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Are You Too Sensitive?

Posted on October 24, 2012

Whenever my newsletter goes out, a small handful of people cancel their subscription. (Please don’t get any ideas!) In the unsubscribe box, I encourage my readers to tell me why they’ve decided to leave, as their comments help me to improve my newsletters.

As I cringed, I wanted right then and there to shut down my newsletter. It felt like a knife through the heart. But then I scraped myself off the floor and began to think. Why would that one little comment affect me so deeply? I’ve been in this field for nearly 20 years, published a book, present throughout the country… yet I can still feel shattered when I read or hear criticisms about myself.It said: “Too long-winded with nothing helpful to say.”Recently, as I was looking over their responses, most said they simply didn’t have time to read a newsletter. But then, one popped out and slapped me in the face.

I don’t think I’m alone. People with ADD, especially, have tender, sensitive hearts. Many of us have heard criticisms from the day we started Kindergarten (Susie doesn’t pay attention. Johnnie won’t share his toys, etc.). And many more of us heard things earlier than that from parents and other relatives who reprimanded us for one ADD related behavior after another.

The trend continues as youngsters with ADD have difficulties in school and in social settings. As adults, we carry those hurtful words with us into our marriage, our jobs and professions and into our parenting roles, as well:

  • You talk too much
  • You don’t listen to me
  • You never finish what you start (tip: check out
  • Your room/house/office is a mess
  • Why don’t you just try harder?

We aren’t too sensitive; we are re-acting to statements and criticisms we’ve heard all of our lives. Add to that a real sensitivity I do see in many with ADHD: being unusually compassionate to others, plus having hypersensitivities to stimuli (including emotional)…and we’re headed for constant crashes like I had with the newsletter comment.

What we can do to counteract these experiences is to remember where we are most vulnerable. Did you hear hurtful things about your ADD related behaviors when you were growing up? Pinpoint what those comments were and see how they might still affect you now, as an adult.

Focus on your strengths, your abilities. I don’t know how to roast a turkey, but I can play a bass guitar.

And listen to the criticisms to see if there might be something you might learn from them instead of reacting so deeply. In my case, this woman was right: my newsletters do tend to be a bit wordy.

So this time, I will end here at 400 words instead of 900+. <smile>

What do you think? Do you feel you are over-sensitive at times? Why? How do you deal with that? Share your thoughts in my Forum.

PS Want to subscribe to my newsletter? You can HERE (if you’re brave enough).

: )

3 responses to “Are You Too Sensitive?


    This could not have come at a better time, thank you.
    I have been following you for a couple of years now, but kinda
    dropped off.. I posted a Too-long too emo too weird reply (ALL POSITIVE)
    about friends last night and almost immediately regretted it-now can’t
    get it out of my head-can’t bring myself to open up my FB to see
    the results…UGH…So seeing this from you reassures me that I am
    not alone. We’re just two wordy wind boxes in a sea of ADHD 😉

  2. Nikki

    I can so relate to this. It is true that we have often heard these types if criticisms our whole lives, when something strikes that cord, I wince. I think a lot of the healing comes from dealing with those past hurts.

    So, very encouraging!

  3. Cindi

    All too many times people speak (or type) before they think. Words can be hurtful, and if you don’t know someone’s circumstances, those words can be detrimental. I don’t think the person’s comment was meant to be hurtful….but he certainly should have chosen his words more carefully.

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