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Highly sensitive: Embracing our uniquely weird sensitivities

Posted Sep 01 2010 9:26pm

“I think being different, being against the grain of society, is the greatest thing in the world.”

That’s actor Elijah Wood (“Lord of the Rings”), quoted in my post Exceptional and out of bounds – eccentrics and society .

Being unusual and eccentric may be easier for some people. It may not be so easy for many of us who are different on account of being highly sensitive – but we can choose to embrace our exceptional qualities as valuable.

In her post Why it’s hard to be a highly sensitive (HSP) introvert , Susan Biali, M.D. writes about what many of us HSP people can relate to: “A handful of years ago I was so relieved to discover that there’s a name (Highly Sensitive Person, aka HSP) for what I thought were uniquely weird sensitivities.

“I also finally understand and now even celebrate the fact that I’m highly introverted. Thanks to these new insights into my personality, I’ve come to appreciate that the traits that make me seem ‘strange’ are also the reasons that I’m an effective personal coach and a successful writer and author.”

Being different is not a disorder

Dr. Biali adds, “For most of my life I felt that if people knew what I was really like, they’d write me off as strange or different. What a thrill to discover I’m not alone: 15-20% of the population are thought to be highly sensitive (according to HSP expert Dr. Elaine Aron), and around 20% of all people tend towards introversion. Of the 15-20% who are HSPs, 70% are introverts.”

As an HSP and introvert, I fit into that group – and have often felt “wrong” or “weird” during periods of my life, and at least uncomfortable, if not downright anxious on account of being so different than mainstream, extroverted society.

But it’s important to distinguish introversion from shyness, or its more extreme ‘cousin’ social anxiety – see my post Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity – What’s the Difference?

Also see the article How about a new approach towards Social Anxiety? , By Rob Shapiro, AnxietySecrets.

Learning to celebrate being an HSP

Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA, is a Creative Vision & Life Purpose Breakthrough Coach, and Sensitive Living Expert, who counsels HSPs – highly sensitive people.

She describes her Self-Study Classes for Sensitive Souls as “the product of my many efforts to find ways to be a happy, healthy, highly sensitive soul.

“I have investigated everything I could get my hands on about energy skills, energetic boundary strengthening, interpersonal boundaries, flower essences for sensitive souls, empathy, intuitive development and more.

“I wanted to find out everything I could about how to feel happy about my life without feeling so assaulted by it — other people’s energy, emotions, and criticisms, and the life stresses and challenges that go along with day-to-day life.”

So, celebrate being one of the unusual people who have a highly sensitive nervous system, but take care of your emotional needs – such as relieving anxiety .

highly sensitive people, highly sensitive and stressed, sensitivity and stress, energy sensitivity, relieving sensitivity, protection for sensitivity


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