I used to be a cry baby. Now, since I was young during this phase, I'm okay with using that term. Don't mistake this for me assuming everyone who expresses their emotions is a baby, this isn't the case. In fact, I believe there is so much power in harnessing your emotions and it is okay to be a sensitive person. However, pay attention to the word I used, "harness." Harness means to control and make use of. Remember that.
As the baby of the family, I was bound to, no, I was destined to be picked on. I was a string-bean with a whole lot of emotion, I was a 7 year old who wanted to sue people for harassment because they made me feel a certain way. When you receive blow after blow, there's no way to avoid being sensitive. Or is there?
It also wasn't one of those things where my family and friends tried to toughen me up because I promise you, it didn't work and I was always known as the girl who was sensitive. With this, I had a lot of love for people as well. I loved hard and I felt hard, does this describe you too?
20 years later, I'm here telling you that those 2 don't have to go together, they are not synonymous.
I was given advice recently and it didn't hit me until I heard the words, that it was something I've been doing for years. The advice was simple, write down 3-5 names of people who's opinions matter to you. Now throughout your life, maybe even career if someone has anything negative to say to you, look to your list. If the person who brought you down isn't a name on that list, don't let it bother you because they don't matter. Caring about everyone's opinion of you is exhausting and with the right mindset you can finally put your energy into people that deserve it.
Now ideally, you want the names on that list to be people who are realistic and people who also believe in you and your full potential. There are days when I came home from school with a new dream or goal.
Here is a quick example of who you want on your list:
You: I want to be a lawyer.
Mom: That's great and if you work hard you can definitely do it!
Here is an example of who you don't want on your list:
You: I want to be a lawyer.
Brother: To make any money as a lawyer you have to be the best, the most successful so you're probably not going to make any money. Do something realistic and safe.
I've heard variations of both responses in reaction to anything I've wanted to accomplish in my life. Guess who has made my list? Not everyone you meet will have the best intentions for you. Not everyone you've grown up with will have the best intentions, it's up to you decide because perception is reality. If you feel they're toxic well then they very well might be.
Don't listen to the negative people in your life because it can have a direct affect on you. Harness your emotion, uncomfortable with what they say? Make them uncomfortable with your success! Is someone giving you unsolicited advice? Say thank you, walk away and let that be the last you think of it. Being sensitive doesn't mean you have to be hurt by what people say, let it fuel you. Know that if someone is trying to break you down it's because they're broken already and misery loves company.
Over the course of time this list can change and what's beautiful is when you realize the MVPs the people who have never left. My favorite part about this is that you can put yourself on that list, hell, you can be the only one. But you have to get on your team, know that you're amazing and that nothing can get in your way if you dream hard and dream often!
quick rule of thumb: if it's not going to matter in 5 years, don't spend 5 minutes being upset about it.