I was talking to someone on Tumblr about hyperawareness/hypersensitivity sometimes being a positive, sensual and even sexual experience. I had sort of experienced this but never really thought about it? So this other person was talking about calling up that feeling deliberately, as a part of or equivalent to thinking about sexual fantasies, and that sort of brought a thing into focus for me.
Namely, that this same thing… being aware of something that should be a very subtle or minor sensation in such a way that it seems extremely intense… this also describes how I feel about other people’s emotions, a lot of the time. The negative reaction I sometimes have to other people’s strong emotions is really exactly the same reaction I have to people tickling me. That’s… interesting.
[I’m not sure where to start to really describe this thing I’m calling hyperawareness, but, like, you know how you can try not to feel tickled? You can try to resist that feeling and just calmly accept being touched? And the opposite feeling, when you do feel tickled, has a component of anticipation, of “oh no, they’re about to touch me and it’s going to tickle”? That’s what I’m talking about, that anticipation.]
And considering this idea that hyperawareness of physical sensations can be positive as well as negative makes it an even more direct comparison, because– being hyperaware of other people’s emotions in a positive way is kind of what I was talking about in this post.
It’s funny because I can be “hyperaware” of things that I normally wouldn’t classify as sensations or experiences??? Or at least, the way it seems to me, the way of conceiving of it that’s most intuitive, is “The awareness of this person, of just their existence, is filling my mind.” When I’m really excited about a fictional character, the kind of thing that thanks to Tumblr I can just call “having feels”, it’s generally just the overwhelmingness of “this person, they exist and they have these thoughts and feelings, THIS PERSON,” as if the idea of a person could be in bold and 36-point type. Extra-intense person. Personning really hard.
So I guess that’s… experiencing empathy intensely? or experiencing a thought intensely? Who knows?
I’m beginning to think that a whole lot of my life consists not of avoiding overwhelming things, but of finding (or carefully arranging) things that are overwhelming in a good way.