Being Sentimental | #MyFridayStory No. 88

Being Sentimental | #MyFridayStory No. 88

Emotionally tender people feel every bump and pebble on the road of life.

But being sentimental isn’t always seen as being something positive. Being in touch with your feelings doesn’t get as much credibility as being a logical thinking person. The Collins English Dictionary describes someone as being sentimental if they feel or show pity or love. They are also described as being nostalgic and romantic.

There is a close correlation between being sentimental and having high empathy. Sentimental people feel other people’s pain. Seeing or witnessing someone suffer can cause them to feel the pain as if being inflicted on them first hand. They have the ability to ‘walk in your shoes.’ Sentimental folks can see when you are sad or down and know just how to comfort you. They make the best listeners and also, the best speakers.

There are studies that show the amount we respond to other people’s pain is aligned to whether we have actually experienced a similar pain or suffering. In other words, although we are all wired to care at some level, having actually gone through a certain traumatic event yourself, predisposes you to showing higher empathy towards someone experiencing similar trauma. We all get good and bad in our lives, in equal amounts. But a sensitive person senses your pain on a deeper level.

In one of the more recent studies conducted by scientists around the world, they researched the neuroscience behind how we process the feelings of others. One of the concerning findings by Ying-yi Hong from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, revealed a darker side to how our brain decides who receives our pity or love. “Despite all these neurobiological capabilities enabling us to empathize with others, we still see cases in which individuals chose to harm others, for example during intergroup conflicts or wars,” Hong said. For example, when someone of a different race was receiving a pinprick, the respondent measured a lower level of empathy than when the respondent was from the same race.

But I believe a sensitive person is less likely to show such bias. Experiencing life ‘head-on,’ as it is delivered, in all its ugliness and beauty, and always only seeing beauty, softens the heart. Being quick to forget past injustices and always searching for common ground, sensitive people are natural peacemakers.

Being sensitive means you sense the slight nuances of life. Glancing out the window of a speeding car on the highway, you see a picture of a beautiful landscape with a magnificent afternoon sky; you go outside with your children or grandchildren as often as possible to marvel at the moon; little notes, birthday cards, till-slips and photographs are kept as treasured memories; birthdays are reasons to celebrate; you don’t need a reason to throw a party; your home is like your heart, there is always room for one more.

Being sensitive might have a few downsides, like people seeing you as being soppy and timid. But in my experience, sensitive people help make sense of a world that sometimes, only sometimes, can be cruel.

Have an awesome weekend. 😉

* (Feel free to drop me a mail frans@leap1st.com I’d like that.)

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