Life with Bipolar—Do People Say, “You’re Too Intense?”

Last Updated: 27 Dec 2018

When people say ‘You’re too intense,’ they don’t give it a second thought. Why should we internalize other people’s observations?


Today, I’m going to discuss people telling you, “You’re too intense,” or “Why do you always have to be so deep?”

Does that happen ever to you? If you have any ideas on this or if you are the person telling people they are too intense, please, take a few seconds and jot down your ideas in the comments section below and what we’ll do is toss this around, and, as they say, ‘start a conversation.’

The first thing is that when people say, “You’re too intense,” (or whatever), they’re actually giving us a gift. Instead of bailing on us, they’re being intimate…it’s a beautiful thing—an act of trust.

They are sharing their truth and we might reject that.

Secondly, consider the source. Is it coming from someone who’s always critical, someone who’s analytical or might be in a bipolar depression themselves?

Remember, they are the ones feeling the intensity, not you.

And the third thing…is getting rid of “The Committee.”

I have a committee in my head and it makes all sorts of noise, judges and talks. When things happen in my life, it goes the whole time. It lives in yesterday, worries about yesterday; forecasting my futures like I’m a stock share or something-—completely throws TODAY in the garbage can. I don’t want to live that way anymore.

So, I’m going to a mindfulness class to get a handle on pressing the mental ‘DELETE’ key (on the committee).

There are lots of ways to experience life, and I’ll admit I’m a bit on the rambunctious side. I live hard, try hard, work hard and play hard. Yeah.

My name is Allison Strong and on behalf of bp Magazine for Bipolar’s community, I want to hear from you in the comments section below…

And for now, Ciao!

Learn more:
Bipolar Disorder and Flight of Ideas With Creative Process
Explaining Bipolar Disorder to our Friends and Family

About the author
Allison went to Stanford University on a volleyball scholarship, played professional beach volleyball, and has acted in TV and film. In the past, she has also been an Alternative Rock Disc Jockey for “The Edge,”“The Q” (Phx,Az) and “The X,” (LA). She also was an international music critic for Melody Maker (UK), had a weekly column (“New Noise”) in the Arizona Republic and wrote for Hits Magazine. When she had her first manic episode, she went inpatient and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Undaunted, she mailed out job applications (from the hospital) and landed at a local station. She loves the raw honesty of The Smiths, Nirvana, The Cure, etc, and follows new music today. Allison lives in Hollywood, Florida and also writes for The South Florida Sun Sentinel, The Miami Herald, International Bipolar Foundation, Psych Central, and NewLifeOutlook Bipolar. Her personal blog is: Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause.
  1. My 20 year old son was diagnosed as bipolar after a psychotic break this April and now I am learning so much about it. So many articles describe him perfectly. He is so focused on thean past and the future, he has a hard time living with today. Thankful I found this site.

  2. Allison,
    I feel so alone and at the same time am surrounded by all these people. Some really care about me and others I feel judged by every move and comment I make. Yes, it is a battlefield in my own mind. I’m trying so hard to fit in and be that person people want to be around. I can make friends easily , what I can’t do is maintain those friendships. The friends never leave me completely, they distance themselves, and for good reason. I’m too busy in my own head to reach out and truly be present. I’m very flighty in my thoughts and comments. Texting is a nightmare for me, it seems to me that I answer too quickly, at the same time, if I’m not answered quickly, I go back and delete every word I texted, this makes me feel so sad, I’m good short term , the long haul I can’t keep up. I have 2 friends that love me where I’m at. Always there for me, when I want to show up. I want to be normal and not overthink everything, everyone, what are they thinking of me, am I doing good? Some say they are drawn to my energy and never ending smile. I have to mentally prepare first, think ahead of every question to ask so I can be a good listener. I feel that appears fake and I need help being realistic instead of thinking what my response will be before they are even through talking. It’s very hard for me, yet I want to be loved and accepted. My two concrete friends know of my bipolar. It’s like being in HighSchool wanting to fit in with the cool kids. I’m drained

    1. Angela — I am literally crying. I feel the exact same way. You have no idea how thankful I am for your post. Being in this quarantine and living alone has not been easy. Especially when your friend just randomly stops texting back, but you’ll see them active on social media – while you sit there wondering, “what the hell did I say?!” I rarely read the comments and never comment on posts, but I wanted to thank you. I have felt so completely alone lately and I was seriously having a hard time. Nobody around me ever understands what I am talking about, but I guess I’ve just been talking to the wrong people! It’s nice to know I am not completely alone out there, thank you <3

  3. To me, people say rather “you are too insane” than “you are too intense”. Bipolar I.

  4. I really needed to “hear” this message today, all of it. my friend told me today sometimes the way I speak to her was “too intense and critical”. Firstly, I just wanted to cry. Secondly, I never wanted to speak with her again, and she is someone I speak to everyday. I felt betrayed, because she told me she just kept it to herself, which only breeds resentment. Ironically, knowing how sensitive she is I sensor myself around her a great deal. So, “my committee” went into overtime leaving me with suddenness and guilt. I will try and reframe and and see it as a gift. Tall order. But I know time heals all. Just another adjustment.

  5. Every job or volunteer event I have done, there was usually at least one person, usually my boss that said, lighten up, or relax because things or people do not have to be perfect and life has flaws and so do people. I would get told that my work ethics and effort is far better than the average persons and I cannot expect from others what I can do myself. I was too intense and expected perfection. I was almost always in a supervisor position and expecting too much from my employees. I lost many jobs and friends/relatives because I am too intense for them.

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