Maryne is a communication and politics student at the University of Montreal. She loves to sing, and she played basketball for many years. Apart from that, she appreciates strolls in the forest or on the seaside, because it allows her to have a moment with herself and feel reentered. We met through friends in common and very soon I was moved by her goodwill and her empathy. Today, she chose to talk about her hypersensitivity.
A few months ago, some of my loved ones suggested me Instagram podcasts about highly sensitive people. I continued researching the topic and something in my mind suddenly just clicked. I was able to understand why, for so many years, I acted a certain way. I was able to put words on how I felt, and I experienced a profound sentiment of comprehension. My susceptibility, the tears shed in trivial situations, my hyper-empathy, the need to hide when overwhelmed by other people’s emotions, my sensory overload, the necessity to control and anticipate everything to avoid anxiety, my way of externalizing my feeling through arts… All of it finally had an explanation. As a result, I understood that some of my personality traits are components of the highly sensitive people’s spectrum.
Often time I felt scared. Scared of my emotions and the way they sometimes tend to get a hold of me, scared of not being able to assert myself in this society. Scared of not appearing strong enough. For this reason, I have tried many times to hide them building myself a shell. It is even harder as a woman since we feel the need to break the stigma of the fragile and sensitive woman. I feel as if I am constantly struggling to disguise this hypersensitivity and prove that I can bear all the weight of ambitious projects and the responsibilities that come with them. It is exhausting. I am also under the impression that being hypersensitive is turning into a trend. Even though further research in psychology has been made on the subject and that people feel more comfortable talking about it, it is quite tiresome to hear some claiming this trait to under the pretext that they are empathic or cry easily. Hypersensitivity should not be used as an excuse for inappropriate behaviour or to assert our individuality in this conformist society. I would even go as far as saying it is hurtful to hear people talking about their “hypersensitivity,” without acknowledging the challenges it represents daily. I am nobody to determine who is hypersensitive or not, because at the end of the day, it does not matter. Unfortunately, this trendy effect has a way of discrediting people who are truly hypersensitive. The only pride I could get out of this is giving the possibility for people to relate to this description if it fits them, and to motivate them into finding the way to their inner peace.
I am still in the process of understanding that this personality trait can be a strength allowing me to build solid social ties, better read my environment and feel more deeply. However, it remains a daily challenge to learn how to tame it and get the most out of it. During this long-winded introspective work, my path towards growth gets clearer and I learn a lot about myself. I am learning over the years the importance of working on personal growth, self-care, and well-being. Therefore, I will stop hiding my emotions, I will learn to understand them and share them so they will be easier to deal with; for myself and my loved ones. No; my reactions are not exaggerated; they are simply the fruit of a personality trait that I learn to control every day. From now on, I will keep on surrounding myself with individuals who understand and appreciate me and who will help me grow and accept myself as I am. I will keep on being an ambitious, independent, strong woman who accepts every bit of herself.
– Maryne, on October 30th, 2020
Content translated by Naïla Harkat.