarcasm may come into play. You can change the topic, or say something sarcastic about yourself to level-set the conversation and hope it moves on. Not in any grand manner, but in the hopes you don’t have to repeat prior discussions or soothe someones mind yet another time. I don’t mean this to be insensitive, but you can only help someone else as much as (s)he is willing to be helped and you are educated.

So… sarcasm can be a handy tool for good reasons, which perhaps means I am considered sarcastic. Ugh, I’m just talking to myself on this one. Like you’d know, right?