Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Too Sensitive

How many times have I heard those words? 'You're too sensitive.' 'Don't take it personally.' 'Just ignore them.'

Those words always serve to invalidate my complaints. The problem is not the situation, it's my sensitivity. Never mind that many of those things bother other people as much as they bother me, such as with bullying.

But what if they really don't bother others as much? I've been told that I'm too sensitive about online flaming. When I'm the target of a flame war, I literally can't sleep. I almost quit a game I really like because the culture of the players is so unpleasant. Meanwhile, my brother gets it just as bad in that same game and just shrugs it off - the same boy who is chronically depressed from just watching bullying at school! If my brother can handle this, maybe the problem is me.

Except, I don't think what makes me more sensitive is really a bad thing. You see, many people tend to forget that online interactions have other people on the other side. I never do. When someone tells me hurtful things about my newly level 85 mage, I am acutely aware that this is a person, choosing to say these words to another person. To me.

And besides, even if I am too sensitive, so what? I can't turn it off. I tried, in the past, and it didn't work. They may not be expecting me to be that sensitive when they first say something hurtful, but once I've reacted, they know. They know that they have hurt me. They know I'm sensitive enough not to shrug it off.

Given that, it's a matter of ethics. Do you knowingly cause pain to a person, or don't you? If they playfully punched someone in the shoulder, and the person doubled over in pain and said they had arthritis in their shoulder, would they hit them again?


Blogger WonderingSoul said...

This article could have been written by me. I am almost 55 years old and although I've never deeply analyzed why I am constantly hurt by other people's words, I can see that my feelings are dismissed and the problem is mine and mine alone. Your analogy of being punched in the the shoulder is a perfect example. Once the puncher knows that it hurt, they will not punch again, however when the person knows their words hurt, they will continue to say things that hurt. Sometimes, it seems as though they say hurtful things more often. I will never understand people.

9:57 AM  

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