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“People call me ‘emotional’. Am I?”

My answer to that is, “Yes, you are and so is everyone else”. No one can claim that they are not driven by emotions. Emotions define us as humans and it is our right to have emotions. More often than not the rising of emotions is not in our control. They are just spontaneous and arise as reactions to external events or our own thinking. So in that sense, everyone is emotional and we may differ only in our behaviour after the emotion comes up. Some people can control their behaviour more easily than others.

What essentially people mean when they say, “You are emotional” is that “You are sensitive”. There is a huge difference. Being sensitive is being keenly aware of our own emotions and the emotions of others and reacting to it. Often the sentence “You are emotional” is thrown at people who break down more often. It is not said so much to a person who gets angry faster or gets anxious often. A person who feels hurt easily, cries easily or becomes sad easily is labelled as ‘emotional’ or ‘sensitive’.

One person may be sensitive to the suffering of a dog on the road and another person may react to only human suffering. One person may be sensitive to only issues of family and another person may get affected by issues plaguing extended family members too. A third person may react to any suffering in the world. All of us are emotional and sensitive. The degree differs. The situation that we may become ‘sensitive’ may differ. What brings tears to one person may not to another. There is nothing to say one is superior to another.

People who are ‘sensitive’ are advised to be tougher and grow a thicker skin (No one says how this can be done) and for the person who is tough, people advise them to be more sensitive. When people label us they are doing so with respect to themselves. "I would not break down in this situation, you are. Hence, you are sensitive" There is no ‘perfect balance’ between being sensitive and being tough. A person who is sensitive is not sensitive in all situations, with everyone and every time. People who are sensitive at a certain age may become less as they grow older and the reverse may also occur. So if you are labelled as sensitive, it only shows you care more than others about people around you. That may be a good badge of honour to wear.

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