Jessica Bulzacchelli of MediPay Compliance Consultants: How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person
Understand that your sensitivities are a strength, not a weakness. Many people get caught up in people’s perception of them as being “too sensitive,” and it’s crucial to not do this. Rather, remind yourself that you’re at a greater advantage due to your higher emotional intelligence.
As a part of our series about How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Bulzacchelli.
Jessica Bulzacchelli is a practice management consultant for MediPay Compliance Consultants, the only payment processing company that doesn’t process for a single restaurant or retailer and is exclusively dedicated to healthcare. Jessica joined the company in June 2021 and within two months was the organization’s top performing consultant.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?
I am a practice management consultant for MediPay Compliance Consultants, a Meta Technologies company and the only payment processing company that doesn’t process for a single restaurant or retailer and is exclusively dedicated to healthcare. I joined the company as a full-time consultant in June 2021, and by August 2021 and sustained through the end of the year, I was the company’s top performing consultant.
Prior to joining MediPay, I worked in the front-office of the nation’s largest veterinarian facility, where I developed expertise for providing practitioners and patients with the resources for success. Now, at MediPay, I work with private practices to ensure they get paid at the time of treatment and improve office efficiencies.
Thank you for your bravery and strength in being so open with us. I understand how hard this is. Can you help define for our readers what is meant by a Highly Sensitive Person? Does it simply mean that feelings are easily hurt or offended?
To me, a highly sensitive person just is a term for people who feel things more deeply. I think being highly sensitive comes with its strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes yes it can mean that feelings are easily hurt or offended, but other times it can mean you feel happier or prouder. To me it just means you’re more aware of your feelings and more secure expressing them.
Does a Highly Sensitive Person have a higher degree of empathy towards others? Is a Highly Sensitive Person offended by hurtful remarks made about other people?
Highly sensitive people, in my opinion, have higher emotional intelligence than others, so in some instances, yes, they would have higher degrees of empathy than others. Personally, I’m sometimes better able to see other people’s perspectives and understand their emotions more often than my peers.
Highly sensitive people aren’t necessarily hurt by remarks made about other people; rather, they’re able to understand how people would be offended.
Does a Highly Sensitive Person have greater difficulty with certain parts of popular culture, entertainment or news, that depict emotional or physical pain? Can you explain or give a story?
Not in my opinion or experience, no.
Can you please share a story about how your highly sensitive nature created problems at work or socially?
Being highly sensitive has definitely impacted me at work, positively and negatively. I’ll share a story in which it impacted me both ways.
One time, I was meeting with a prospective client and in the appointment, I made a silly mistake that prolonged the process of getting the technology installed. Instead of brushing it off and moving forward in that moment, I was hyper-aware of the mistake and spent too much time focusing on the fact that I messed up. It ruined the rest of the day for me, but I’ve never made that mistake since.
When did you suspect that your level of sensitivity was above the societal norm? How did you come to see yourself as “too sensitive”?
Growing up I never perceived myself as a sensitive person. It wasn’t until my coworkers, significant other and family told me, on multiple occasions, that I let out my emotions a lot and let them affect me a little too much.
Honestly, once I came to terms with it, it didn’t bother me. I think of my sensitivity as an asset. I’m now able to understand that when I do get upset, I can just get it out, be done and move on. Before, I would fight it and just stay in a state of emotions.
I’m sure that being Highly Sensitive also gives you certain advantages. Can you tell us a few advantages that Highly Sensitive people have?
Highly sensitive people tend to be more intuitive, and have a strong gut feeling, making us better at quick decision making.
Highly sensitive people tend to be more conscientious. We’re deeply aware of everyone around us and considerate of their feelings. We tend to help others before we help ourselves. This also makes us more empathetic. Due to our empathy, we’re great communicators, problem solvers and leaders.
Lastly, we’re very perceptive. We’re extremely detail oriented which translates over to the business world.
Can you share a story from your own life where your great sensitivity was actually an advantage?
As I’ve said, I think of my sensitivity as an advantage much more than a disadvantage. Being in tune with my emotions and understanding how things make me feel truly help me to understand others on a daily basis.
In my field of work, being able to empathize with doctors, office managers and the issues they have help me connect with them on a different level and we become a team working together to solve a problem.
There seems to be no harm in being overly empathetic. What’s the line drawn between being empathetic and being Highly Sensitive?
Empaths and highly sensitive people are very similar, but highly sensitive people tend to be more introverted than empaths. In my opinion, empaths tend to feel other peoples’ feelings more deeply than highly sensitive people.
Social Media can often be casually callous. How does Social Media affect a Highly Sensitive Person? How can a Highly Sensitive Person utilize the benefits of social media without being pulled down by it?
In my opinion, highly sensitive people aren’t more affected by social media than others. There may be the rare occasion of FOMO or overstimulation due to social media, but I think that happens across the board.
How would you respond if something you hear or see bothers or effects you, but others comment that you are being petty or that it is minor?
When this happens, I usually respond with, “well my feelings are mine, and you telling me I shouldn’t feel a certain way is wrong. Instead of dismissing me, why not try to understand, or look a little closer at, why I am feeling this way?”
Normally when people have an overreaction to minor things it’s because they have so much else going on, and this is the only thing they can control or react to. I think people don’t realize that enough.
What strategies do you use to overcome the perception that others may have of you as overly sensitive without changing your caring and empathetic nature?
When people tell me I’m being oversensitive or overreacting, I just brush it off. I really try to not let it affect me, or if it will and I wouldn’t have an appropriate response to them, I just mention that the conversation or comment wasn’t helpful, and we can discuss at a later time.
You have to take a step back and realize you can’t people’s actions, only the way you react to them.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a Highly Sensitive Person? Can you explain what you mean?
Firstly, I think it’s a common misconception that highly sensitive people are shy. I believe that shyness more aligns with anxiousness versus sensitivity. I’m very outgoing and enjoy meeting new people, that’s why I chose a career where I meet new people daily.
Next, it’s a myth that highly sensitive people are weak. Highly sensitive people actually feel emotions more intensely than others and express them more intensely — which is a great strength when directed towards the right thing.
Lastly, it’s incorrect that being highly sensitive is a burden. In fact, being highly sensitive is a blessing. We’re more conscientious, more empathetic and more communicative than other people, which make us great leaders.
As you know, one of the challenges of being a Highly Sensitive Person is the harmful, and dismissive sentiment of “why can’t you just stop being so sensitive?” What do you think needs to be done to make it apparent that it just doesn’t work that way?
People can’t just stop feeling their emotions, whether they’re highly sensitive or not. If they did that would be more of a problem than being highly sensitive. If we turned off our emotions, we would lose who we are at our core.
Ok, here is the main question for our discussion. Can you share with us your “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person? Please give a story or an example for each.
It’s important for highly sensitive people to use their sensitivity as strengths.
Firstly, it’s important to be open to feedback. While highly sensitive people tend to be better communicators, sometimes feedback can catch us by surprise. It’s important to not take feedback personally and rather really listen and understand what’s being said and then apply that to the situation moving forward. I work in sales for a living, so I hear the word ‘no’ constantly. Instead of letting this get me down, I push past it and rework the ‘no’s’ into teaching moments, both for myself and potential clients, and have been very successful doing so.
Next, use your heightened emotional awareness as an advantage. As I mentioned, not only are highly sensitive people more in tune to their emotions but others’ as well. Rather than taking on the burden of others’ emotions, try to understand where they’re coming from and adapt your approach to fit their emotions rather than thinking of your emotions. Again, working in sales I have to be highly aware of the emotions of my current and future clients. Instead of taking on the burden of their emotions, I always take a step back to think about what the cause is, and then problem solve from there.
Thirdly, it’s especially important to factor in me time. Highly sensitive people are more aware of emotions, so it’s important to not be bogged down by this. Find out how you best recharge and factor in time for this daily, weekly or however often best suits you. I’m constantly meeting with new people, and I find I best recharge by just spending some time at home, decompressing and doing things for myself a few times a week.
Next, find a creative outlet for your feelings. I’m a classically trained actress and I’ve found that this a great creative outlet for my feelings, and I’ve become close friends with people more similar to myself this way as well.
Lastly, understand that your sensitivities are a strength, not a weakness. Many people get caught up in people’s perception of them as being “too sensitive,” and it’s crucial to not do this. Rather, remind yourself that you’re at a greater advantage due to your higher emotional intelligence.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would love if therapy was more normalized and accessible to all. I think everyone would benefit from speaking to a therapist at least once. There is such a stigma around going to therapy, and there needs to be more awareness of what it actually is. We walk around every single day carrying tons of thoughts, problems, struggles, etc. how is anyone supposed to deal with that all on their own?
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.
Jessica Bulzacchelli of MediPay Compliance Consultants: How To Survive And Thrive As A Highly… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.