No matter what lifestyle we lead, it is clear that sooner or later we end up running into susceptible people. Individuals who at the very least create drama and who, although they may not enjoy conflict, actually take everything into their own hands very easily.

In this article we will see how to identify susceptible people by their typical characteristics . Note, however, that these are general guidelines, and that every human being is a world that cannot be completely summarized by one label alone.

The characteristics of susceptible persons

Among the signs that show we are dealing with a susceptible person, we find the following.

1. In the face of ambiguity, they see conflict

In personal relationships there are usually many moments of ambiguity, which are open to multiple interpretations. When this happens, particularly susceptible people assume the worst possible scenario, and easily imagine offenses directed at them .

2. do not stop to reflect on their anger

Another of the basic aspects of susceptible people is that they do not stop too much to consider what has really happened when they feel offended. However, they do not always confront directly the person they say has attacked them; it is also possible to simply adopt a passive-aggressive attitude.

3. They try to make the conversation revolve around the alleged attack

It is not easy for these individuals to turn the page in a matter of seconds, since they place so much importance on the cause of their discomfort that they may try to put aside the topic of conversation that was being discussed before, or what was being done.

Although that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to prevent that false attack from taking place ; there are ways of showing that it has no reason to be and that therefore it should not be paid attention to.

How do you relate to them?

If anything characterizes us as a species, it’s diversity. We human beings are capable of adopting many ways of living life, and that is why we have different personalities, attitudes and ways of perceiving life and personal relationships .

However, our diversity means that in some cases, we find people with very extreme personal characteristics, much more developed than the average. When this characteristic has to do with hostile attitudes or the ease of generating conflict, it can become a challenge to deal with these individuals.

Susceptible people are a reality that it is better to know how to manage in our personal relationships, without having to make friends with them. Practically no conversation is predestined to end in arguments and anger , however much predisposition to conflict there may be.

1. Don’t ridicule

Sometimes, the susceptibility of those who talk to us can seem like a joke to us. However, for them the reason for their anger is very real, they do not make comedy.

The first step is to accept that they have been truly offended, although that does not mean that we attach much importance to the situation if we see that it is not serious enough to simply not fuel that confrontation.

2. Apologize only when you have reason

Apologizing for the simple fact that someone has taken a wrong comment or action is not recommended, at least not in every case. You should only do so if there really has been a reasonable misunderstanding , i.e. one in which you think that a large part of the rest of the people could have fallen into that context.

It may seem that by refusing to apologize to the susceptible person you are generating conflict, but this need not be the case. On many occasions, apologizing will only feed the story that there has been an offense, and not a misunderstanding, and that can further vitiate the conversation, anchoring it in hostility .

3. If you are going to criticize, adopt an impersonal and constructive perspective

When you want to criticize something that has been done by a particularly sensitive person, do it by referring to the perspective of a fictional person, who does not know anyone involved, and always emphasizing what can be improved, and not what is wrong.

4. Uses non-verbal, non-hostile language

Your postures and gestures should denote confidence and acceptance, not hostility or a defensive attitude. Avoid adopting stooped postures or keeping your arms crossed or covering much of your front area in general, and show that the context does not deserve to see an enemy in the other person.

5. Maintain a polite attitude, but don’t obsess

Being afraid of offending the other person is meaningless, because that only creates a rarefied environment to which susceptible people tend to be sensitive. Simply assume that you don’t have to try to fully control the situation, and maintain some basic standards of education.

Bibliographic references:

  • Gimero-Bayón, Ana (1996). Understanding how we are. Dimensions of personality. Bilbao: Desclée de Brouwer.
  • González, José (1987). Personality psychology. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva.