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Letter from a Girl with Anger Issues








I’ve had many things to say on this topic for a long time, but opportunity has not presented itself still, so I decided to write this letter to you, my loved ones- my family and my friends, to show you what it means to be “over-sensitive”, to put importance in almost every action done and undone, and word spoken and unspoken.

Our society makes it look like sensitivity is weakness. Heck, most men are brought up to be insensitive. “Be a man”, is often to discourage any male who, God forbid, attunes himself with his emotions and those of people around him, attempting to relate to people on a deeper, wiser, more intuitive level, rather than just take things at face value. For females it is easier somewhat, whatever emotional “excesses” we display is chalked up to hormones. “Women!” they say, like a dismissive pat on the head, like the gender is the sole custodian of sensitivity.

Well this is not a letter on Feminism. This is just me trying to show and tell you how I’ve been struggling with being a very sensitive person in my relationships. Sometimes how people see it as one having a short temper, or anger issues, being touchy, or being defensive. I prefer to see it as one taking everything said or done to one quite seriously- which is not a habit you develop, just a trait one is born with, which is almost impossible to split from oneself. Everyone is born with a measure of ‘touchiness’ which could elevate in certain situations. For others, its just always there- when one is happy or sad, or excited or nervous.

Let us bring this home. For example, you are not aware of a situation, and you make a decision that would clearly conflict with the former but because you were not aware, chaos ensues. Personally, I would be regretful, yet I would know that I might not have been able to avoid these consequences because I was not aware of this hypothetical situation. Getting an explanation about the issue at hand, with warnings would not hurt, rather would guard against a repeat occurrence. However what I wouldn’t see any need for, in this case, is being berated, insulted, blamed, and belittled.

Many “over-sensitive” people assume everyone is like them. But they are wrong. Being who they are means they can sense someone’s mood quickly, they see scolding, barbs, cynicism, mockery and name-calling as unnecessary no matter the circumstance. It means that they shy away from doing this to others and they automatically expect it to be reciprocated. In most cases, they are wrong. It means they never forget. I’ve been called a sadist once. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. 

Many times, how these people respond to these things is just to withdraw into themselves. Some go into depression. Some respond in other ways, like violence. Others are more pre-emptive- they have built this wall of ice around themselves, because they have made themselves believe that if they do, at least nothing anyone does can really affect them. They’ve made themselves believe that they simply do not care. Some have become mistrustful, rarely confiding in anyone. 

One of my favourite quotes, a quote from Jiraiya(a Naruto character), says, “When people hurt, they learn to hate….when people hurt others, they become hated and racked with guilt, but knowing that pain allows people to become kind. Pain allows people to grow…how you grow is up to you”. 

Sensitivity is not a negative thing really. In fact, it is a plus. Most times it makes one more attuned to the needs of one’s loved ones, more selfless. It makes one put oneself in their shoes and not do anything to them that one wouldn’t want done to oneself. It makes one the peacemaker in many situations, and the defender of the underdog. It could even be seen as a level of emotional intelligence in people. It makes one more observant- the first to notice if something is wrong between two people. Sometimes, when properly used, it gets one respect from those around one. 

This is not a matter of bitterness, unforgiveness or whatnot, as I know several people would be quick to assume. It’s not even anywhere close. This is me trying to seek a change in how people treat their fellow humans, especially those close to them. It is me saying, don’t say or do what you don’t mean to someone out of carelessness for the person’s feelings.



Yours,
The Girl with Anger Issues

Seun Ajijala

4 comments:

  1. ��yes! True.. Sensitivity makes us selfless.

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  2. I agree that sensitivity shouldn't be a gender issue. However, sensitivity as well as other emotional tendecies are to a large extent patterns formed due to experiences from human interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships . While sensitivity helps in being intuitive and responding appropriately to non-verbal cues , this emotional quality must be balanced with an open, pragmatic and thorough understanding of differences in individuals' characters. Over-reliance on 'sensitivity' as an emotional strength will likely come off as being over-suspicious, unaccommodating, easily irritable, egotistical, and other variations.

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    Replies
    1. Of course there should be a balance. However i wasn't trying to suggest over-reliance on sensitivity. I was asking for it to be acknowledged and respected in people, just as other traits would be.

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