- First ask, “Am I sensitive?”
- Now ask, “Why am I so sensitive?”
- Why should you bother being resilient?
- 30-Day Challenge: Become Tougher and More Resilient.
- Day 1: Reframing Life I.
- Day 2: Noting (Identify Negative Thought Patterns).
- Day 3: Guided Meditation.
- Day 4: Exercise Challenge.
- Day 5: Noting II (Recognize Negative Emotions).
- Day 6: Writing Down Trauma I.
- Day 7: Reframing Life II (Celebrate Achievements).
- Day 8: Noting and Rationalizing (Challenge Irrational Beliefs).
- Day 9: Cold Shower/Bath – Build Resilience
- Day 10: Writing Down Trauma II.
- Day 11: Seek Constructive Criticism (Desensitization I).
- Day 12: Acceptance.
- Day 13: Self-Deprecating Humor (Desensitization II).
- Day 14: Extended Meditation.
- Day 15: Writing Down Trauma III.
- Day 16: Noting and Reasoning, II.
- Day 17: Visualization (Desensitization III).
- Day 18: Values.
- Day 19: Reinterpret Your Past.
- Day 20: Text-Based Confrontation (Desensitization IV).
- Day 21: Writing Down Trauma IV.
- Day 22: Embracing Rejection (Desensitization V).
- Day 23: Phone Call Confrontation (Desensitization VI).
- Day 24: Writing Down Trauma V.
- Day 25: Setting Your Vision
- Day 26: Practicing Vulnerability.
- Day 27: Forgiveness.
- Day 28: Conflict Resolution.
- Day 29: Face-to-Face Confrontation I (Desensitization VII).
- Day 30: Face-to-Face Confrontation II (Desensitization VIII).
- Conclusion & Further Improvement.
First ask, “Am I sensitive?”
Before asking, “Why am I so sensitive?” ask, “Am I sensitive?”
Being sensitive means you feel things strongly in response to situations and interactions. If you’re a sensitive person, you might relate to these traits (remember, not everyone with sensitivity shares all these traits):
- You Feel Emotions Deeply: If you’re a highly sensitive person, you may experience both positive emotions and negative emotions strongly. So, praise might make you happier than usual, and an insult might make you experience more negative emotions than usual. This means you may feel anger, sadness, anxiety, and joy more deeply.
- You React Quickly: Sensitive people react emotionally to things others might not. For example, you might get a new haircut, and your very close friend might comment, “You cut your hair too short,” which might absolutely devastate you. It’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.
- You Avoid Necessary Conflict: Sensitive people tend to avoid conflict because it stirs up more negative emotions for them. For example, you might not confront someone if he promised to “be there at 5” but actually came at 6. You might not even call him at 5:10 to ask where he’s at and tell him to hurry up.
- You Get Stressed Quickly: It’s obvious that if you experience more negative emotions (you’re high in neuroticism), you’ll be stressed more easily.
- You Can Figure Out Others’ Emotions Better: In a group of friends, everyone might tease each other, but you spot one person who’s clearly feeling uncomfortable. If you were there, you’d try to change the topic and wouldn’t tease that person specifically because you can understand their emotions. However, for others, it might seem like ‘they are just having fun.’
Now ask, “Why am I so sensitive?”
1. Neuroticism evolved, meaning it’s important for survival.
Traits that enhance survival are naturally selected by nature, meaning individuals possessing those traits tend to survive and thrive.
Neuroticism is one of the ‘big five personality traits.’ The Big Five personality traits, are a widely accepted framework in psychology that aim to describe fundamental aspects of human personality.
Neuroticism has evolved in all humans. Here’s how it helps us survive.
Imagine two people, Jimmy and Randy. Jimmy also asks, “Why am I so sensitive?” to himself from time to time. Randy is not that sensitive.
- Threat Detection: Jimmy is very sensitive to emotions and things that stress him out. This can make him feel anxious and worried sometimes, but it also makes him really good at noticing when something might be dangerous. He can quickly pick up on signs of danger because he’s always on the lookout for things that seem wrong.
While Randy might think Jimmy is overreacting to the new person in their group, Jimmy has a feeling that something’s not right about them. Jimmy’s negative emotions act like a warning signal to make sure he investigates whether the new person could be a threat.
It turns out the new person’s plan was to cause problems in the group, start fights, and steal their tomatoes for another group. Jimmy figured this out and stopped them before it could happen.
- Caution: It was hot that day, and both Jimmy and Randy came across a cold blue lake. Jimmy’s neuroticism makes him cautious to jump right in, but Randy doesn’t hesitate. Randy dives right in, and unfortunately, an alligator lurking beneath the water seizes the opportunity.
Caution is another reason neuroticism adapted in human beings. More so in others because not all environments are the same.
- Preparedness: Jimmy’s habit of worrying and expecting bad things to happen leads him to take precautions. For example, he might carry extra shoes when hiking, bring cash in case online payments don’t work, find shelter in uncertain situations, or store extra supplies when he senses potential dangers.
- Social Harmony & Bonding: Jimmy’s sensitivity can help him understand how others are feeling. He is highly perceptive of changes in group dynamics and suspicious behaviors, which could help prevent conflicts and maintain social harmony.
2. Environmental factors also lead to adaptations.
Life experiences, like trauma, family interactions, and cultural influences, can also shape how people adapt. For instance, if your father grew up in a war-torn area where survival was challenging, it might make him more cautious and neurotic. You might observe him being careful even in a safer environment.
Here are the details:
- Culture: Research across different cultures has demonstrated that cultural elements like societal norms, values, and life experiences can impact how often and in what ways neuroticism is seen in various groups.
For instance, in Japan, there’s a strong emphasis on emotional restraint, whereas in Mediterranean cultures like Italian or Greek, people tend to express their emotions more openly and visibly.
- Trauma: Experiencing early life trauma, which involves distressing and psychologically harmful events, can make a person more sensitive and prone to neurotic behavior. These experiences leave long-lasting effects that influence how someone views and reacts to the world.
For instance, if I, as a child, endured consistent bullying in school, I might now be extremely sensitive, even overreacting to friendly teasing or jokes. Traumatic events heighten sensitivity to certain situations as a way to signal potential threats to avoid.
So, in my case, negative emotions could deter me from engaging in friendly banter because my brain associates it with danger, which is actually an adaptive response.
- Quality of Your Life: The overall quality of your life plays a significant role in determining the balance of negative and positive emotions you go through. Your brain gauges your life’s quality and your current position in it.
For instance, receiving a promotion can trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness.
On the contrary, low serotonin levels have been connected to conditions like depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, potentially contributing to increased neuroticism.
Why should you bother being resilient?
Resilience means being tough, like having the strength to deal with and bounce back quickly from tough situations. A tough person, if bullied in class, would confidently stand up for themselves without getting too upset. Do you still need reasons why being tough is important? If so, let’s talk about it.
- Attraction: People who are less sensitive often come across as more attractive because they can handle jokes, insults, and tough situations gracefully. It’s a sign that they are reliable and have strong social skills.
On the other hand, reacting strongly when others are just joking can be a bit embarrassing. It’s better to be someone who’s self-assured and adept at handling themselves in social settings (reliable).
- Rationality: Someone who isn’t overly influenced by emotions can assess a situation using logic and respond appropriately. Emotions play a role in our decisions, but it’s crucial that our judgments are grounded in reality.
For example, if a joke makes us feel bad, it doesn’t necessarily mean the person who made the joke intended harm. Maybe they are just funny and a good person. Labeling them as “mean” may not be an accurate reflection of reality.
They could have been a potential great friend, but you decided not to engage with them because your heightened sensitivity made you perceive a threat that wasn’t there.
- Mood: Increasing your resilience can reduce the chances of others causing you stress or sadness, leading to an overall improvement in your mood and emotional well-being.
After all, we wouldn’t want someone, whether they’re genuinely mean or not, to have the power to dictate how we feel all the time, right?
You’ve already got your own reasons for wanting to become less sensitive, which is why you clicked on this article.
30-Day Challenge: Become Tougher and More Resilient.
This is the second part of the article, which is a 30-day course/challenge designed to help you become more resilient.
Your tasks will be based on cognitive behavioral therapy, other approaches psychologists use. While it won’t provide the same personalized experience as therapy, it can certainly boost your resilience.
Try to complete all the tasks on time.
Day 1: Reframing Life I.
Your task for Day 1 is to list 15 things you’re grateful for, and then explain why you feel grateful for them.
Considering your heightened neuroticism, you tend to be more sensitive to potential negative aspects of life. Therefore, the goal here is to bring some balance to your perspective.
Make sure your explanations for why you’re grateful are completely honest; no need to lie. Also, aim to write at least five pages.
Day 2: Noting (Identify Negative Thought Patterns).
Our lives often involve negative emotions, and it’s essential to comprehend them rather than suppress them. Self-awareness is the first step towards making positive changes.
For today, your task is to notice five instances when you feel negative emotions and simply acknowledge them mentally, like saying to yourself, “Oh, a negative emotion.” It doesn’t matter what triggers these feelings; the focus for now is on practicing this noting technique.
Day 3: Guided Meditation.
Meditation offers a valuable lesson in observing your thoughts and feelings impartially, as if you were viewing them from an outsider’s perspective, without passing judgment, whether positive or negative. It’s about simply observing what’s going on within your mind.
Meditation plays a crucial role in building resilience. A study from 2017 found that mindfulness meditation enhances emotional regulation by boosting activity in the brain regions responsible for self-control.
Another study in 2021 examined the impact of mindfulness practices and physical activity on resilience and depression during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicated that practicing mindfulness can positively affect cognitive resilience, mental well-being, emotional stability, and reduce anxiety.
I could provide more citations, but for now, consider downloading a meditation app like Headspace, Waking Up, or Balance. Among these, I’ve personally tried all three, and I believe Headspace is the best choice for beginners. Starting today, make a commitment to meditate every day (missing a few days is acceptable) while you engage in the other tasks.
Day 4: Exercise Challenge.
Getting accustomed to discomfort is crucial (I promise, last time I’ll use this word). Exercising can become enjoyable and even addictive over time, just as it has for me. However, for beginners, it can be quite challenging.
Even if you already enjoy exercising and do it regularly, you can make it more demanding. Simply increase the weight, repetitions, sets, or reduce the rest time between sets.
For those who don’t exercise regularly, your task today is to complete 50 push-ups, either regular or on your knees. Try to do as many as you can in one go, then take a short break before continuing until you reach the goal of 50.
Here’s a fun fact: Most people tend to believe they’ve reached their limit (can’t do any more reps), but if they push themselves, they can usually do more than they initially thought. Keep this in mind and challenge yourself to push beyond your perceived limits.
- Note: Maintain your exercise routine (you can do home workouts if you’re not keen on joining a gym, using fitness apps like NTC).
Day 5: Noting II (Recognize Negative Emotions).
Day 6: Writing Down Trauma I.
This exercise is therapeutic because it allows you to explore difficult or unresolved memories and can contribute to a sense of closure. I’ll explain more about why this is therapeutic later on.
For now, your task is to write about one traumatic or the most challenging memory from your past in as much detail as possible. Aim to write at least 3–5 pages, which is more than 1500 words. We’ll continue with this exercise in the future.
Day 7: Reframing Life II (Celebrate Achievements).
As we progress with reframing your perspective, today’s focus is on your accomplishments. Your task is to identify 10 things you’ve achieved or are proud of.
Then, write down why you’re proud of each accomplishment. Ensure your writing fills at least 4–5 pages, totaling more than 1500 words.
Day 8: Noting and Rationalizing (Challenge Irrational Beliefs).
Today, we’ll add a new layer to your noting exercise. Note five instances when someone else causes you negative emotions, either directly or indirectly, and try to rationalize them.
I’m not suggesting that your emotions are necessarily based on irrational beliefs, but I want you to engage in reasoned thinking in the face of adversity.
For example, if your teacher scolds you for arriving late to class, it might embarrass you in front of your peers and trigger anger toward your teacher.
Your emotional reaction might lead you to think, “Life is bad,” but your rationality might not necessarily agree.
In such situations, question the validity of your anger. Ask yourself questions like:
- Was it entirely my fault, or were external factors at play in my tardiness?
- Was the teacher overly harsh in their reprimand?
- Could the teacher have conveyed the same message differently?
- Am I consistently late to class?
- Did the teacher scold me for my benefit?
- Could I have handled the situation better with communication?
- Should I have spoken up more?
- Was my lateness excessive?
Attempt to maintain a balanced perspective during this exercise and avoid jumping to conclusions like “I’m a loser for not speaking up.”
Day 9: Cold Shower/Bath – Build Resilience
Cold showers offer a valuable opportunity to enhance your ability to endure discomfort and cultivate resilience. This exercise involves willingly subjecting yourself to discomfort while also focusing on remaining calm. The latter part is just as crucial.
During your cold shower or bath, concentrate on calming yourself by paying attention to your breath, either on your belly or through your nose.
Alternatively, you can focus on the sensations of your feet touching the floor or, even better, the feeling of the cold water against your body.
Take deep breaths and work on maintaining your composure. Ensure the water isn’t extremely cold, but cold enough to challenge your comfort.
Day 10: Writing Down Trauma II.
Returning to the practice of writing about your past experiences, particularly those involving trauma or embarrassing moments:
One additional benefit of documenting memories is that it externalizes your thoughts and emotions onto paper or a digital platform. This externalization creates a sense of distance between you and your thoughts, making it easier to objectively analyze them.
Your task for today is to record another memory in which you felt victimized, bullied, embarrassed, hurt, or experienced anything you’d prefer to avoid in the future.
Write about this memory as honestly and in as much detail as possible, like you’re an ethical journalist writing down news for the most unbiased news website. We’ll continue this exercise in the future.
Day 11: Seek Constructive Criticism (Desensitization I).
Continuing with the theme of voluntarily confronting emotionally sensitive situations, we move on to desensitization. Exposure therapy can be highly effective in such cases.
Today’s task involves exposing yourself to scenarios that trigger your neurotic responses. You’ll take gradual steps in this process.
Your assignment for today is to ask someone to provide constructive criticism. You can approach this casually, such as by asking a friend, “I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Please be honest, what do you believe is the area I need to improve in the most?”
Day 12: Acceptance.
Confidence often arises when we have evidence of our competence in a particular area. Therefore, it’s important not to expect confidence in areas where you lack competence.
Today’s task is to identify ten aspects in which you lack confidence or competence and would like to improve.
Write down why you believe you’re not confident in these areas and why you aspire to enhance your skills. Feel free to write as much as you’d like.
This exercise will help you embrace your shortcomings in detail so that if someone points them out, you won’t be overly sensitive in your response.
Day 13: Self-Deprecating Humor (Desensitization II).
Note: Remember to continue your daily meditation practice.
Self-deprecating humor involves making jokes about yourself, with yourself as the target. It’s funny because you willingly make yourself the subject of laughter. However, it’s important not to overuse this form of humor. One self-deprecating joke per conversation is typically sufficient.
Additionally, avoid joking about topics you’re deeply insecure about, as it may come across as insecurity. Instead, focus on light-hearted aspects of yourself. For instance, if you’re not known for your culinary skills, you could playfully say something like, “I’ll be your chef tonight, folks,” while wearing a smile.
The goal is to create a situation where people can laugh with you in a safe and controlled environment. Your task today is to craft one self-deprecating joke to complete this assignment.
Day 14: Extended Meditation.
I’ve encouraged you to continue your guided meditation sessions since day 1. However, for beginners, these sessions are often 5–10 minutes long.
Today, I challenge you to engage in a guided meditation session lasting 15 minutes while sitting, rather than lying down.
This exercise not only promotes long-term emotional and mental awareness but also tests your ability to sit still for a quarter-hour. After completing this task, continue your meditation practice in a manner that suits you best.
Day 15: Writing Down Trauma III.
Organizing your memories into a structured narrative can provide a deeper understanding of their causes, helping prevent rumination.
Rumination involves repetitive and intrusive thinking about negative experiences in an attempt to understand them. However, rumination is often disorderly and leads to increased distress.
Constructing a structured narrative through writing can prevent rumination. Once you’ve expressed your thoughts on paper, you can release them more easily.
If you can’t recall memories that you’d classify as “traumatic,” simply write down any memory that prompts you to question, “Why am I so sensitive?” Perhaps you overreacted to something.
If not, describe any negative memory from your past in as much detail as possible. We’ll continue this exercise later.
Day 16: Noting and Reasoning, II.
Mentally note five instances when someone directly or indirectly triggers negative emotions in you, and then attempt to interpret the situations positively using rationality. Keep in mind that the goal is to “try” to interpret them positively, so avoid forcing a positive narrative onto something genuinely negative.
For instance, if a coworker provides a suggestion for your project that you disagree with, which makes you feel personally attacked, you can use rationality to reframe the situation.
Remind yourself that the coworker’s suggestion was just that—a suggestion. It doesn’t necessarily imply that the coworker perceives you as incompetent.
A positive interpretation might involve recognizing that the coworker aims to help you improve and is genuinely interested in your success.
Ask yourself questions like, “Would I prefer a coworker who merely tells me what I want to hear, or someone who thinks critically and offers honest feedback to help me progress?”
Repeat this exercise five times during the day to fulfill today’s task.
Day 17: Visualization (Desensitization III).
Visualization is supported by numerous studies for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance performance, boost motivation, encourage healthier behavior, and more.
One reason behind its effectiveness is that visualization can produce effects in the brain and body similar to those experienced during actual events.
Athletes often mentally rehearse upcoming competitions to elicit the emotions they would experience during the real event, thus preparing themselves and reducing anxiety.
You can apply the same principle. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and attempt to visualize an event that would typically challenge you as a sensitive person, such as a confrontation.
Avoid suppressing or altering the emotions you feel during this visualization; instead, let them come and go naturally. Once these emotions surface, observe them without judgment.
This exercise may seem easy, but it can be quite challenging if done correctly. It might even evoke strong emotions or tears. Aim to engage in this exercise for at least 10–15 minutes, alternating between visualization and non-judgmental emotional observation. Gain a better understanding of how negative emotions manifest in your body.
Day 18: Values.
“I believe, based on what I’ve experienced over the last 30 years, that the most significant factor in achieving peace of mind, distinct from happiness, is knowing and living by your values.
So, I devoted time to understanding my values, and I realized that, regardless of external circumstances like criticism, misunderstanding, or misrepresentation, which can unsettle most of us, I can face myself in the mirror at the end of the day and ask, ‘Have I upheld my values?’
When the answer is yes, I find peace with myself. It doesn’t matter how uncomfortable external situations might be; I can cope with them because I respect myself.
Through my experiences and work with others, it became evident that once you understand your values, you become almost immune to external disturbances.”Dr Steve Peters
Today’s task is to discover what you value most in life—your principles, beliefs, ideals, and moral convictions that guide your actions and decisions.
Reflect on what you stand for, what you consider right and wrong, and how you believe various situations should be handled. Write as much or as little as you like. That’s all for today.
Day 19: Reinterpret Your Past.
Often, even the most challenging scenarios can be interpreted positively. Our experiences teach us valuable lessons. Today, recall the most challenging scenes from your past and strive to identify the lessons you learned from them.
For instance, if you recall situations where you were pushed around in school, consider the valuable lesson of assertiveness. You learned that assertiveness is a crucial skill for navigating such nuanced situations.
You also discovered that not knowing how to respond can lead to people-pleasing tendencies, highlighting the importance of effective communication skills, particularly assertiveness.
Identify five lessons you’ve learned through challenging experiences.
Day 20: Text-Based Confrontation (Desensitization IV).
Confrontation is typically a sensitive situation, and even individuals who haven’t wondered, “Why am I so sensitive?” may experience emotionally charged reactions during confrontations. It’s easy to lose touch with your logical reasoning skills and succumb to anger.
Managing confrontations effectively can be a learned skill, and it’s best to start with challenges that are sufficiently difficult but not overwhelmingly so.
Text-based communication offers an excellent medium for confronting someone about an issue that has caused you distress, such as lies, time wastage, misinformation, or inconvenience.
Your task is to address the individual, expressing your disapproval in a polite yet precise manner using this format:
- Describe what they did.
- Explain how it negatively affected you.
- Suggest what they should have done differently.
- “Hey, you promised to arrive promptly at 5, but it’s already 6:30.”
- “I’ve been waiting for you for an hour and a half, neglecting my work. I had assignments to complete, and now I’m running out of time.”
- “If you thought you’d be delayed, you should have called or at least messaged me.”
Maintain a respectful tone in your criticism, while ensuring clarity.
Day 21: Writing Down Trauma IV.
If your list of traumas has been exhausted, focus on your most distressing memories. Write down another of your most challenging memories in intricate detail, akin to crafting a comprehensive novel that leaves no detail unexplored.
Day 22: Embracing Rejection (Desensitization V).
For sensitive individuals, facing rejection can be exceptionally daunting. To be less sensitive and more tough, you have to expose yourself to more situation where you get rejected.
Today, you will engineer a situation that leads to rejection. Utilizing text messaging is an option, although it’s essential to recognize that it might not necessarily be easier. Rejection from strangers might even prove simpler, since you’re likely to care less about their opinions compared to people you know.
Consider tasks such as asking a stranger to lend you their phone to make a call or negotiating a price that you know will be rejected. Any action that results in rejection will suffice.
The ability to endure rejection with composure is a hallmark of tough and resilient individuals. Complete this challenge by experiencing rejection once today.
Day 23: Phone Call Confrontation (Desensitization VI).
Today, you will engage in a similar challenge to the previous one, exposing yourself to situations that trigger negative emotions as a means of toughening up and building resilience.
Instead of relying on text messages, you will make a phone call to confront someone. While this is a more demanding task, it’s not as challenging as confronting someone in person.
Attempt to identify an issue that has caused you distress and communicate your feelings to the person involved. If making the call feels excessively daunting, you can revert to using text messaging for the confrontation. Only opt for texting if making the call is genuinely unmanageable.
If you struggle to find a situation to confront someone about (which is rare), your backup task is to embrace rejection once more. You can call someone and ask for a favor that you know will likely be declined.
Day 24: Writing Down Trauma V.
This marks the final opportunity to document one of your challenging experiences in intricate detail. Push yourself to confront the memory you’ve been avoiding or the one that seems too difficult to face.
Day 25: Setting Your Vision
Let’s shift our focus from what to avoid and start focusing on what to pursue. Creating a vision or having a goal is one of the most effective ways to experience more positive emotions in life because humans are naturally driven to pursue goals.
Whether it’s searching for an apple tree, hunting with our crew, building a boat, or becoming less sensitive, all of these are essentially goals.
To begin, write down ten things you would like to have in your life if you could achieve them all within the next ten years.
These can include items like a car, a family, children, a successful business, a more assertive personality, a sense of humor, or a tougher disposition. Provide detailed descriptions of what each of these means to you.
If you simply list your desires, such as “a car,” the exercise won’t be as effective. Therefore, take the time to elaborate on what each goal entails.
Next, outline the steps you need to take to achieve each of these goals. For example, if your goal is to own a car, you might need to earn more income, save money, and learn to drive.
Lastly, derive day-to-day tasks from your long-term goals using a tool by Maya Shanker, a cognitive scientist. Follow this tool step by step to break down your goals into manageable daily actions.
Day 26: Practicing Vulnerability.
Reach out to a trusted friend or family member and share something you’ve been keeping to yourself. This practice serves several purposes in helping you become less sensitive:
- Correction Process: Engaging in dialogue with someone else serves as a correcting process. Instead of keeping your thoughts confined within your mind, you give voice to your thoughts, and the listener can play the role of a critic or offer advice, providing a different perspective that helps you make sense of the situation.
- Emotional Burden: Emotionally sensitive individuals often experience intense emotions but tend to internalize them to avoid burdening others. However, this internalization can be emotionally exhausting and isolating. Sharing with a trusted person can help alleviate this emotional burden.
- Normalization: If you wish to become less emotional, you need to change your perception of expressing emotions. Many people see expressing emotions as negative, which can generate more negative emotions and exacerbate emotional sensitivity. This task allows you to practice finding a space for expressing emotions and understanding that being emotional isn’t as negative as you might think.
Day 27: Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a powerful practice that can help reduce overall emotional sensitivity by letting go of resentment and anger towards someone who has wronged you.
When you forgive, you release the emotional burden of unresolved anger and hurt, allowing for more measured responses instead of impulsive reactions triggered by past grievances. To practice forgiveness:
- Choose someone you believe is worth forgiving.
- Take time for self-reflection. Don’t rush the process; genuine forgiveness may require some introspection.
- Try to sincerely forgive the person. It may involve acknowledging your feelings and choosing to let go of the negative emotions associated with the situation.
Remember that saying “I forgive you” doesn’t work like magic; true forgiveness often involves personal growth and healing.
Day 28: Conflict Resolution.
Building on the practice of forgiveness, it’s important to address conflicts and unresolved issues with others. Conflict resolution can lead to better emotional regulation and reduce emotional sensitivity.
Reach out to someone with whom you’ve had a conflict or haven’t spoken to in a while. You can choose to communicate through text, arrange a face-to-face meeting, or have a phone call. Discuss the topic of the conflict and aim to understand each other’s perspectives in an effort to resolve the conflict.
Day 29: Face-to-Face Confrontation I (Desensitization VII).
Today’s task is to confront a situation where you’ve felt uncomfortable, misunderstood, or where your needs haven’t been met.
Identify the specific situation and what you didn’t receive but needed. Express yourself respectfully and without becoming overly emotional. Approach the situation as if you were a robot, focusing on delivering your message calmly and rationally.
The purpose of this exercise is exposure therapy: to gradually desensitize yourself to situations that might typically trigger an emotional response.
Day 30: Face-to-Face Confrontation II (Desensitization VIII).
Repeat the task from Day 29. Find another situation where you can confront someone face to face. Continue practicing approaching these confrontations with calm and rational communication.
Conclusion & Further Improvement.
Congratulations on completing the 30-day challenge! This challenge serves as a starting point for self-discovery and personal growth, helping you shift your mindset from seeing situations as intimidating obstacles to viewing them as challenges to overcome and opportunities for personal development.
For further improvement in your assertiveness and resilience, consider exploring our 30-day assertiveness course that focuses on five key components:
This course can further enhance your toughness and resilience.
It’s been a pleasure guiding you through this challenge, and I hope you’ve found it valuable. If you’re interested in more self-improvement tactics, courses, and tools from the world’s best minds, consider subscribing to receive them directly in your inbox.