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Back during one of my previous attempts at blogging, I talked about being a “highly sensitive person”.

I had found this blog on Huffington Post and it resonated with me:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html

I’ve been thinking about #6 quite a bit lately: An HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) is “more upset if they make a ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ decision.”

My husband will be able to attest to the fact that I do not say “I’m sorry” very easily. This can often be misunderstood as me not being sorry. But, the truth is exactly the opposite.

The problem, and I try to explain this to him (though, I don’t think he ever believes me), is that I feel so sorry and horrible for what I have done that it’s difficult for me to talk about it.

The Huff Po article says “You know that uncomfortable feeling you get after you realize you’ve made a bad decision? For highly sensitive people, ‘that emotion is amplified because the emotional reactivity is higher’”.

Here’s an example of how this works for us HSP’s from an experience I had just this morning.

When I was changing my son’s diaper I found that he had pooped at some point, most likely, during the night and it had started to squish out of his diaper. When I removed the diaper, I noticed that, because he had been sitting in it for so long, his skin was beat red. Here is what happened in my brain:

He probably did it right after we put him down last night when he was fussing.
Why did I ignore him?
If I had gone in and checked on him this wouldn’t have happened.
It’s my fault his bum is all red and sore.
I tortured my child all night long because I’m lazy.
I’m a horrible person.
I don’t deserve forgiveness.
I don’t deserve to be loved.
With all of that going on in our brains, can you really blame us for struggling to say “I’m sorry”?

The ability to move through these thoughts and say “I’m sorry” is further stymied if the person we have hurt has a strong reaction to what we have done.

For example: I drop a can of peaches on my husband’s foot and he instantly screams in pain and shoots me a dirty look. Here is what happens in my brain:

What’s wrong with me?
I’m a stupid klutz.
Now he hates you (judging by the look he just gave you).
Why are you so dumb?
You can’t do anything right.

I’m a horrible person.
I don’t deserve forgiveness.
I don’t deserve to be loved.

What’s the solution? Should we just be ‘off the hook’ and not have to say “I’m sorry” ever again?

I don’t think so.

I’ve been working on being able to apologize by first of all, trying to explain what is happening in my head at the time so there is an understanding of what I’m facing. I also practice self-talk in my head and try to formulate something to say that, may not be the words “I’m sorry” but mean the same thing, with the hopes that, one day, I will be able to actually just say the words.

Until then, if I’ve hurt you in any way, please accept my apology and know that I’m working on being able to say I’m sorry for the next time I (inevitably) hurt you.

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