Four Of The Cruelest Things That Can Be Done To Super-Sensitive People

People aren't trying to be unkind, but it wounds them to their core.

double-imposed image of a woman, tinted blue Alones / shuttertstock 

Super-sensitive people are those who have a lower tolerance for external stimuli.

They also tend to have delicate levels of self-esteem. They don’t want to feel guilty and may avoid engaging in an abrupt confrontation, as well as doing what they can to keep the peace.

In some instances, these individuals have suffered trauma-like emotional experiences, although that is not always the case. Some super-sensitive people have a child-like innocence about them and are simply trying to do their best to maneuver themselves in this interesting world we live in.  


While we use the term super-sensitive a lot, I prefer to say some people are super-aware of themselves which can lead to a higher level of sensitivity.

These folks tend to be more aware of their own feelings, thoughts, and emotions than the average person and often are inclined to apply that self-knowledge and awareness, to what other people might think, do, and feel in comparison.

At first, all may seem to be a bit of a nuisance to less sensitive folks, but upon further contemplation, consider what a thoughtful place that is to be in!

Can you imagine a world of super-aware people?  Where concern, attention, and clear, accurate communication would be the norm? We’d all feel safe most of the time to share our hearts with others and we’d likely upgrade the depths of our relationships. What a glorious world we could create with that awareness!


To arrive in that space, though, we need to understand how our own interactions might affect super-aware people.

Here are a few things that we may be doing without even realizing it that have the potential to cause detrimental impacts for our super-sensitive counterparts.

RELATED: 9 Rare Traits Of Highly Sensitive People Whose Emotions Can Feel Overwhelming

Here are four detrimental things done to highly sensitive people:

1. Having no regard for how they say things or being brutally honest.

Contrary to popular belief, no one really wants or needs to hear a brutally honest opinion. In a perfect world, we would find the time and words to share inconsistencies or issues that are brewing in a relationship sooner rather than later.


Even if we’ve let things fester a bit when we finally do speak up, there’s still a level of compassionate honesty that we can muster if we so choose. Being “brutally honest” is a choice to be mean or an attempt to make someone feel a particular way for something they may not even be aware of. 

Word choice is also extremely important — not only for the recipient but for us as the messenger too. We need to be accurate in how we share our feelings and expectations, taking responsibility to raise concerns early in a way that enhances the interaction and ultimately, the relationship.

Others shouldn’t have to take the fallout of our emotions if we’re not taking care of them ourselves.

When we’re dealing with super-sensitive people, we can bet our word choice, body language, and tone will all be noticed, analyzed, played, and replayed by the sensitive recipient as they loop through their own thoughts, feelings, and impressions of the conversation for days on end to reach some sort of understanding.


RELATED: The Most Important Self-Care Practice For Highly-Sensitive People

2. Abruptly stop communicating in the middle of a conversation.

Super-sensitive people love when they feel they’re connecting with someone.

For some super-sensitive individuals, connecting with another person may not be a common occurrence and can be a vulnerable one at that.

To avoid a rush of emotions or overwhelming expectations, regular contact may be avoided to lessen any potential issues for the super-aware person. When they put themselves out there in a conversation that someone else may consider not a big deal, to them it could be.

If we cut our conversation short or completely disengage in the middle of a text, phone call, or an in-person meeting, super-sensitive people could likely be hurt and further consider that others can’t be trusted.


This potential is especially true if they’ve asked a question, provided their opinion, or more intensely, poured their heart out. If we don’t acknowledge that response or don’t provide an inkling of recognition, the residuals could be unpleasant for them.

In some cases, super-sensitive people have experienced a level of betrayal several times previously and are working back towards trusting themselves and people in general again.

We need to be careful with everyone just as we are with our children. As human beings, our inner child, lives on, even as we age, and requires safety and support on a regular basis. To leave a super-sensitive person hanging in what may be perceived as a vulnerable or rejected position can have harrowing effects on them.

RELATED: The Different Types Of Basic Human Emotions, Explained


3. Changing or not following up on plans.

We all make plans and sometimes life gets in the way, or we just don’t feel like following through with what we have agreed to. Often, super-sensitive people make plans with the best intentions, and as time draws near, may become increasingly overwhelmed with what they believe the commitment entails.

We might even expect the super-sensitive person to cancel last minute or be a no-show, especially if they have done so in the past.

Experienced super-aware people tend to make plans with people they feel safe being around. 

They know enough about themselves to spend their time with valuable people, especially if they’ve had input as to where to meet and what to do.


If we’ve made plans with a super-sensitive person, they’re likely eagerly awaiting the time together. They may have a limited number of people who they feel comfortable socializing with, and this outing may be long overdue for them.

Note that these plans may be a lifeline for them, a way for them to reach out, and connect, and an opportunity even to overcome a challenge.

If the need arises to cancel the plans, we need to be honest with ourselves and them, communicate appropriately, and with compassion, and take a proactive motion to cancel or postpone with them to avoid potential issues.

RELATED: 11 Brutal Truths About Loving A Highly Sensitive Person


4. Talking about them behind their back.

This action can be a betrayal of any normal relationship.

When you tack on a super-sensitive person that we’re talking about behind their backs, we have, in some cases, crushed someone’s world. 

If a super-sensitive person has determined someone as trustworthy, and we talk about them behind their backs, this could have lasting consequences — not only on our relationship but on the person’s trust in humanity in general. It may take them a long while, if at all, to come back to the space they were in with us let alone create a new space the next time they go to connect and make friends. 


If we have something negative to say about someone, we have the choice to keep it to ourselves or to confront the person directly rather than circumvent them and bring in others to the conversation who may not even have anything to do with the situation or relationship.

At times, we all need someone to act as a sounding board but when that turns into something else, it can become clear that we are avoiding addressing the real issue with those we actually have issues with.

We need to model the courage to act with grace and keep in mind the influence we may have on others.

For some, the above items may seem like minor infractions. For others, quite the opposite.


When we bring compassion into the equation and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we can begin to see how some of these scenarios can be harmful to highly self-aware people.

Before we do respond to people we know have high sensitivities, it’s always good to take a few moments and discern an appropriate response — one that includes accurate, empathetic communication and healthily supports and maintains our relationships.

RELATED: Empaths and Relationships: How To Love An Empath

Pamela Aloia is a certified Grief Coach, Reiki Master/teacher, and author helping people become better versions of themselves through individual sessions, energy work, meditation, and more.