What does it mean to be sentimental – and is it good or bad? If you are a sentimental person, you might be sick of hearing about how being sensitive and emotional is a weakness, when in actuality, it can also be a strength!
Sentimental people are often some of the most caring and compassionate people around. Chances are you know someone who is sentimental, or you are sentimental yourself – we are everywhere!
Let’s explore a little more about sentimentality and signs that you or someone you know is a sentimental person.
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What does it mean to be sentimental?
A sentimental person has strong emotions and experiences life with a great depth of feeling; be it happiness, sadness, nostalgia, grief, guilt, or any plethora of emotions, sentimental people feel them all!
Someone who is sentimental might laugh easily or cry harder than anyone else.
What is a sentimental person called?
There are many synonyms for sentimental, and they can range from positive and complimentary to negative and condescending.
More words that refer to being sentimental:
Is it good or bad to be sentimental?
You might be wondering if being sentimental is good or bad. Like anything else in life, the answer is: it depends.
If you listen to skeptics and critics, you might hear them say that sentimentality is a weakness and that sentimental people are led too much by their emotions instead of logic or reason.
But on the other hand, there are a lot of strengths that go along with being sentimental! After all, being in touch with your feelings can be powerful.
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20 Signs of a sentimental person
On that note, here is a list of 20 signs you might be a sentimental person.
1. You are empathetic
Sentimental people are often empathetic and compassionate because they can easily place themselves in someone else’s shoes and see their point of view.
2. You are good at making connections
Sentimental people are often good at making connections with others because of their strong sense of empathy.
They also tend to remember the little things that others do for them, making them feel appreciated.
3. You give great gifts
A sentimental person is great at giving gifts because they pay attention to what you mention. If their friend has been talking about a new book, they will remember to get that!
They have a knack for remembering important dates and celebrating those special moments with the people they care about.
4. You are a good listener
A sentimental person is a good listener.
They like to ask questions and find out about other people, which means they’ll be more likely to remember details about their friends and family, such as important dates, likes and dislikes, and shared moments.
5. You feel very deeply
Sentimental people feel their emotions very deeply.
It doesn’t take much for them to get misty-eyed when they’re reading an inspirational book or watching a movie.
This means that sentimental people can sometimes get overwhelmed by their feelings, especially if it’s someone close to them. If someone they care for is hurting or in pain, it can be challenging to watch or listen without feeling emotional themselves.
6. You care about others
Sentimental people have a natural tendency to care about others.
This often comes out as them being very supportive of their friends and family, even if it means putting their feelings aside at times.
They want to do whatever they can to help make someone else’s life easier or better in some way.
7. You sometimes feel misunderstood
Sentimental people can often feel misunderstood. They might feel compelled to hide their true feelings to avoid being judged or ridiculed.
If they grew up in a supporting and loving household, this usually isn’t an issue, but if they grew up hearing their parents say things like “Big girls don’t cry” or “Man up; don’t be such a baby,” it can be challenging for them to accept their feelings and emotions.
The best thing they can do for themself is to find people who love and accept them unconditionally and let those people in to talk through their feelings.
When sentimental people have a safe space to express themselves, it helps them feel better and live more fulfilling lives.
8. You are grateful
A sentimental person will value the thought and effort that goes into buying gifts, spending time together, and maintaining relationships.
They will be grateful for the people in their lives who have taken the time to think of them and show they care.
It’s not uncommon for them to keep a gratitude journal or diary where they make it a habit to write down the things they are grateful for daily.
9. You seem to have a sixth sense
Sentimental people tend to be highly aware of others and the environment around them, which means they can sense when something isn’t right with the people closest to them, even if it’s just a tiny change in behavior or tone.
This can be a blessing or a curse because it means that you are good at reading people and situations, but it can also mean you are too worried about always paying attention to the happiness and comfort of others and forget about yourself.
They are good at predicting the ends of books or movies and notice when their friends seem upset or stressed.
10. You collect things
If you tend to collect photographs, travel souvenirs, knickknacks, old books, or sentimental items of any kind, it’s a sign you might be a sentimental person.
Sentimental people attach meaning to objects and like to keep them as physical reminders of happy memories or important moments in their lives, from childhood drawings to love letters to program stubs from their first concert.
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11. You have trouble letting go of
Unfortunately, their need to collect memories can sometimes hold them back in life.
While it’s nice to keep fond memories, it can be tough to let go of the past and live a fulfilling life in the present when everything is sentimental.
Being too sentimental and attached to things is a frequent behavior that, when left unchecked, can cause people to become hoarders.
Remember that when we treat everything as if it were special, then nothing is truly special, and we can best honor our past and our present by prioritizing the things that matter most to us.
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12. You forge deep relationships
Sentimental people cherish deep, intimate relationships, and they do what it takes to foster those friendships.
Someone who is sentimental is likely to have a tight-knit group of close friends that they’ve known for years, if not decades; they go for quality of friendship over quantity.
13. You are easily hurt
Sentimental people are highly emotional, and they feel things deeply. This can be a good thing, leading to them being more compassionate and loving people.
However, it also means they’re more prone to getting hurt emotionally.
14. You are forgiving
It might be easy to hurt their feelings, but sentimental people are also known for their ability to forgive and let go.
15. You make a good partner
A sentimental person makes a good and caring partner in love and marriage.
When they say “for better or for worse” in their marriage vows, they mean it! They’ll be there for you through thick and thin.
This is good if they have an equally caring and loving partner, but they have to watch out for toxic people who will take advantage of their kind nature.
16. Your hobbies mean a lot to you
Whether it’s playing the guitar, sewing quilts, or taking pictures of nature, sentimental people tend to feel a deep connection with things they enjoy doing.
This is good when they enjoy their hobby and have plenty of time to put towards it, but it can also lead to guilt if they stop enjoying it or don’t have enough time or money to keep up with them.
Sentimental people need to accept that exploring new hobbies and letting go of old ones that don’t resonate with them anymore is a natural part of life.
Hobbies should be enjoyable!
MINIMALIST NOTE: As someone who identified as a “book person” for a very long time, it was tough to accept that I was moving on to a different season of my life and declutter my books – it felt like a loss of identity!
17. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
Sentimental people are often very enthusiastic, which can be contagious to those around them.
They might be the first person to laugh loudly at a joke in a comedy club, which sets everyone else off laughing as well. Or they might be the first to break the ice and jump out on the dance floor at a wedding.
Their excitement and passion for life are inspiring!
18. Your memory is excellent
Their careful attention to detail and care for those special moments means sentimental people often have an excellent memory.
They’ll never forget your birthday, the time you first met or that fantastic trip you went on together. They might even have a designated ‘memory box‘ where they keep all of these precious items safe!
19. You throw good parties
Being in tune with the people around you means you know how to cater to their needs and throw a great party!
From knowing the best games to play to preparing the perfect snacks and meals, a sentimental person doesn’t mind going the extra mile to ensure their guests have a fantastic time.
20. You want the freedom to express yourself
They believe that everyone should be allowed to express themselves.
For people who are more reserved or shy, this can come across as intense and sometimes even overwhelming!
But sentimental people know the importance of self-expression and want everyone to share their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment.
Final thoughts on being sentimental
Are you a sentimental person, or do you know someone who is?
Which of these characteristics of sentimental people did you identify with the most, or had you nodding your head in agreement?
Feel free to comment below with your thoughts and experience on what it’s like to be sentimental.