Dating a highly sensitive person? 10 ways oversensitivity can ruin a relationship

Being sensitive is good, but dating a highly sensitive person can ruin your relationship. Let's find out how.
Dealing with oversensitive partner
Dealing with oversensitive partner with sensitivity is important. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 5 Oct 2023, 16:00 pm IST
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We all have our own opinions and react to things in different ways. Some people think more deeply or feel strongly about certain things. In fact, we frequently come across people who appear to respond to certain emotions in comparison to others more intensely. They are highly sensitive people, and you might be even dating one of them. Turns out, oversensitivity can ruin a relationship!

In terms of psychology, sensitivity describes a person’s heightened receptivity to events, feelings or experiences outside of themselves, says psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait. It might include emotional, sensory and even bodily sensitivity. A person’s level of sensitivity is significantly influenced by their genetic makeup. A person may be predisposed to more intense emotional reactions or heightened sensory experiences if they have certain genetic markers, explains the expert. A person’s environment during childhood might also affect how sensitive they are. Childhood events such as trauma or a caring environment, can influence an individual’s emotional responses. Even the chemical makeup of the brain can influence sensitivity. How a person interprets emotions and sensory data can be affected by variations in neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

Are you dating a highly sensitive person? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How being too sensitive can ruin a relationship

Too much sensitivity might make it difficult to keep up positive relationships. Although sensitivity is a positive quality, it can cause misunderstandings and disputes if it is not controlled.

Here are ten ways in which being overly sensitive could damage a relationship:

1. Miscommunication

Overly sensitive people can misinterpret their partners’ words or actions due to their oversensitivity. You might overinterpret events and draw unwarranted inferences, leading to misunderstandings.

2. Easily offended

Highly sensitive people are prone to taking offence even when none is intended. This might prevent open conversation and make your partner feel as though they are treading water.

3. Avoiding difficult interactions

Sensitive people frequently steer clear of emotionally taxing interactions. Unresolved conflicts may result from this. Over time, they could fester and even hurt the partnership, notes the expert.

4. Need of constant reassurance

Being too sensitive can make you constantly seek approval and reassurance from your companion. Both of you might feel emotionally spent after this.

5. Overreacting emotionally

Sensitive people tend to overreact emotionally to certain events, which can lead to relationship instability. Your partner might have the need to be very careful.

6. Jealousy

Excessive sensitivity can culminate in jealousy and insecurity, making it difficult to trust your relationship. This may undermine the foundation of a strong connection.

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7. Repressing emotions

Some sensitive people hide their genuine feelings for fear of rejection or criticism. This emotional restraint might make it difficult to communicate clearly and build connections.

8. Overanalysing all situations

Sensitivity frequently induces people to overanalyse events or conversations. Ultimately, this may lead to unwarranted doubt and concern in the relationship.

9. Finding it hard to compromise

Sensitive people may find it difficult to compromise in relationships, holding fast to their emotional needs in the absence of a shared perspective, says Dr Tugnait.

Kissing your partner
Highly sensitive person over analyses situations. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

10. Low self-confidence

Being too sensitive can harm your self-esteem, which can cause thoughts of inadequacy and unworthiness. These feelings can cause relationship stress.

How to deal with oversensitivity?

Being sensitive is not a bad or negative thing, but being overly sensitive has its drawbacks as it hampers relationships as well as mental health. So, get a hold of your sensitivity, have a proper control on your emotions, and know when to take a logical and analytical approach in life situations.

If you feel you are too sensitive, you can practice self-compassion and avoid self-judgment. You can also identify the specific triggers for your sensitivity. When faced with a trigger, consciously separate the facts of the situation from your subjective interpretations, says the expert.

Make an effort to reframe unhelpful thoughts in a more positive light. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and learn to manage difficult reactions through breathing, meditation or counting to ten. To build emotional resilience, gradually expose yourself to uncomfortable situations to normalise them over time. Boosting self-confidence through esteem-building practices can lessen overthinking and fear of judgment. It might take some time, but don’t give up.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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