Emotional wounds are very difficult to heal. They are even harder for highly sensitive people to recover from.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

What Happens To Emotional Wounds?

What is an emotional wound? An emotional wound is damage to our spirit and therefore our life force. It is an attack on our heart and soul. When we have an emotional wound it becomes part of our body and psychic system and stays there until healed.

For highly sensitive people the healing process is longer than for others. We get hurt more often, we see the hurt in the world around us and can be overwhelmed by the damage being done. We can feel wounded and helpless. Our bodies can become littered with unhealed emotional wounds which can make it very difficult for us to function.

As it is, we are already challenged by our sensitivity and stress levels so if we are harmed with emotional wounds, our health and well-being can be in serious trouble.

Do You Reinjure Yourself?

Emotional healing can be more difficult because we reinjure ourselves. Reinjury can happen with our intending it to. The biggest cause of our reinjury and our greatest potential for healing comes from understanding the systemic nature of reinjury.

I appreciate the need for accountability and responsibility, however, we cannot heal unless we know what we are up against so that we can take constructive action. What we are up against is an approach to life called triumphalism.

What Is Triumphalism?

According to Wikipedia

Triumphalism is the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, religion, culture, or social system is superior to and should triumph over all others. Triumphalism is not an articulated doctrine but rather a term that is used to characterize certain attitudes or belief systems by parties…

Triumphalism, then, is a group attitude shared by the individuals involved. Because of its social nature, it can be the basis of the group’s identity. Nationalistic, patriotic, religious and other groups often subscribe to triumphalism.

Triumphalist groups act to conquer others. Conquest is one of their primary missions.

If you examine modern cultural discourse, much of it has to do with conquest. Even those sectors of society that we think of as helping us like health care us conquest as their model:

  • conquering the common cold,
  • conquering various diseases
  • conquering old age

are all ways of speaking and talking about health. It’s all about an adversary that we are trying to subdue.

Triumphalist thinking about health care is evident in the media. Look at the television show House. Every show is a triumph against another health adversary – almost killing the patient.

How Triumphalism Hurts Us

Triumphalism is systemic therefore we encounter it every day in one form or another:

  • in other people
  • in social settings
  • at work
  • even in our families if that is how they think.

Unfortunately, we are not yet having a public discourse on triumphalism, so it can be very difficult to get a handle on. When we discuss problems they tend to be thought of as individual problems. By personalizing problems in a triumphalist system, we put the burden of compliance on the person while expecting them to support a triumphalist system that can only hurt them. We essentially have stacked the deck against the individual without being really honest about it.

In a triumphalist system, your value is dependent on your contribution to sustaining that system. If you do not subscribe to triumphalist thinking then you perceived value automatically goes down. That can be very frightening in a world with few safety nets.

Triumphalism shows up in our daily interactions with others. It is the source of snobbery and one upsmanship because triumphalism pits one against the other. If you are not into competitive social engagement and most HSPs are not, then you may feel very out of sync with your world. Because you are!

How To Heal Those Emotional Wounds

Healing emotional wounds take time but here are some tips to heal from triumphalism and take your life back:

  1. take stock of your life and how many wounds may have come from triumphalist thinking and behavior that caused you to feel devalued or worse
  2. take stock of how much triumphalist thinking is a part of your life through
    • work
    • family
    • friends
    • activities
  3. recognize that you may need to make some changes to reduce the incidence of triumphalist events and people in your life.
  4. list where you have more collaborative relationships and see if you can develop more.
  5. if your work environment supports you, terrific! If not look at how you can use your current skills in a more creative or collaborative environment and consider starting a process of job change. The good news is that more cooperative work environments are on the rise
  6. see if those who have harmed you are in the triumphalist camp and whether you can let go of the negative experience. If you see that behavior as unacceptable to you and one that you are phasing out of your life, your constructive action can help make it easier to forgive and let go.
  7. develop strong self care routines. Nothing defeats triumphalism like great self-care. Take great care of yourself is actually a revolutionary act.

You Can Heal

By treating triumphalism as an impersonal and mistaken approach to living, you can take back your life, honor your past, and elevate your needs for healing and quality of life. Depersonalizing the hurtful behavior helps you pull your energy in so that you are not available for further destructive interactions. You will be freeing yourself for more positive relationships and pursuits. You will also be freeing yourself to develop your creative potential.

HSPs have suffered for a long time from the dark side of triumphalism.

We deserve better and should give ourselves the better lives we deserve.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Allison on April 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Interesting topic. I understand that when our bodies become littered with emotional baggage it is tough for the body to heal itself. It is also difficult for us to move forward with our lives. I have been through a lot of healing myself. One system that really helped me was the Body Talk System. It’s great for healing yourself naturally.

    • Maria on April 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Allison,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, our bodies can be littered with the residue of emotional wounds. Thank you for sharing your healing insight.

      All the best,

  2. Jill Giles on June 14, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This post came into my mailbox as a suggestion with uncanny timing. What you have written is profound. As an actor with friends in Florida, your insight has altered the lens with which I haved the situation. Thank you. -Jill

    • Maria Hill on June 14, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Thanks, Jill!

      I know well how hard it is to live in a world where people with fixed dogmatic ideas hurt others. I think dogma is a form of safety for many and so those who do not subscribe appear to be dangerous. It would be great if we could acquire some compassion for the truth that people are different in many ways. Although we carry the same basic physical structure for the most part, we have different perceptions, gifts and skills. I am an artist; one of the best ways to see innate difference is to go into a basic drawing class where people are learning to draw something like a vase. Everyone does it differently and that is not a bad thing it is a good thing.

      I hope that we can get beyond the demand for tyrannical conformity soon. We cannot continue shooting one another because we are different. Nor can we live with the constant fear. I hope your friends are OK. Stay well and safe.

      All the best,