In a relationship with a hypersensitive person: how do you act?

A relationship with a hypersensitive person can be a source of misunderstanding. How do they interpret their reactions and behave? Answers with Joanna Rosenblum, Clinical Psychologist, author of Anaphylaxis, How to Make It an Advantage.

Extremely strong emotional feelings, heightened empathy, need to isolate themselves… Hypersensitive people have special needs. How can these needs be taken into account?

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What is anaphylaxis and how does it appear in love in life?

Joanna Rosenblum Excessive sensitivity is recognized in the sphere of love, but it is also manifested in the social and professional spheres. It is not a personality disorder or mental illness. It is a way of being in the world, a uniqueness regarding the way we look at things and the way we feel about things. People who are hypersensitive feel emotions very strongly and their senses are always on high alert. In such people, we often find excessive empathy, they manage to understand what other people are going through and feel their feelings.

What do you mean by “awakening the senses”?

Highly sensitive people often have a more severe reaction to sensory information, such as light and sound. Their instinct is also highly developed. Anything that is almost imperceptible to others will be a great source of information and feelings for hypersensitive people. Situations that are perceived by others as trivial are experienced very intensely, with a very strong emotional response by hypersensitive people. “You are on edge”, “You are exaggerating”They often hear themselves chanting. Hypersensitivity can cause those around you to misunderstand, but you really need to understand that what seems insignificant can be very emotionally demanding for a hypersensitive.

When these people start a relationship, should they show hypersensitivity from the start?

As a general rule, you should be able to talk about your feelings. It is important to express it verbally because it is a source of information for others: this allows the opposite person to adapt. Accepting one’s experience of one’s feelings also allows decisions to be made that will contribute specifically to regulating those feelings. For hypersensitive people who are in a new relationship, they need to be able to explain how they work to the other so that the other does not misinterpret certain reactions. It is the way beings live, we must not hide it, we have everything to gain by talking about it.

Could not expressing your feelings in the end lead to more misunderstanding in the other person?

Yeah. It is important to realize that these strong reactions are not associated with suffering but with a more intense than average emotional feeling. And for hypersensitive people, constantly hiding, controlling, or suppressing their emotions would require the extra grueling effort of getting themselves into the base from the start. This does not correspond to the solid foundations of a romantic relationship.

What would you advise a person at the beginning of a relationship with a highly sensitive person?

You really have to educate yourself and try to understand how hypersensitivity works, how a hypersensitive person lives and feels things. It is also necessary to understand his own needs, particularly in terms of reassurance and solitude. These are the people who often need quiet to recharge their batteries.

I return to the need for solitude I just talked about. Are hypersensitive people particularly tired?

Yes, in hypersensitive and very sympathetic people, very sensitive to emotions or sensory stimuli, we notice great stress. I advise them to observe a moment of emotional and sensual rest every day. They should move away, be alone, keep away from the light, away from the noise. They do not lose interest in others, but the stimuli are so powerful and require a lot of organization that they need to find an inner peace that can only be found in calm. The husband should not reprimand them for her because she is a real need.

If we are not warned, these types of behaviors can be difficult to manage in a couple.

Yes sure. That’s why it’s so important that you know it, once you know it, you don’t have to worry about it. Being able to regulate your hypersensitivity means, for example, going to see a movie but never having dinner in a restaurant because you know it’s too much or turning down an aperitif after a long day at work because you need time to yourself. When starting a romantic relationship, it is best to explain these possible rejections that are not at all due to the fact that you do not want to see the person.

Without these quiet moments, is it risky to withdraw into oneself?

When we know so little about our hypersensitivity, when we don’t strategize to adapt to external events and flows, one of the first effects is withdrawal from the self. But if we get to know this hypersensitivity better, perhaps with the help of a psychologist, we can live without depriving ourselves of anything, especially a romantic relationship. I think you have to be very open from the start and understand that a highly sensitive person works differently and feels differently. Being easy on her is important for the relationship to work.

Are hypersensitive people looking for passionate love, are they very, very, very, very sensitive?

In general, hypersensitive people do not look for strong emotions. Daily life already brings them a lot of very strong feelings and influences. Rather, they are looking for balance, stability and calm. Conversely, people who find it difficult to feel things and are emotionally detached are those who seek strong sensations; Or people with hypersensitivity.

So contrary to what one might imagine, aren’t arguments more frequent and more intense with a highly sensitive person?

No, the opposite is true! They are really people who avoid conflict or run away from it quickly. Because conflict is too painful for them, they will ruminate, then question themselves, lose confidence in themselves, they will constantly wonder if they did the right thing, if a person is angry with them or not … Do not know your hypersensitivity well, the best way is To protect yourself is to develop avoidance strategies. For people who know it well, they can regulate the flow of information and emotions in real time.

Are hypersensitive people looking for someone who is calm and relaxed to build their love life?

Totally, which by the way is more in their mental best interest. It should be understood that a highly sensitive person will not be overly angry or suddenly lose his temper. On the other hand, he feels things in an aggravated way. It’s really about feeling. They are often withdrawn and withdrawn people because they seek to protect themselves from very strong emotional situations. It often hurts to be so sensitive.

One last tip for someone in a hypersensitive relationship?

You really have to care about your hypersensitivity to understand how that sensitivity works. We can’t ask a hypersensitive person to be otherwise. Like a hypersensitive person who can’t ask the person they are in a relationship with to cry a lot, put themselves in the other person’s shoes, if that’s not their way of working.

Once we’re clear with that, living with hypersensitivity is also the promise of many beautiful things. They are very empathetic people, very intuitive, very imaginative, and very attached to the little pleasures of everyday life. They are people who can teach us to live things differently.

Joanna Rosenblum, Anaphylaxis, how to make it an asset, editor. Alps, 2022.

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