Sherry Murray, LMHC - Counseling Center Of Spokane
View Entire Blog
Blog Post

"You're Too Sensitive"

Do you hear this a lot? I find the usage of this phrase disturbing for several reasons. First of all, and fairly benign, is the fact that whoever says it to you is is defining you, which is not usually okay. If you think you are too sensitive, that is your prerogative. But no one has the right to decide that for you.

Second, it is critical, and implies you are defective on some level. So it can be a verbal attack.

Third, and much more hurtful, is when this phrase is used following another hurtful comment, i.e., someone says something hurtful, perhaps even verbally abusive to you, and you respond, simply letting the other know they have hurt you. Your response is quite appropriate, after all, you should have a response when attacked, and certainly have the right to ask it to stop. But following your response the attacker then says “you’re too sensitive.” Well, you have just asked not to be verbally attacked, and now this statement is just one more attack. Don’t get sucked up into wondering if your level of sensitivity is the issue. Stay focused on the fact that this person just verbally attacked you again.