The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sensitivity as :
: the tendency to become upset about things that are done to you, are said about you, or relate to you
: the tendency to cause people to be upset
Read my posts about reciprocity, spontaneity also. The above definitions cannot be more clear. All of us go through situations where we feel we could have been more sensitive or the other person could have been more sensitive. It takes a lot of thinking, filtering and judgement to not say something that comes to one’s mind. Impulsiveness or spontaneity is good in many situations, but not always. We have to be sensitive to what others think and feel and practice. Lot of factors go into one being sensitive. Life’s learnings are primary. However, language itself or poor language could be a barrier. Often someone says something while the intent isn’t what is perceived. Things are so complex in human interactions. There are a myriad things that would be going on in one’s life at that moment and then there would be the past. One cannot evaluate what these are all the time for lack of knowledge of the same. How will you know all the things that are going on in someone else’s life? Thus the option to being sensitive is evaluation, evaluation and evaluation of the message before it goes out. This is where spontaneity needs to be checked.Thinking over a message multiple times before passing it on gives one the opportunity. Sleep over it – most of the messages we send aren’t time critical. Time provides the clarity needed to make one’s point while being sensitive.
The yoga sutra 2.36 talks about truthfulness as part of the yamas (restraints). When Truth hurts, then it becomes himsa. Ahimsa or non-violence is the first of the yamas. So be careful when you speak the truth – if it hurts, then the message in the truth might have to be altered or even canned.