“You’re Too Sensitive”
January 28, 2010 · Posted in Communication, Marriage, Parenting · Permalink

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This post from Straight Talk On Relationships is right to the point and very helpful!

Remove The Phrase “You’re Too Sensitive” From Your List Of Responses In Your Relationship

by Lisa Merlo Booth
In my work with couples, I’m constantly hearing men tell their partners, “You’re too sensitive”. They often say this in response to the women complaining about how the men are speaking to them.  The women complain that the men are harsh or derogatory in how they speak to them and the men complain that the women are too sensitive.

Ironically, I had to chuckle this morning when I corrected my son about his tone and his response was…yep you guessed it:  “Mom, you’re too sensitive”.  Actually, I would’ve chuckled I suppose, if I weren’t so annoyed by the dismissiveness of the comment.

Many people believe that if they don’t intend to have a tone, that they don’t have a tone.  Many also believe that if they don’t think they’re being disrespectful or speaking harshly, then they’re not.  Because they don’t agree with the complaint, the problem must therefore be that the other person is too sensitive.

Telling your loved one that they’re too sensitive when they ask you to lower your tone/harshness is dismissive and damaging to a relationship.  When you’re talking to someone, you’re not the judge of your tone, they are.  They know how it comes across to them, you don’t.  Regardless of whether you meant to be harsh or not, if they hear it as such—change your tone and energy.

We all have a tone every now and then.  It’s not a big deal to be human & consequently imperfect.  It is a big deal to turn it around on your partner.  Calling your partner sensitive is a cop out on your part.  Instead of worrying about yourself, worry about how your partner is feeling treated.

There have been very few incidents when the reality truly was that the person was too sensitive.  I’ve worked with hundreds of couples and trust me the odds of your partner being too sensitive versus you having a tone (or the like) are slim.  Just cop to it, apologize, CHANGE YOUR TONE and move on.  You’ll be amazed at how this one shift will change your relationship!

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Comments

  1. Cynthia
    February 16th, 2010 | 10:07 pm

    This is a really helpful post. My husband talks to me like that a lot and I find myself pulling the same thing on my daughter when she gets upset “about nothing”. We could all use work on this! Thanks.

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