Relationships examined - hang out with your own tribe

There is more to this than meets the eye! If you are a sensitive person (and yes, there really are some of us who are more sensitive than others), the people you interact with every day can have a huge impact on your self-esteem and also your happiness.


This may sound like you are overthinking things or being 'over sensitive', (how many times might you have heard that?!) but, as my title above suggests, there is way more to it - and in this article, we'll explore it in more depth.

I have written in previous articles about different attachment styles. Here these have significant relevance.

The anxiously attached are usually very sensitive people. They do far better in the everyday happiness stakes around warm friendly people. It makes them feel connected, within that dynamic also far less triggered, and on a far more regulated even keel emotionally. As when we are triggered we go into flight, fight, freeze or fawn. I will leave description notes of these trauma states within this article.

Their tribe, the anxiously attached (or yours, if you are reading this and can identify) and those with whom to seek out and have friendships with, are going to be the warmer, kinder people for whom closeness is not seen or felt as if it is some kind of invasion and most definitely not the more formal kind of person that is at ease with distance on all levels.

People who are comfortable with formality, whether they be neighbours, work colleagues, a GP, or even someone running an exercise or yoga class you attend, are not going to make you feel comfortable or like you belong on a level that (yes let’s go for it here) that makes you feel happy.

So it is both of value and interest to you to give this some thought.

If a sensitive person, especially someone who is not in a loving, supportive romantic relationship, lives with detached cold neighbours or flatmates, and/or is sharing a work environment with the formal brigade, odds are their belonging barometer is going to be on the low side. This can and does have a huge effect on our mental health but is often not ever really thought about or considered as something to even address or look at. Mostly because we often believe that we have to “make do” on so many levels. But we don’t.

Add to that the knock-on effect of, heaven forbid, looking for a romantic partner in the dating app arena of the “swipe”, where even when it’s a match, the odds of a follow-up message, let alone actually having a conversation are pretty low, it can all feel pretty lonely... and in fact it is.

Awareness is always the first step. If you are aware of something, change it or address it - to check whether it has relevance to you or not - and that goes for whatever it is.

Neighbours or flatmates (or both)

Here maybe you can make the first gesture or a warm hello or an act of kindness, you never know it might just be what someone else would really appreciate and then feel comfortable returning to you. If however you feel like being invisible would be better around the neighbours you have and your flatmates, then look into either seeing if it is something that can be improved or, if not, do consider moving. Even putting the energy into the possibility of something better can feel uplifting energetically and inspiring. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, give it a go!

Your GP

You do have the right to see someone you prefer or like rather than some GP who hardly looks at you and talks down to you. You do not have to look up to or hold someone in reverence who doesn’t treat you like an equal. Change to a kinder, friendlier one, or if the practice itself is not super helpful, definitely change practice.

Cold receptionists and disinterested GPs are not going to be good for you or your health if they don’t care or make you feel like you don't matter. I initially joined one who never returned a call about something for four weeks, then went to another that was equally useless until I found mine where everyone is super lovely. Please remember you have the right to choose what works for you.

Your friendships

Those of us who are sensitive thrive far better in friendships with those who are the same. Believe me please here. If you have a close friend who runs for the hills when the chips are down for you, you are going to feel like there is something you are defective in, or need to feel ashamed about. We are all different for our own both relevant and valid reasons, that does not mean, however, someone who makes you feel like your needs are something to run from is all you either deserve or ever going to get.

This isn’t good for you. Actually, it’s their issue, not yours but it will end up feeling like yours! Dismissive or fearful avoidant attachment style individuals will be hurtful to you on the whole. This doesn’t mean these attachment styles are not wonderful people, they just work better with people who are less sensitive. They get to come and go without feeling overwhelmed or suffocated and you get to feel less alienated and empathised with.

The thing to remember here within our friendships and romantic relationships is - and here is the “spanner in the works” so to speak - that love is mostly an illogical affair. We are often attracted to and drawn to those who don’t necessarily make us feel comfortable. That is why in becoming aware, we can make better and more informed choices and also put this awareness around the behaviour of others so that we take their actions less personally and more generally. In this space, we are not triggered but we can respond and not react. Please remember it is within our reaction to things that we lose our power and are triggered.

Attachment styles

  • Anxious attachment: Those who feel anxious when distance or space is needed by the other person and who feel over-responsible and the need to care for mending and upholding closeness.
  • Dismissive avoidant: Those who feel more comfortable in social situations, fear commitment and need space and distance to feel comfortable.
  • Fearful avoidant: Those who seek out closeness yet have issues with trust and betrayal.
  • Secure attachment: Those comfortable with intimacy and closeness and commitment whose relationships are more stable.

And so to summarise, you have the right to review and make informed choices that augment all aspects of what makes life happy for you. Where you feel you are accepted and where you belong and if being a sensitive person is feeling like something you need to pretend about or hide or feel ashamed of, it absolutely is not! We all need to be celebrated for the unique gifts we bring.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.

07771 715072
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