I'm just curious, since before I began practicing the Buddhist way of life, I was a very emotionally sensitive person. I constantly had my "feelings hurt" or got into petty arguments over small things in life with people who were once my friends. Sometimes this broke apart many friendships. However, a lot of Buddhist teachings seem to deal with detatchment from the ego, therefore as to loosen or weaken one's sense of self. I found that sometimes I no longer clung to my opinion about reality as if it was absolutely right. But what about emotions? Is Buddhism about taming one's emotions (I grew up as an often very emotional individual on many ends of the spectrum)? Or does one approach emotions by letting them manifest opnely? In short, in my practice, how can I go about dealing with my innate sensitivity? Thank you.
The effect that the emotion has on you
to evoke an immediate reaction has reduced. But you will still feel emotions normally. You start to see emotions as a part of the whole play of things. They come to pass, when earlier you just reacted to everything. This is a sort of calmed reaction to any emotion. Having said that, Buddhism is sensitive in that it has
compassion in it which is something like how Jesus said, "they know not what they are doing, forgive them", when he was being nailed to the cross. He was able to forgive them even as they were doing that horrific thing to him. That is compassion.
The correct word would be to be less attached. The lesser you are attached, the less emotional you will be.
If you were less sensitive, you wouldn't be able to follow certain basic principles. You would not feel like giving, helping or showing compassion.
Confusing as it can be, you should be less attached from worldly things. It maybe a game, women/man, alcohol, friends etc. The stronger you are bonded to it, the harder it is when it goes away from you (ultimately everything in this world is impermanent).
I think in my opinion, what you should do is, realize this world is impermanent ( which is the truth). So if by nature you are sensitive, you will be able to realize that there is no point being sad over it because its not permanent and that it is a part of this world and its futile to be sad. Nothing in the world is unfair, it perfectly follows newtons third law : Every action has an equal but an opposite reaction.
Meaning, if you beat someone up, you will, for sure, get a beating equally to the one that you brought upon to the person earlier. Now this may and may not happen instantly, but with time it will happen.
With that said, do not get me wrong, If you are hyper sensitive and if it seems to bother you a lot, it is probably because of a past Karma that you have done. Well we all need to pay it. But never be discouraged, in this life that you have got, do good karma, and less bad karma, eventually you will be able to overcome these sins and live a happy life.
Keeping that in mind, a simple answer to your question:
how can I go about dealing with my innate sensitivity?
Follow a proper meditation. You should consult a Buddhist monk to select what is best type of meditation for you. With time you will eventually fight this sensitivity. :)