Friendship with the highly sensitive is sweeter for its depth, more fun for its specificity and trickier for its complexity. Then again, you just have to know the rules – here are three.
One easy way to keep track of people is to categorize them. They are your nearest and dearest… the people from the gym… the ones from the office… etc. And this works super well in theory, but in real life people are not categories. They are not the extras in the movie starring you. They are individuals who deserve and appreciate specific attention. Sensitive people will not happily stay in a relationship in which they feel categorized instead of cherished for the unique individuals they are.
It's a crappy fact of digital reality that you can pretty much track what anyone is doing without you these days. You don’t have to be a highly sensitive person to get utterly bummed out when you scroll through your feed and learn what you weren’t invited to. You might not believe this, but rumor has it that there’s this very cool and mysterious breed of people who prefer to keep their social lives on a need-to-know basis and will be especially mindful not to broadcast events that might make dear ones feel left out. Those people are called Real Friends. If you’re extraordinarily empathic, sensitive or introverted you should find people like this and hang on tight.
Be a volley baller, not a vacuum.
Empathetic people do tend to have more patience for humanity than others. Sensitive people attract those who most need a kind heart and a listening ear. But a friend who soaks up all the love and attention and never returns the serve… well, it gets old. And the thing is, an Empath will put up with it for much longer than anyone else will. There are a few good reasons for this. For one, highly sensitive people often have such a rich inner life that their first instinct isn’t necessarily to seek a lot of external praise and attention. They are often happy to place the focus on others. But not forever. As soon as a highly sensitive person realizes that the lack of attention and care they get from another person is not a passing trend but a fact of life, they will bail.