“My wife is emotionally hypersensitive. She is hurt by things that wouldn’t bother me at all if someone said them to me.” This is an excellent question. The answer is buried in the old pain of your own childhood. What happened to you went like this: You got hurt a lot and somehow toughened up from it. You became numb to your own pain. The process occurrs as a brilliant coping mechanism of the human soul. After all, if you were aware of your pain (as some people, indeed, are, unfortunately) you would be suffering constantly. And you were just a little kid, after all. So you got numb. Or you dissociated. Numbness is a kind of dissociation, isn’t it?
Numbness is a way of being here yet the emotional part of you has taken a hike.
Be A Man!
This frequently happens to men. Especially if they were told that men shouldn’t feel anything, or “Be a man!” That type of tripe. So you did what they told you. Very obedient. Oh, I know, you didn’t think you were doing it to be obedient. That was the last thing on your mind. You probably thought you were in rebellion. Ha ha. Fooled you. You actually got programmed not to feel their pain and it worked. This suited them too, because now they didn’t have to watch their language. They could keep on dishing it out, and you wouldn’t feel it. Of course, then they wondered why nothing “worked.” Nothing they said “got through” to you. Well, of course. The human soul could only take so much. Then you’re outta there. So, as I said, you numbed out.
Why We Numb Out
A good analogy of how this works is when someone is cooking something delicious. You walk in and say, “wow, that smells good.” The cook looks suprised, and says, “Oh, I didn’t smell it.” Their smell accommodated to the odors and they didn’t notice it any more. This is a normal process. Another analogy is when you play guitar, your hands get calloused. After a while you don’t feel the sting of the strings any more. Same with workmen. You get the point.
So here you are, nice and numb, and well prepared for the nastiness in the world–you just don’t feel it! Great! You can fight like a bear at work and come out on top. Or be a politician. (Ever wonder how they can take the mud that others sling at them? Well, that’s your answer.) But along comes your significant other who says, “Ouch! You hurt me.” Now, you’re indeed puzzled. Your logical thought is: She must be hypersensitive. Actually, no. She’s normal and you just got de-sensitized and didn’t know it. Well, if you want to remain tough for the rough and tumble of your business or politics, you don’t want to change. On the other hand, you have to respect your partner’s feelings. You will have to learn what hurts her/him.