Sensitive is a Dirty Word

A friend of mine shared a post on her Facebook page (which I have shared on this blog) about an advertisement on the subway in Toronto that advertises the company’s mock psych ward is a fun place to come and be scared for birthday parties. She expressed support and was met with comments telling her to not be so sensitive.


It has become a dirty word and a dirty thing to be. Sensitive. It wasn’t that long ago that sensitive used to be a positive. A sensitive person was someone who cared, they had a heart, they showed their feelings. Now, sensitive means that someone is overreacting, are annoying and should be dismissed.

Can people no longer see that many of the rights we have today are because people throughout history were sensitive?

I believe that sensitive is being used to shame people. Calling someone sensitive is to tell them that they should be quiet. Being quiet means that the dominant discourse is able to continue.

Keep being sensitive. I would hate to see what the world would look like if we lost it.


11 thoughts on “Sensitive is a Dirty Word

  1. I sure do appreciate this post; you are 100 percent right on with your analogy. For many years I was told I was, “too sensitive” as if it were a bad thing to care about others or myself so I tried to not show that I cared. As I have grown and learned, this phrase is used by people who want to shut caring people up. I agree with you, do not stop being sensitive, it is a good thing and it is getting lost more and more as time goes on.
    Thank you for caring,

  2. Yes, pride, I agree that it seems that the “crazy person” is often the focus of derision & laughter in society, but if one points that out he or she may be labeled as “just too sensitive”! . . .

  3. Pingback: Sensitivity Is a Good Thing | Blogging Astrid

  4. Pingback: ‘Positive Thinking’ Mantras Can Cross into Gaslighting | Pride in Madness

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