Even though I am at a family gathering, I feel alone. I listen in to the conversations. I find them shallow. I hate it when people talk about other people. It’s not even just talking harshly about others. It’s the comparisons, the comments about other’s choices and actions that really annoy and infuriate me. It’s the incomprehension that the other is not the lesser.

My biggest fear is that when I leave, they will talk about me.

What would they say?

“I don’t get it? Why does she do that? It makes no sense to me. She should do it this way.”

As a little girl I figured that since my family talked about everyone else in their absence, they must also talk about me in mine. It worried and scared me. The person who was talked about was singled out. Separated from the rest of the family. Different than the others.
I started to hide and isolate and flee into any other world I could find, within my mind and outside it.

I wrongly concluded that because they talked about me that I didn’t belong. I didn’t see that they talked about everyone. That they talked about them because they cared. That they didn’t talk about people that didn’t matter.

I started to see that conclusion as truth.
Diligently I collected evidence to confirm and validate my truth.
I felt excluded even though I had denied an invitation. I felt cast out when I retreated from family events because I was overwhelmed. I kept finding more and more evidence.

My mind twisted things around. I would read into things that were not even there. I was only looking for evidence that I didn’t belong. I only saw the world through my lenses, I only heard words through my filters. I filtered out anything that didn’t fit the parameters of my worldview.

Most of my life, my thoughts and beliefs about me were dependent on what I thought that my family said or believed about me. If I thought they liked me, I liked myself. If I thought someone didn’t like me I questioned myself. I have since learned that their feelings, thoughts and comments have nothing to do with me, only them.
I stopped talking badly about myself in my head. I began to like myself and feel comfortable with my choices and decisions. I stopped questioning myself. I began to be the only authority in my life.

I din’t need my family’s approval of my life and my choices any longer. I didn’t need to be liked by my family because I like myself.
I wasn’t scared to be talked about, commented on. It doesn’t matter what they say about me.
It matters what I know about myself.

I have decided to express my love and appreciation for my family without expecting anything in return. I know that I can deal with whatever feelings will come up.

Karin Goldgruber is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People HSP who experience problems in their relationship because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.