I recently pitched a hissy fit with my husband (non-HSP) for reasons I thought were completely valid. Two days later, after a couple long hikes, meditations and pinots, I realized: They are valid! but that's obviously not the whole story...
The issue I had with my husband was his emotional state. For a few months now, he's been sullen, irritable, and vexatious (for reasons outside our relationship). And every day that's gone by, I've gotten more frustrated (downright angry!) with him about it.
Doesn't he see how difficult it is for me to be around these low-vibration emotions all the time? Why isn't he doing anything to improve his mood/situation? This is clearly a "help me, help you, so that I can feel better" scenario.
And it's a pretty common issue with HSPs — especially with family relationships. We find it hard to be around loved ones who are suffering or negative, so we do what we can to fix their problems or change their mood. If that works at all, it's only a temporary solution because it's a law of the universe that people inevitably have to learn for themselves. And god forbid if they don't want our help or take our advice, we often become angry and resentful at them.
As a coach, I encourage my clients to develop healthy boundaries and self-care because it is in that self-care that we are able to raise our own emotional state/vibration and strengthen our emotional/energetic boundaries so that we don't get swept away in the tide of someone else's emotional plunder. Looks like I forgot to take my own advice.
So here's what I've learned from this experience: 1) when I start to feel upset or angry at my husband for not farting rainbows (yeah, that's what I said), I know that the real issue is with my own self-care. 2) when I neglect my self-care, I get upset and angry with my husband for not farting rainbows.
What happens now? First, I'm going to forgive myself for the hissy fit. Then I'm going to change up my routine (which, I admit, has become rather 'routine'). I'm going to shake things up with some Kundalini yoga and Nia dance. I'm going to go to bed at a decent hour instead of writing until the wee hours. I'm going to talk to my spiritual coach about my human challenges. And then, I'm going to be there for my husband as best I can, as a highly sensitive/empath wife. What will that look like?
Listen to him – even when he's silent.
Show compassion and support through my body language. Nodding, smiling, hugs, kisses (etc) ;o)
Give him space, but let him know I'm available.
Gently encourage him to work through his emotions and lead by example.
Pray for him. Send him love and light every day and night.
Jeannette is the author of the novel "Diary of a Teenage Empath" and two HSP/Empath workbooks for children & teens. She is an Integrative Health Coach who, with her mentor Dr. Wendy Nickerson, launched the first-ever accredited HSP training program for mental health professionals. She leads an HSP community group in Halifax and advocates for HSPs in the mental health community.
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