Originally Posted by The Cloud
I know what you're talking about. My relatives can drive me up the wall and have me being snappy and sarcastic if I spend too much time with them, lovely though they are. The difference is that I don't see this as a good thing that should be maintained and worked around throughout my life.
I don't want my life to be bent around avoiding people or situations that make me irritable. I recognize this as a dysfunction in myself, not in my environment. I'm not being made irritable, I'm becoming irritable, by my own will and my own power. It is not an inescapable aspect of my personality, but rather something that can erased and lived without.
I'm not aware that it could possibly be different for you, not when our reactions are so similar. It is not your environment or your sensitivity that is making you snarky. It is you that is making yourself snarky, and it is of little benefit to you to develop avoidance behaviors to account for your snark when it would be better to simply live without it.
Perhaps it would still be true that your sensitivity would make noisy family situations unpleasant, but that unpleasantness would be much less unpleasant if it weren't followed by a lot of snarking. Your physical reaction could be unavoidable, but your emotional reaction is not.
Edit: I wasn't satisfied with the way I wrote my response, so I rewrote it in an effort to be less confrontational, lest we cross swords again and accomplish nothing.
My relatives drive me up the wall too, sometimes. But you're not controlled by your relatives, or by your sensitivity for that matter. Your snarkiness is your own to start and to stop, irrespective of your environment or its goings-ons. You don't have to become less sensitive, but you do have to take some responsibility for your snarkiness rather than warp your environment around avoiding it.
Your physical reaction to the noise of your family (and the noise itself) may be outside your control, but the emotional reaction you have is not. Emotions are not passive sensations like vision or touch. They are active manifestations, created by you. When your hand is in a fire, feeling heat is inevitable. When you are exposed to your family, being snarky is not.
Yeah, I get all this in theory and usually in practice it works that way. I don't expect to be a machine, though. And some of this is spiritual stuff at play. I don't blame the family for causing this, it was a side effect of the environment's effect on my sensitivity. I know I'm responsible for how I respond to that, I handled it the best I could. My reactionary-ness was also quite mild. In this case, it was not simply a human creating a reaction. It was my spiritual body responding to the environment - and not getting an immediate adjustment to support its message - which spilled down into the emotional body. (Of course, I'm ultimately responsible for all of that. But it is more difficult to maintain these theories when your system has gone into overwhelm. I imagine a woman getting raped does not say to herself, in that exact moment, that she is responsible for the experience. Obviously, this is more intense and exaggerated than my own experience but it is still a sense of resource-overwhelm involved. And no, I am not trying to be provocative with that example, it's just the first one I thought of.)
If I will need to be inoculated against this dynamic by exposure, then it will happen over time. I don't see it as something important enough to address right now. I have other priorities that take precedence. And tools to best support any efforts to address this will probably be built and shaped specifically for the highly sensitive person. If I can come across tools that mix that foundation with this at-cause stuff, so much better. But I'm less confident of working with something that does not start from the framework of being highly sensitive, as there's additional things going on in that case. (Even as I am still responsible for all the layers of self that interface with my reality experience, and I acknowledge that, it seems more appropriate to select a tool that is already designed to address the issue with any additional sides to it.) If you don't have the direct, firsthand experience of it, it's understandable if you see this as an excuse.
Oh, and the situation with the family visiting is not really what I started this thread about. A bit off track here. When family was visiting, I did communicate effectively and in alignment with my intentions. The couple times I got slightly snarky, I fully intended to express myself that way.
Originally Posted by Angela
I think one helpful thing to remember is that the feedback doesn't mean anything who you are, any more than when the sonic waves that bounce of the cave walls mean anything about the bat.
It's only a message that helps you determine which direction you want to go. Just fully consider the message, practice being flexible, and then take your next right action. If you find yourself somewhere you don't prefer to be, practice being flexible, and try something else.
Very helpful reminder, thank you Angela