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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Sensitivity

 

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store and discovered that my preferred entry point was blocked off by employees. Discovering the mild inconvenience, a woman in front of me loudly sighed and exclaimed, “They could’ve at least posted a sign to let us know!”

 

I thought, “No problem, shoppers can walk a bit further and use the main entrance.” Arriving at the alternative entryway, an employee stood outside and apologized for a payment processing malfunction.

 

“I’m so sorry, but our system is down and we can only take cash at this time,” the employee stated and, “We do have an ATM available if you need to make a withdrawal.” To that, the same woman as before threw her hands in the air in protest and said a few choice words about the matter.

 

Although it may be tempting to believe that the woman at the grocery store experienced emotional and behavioral consequences in association with the entryway and payment processing matter, I suggest that an Action-Consequence (A-C) connection was not at play.

 

Rather, she was over-sensitive—abnormally reactive or easily stimulated—by her beliefs about the situation. In actuality, the Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection better explains her response than does an A-C connection.

 

Over-sensitivity occurs when a person is easily offended. Understanding of the B-C connection is important in order to reduce this sort of self-disturbance. In essence, the woman at the grocery store upset herself about the situation.

 

Page 10 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practitioners to help clients understand that over-sensitivity is sensitivity plus disturbance. To illustrate this combination, it may be useful to first define a couple more terms.

 

“Sensitive” merely relates to having or showing concern for a specified matter. “Sensitivity” simply means one’s awareness of the needs and emotions of others.

 

When discovering the issues experienced by grocery store staff, I was mildly concerned for the employee who stood outside and who was likely berated by overly-sensitive customers. However, my awareness of the perceived emotions concerning the employee wasn’t an experience of over-sensitivity.

 

This is because I understand that life isn’t perfect and things don’t always go our way. I wasn’t about to use the B-C connection to disturb myself into unpleasant emotions or unproductive behavior regarding the matter.

 

On the other hand, the aforementioned woman experienced sensitivity in relation to her own desire, plus disturbance associated with a B-C connection, to upset herself. Imagine if she were to use a practical belief while merely experiencing sensitivity.

 

“I wish the door through which I intended on entering was open and that the store’s payment system was online,” she could have told herself, “but this inconvenience doesn’t have to ruin my day, nor do I have to ruin anyone else’s day.” Would this flexible belief have likely led to self-disturbance?

 

I highly doubt it. A slight belief perspective shift is all she needed in order to alter her experience. If you would like to know more about how to get out of your own way, through use of REBT techniques like the one described herein, I’m here to help.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, December 23). The A-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-a-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

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