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Thread: The Highly Sensitive Person

  1. The Highly Sensitive Person

    Are You Highly Sensitive?
    July 28, 2004
    by Jenna Avery, CLC

    Do you often feel overwhelmed by your environment or the people around you? Has anyone ever called you shy - or worse: "too sensitive"? Do you care deeply about EVERYTHING? You may be a Highly Sensitive Soul - a person of deep empathy and high intensity, with powerful intuition, awareness, and intelligence.

    Being Highly Sensitive, you have a uniquely perceptive sensory system. You are therefore more sensitive to emotions, energy, environmental conditions such as lighting or sound, other people, excitement, and stress. As a result of constant stimuli, you may feel easily overwhelmed or unable to cope. Things can be particularly confusing when others seem unperturbed by the same experiences. For example, your friends might be able to shop all day, go out to dinner, and then head to a loud party.

    For you, that would be unbearable.

    Research psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, has studied high sensitivity extensively. Her research shows that being sensitive is a personality temperament or trait, one usually inherited. According to Dr. Aron, up to 20% of the population is Highly Sensitive.

    How To Tell If You Are Highly Sensitive
    Being Highly Sensitive comes with a number of gifts, as well as challenges. See if any of these Highly Sensitive qualities resonate strongly with you.

    1. You are deeply affected by all aspects of your life. As a Sensitive Soul, you have great emotional passion, intensity, and depth. You may have been told that your emotions are "too much." You are sensitive, caring, and easily affected by the energy and emotions of others. These qualities make it easy to lose touch with your needs and desires.

    2. You have heightened perceptive skills. A Sensitive Soul is intuitive, highly aware, and keenly observant of the subtleties of your environment, including energy, light, noise, smell, texture, and temperature. You may also be empathic or even psychic. Your perceptive skills operate in the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual realms. You tie together things you see into complex and original concepts. This makes you a visionary.

    3. You have a lower tolerance for stimulation than others. Because you receive so much information from your surroundings, your threshold for what's "too much" is significantly lower than for those around you. This means: (a) You may be seen as shy or timid; and (b) You may feel uncomfortably dissimilar to others because you respond so differently to stimulation.

    4. You are highly conscientious and thorough in all your undertakings. A Sensitive Soul makes a great employee. You concentrate intensely and process multi-source information. However, you require privacy, uninterrupted time, and little or no pressure in order to do your best work.

    5. You have a strong relationship with aesthetics and art. As a Highly Sensitive Soul, you have a passion for beauty, art, and aesthetics. You may be highly artistic and creative yourself. You easily create beauty and comfort. Seeing things "out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically distressing.

    6. Your inner life is just as intriguing and inspiring as your outer life. You likely have a rich, complex inner life and are highly imaginative. You may find it challenging to connect to "real world" priorities and realities.

    7. You absolutely require private time alone in order to feel replenished. Up to 70% of Highly Sensitive Souls are introverted. But even extroverted sensitives need downtime to rejuvenate, often in a darkened, quiet room.

    8. You have a strong spiritual connection and depth. If you are Highly Sensitive, you experience a profound spiritual connection with the divine and/or spiritual realm. You "see" a lot in what appears common. Because of this you may feel impatient with the truly mundane.

    Learning To Thrive: What You Need
    Learning to thrive as a Highly Sensitive Soul presents challenges. If you're sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying overcome the trait because you don't "fit in" with society. And yet being Highly Sensitive is a vital part of you.

    A first step toward thriving as a Sensitive Soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my clients says, being Highly Sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.

    Sensitive Souls require regular self-care, meaningful work, and supportive relationships. Working with a sensitive coach or therapist who helps you tune into your own magnificent inner guidance system - your sensitivity - is a powerful means of support.

    Additionally, there are books, websites, web-based communities, and teleconference gatherings on the subject. Connecting with like-minded souls is often deeply healing for sensitive persons.

    As you begin to manage your life in a way that truly works for you, you will trust the power and gift of your sensitivity, and be inspired to share your much-needed wisdom with the world.

    Jenna Avery, Certified Life Coach, is the Life Coach for Sensitive Souls. It is her purpose and vision to support Highly Sensitive Souls to find their power and to change the world with their wisdom, beauty, and depth. Web site: http://www.highlysensitivesouls.com.

    Read more about The Highly Sensitive Person
    http://www.hsperson.com/

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  3. #2

    Re: Are you Highly Sensitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    Do you often feel overwhelmed by your environment or the people around you?
    Yes.

    Do you care deeply about EVERYTHING?
    Yes!! Am constantly having to prioritise (Housework is such a pain, it interrupts) :D

    You may be a Highly Sensitive Soul - a person of deep empathy and high intensity, with powerful intuition, awareness, and intelligence
    .

    Yes, but I didn't develop the intelligence through school, as the other aspects were at the forefront.

    You are therefore more sensitive to emotions, energy, environmental conditions such as lighting or sound, other people, excitement, and stress. As a result of constant stimuli, you may feel easily overwhelmed or unable to cope.
    Yes, sometimes, more so in recent years...

    Things can be particularly confusing when others seem unperturbed by the same experiences. For example, your friends might be able to shop all day, go out to dinner, and then head to a loud party
    .

    yes, that is true, I love simplicity now... hate days being overcrowded.

    Her research shows that being sensitive is a personality temperament or trait, one usually inherited
    my mom empathises with people a lot, always has done...she used to write poetry, but I think that was abandoned as she had us kids...
    As a mom, myself, now...I know what it is to 'deny' your real personality, or have to put it on hold to be practical.

    1. You are deeply affected by all aspects of your life. As a Sensitive Soul, you have great emotional passion, intensity, and depth
    defintely intense, and search depth out....why always leads to why with me, deeper and deeper...

    You may have been told that your emotions are "too much."
    Yes, I've had to be careful around some people and be more subdued :(

    But when I meet someone like myself, it's great....don't have to explain tiny things, or be sensitive to their 'under'? intensity, or capacity for life.

    You are sensitive, caring, and easily affected by the energy and emotions of others. These qualities make it easy to lose touch with your needs and desires.
    Ha ha ha - that is true... someone asked me what I wanted...a couple of years ago... I realised I just didn't know...had got numb to myself...am learning to tune in to the real me again.

    2. You have heightened perceptive skills. A Sensitive Soul is intuitive, highly aware, and keenly observant of the subtleties of your environment, including energy, light, noise, smell, texture, and temperature. You may also be empathic or even psychic. Your perceptive skills operate in the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual realms. You tie together things you see into complex and original concepts. This makes you a visionary.
    Yes, but that's developed as my Christian faith has matured over the last 22 years.

    You may be seen as shy or timid; and (b) You may feel uncomfortably dissimilar to others because you respond so differently to stimulation.
    yes, it's very hard to be 'different' and to have always felt 'different.'

    4. You are highly conscientious and thorough in all your undertakings
    I've never forgotten that being written in a school book of mine when I was only 5 or 6, as it was quite a bit through school, till I reached about 13.

    My 11 year old daughter is called conscientious at school now.

    However, you require privacy, uninterrupted time, and little or no pressure in order to do your best work.
    That is very true.

    5. You have a strong relationship with aesthetics and art. As a Highly Sensitive Soul, you have a passion for beauty, art, and aesthetics. You may be highly artistic and creative yourself. You easily create beauty and comfort. Seeing things "out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically distressing
    .

    Not so much art, in the sense of painting, sculture etc etc...
    but this bit...

    comfort. Seeing things "out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically distressing
    I like to make people comfortable in our home, for our home to be 'beautiful, in that it is harmonious, and balanced, artistic in that sense...
    yes, I can be like Hercule Poirot...and something in the wrong place, in the home, is distressing...
    Less so now, as being ill, I have had to be a lot more laid back about all that.

    6. Your inner life is just as intriguing and inspiring as your outer life. You likely have a rich, complex inner life and are highly imaginative. You may find it challenging to connect to "real world" priorities and realities
    Anyone know the story of Mary and Martha..?
    Mary sat a Jesus' feet soaking in the spiritual realities....Martha buzzed around preparing the meal, getting resentful of her sister.

    I am so Mary...I have to be Martha sometimes, and all the while, especially since beginning to find 'me' again, I am doing the Martha things, and my heart is in the place of Mary...
    finding it hard to have my heart in the cooking, or whatever...

    7. You absolutely require private time alone in order to feel replenished. Up to 70% of Highly Sensitive Souls are introverted
    .

    Yes.

    8. You have a strong spiritual connection and depth. If you are Highly Sensitive, you experience a profound spiritual connection with the divine and/or spiritual realm.
    Yes, well, since I was 23.

    You "see" a lot in what appears common. Because of this you may feel impatient with the truly mundane.
    Oh yes! Looking for a long time (if I get that luxury), at a big oak tree, or the petals of a flower...or a stream, or the sea...yes.

    If you're sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying overcome the trait because you don't "fit in" with society.
    Yes :(

    Connecting with like-minded souls is often deeply healing for sensitive persons.
    Yes, I wish I could find more.

  4. The Highly Sensitive Person

    Although I haven't read it, I saw an interview a year or two ago with Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, where she was discussing her then newly released book, The Highly Sensitive Person in Relationships - in the interview, at least, she was discussing the problems HSPs have in relationships with non-HSPs and how to cope with that issue.

  5. #4

    The Highly Sensitive Person

    Just when I thought I was going to be quiet on here and just read.....this has lit a new energy within me...
    Do you often feel overwhelmed by your environment or the people around you?
    Yes. every day. everyone wants something from me. I should feel flattered by this - and it's really about 50/50 depending on my energy level that day. I LOVE to help people and mentor many students (college) and staff members but some days I just need to breathe in between people.
    Has anyone ever called you shy - or worse: "too sensitive"?
    Yes. I'm 'too sensitive' followed by 'give me a break' comments...yuk.
    Do you care deeply about EVERYTHING? You may be a Highly Sensitive Soul - a person of deep empathy and high intensity, with powerful intuition, awareness, and intelligence
    YES. I am passionate about everything - but there aren't enough hours in the day to pursue everything as much as I want to. Always having to pull back and discipline myself to do what I 'should' be doing instead. The 'powerful intuition, awareness...' is why everyone comes to me to listen and help them. I understand them even if I've never experienced what they are going through. Even though it is rare that I haven't.
    You are therefore more sensitive to emotions, energy, environmental conditions such as lighting or sound, other people, excitement, and stress
    I have to keep only one bulb over my desk on as three are way too bright. And I'd much rather use a softer light but my boss says it's not inviting enough for the office. When others are stressed, I have great difficulty keeping my protective shield around me so i won't be affected or brought down.
    1. You are deeply affected by all aspects of your life. As a Sensitive Soul, you have great emotional passion, intensity, and depth. You may have been told that your emotions are "too much."
    I pour tons of energy and thought into every thing I do. I am too much for every person I've ever met except one friend I had years ago. I have learned to be quiet about myself and not expect others to understand me. It is actually much more peaceful this way - I can just serve them and don't have to go through the embarrassment of trying to have a two-way conversation/relationship go flat because they cannot relate to me at all.
    You are sensitive, caring, and easily affected by the energy and emotions of others.
    Not so much anymore. I have learned, most of the time, to see a deeper meaning behind their emotions -that way I can help them with them instead of being affected by them.
    These qualities make it easy to lose touch with your needs and desires.
    What an understatement. I don't know who I really am, what makes me tick, what I really want or need. I have some ideas of what might be good for me, but I can't seem to reach them. And I'm trying very hard to have an open mind about it and leave it up to God to show me what is good for me - since I have no idea. :-)
    You have heightened perceptive skills. A Sensitive Soul is intuitive, highly aware, and keenly observant of the subtleties of your environment, including energy, light, noise, smell, texture, and temperature. You may also be empathic or even psychic. Your perceptive skills operate in the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual realms. You tie together things you see into complex and original concepts. This makes you a visionary.
    I do 'sense' things. I pick up on things, subconsciously, with animals and children and they are very drawn to me. Children stare at me or talk to me every where I go and when I teach them in class, they always get attached to me. I think I understand and respect them more than other adults.
    Because you receive so much information from your surroundings, your threshold for what's "too much" is significantly lower than for those around you. This means: (a) You may be seen as shy or timid; and (b) You may feel uncomfortably dissimilar to others because you respond so differently to stimulation.
    I have always felt like I came from another planet and belong on one.
    You are highly conscientious and thorough in all your undertakings. A Sensitive Soul makes a great employee. You concentrate intensely and process multi-source information. However, you require privacy, uninterrupted time, and little or no pressure in order to do your best work.
    While I'm the adminstrative assistant at work, I also cover the front desk and am interrupted ALL THE TIME. It has been driving me crazy for years but I have not been able to find another job without it having a 'front desk' aspect to it as well. On the other hand, I work well under pressure - and actually, I need a little to be the most productive.
    You have a strong relationship with aesthetics and art. As a Highly Sensitive Soul, you have a passion for beauty, art, and aesthetics. You may be highly artistic and creative yourself. You easily create beauty and comfort. Seeing things "out of alignment" can actually be physically or psychically distressing.
    Wow. There are tons of stuff in here that are just like me. I am very creative and artistic. I decorate, sew, cook, garden, paint, make decorative chocolates, quilt, embroider, make jewelry, work with wook and make things to paint afterwards, manipulate pictures, create things on the computer, blah, blah....and it makes me sooo grouchy and overwhelmed if I don't have a clean, orderly house. The only exception is that kids and kittens need to play with their toys and be able to make messes. I just need to clean them up soon. :-)
    You have a strong spiritual connection and depth. If you are Highly Sensitive, you experience a profound spiritual connection with the divine and/or spiritual realm. You "see" a lot in what appears common. Because of this you may feel impatient with the truly mundane.
    I am very religious and it is sad to me how shallow others can be.
    If you're sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying overcome the trait because you don't "fit in" with society. And yet being Highly Sensitive is a vital part of you.
    Yes! I have never 'fit in' and spent my years learning to be 'tough' without being INsensitive as that is intolerable to me.
    understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
    I wish the world knew this. :-)
    As one of my clients says, being Highly Sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.
    Absolutely. And THAT is where I have spent much of my energy. I want to channel the 'gift' into better, deeper, more efficient ways of helping others. I figure if I can see more, I can learn how to help more. The bad side is that I'm too sensitive with relationships with men. I always get hurt. I have not learned how to deal with that at all.
    Additionally, there are books, websites, web-based communities, and teleconference gatherings on the subject. Connecting with like-minded souls is often deeply healing for sensitive persons.
    This will be my next step.

    What a wonderful article! I feel relieved just reading it. Thanks!

  6. #5

  7. The Highly Sensitive Person

    Well, geez! I have just been described to a "T"! :)

  8. #7

    The Highly Sensitive Person

    and to a "J" too, jubjub :o

  9. #8

    The Highly Sensitive Person

    Very good book!

  10. #9

    The Highly Sensitive Person

    All i can say just thank you.

  11. #10

    The Highly Sensitive Person

    That's a whole book, Elm -- several chapters. That would be a pretty difficult thing to transform into a PDF file.

    You might try doing a Google search to see if there are excerpts anywhere on the internet, though.

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