Hypersensitive, too much is his burden … and his gift

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Are you too emotional, too emotional, too reactive? Do you often have the impression that your ideas, instead of going from point A to point Z, are moving in all directions? So, like Marcel Proust, you are hypersensitive. And, given the success of Am I hypersensitive?, recent work by Fabrice Midal which prances at the top of sales, many of you belong to this endearing clan.

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Incapable of filtering the flow of information and of shielding itself, the hypersensitive is a priori not adapted to the modern world. However, his force of proposal and his taste for the sublime make him a precious ally, observes the French philosopher, who provides the keys for this agitated subject to convert this emotional overflow into pearls.

Lonely and gifted hero

This book is unique in that each quality that Fabrice Midal attributes to hypersensitivity – and he lists many of them – he accords them to himself, since at the outset, through an anecdote about a woolen sweater who condemned him to Calvary when he was a child, the author tells us that he is one of those who have successively been called melancholy, nervous (in Proust’s time), skinned alive, then hypersensitive.

This bias is more touching than disturbing, even if, over the course of this presentation of nearly 300 pages, the hypersensitive, Midal way, appears as this gifted, solitary hero and vigilante who, from Lucky Luke to Spider-Man, in passing by “the princess with the pea” and Harry Potter, instinctively feels the pockets of pain and only breathes when he has been able to relieve them. You have to dare. But, in his defense, the philosopher dares with a certain panache and his audience loves his lyrical and colorful side.

No filter

The hypersensitive, then. Everything interests him, nothing indifferent to him. While the area of ​​the prefrontal brain allows us to choose the object on which we want to fix our attention, this so-called “executive” system, the basis of rationality, is much less efficient in the hypersensitive whose fully deployed antennae capture the least vibration. This is why the subject is not a fan of crowded parties and group trips. Because, beyond the sound level that he has difficulty tolerating, he feels the tensions and emotional states of each with such a degree of precision that he is very quickly under pressure. And often wants to bite because he feels irritated by an attitude, an atmosphere or a remark that other guests have barely noticed. What to do? Fabrice Midal lists four parades.

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Already, the skinned alive must examine the scene from the outside. Did the friend who hit him with his heavy joke acted intentionally or awkwardly? The injured must pose as a spectator to analyze the situation. Then he has to enter into him through meditation and observe what his anger consists of. Is it sadness, fear or shame underneath? Then, the hypersensitive can put down on paper whatever it has experienced at the time of the exchange. The simple act of writing liberates. Finally, the offended can investigate his offender and see what drives the one who jostled him, how the daily reality of the joker explains or excuses his lack of sensitivity.

Beware of the false self

Overall, observes Fabrice Midal, the strength of the hypersensitive lies in its fragility. Since he feels the situations with a lot of finesse, he has a better assessment of what is going on. If he trusts himself and gives himself the time, he will always find a way to solve a problem. The main thing is that he remains honest, that he displays his delicacy without hiding behind a mask of harshness – a false self frequently adopted by the hypersensitive so as not to suffer – and that he “follow through on the requirement that he is. characterizes ”. Because, moved by “a love of the sublime”, the hypersensitive is a perfectionist carried by high aspirations.

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This psychological profile capable of easily visiting the border between conscious and unconscious is a good candidate for art and creation. “Art means to the hypersensitive that pain, anxieties, sorrow have their nobility and are written into the contract of life”, enthuses Fabrice Midal. Starting with Proust, whose observers felt they had gone through X-rays in his presence. “Proust the hypersensitive taught us to give color to the grayness, to transform our suffering into art and to name with precision what we experience to make it alive”, greets the philosopher.

Stress is her mark

Hypersensitive himself, therefore, the author is especially irritated when told to stop stressing. “The hypersensitive is naturally stressed”, defends Fabrice Midal. Because he takes things to heart, he tries to do the best possible, he is fully involved in each task. “I can say it another way: when we don’t care, we are not mobilized, therefore not stressed.” Moreover, again specifies the philosopher raised against this catch-all adjective, “I am not stressed, I am moved, I am worried, I am mistreated, I am overwhelmed”.

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But what does he recommend when everything is overflowing? The meditation he has been teaching for almost twenty years. But not the one that invites “to empty yourself and watch your thoughts pass like clouds”. The one that dives into the body, identifies the emotions and questions them. “Where do I feel this emotion? In my throat, in my chest? What is its texture, what is its color? I do not avoid emotion, on the contrary, I go without fear to meet it instead of running away from it, ”explains Fabrice Midal, who made a splash by presenting this meditation embodied in Leave you alone! And start to live (Ed. Flammarion / Versilio).

Nature, its resource

And if meditation is not enough to reconcile the hypersensitive with his immense talent, nature will do the rest. Thanks to what Merleau-Ponty called “the operating power of nature”, the living flayed, in search of silence and anchorage, will find “safe places”, advises the author. It is also by designating a place of one’s own – a tree, a rock, a clearing, etc. – that the hypersensitive will be able to put order in the ball teeming with his feelings and his thoughts.

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And thus become “the hero of our modernity”, dares Fabrice Midal. “Because they feel in every fiber of their body that ‘something is wrong’, because they are able to relate to suffering and transform it into art, the hypersensitive are a bulwark against dehumanization of the world.”