People are too sensitive

myself included…

I find that people get upset, irritated, angry, insulted, jealous and a whole range of other negative emotions over trivial little things almost constantly. Even more, and I think this applies to me especially, is we worry about ridiculous things that are almost sure to never happen.

It’s kind of hard for me to explain what I mean, but I’m confident a lot of you know what I’m saying here.

I think it’s due mostly to a lack of understanding of others and of your own self. But surely, there’s a way to rise above these petty insecurities. What say you, dopers? Why are people so sensitive? And more importantly, What’s the cure?

The cure is to have a moderator that doles out warnings at the slightest hint of something being insensitive. :wink:

People are too sensitive towards themselves, and too insensitive towards others.

I definitely agree with that, doug

There’s definitely a way to rise above it, at least most of the time. It’s called empathy.

Beware of Doug is absolutely correct. IMO, the cure for getting over life’s little slights is to realize, and I mean really absorb the fact, that most people are neither for you nor against you. Most people are, at best, dimly aware of your existence. Taking offense at what you perceive as affronts from people who didn’t mean you any harm (or any good, either, for that matter… again, whatever it was, it probably wasn’t about you) is not only a good way to make yourself crazy and bitter, it also mirrors the self-centeredness you’re bemoaning in them.

From your closest friends and family you’re allowed to expect true consideration for your feelings, and get pissy when you don’t get it. From everyone else, don’t take any shit, but also don’t expect them to keep your feelings in mind when they’re just going about their day.

Yep, I’ve learned that life is a lot easier if you just give people the benefit of the doubt. Use “twice nice” or “three strikes you’re out” kinda guidelines and things go much easier. Plus have kids, especially twins, as they will teach you more about patience and zen and all of that kinda crap than a lifetime of meditation. :slight_smile:

I have a little thing that I ask myself when I’m upset: Did it *really *change the quality of your life? If the answer is no, I try to let it go.

I think it was here on the Dope that I first heard “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence”, which I really think changed my life. I teach it to all my students, except sometimes I say “carelessness” instead of “incompetence”, as “carelessness” more often describes personal relationships.

And years ago a random lady told me “get puzzled, not angry, in confrontations”. Best random advice I ever received–I teach that to all my students as well.

I try to focus on the bigger picture, as others have said. So many of day-to-day little indignaties are just the “slings and arrows” which come with living. Worry about the important stuff.

I also try to be better myself; to focus more on what I’m trying to do right, rather than paying too much attention to what other people are doing wrong. This is the same advice I gave my kids BTW.

Empathy is another helpful thing; when some stranger cuts me off in traffic, breaks in line ahead of me, or is snippy when I’m dealing with them, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. You never know what a person has gone through that day. Their mom may be dying in the hospital, maybe their dog got hit by a car that morning, etc etc. You just never know.

As far as worrying over unforseen things, I find that if I prepare myself properly then I can weather just about anything. (Note to The Fates: please do not use that statement to show me just how fickle you can be. ) My brother has a motto: Do the Next Right Thing. If I have all my ducks in a row, it simplifies things a lot, and I have much less to worry about.

Wise advice, all. I wish I could post your ideas in big screaming letters on my classroom walls! I have students - and a fellow teacher or two - who allow themselves to suffer the mightiest indignities at the slightest provocations. When I feel similarly slighted, I remind myself, “Will it even matter five years from now?” Answer: almost always, NO.

I think it’s true, people take things to heart even when it doesn’t affect them or it isn’t their concern.

The biggest thing is people don’t have a sense of proportion, so they can’t tell the difference between two superficially similar things.

There are times when you have to see the “big picture” and times when you have to focus on the smaller issues in life. Knowing when to do what is something a person has to learn for themselves.

We’ve raised two generations of young people that can’t cope with things. It really amazes me the crisises people have, I feel like saying “Your 30 years old how did you get that old without ever coming across this before, or learning to cope with it by now”

Reminds me of the line from “Ab Fab” where Saffy tells Edwina (her mum)

“You live form from one self-induced crisis to another”"

Some really good advice! I’ll have to remember that!

That’s fantastic! I will try (desperately) to remember that as I interact with in-laws over the holidays.

This is a form of Hanlon’s Razor.

I teach my kids a variant, that we call Attack’s Razor*. “Never assume someone is being a jerk, until you have real proof.” This tends to cut down on stuff like “I think I heard them say my name in the hall, I’ll bet they were talking about me”, as well as making you appear regal and statesmanlike with regard to petty comments and misunderstandings.

I like ‘get puzzled, not angry’.

I’d chalk it up to self-absorption, though not in a negative sense (i.e., not to be confused with narcissism). Most people assume that everything everyone else does applies to them - that’s generally the only frame of reference they have. I do it all the time.

I find myself trying to find hidden meaning in the offhand comment or action and forget that the person making the offhand comment/action is doing the same thing or that they have other things to think about. Maybe they had a fight with their spouse that morning or their kid is having trouble in school. Or maybe they’re just making a mental to-do list or zoning out or thinking about work or what they’re doing this weekend. Whatever the case, even though I’m the center of my own universe, I’m not the center of theirs.

My own technique right now is to let myself get mad, since if I don’t, I’m gonna blow up somewhere else anyways. But, the difference is, I (generally) refuse to get confrontational about it. Like, on here, I’ll right a seething response, but not send it. In real life, I’m more likely to vent to friends. If, after I’m calmed down, I still think there’s something worthwhile to say, I do it in a calm manner, which is much more likely to address the problem.

Just doing this process has given me the insight to not bother getting angry on the insignificant problems. It’s just too much effort. The only problem is, I tend to think things are more significant than most people, but I think that’s my OCD talking. Oh, and I do slip up from time to time.

My philosophy involves asking myself “Is getting all worked up over this going to improve the situation in any way?”

The answer is generally no, and after doing this for a decade or so most of the petty shit doesn’t phase me anymore. Of course, now my new peeve is other people getting worked up over petty shit (how I love thee, irony). The boyfriend and I often bicker about the language he uses when he gets cut off in traffic.

Please don’t get all worked up about the hijack;)
Next time instead of bickering, outdo him in his tirade. He says asshole, you say fucking douche bag. He may well tire of the game but even if not, you may develop a sense of humor about it.