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Highly Sensitive People: Why Is It Difficult To State Your Needs? (Revisited)

I participate in many highly sensitive person, empathic, introverted, and people who have social anxiety and/or shyness online groups because I have all of these characteristics. I posted this on Thursday and got by far the most responses. I thought it would be helpful to revisit it and add some personal commentary because I related to all of these comments!  The post is as follows:

Why Is Difficult To State Your Needs?

My mother always told me as a child that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I wish that I would’ve taken my mother’s advice earlier in my life. 

Why is it difficult for highly sensitive people to state their needs and wants to others? 

Here are the comments that I received:

  • I’m being haunted by past experience of not getting support in my childhood and am afraid of being rejected.
  • I’m not getting support from people who are close to me (family and friends).
  • I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable.
  • I don’t want to be a burden to others.
  • I don’t want to appear weak or needy.
  • I’m afraid of confrontation with people that have their own agenda.
  • I’m afraid of being judged.
  • I don’t want to be obligated to others.
  • I have a fear of losing control.
  • It’s an energy drain to ask for help.
  • I don’t want to be criticized for asking for help.
  • People don’t understand me and my high sensitivity.
  • It’s easier for me to be self-reliant and I’d rather solve my own problems.

As I mentioned previously, I relate to ALL of these comments. Here are some lessons that I’ve learned:

  • Rejection, criticism, and fear is a challenge for all of us. It starts in childhood and is a conscious and sub-conscious roadblock throughout our lives. We believe what we learned in childhood. It’s important to examine our childhood beliefs to see if they are true. Are these beliefs helping us or hurting us. How can we move forward despite our past experiences? I’ve found it helpful to deep-think about these beliefs and question them. We, as highly sensitive people, are certainly capable of doing this. We are not the same people we were in childhood. Don’t you think it’s time to move on?
  • It’s important to know who you can ask for support. We instinctive know this. Why do we continually ask for support to people who aren’t supportive? Actively seeking “real” supportive people is crucial for our well-being. Perhaps we need help from people outside our social circle.  A person of the clergy, social services, or therapy is something to consider. Online groups such as this help in venting our feelings.
  • I hate making others uncomfortable and being a burden to others! I’ve learned that people aren’t mind readers and you need to tell them what you want and need. I’ve found that if you need help, more people want to help than not. It benefits the giver and receiver. Many supportive people are honored when you ask for help. Wouldn’t you?
  • It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. We All need help from time to time. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s no shortage of help, it’s our inability or unwillingness to seek it.
  • I pride myself on being as self-sufficient as I can. Again, it’s not always possible to do so.
  • Some people will never understand our high sensitivity and the way we think and act. It’s a waste of energy for wanting others to do so.
  • It’s frustrating to not let my needs be known. It’s easier for me to state what I need and want, than to have bottled up anger.

Have I left anything out? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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