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16 'Habits' of Highly Emotional People

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When you feel angry or sad or embarrassed, do you feel overwhelmed by your emotions? Are you someone who always cries during movies (especially when a dog dies)? Do you always go above and beyond for friends and strangers alike because you want people to feel loved?

If you can relate to any of these examples, you might be a highly emotional person. A highly emotional person is someone who tends to feel things more deeply and for longer than the average person.

People who are highly emotional are often deeply compassionate and self-aware, but at the same time may feel exhausted from feeling all the feels all the time. If you can relate, we want you to know there is nothing wrong with you and there is no shame in feeling things intensely. But if feeling “too much” is affecting your quality of life, here’s a skill you should try.

We wanted to know what “habits” highly emotional people have, so we asked our Mighty community to share their experiences with us. Read what they shared below.

Here are 16 habits of highly emotional people:

1. “Letting go of clutter and cleaning. Friends think I am ‘spring cleaning,’ but due to high anxiety and emotional stress I am trying to let go of memories stored in belongings to reduce the stress and move on through a huge change in my life circumstances.” — Clare P.

2. “Sleeping a lot because I use so much energy just trying to fit in and hide how emotional I really am.” — Belynda K.

3. “If someone is really nice to me when I am struggling to hold it all together… the kindness can move me to tears.” — Kathy T.

4. “I tend to run my fingers across the top stitching of a blanket. Think of a baby holding a blanket up to the mouth while sucking his/her thumb… I’m a very sensory-oriented person so this feeling calms me down quite often. It actually makes me fall asleep very quickly. I’ve done it since I was a little girl.” — Jessica W.

5. “Swear a lot, and seek validation. When I’m at a loss for words because of emotional weight, swear words come out without thought. I also never feel I’m enough, and will always seek small amounts of validation wherever I can find them.” — Elizabeth C.

6. “Apologize all the time. I know I would react very emotionally to things others might see as insignificant, so I apologize so they know I didn’t mean to evoke such an emotional response.” — Joleen Q.

7. “Trying to fix everything in my life even if it’s not directly my problem. The more I can fix, the less I have to self-explore my own issues.” — Emily T.

8. “Laughing nervously or like really laughing nonstop at inappropriate moments. I want to express my emotions, but they are so many and are so complex that it comes out as laughter.” — Pamela P.

9. “Holding everything in and then just exploding over one little thing.” — Amanda T.

10. “Try to help everyone I come across that has an issue. Even strangers. If I hear someone talking about needing something, I instantly start Googling resources for them. I help others even when it puts me in bad situations. I know what it feels like to feel helpless and lonely, so I do what I can so others don’t feel that way.” — Juli J.

11. “Have a very glazed-over stare… I deal with derealization/depersonalization when I am overwhelmed and emotional and people think I am being rude by not paying attention.” — Kayla H.

12. “Cry when I’m really frustrated. Usually I keep my emotions in so when I get to a point I’m so pissed, all my emotions come out at once.” — Jo L.

13. “I pull my hair. It developed as a result of abuse in boarding school when I was in my pre-teen years. I don’t even know I do it and when I catch myself, it’s usually too late.” —Samantha C.

14. “Sometimes I pretend I need to use the restroom because I know I’m going to cry and I don’t want anyone to see.” — Ani M.

15. “Turning myself off. I act like a stone, I don’t move, don’t react. This is the last step before bursting into tears. And a lot [of people] think I’m being rude, without even thinking it’s for the good of everyone that I just rest a little in my mind away from everything for a bit.” — Albane L.

16. “I’ll have trouble looking people in the eyes. It feels like if they look in my eyes when I’m being emotional or vulnerable that they’ll see something they won’t like and be done with me.” — Suzanne W.

If you can relate to any of these experiences, you’re in good company. While it’s true that feeling all the feels can be emotionally exhausting at times, we want to affirm that being in touch with your emotions is a good thing. If you are struggling to identity your emotions, we encourage you to check out this emotion chart that might help.

Originally published: August 5, 2019
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