Sensitivity is not a virtue. Unfortunately, many women believe it is, and because they are sensitive, they consider themselves virtuous. Sensitivity may be a charm in social reunions, but it is never a virtue. It often, even, becomes an evil, because it causes neglect of daily duties by favouring laziness, which is so natural to all of us.
A pathway to laziness
We find it much more easy to abandon ourselves to memories of the past, to shut ourselves up in our room, and to weep at our ease, than to occupy ourselves with the everyday cares of our households.
We find it sweeter to remain in solitude during long hours of inaction, going over in our minds some injustice done to us, or some disagreeable manner manifested towards us, than seeking by a good act to attract the kind regard which has not been shown us, or the thanks which we have omitted.
Self-love in disguise
Sensitivity flatters self-love, giving the reputation of having a good heart. It causes us to confound tenderness, softness, and delicacy with susceptibility, and gives the name of affection to what is often but want of energy, or even self-indulgence.
The difference between a genuine good heart and a sensitive heart
A good heart is always strong; it suffers, but it hides its tears, and seeks consolation by devoting itself to others.
A sensitive heart suffers also, but it gives way; withdrawing and concentrating itself on itself, it has no longer the energy to act.
Putting neighbour before self
A tender heart feels keenly, but carefully refrains from manifesting its sorrow. Praying to God; bending only for a moment, it rises again, smiling and courageous.
A sensitive heart feels as a tender heart, but it seems to require that everybody should suffer with it, and only rises again after long days of suffering and gloomy thought.
– From: Golden Grains, Eigthth Edition, M. H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889