“Don’t Be So Sensitive!”

This was a phrase I heard early and often. Family or friends often could not understand how I could become so upset about something that seemingly had nothing to do with me.

Growing up, I was always a particularly sensitive kid. Looking back, I can recall many times being confronted with others who were confused, angry, or even amused at my seemingly irrational emotional responses.

I remember distinctly as a little boy bursting into tears and being incredibly sad when my siblings played the “Three Blind Mice” nursery rhyme song on their little 45 record player:

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

I remember feeling so incredibly sorry for those poor mice. Not only did they have to find their way in life completely blind, but with some woman chasing them and dismembering them! And they probably just needed food! It was so unfair.

And I also felt sorry for the farmer’s wife, too. She sounded mean but she probably just didn’t realize what she was doing would be so hurtful to those poor mice. Or maybe somebody had hurt her and she was angry and lashing out. The whole situation was just so alarming and sad to me even though I was probably all of 4 years old. But already I wanted desperately to both save the mice and help the farmer’s wife, too!

Similarly, I can recall watching “The Wizard of Oz” and feeling sorry for the witch. Sure, she was scary but ultimately they melted her! MELTED her!!! I loved that movie but was so scared of that part of it because I was traumatized by the thought of a person melting. Yes, the witch was wicked but she was still a person. Couldn’t they see that someone had hurt her before and she was just acting out? It still puts me on edge to even think of it now!

In school, if I saw someone else getting picked on, it upset me to my core. I couldn’t stop imagining over and over what the poor person being ridiculed was feeling. It was as if I was the one being picked on – I would feel the exact feeling. But then I would also even feeling sorry for the bullies, too! Instinctively, I knew something was broken in them to cause them to try to hurt others. The whole situation was tragic and I felt it deeply and wanted to fix it.

Suffice to say, these types of reactions were not generally encouraged in young boys! I learned quickly that these thoughts were not “normal”. This was not how people – particularly boys – were supposed to act. Being sensitive was seen at best as a weakness to be outgrown, and at worst as a shameful trait that must be hidden or obliterated. But since I could never stop feeling these feelings of extreme empathy for others, I just learned to hide it enough to get by.

It wasn’t until I rediscovered my intuitive abilities as an adult that I began to understand the link to my empathic nature. I realize now it makes me a better intuitive reader and just a better human being all around! I now see being “sensitive” as a huge compliment and not an insult.

We are all born with intuition, and with a deep natural empathy for others. Some of us may be born a bit more naturally in tune with these things. Some of us may be forced to suppress them for various reasons. But it is always there for all of us waiting to claim or reclaim it.

So go ahead. I give you permission to “BE so sensitive!” and I promise you’ll be a better person for it.

~Tim Thomas




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