“You’re too sensitive!” or “You’re insensitive!” are both accusatory statements. The recipient is likely to react or withdraw. Every individual falls somewhere along the continuum of sensitivity. Sensitivity is a personality characteristic that individuals bring to a relationship. The most sensitive individuals will be responsive to a partner’s needs. The least sensitive individuals will be less reactive to stress.
It’s important not to judge sensitivity, but instead to appreciate a partner’s level of sensitivity. If one has a sensitive partner, individuals need to be be more careful about how they express themselves. If one has a less sensitive partner, individuals need to be stronger when expressing themselves.
The challenge is to accept a partner’s level of sensitivity, since sensitivity is an enduring personality characteristic. Instead of judging, one needs to modify their verbal behavior, understanding that a partner’s sensitivity level influences how they hear your comments.