I wonder how much of this receptivity is inherent to all peoples, or a genetic trait in some and not others, or
if we have a base level of natural empathy, which for some, according to their early life experiences, becomes more highly developed than it does in
I have read some hypotheses that some people seem to have a more highly receptive "antenna", and that most often correlates to early life experience
and their upbringing. That people who have a parent (often the mother) who had problems or who the child felt they needed to be taking care of, they
develop that emotional antenna.
It hit home for me because my mother was depressed when I was little and she tried to commit suicide a couple of time in front of me before I was six
years old, and she would beat us rather seriously. So I saw myself as responsible for keeping her alive, and for being able to tell when she was
entering a bad state so I could keep my brothers and sisters safe before she "blew". It may have been what made me hypersensitive to any and all
emotional changes going on in her.
I continued to rely on that ability as I grew up, to help me get around. Like I used to go door to door looking for work between the ages of 9 to 14,
and sometimes the people who opened the doors were NOT safe people! Being highly receptive enabled me to know who I should trust and who I shouldn't.
In one case I escaped a guy I sensed was dangerous, and he was arrested one week later for breaking into a womans apartment and raping and beating
As an adult, it wasn't so much a problem for me, because I learned to compartmentalize, and still do. At times it is useful, at times it can be
I don't know whether I would encourage a young person struggling with this receptivity to develop that or not.
The biggest struggle is the mixed messages!!!! Humans say one thing verbally and often feel so much opposing inside, that sometimes I find myself
listening to what they are feeling rather than what they are saying.
This is problematic because if they are not saying it, they either don't want you to know it, or they are in denial themselves for personal reasons-
so responding to that or acknowledging it can make them very upset. (why I prefer working with animals, more straightforward)
So I just learned to ignore all those whispers underneath, the images passing through, the emotions, and focus on what they are actually saying. Even
that doesn't totally make it easy because sometimes people want you to pick up on second degree or suggested meanings and get mad when you are taking
them literally only.
When that happens, I want to answer them- oh, you want me to read what you really mean underneath that??
You want to go there? 'Cause then I'll tell you about your father issues, your struggle with your wife, your worry about your teen right now, and your
impending midlife crisis??? You want me to acknowledge what's in the dark room behind your words, that is going to go further than you might be like!!
No, they are responsible for getting across what they want me to know or not clearly- I am not going to pick out what parts of their hidden agenda
they are okay with sharing and what they are not.
The whole question on whether this is a gift or a curse seem futile to me. It can be good sometimes, bad others, and being able to pick it up is one
thing, and what you do with it is another!
edit on 20-10-2011 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)