Of the Sensitive

I’m going to confess something…I am sensitive.

I’m going to confess another thing…I am terrible at reading people. Terrible. I’m so terrible at reading people, it should probably be listed as an official handicap of mine.

Reading people is kind of important, especially when you interact with people, as I do and as most of us do. My inability to read people often leaves me wanting to become a hermit, because I undoubtedly end up embarrassing myself, them, or feeling terrible because I’m sensitive and have read something the wrong way and let it get to me.

I’ll confess something else as well…I am terrible for over-analyzing things. Picture this: a sensitive person, terrible at reading other peoples’ meanings and intentions, that is sitting there over-analyzing everything…trying to break it down enough to understand.

Yeah, it can get ridiculously messy and pointless, because I’m generally wrong. I’ve read something, be it the person’s intentions or mannerisms, completely, blindly wrong.

I’m working on fixing this, but it’s something I don’t really know how to fix. Being a sensitive, over-analyzer is just who I am…but I’m hoping there is hope for me when it comes to reading people, because that seems to be my downfall.

I’m trying to let go of comments that offend or hurt me, especially if the person who made them is a stranger that I don’t know. Why should I let their opinions or statements affect me? Sometimes, it’s hard not to let someone’s obvious rudeness and malicious intent affect us, though. Easier said than done, especially when you can’t tell what the person means by their words. Sometimes, it’s obvious, and other times…it’s not so obvious.

Picture this scene…my husband and I are sitting at a table at a restaurant. He frequently finds a reason to touch me. We go to place our order with the waitress. Matt says, “we would like to order…” while looking at me and motioning with his head.

“So wait…you two are together?” The waitress interrupts, putting a lot of emphasis on the ‘together’ part of that sentence, as if she is in disbelief.

Matt tells her yes, and goes to finish telling her the order. She interrupts again with an almost dejected sounding “okay”, and my mind starts to over-analyze the intent.

Why did she question our togetherness? Is that customary? Why did she make it sound so disbelieving that we are together? What did she mean by it? Is it that hard to believe?

It’ll be difficult for me to shut off my brain for the remainder of the evening. I try to tell myself she just wanted to know if we were sharing the bill (but the waitresses in the past that we’ve had usually ask “on the same bill?” if that’s the case…or they just assume by our body language that we are together).

This is one of those instances where in I wish I wasn’t a combined mess of sensitive, terrible person reader, and over-analyzer.

However, I actually didn’t let this offhand, strange comment affect me as I would have in the past. Sure, I over-analyzed the intent and purpose of the comments, but I didn’t let it turn me into an insecure, blubbering mess. I chose to use it as an example to try and explain how annoying it is when I’m misreading and over-analyzing a situation, as it is a frequent occurance for me.

Are you good at reading people? Tell me I’m not alone here, even if it’s one time where you misread a situation or person’s intent.


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in anxiety, blogging, challenges, confessions, depression, feelings, life as I know it, me, musings, personal, ranting, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Of the Sensitive

  1. WOW! That waitress sounds like a bitch. I totally relate to this being a highly sensitive person as you know. I still need to read that book and lend it to you. Sensitivity is tough man. I’m pretty good at reading people most of the time but that comes with being in counseling.

    • Jess says:

      I need that book, for sure lol. And maybe some counseling as well…

      So then…it’s not normal for a waitress to say that/in that way? Lol. I thought my crazy was showing…

  2. mscat says:

    Personally, I think we are often wrong about others and their intents. Give the server the benefit of the doubt that she was asking if you were on the same bill and leave it at that. It is easy to jump to be paranoid when you have experienced doubt from other people in the past, but I don’t think the majority of random people out there desire to hurt people they don’t know. I remind myself of this every time I find myself reading in to what people are saying/doing.

  3. Gerry says:

    Yeah, I’m actually pretty good at reading people, I think. Past experience has kind of proven me right on that. I’m also sensitive and I too tend to dwell internally on seemingly trivial moments for years at time. Wouldn’t it be great if we had access to our brain’s file system and could just go in and remove the folder with that deathly embarrassing moment from 20 years that no one but us actually remembers? Anyway, that waitress was, at best, really bad at her job and at worst, supremely rude. In my experience, wait staff assumes it’s the same bill unless you specifically tell them otherwise, so even if they do ask “on the same bill” that would be weird to me.

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