I am a pretty sensitive human, and have always been this way. It is something that used to confuse me, then it frustrated and saddened me, now I am just grateful. One of the things that's been hardest about being sensitive is soaking up other people's moods.
Up until this past year or two, my entire disposition often got shaken up or even shattered by close contact with (or even close observation of) someone in the throes of extreme sadness, anxiety, or anger. I could physically feel the emotion seeping into me and I'd soon be an anxious wreck myself.
I could be on cloud nine, in my room journaling about how beautiful existence is, come out of my room to hang out with my roommate, hear him complain about life and say he hates people, and be sad for the rest of the night. In other words, I was impressionable to a fault.
To feel the emotions of others this deeply has always made me highly empathetic, but being like this was frustrating because it made me feel like I was at the whim of whatever my environment decided to spring upon me. It made me hate social functions where I knew there would be unfamiliar people with unpredictable moods or dispositions. In fact I was terrified of that.
I didn't really notice when this started to change, but upon the recent exchange of e-mails between a friend and I where we discussed being sensitive, I realized that I am no longer like this. I am still extremely sensitive, but the way I viewed human beings, emotions, and interactions back then is completely different.
The way I see it now is with fascination.
Each being is an island; a completely different universe that they shape with their attitude and mood. Watching the way individuals choose to interact with their environment is no longer a cause for alarm, but a cause for interest, and I claim no responsibility or even affiliation with the way others choose to go about it. I feel more as though I'm observing scientific phenomena than a stressful situation that should be remedied.
There are endless varieties of ways that humans interact with their surroundings, and even the "type"s that seem similar have their own subtle variations.
Comparatively, it's a detached way of viewing my fellow beings, but it's the way I've figured out how to maintain my own peace of mind among previously unsettling situations.