Category: High sensitivity

For more on this personality trait, see the Highly Sensitive and Creative site.  

Are You Highly Sensitive?

Are You Highly Sensitive?

In an article of hers, Elaine Aron, Ph.D. describes some of the basic qualities of the personality trait of high sensitivity. Here is the article: You may belong to the 20% of us who innately prefer to think before acting. Are you famous for being slow to make decisions? Do you need more down time than […]

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

“All forms of self-expression that tap into curiosities, talents or deeply held interests, when pursued to excellence, are deeply nourishing.” That quote by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD is from his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement. There are many deeply rewarding aspects of being gifted and talented, creative, with exceptional […]

Be More Creative: Be An Introvert

Be More Creative: Be An Introvert

Author Susan Cain declares: “Without introverts, the world would be devoid of: the theory of gravity; the theory of relativity; W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming”; Chopin’s nocturnes; Proust’s In Search of Lost Time; Peter Pan…” She quotes science journalist Winifred Gallagher: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing […]

'Condition' or 'character'? How language impacts our understanding of the high sensitivity personality

‘Condition’ or ‘character’? How language impacts our understanding of the high sensitivity personality

By Cat Robson In her Marie Clare article Are You Too Sensitive?, Helen Kirwan-Taylor discusses her process of self-discovery related to her own highly sensitive personality. “Once upon a time, HSPs might have been written off as shy or even neurotic, but Aron [Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person] believes these labels are demeaning […]

Maybe your idea of fun isn't mine

Maybe your idea of fun isn’t mine

As introverts, we may not have the same values or interests in “fun” activities as those who are more extroverted. That may be another reason highly sensitive people and introverts are less acknowledged, supported and even valued in our outgoing, sociable-oriented culture. (Introversion and high sensitivity are not the same trait, but they often go […]

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

In one of her newsletter articles, Elaine Aron addressed the differences between giftedness and sensitivity, in both children and adults. She wrote about being the invited speaker at a conference on developing gifted children, and comments: As I discussed my talk with the organizer, Linda Silverman, I realized that in her opinion high sensitivity was […]

High Sensitivity and Anxiety in Work Situations

High Sensitivity and Anxiety in Work Situations

There are probably millions of highly sensitive people around the world who are working in situations where they are being watched when they work. Some choose to perform in various ways – as actors, musicians, speakers. [Many actors and other performers have been shy, or still are, such as Amy Adams, Rebel Wilson, Gwen Stefani, […]

Every society needs highly sensitive people

Every society needs highly sensitive people

There can be many challenges for people who are highly sensitive, including reactions from others (“Why are you so touchy?”), feeling “wrong” and with lower self-esteem in a culture that is so extroverted and high-speed, and being more vulnerable to stress (see my post Sensitive to anxiety). But there are also many strengths and values, […]

Highly sensitive boys and men

Highly sensitive boys and men

Research by Dr. Ted Zeff indicates : “North American HSMs (highly sensitive males) who reported that they had supportive parents as boys and who played group sports as a boy were “never” or “rarely” teased for being sensitive. “However, the North American HSMs who reported that neither parents were supportive of their sensitivity, and who […]

Psychic Ability, Sensitivity, Creativity

Psychic Ability, Sensitivity, Creativity

I don’t have any particular psychic ability, but am fascinated by it, and appreciate the more sympathetic depictions in movies such as “Hereafter” directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Cécile De France and Matt Damon as a professional psychic. It’s a word that has a wide range of associations, including some pretty negative or dismissive ones. […]

Are we cry-babies?

Are we cry-babies?

Therapist Noreen Barron writes: Highly sensitive people can be considered “weak” “soft” “pathetic” and “cry babies”. They are often shamed and criticized for their “over the top” responses, so they swallow and stuff many, if not all, of their needs, experiences, feelings, thoughts to keep “it all in” and contained, so as not to feel […]

Being Shy, Introverted or Highly Sensitive in the Arts

Being Shy, Introverted or Highly Sensitive in the Arts

Many actors, writers and other creative people are considered shy or introverted or highly sensitive. These are not the same thing but can overlap. But why would Introversion fit so well with creative expression? Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung identified it as a core personality trait, and The Myers & Briggs Foundation page “Extraversion or […]

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette Self-Care Retreat

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette Self-Care Retreat

“Self-Care for the Creative Soul” is a retreat March 2nd-6th, 2014, at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona, with Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette. Here is a brief excerpt from a conversation they had about the personality trait of high sensitivity and being a creative person: Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on Creativity A page on Cheryl […]

How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself - Jenna Avery on the high sensitivity personality

How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself – Jenna Avery on the high sensitivity personality

In her article, How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself, excerpted below, expert on highly sensitive living Jenna Avery explains why sensitive people are so self-critical, and how we can stop: Every time I work with a fellow sensitive soul, it seems like we always bump into some kind of fear or limiting belief […]

Developing creativity and being better at noticing subtle details

Developing creativity and being better at noticing subtle details

This image is “Tom’s Diner” – a watercolor by Ralph Goings. Along with other forms of creative expression, photorealist painting demands meticulous attention to detail. A recent CNN article on “sensory processing sensitivity” reports that people with this trait “tended to have more brain activity in the high-order visual processing regions.” The article – Ultra-sensitive? […]

Kristen Stewart and shyness and sensitivity

Kristen Stewart and shyness and sensitivity

Many interviewers and writers over the years have described actor Kristen Stewart as “cautious” and “shy.” At least one news story refers to her as a “Self-proclaimed introvert.” By the way, I am not presuming Kristen Stewart is shy, introverted or highly sensitive, and I don’t know her personally. But just from my gut reaction […]

Judith Orloff and Bryce Dallas Howard on psychic ability

Judith Orloff and Bryce Dallas Howard on psychic ability

As one of the characters in the movie “Hereafter,” Matt Damon portrays an intuitve, someone who seems to be able to communicate with dead people. One of the other characters impacted by those abilities is Marie, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who revealed in a recent news story her own psychic experiences. She knew early […]

Jenna Forrest on transcending sensitivity

Jenna Forrest on transcending sensitivity

Author and success consultant Jenna Forrest writes in her memoir Help Is On Its Way about growing up with the trait of high sensitivity. In our podcast interview, she talks about empowering and transcending sensitivity. From the interview: “Millions of highly sensitive people right at this moment are carrying a heavier burden than the rest […]

Mastering emotional overload but still being highly sensitive

Mastering emotional overload but still being highly sensitive

“May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese proverb and curse. We are certainly in an amazing period of history, with wonderful changes and opportunities for social and personal growth – but also with much cause for overwhelm, especially if you are highly sensitive, or dealing with challenging emotions like […]

27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

In her article, 27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person, Andrea Runyan discusses how sensitive students can manage the stresses of housing, emotional life, parties, eating, studying, professors and friends. “College is a crucial time in life and doing well, both in classes and in general life, can have large ramifications for […]

Any more chocolate than my limit causes anxiety

Any more chocolate than my limit causes anxiety

From article Confession: Anxiety Cause Revealed, by Jen Crippen. Why is it that when we know our limit on something and if we go beyond that, we’ll feel like “junk”? For example, I experience many food sensitivities. I can indulge in a TINY bit of dark chocolate. Key word: TINY (two 1? X 1? squares).  […]

Energy vampires can suck our life energy

Energy vampires can suck our life energy

Judith Orloff MD is an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and synthesizes traditional medicine, intuition, energy work and spirituality in her medical practice and publications. We can all use protection In her article Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires, she explains, “Energy vampires are people who suck our energy dry. Everyone can benefit from […]

Being different and "too sensitive"

Being different and "too sensitive"

Winona Ryder starred in the film based on Susanna Kaysen’s novel “Girl, Interrupted” and thinks Kaysen “captures a mood we’ve all experienced. “It’s like a reflective time we’ve all had in our lives.. You go through spells where you feel that maybe you’re too sensitive for this world. I certainly felt that.” Read more in […]

New Year's resolutions and HSPs: change and intuition

New Year’s resolutions and HSPs: change and intuition

Everyone can experience emotional challenges when it comes to making life changes, but those challenges may be especially intense for highly sensitive people (HSPs). In her post Change and the HSP, from her blog “Inside the Mind of a Highly Sensitive Person,” Helen Akers takes a look at some of the challenges HSPs encounter when […]

Hale Dwoskin on why “Positive Thinking” fails to build lasting personal growth

Hale Dwoskin on why “Positive Thinking” fails to build lasting personal growth

Hale Dwoskin is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-being, is a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and CEO of Sedona Training Associates. He writes in an article about trying to use a form of positive thinking: When I […]

Solitude is not pathology for the high sensitivity personality

Solitude is not pathology for the high sensitivity personality

Writer Susan Cain notes: “Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. “Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. “Or you’re told that you’re ‘in your […]

Sensory processing sensitivity: reading vinyl record grooves and smelling books

Sensory processing sensitivity: reading vinyl record grooves and smelling books

The term ’savant’ may be most often used for people such as Daniel Tammet, who is autistic and can recite more than 22,000 digits of pi from memory. The savant label seems to be mostly used for cognitive abilities like prodigious memory, such as Tammet’s. But what about other exceptional sensory processing abilities? In the […]

Unsociable, bored at parties, inner-directed, creative personality type

Unsociable, bored at parties, inner-directed, creative personality type

Being unsociable, bored at parties or uneasy with people aren’t qualities that always or necessarily go with being creative, of course – but often they do. Many talented artists and others have a creative personality type that is highly sensitive, introverted or shy – or all at once. Not that people are simply “types” – […]

Feeling Crazy as a Highly Sensitive Person?

Feeling Crazy as a Highly Sensitive Person?

The BioElectric Shield company has products to counteract electromagnetic radiation. An article on their site says: A large number of people who come to us are suffering as highly sensitive people. … This sensitivity can dramatically impact your ability to cope with the ever increasing chaos and energy in the world today. I get on […]

Robert Pattinson, Salvador Dalí, introversion, shyness and sensitive people

Robert Pattinson, Salvador Dalí, introversion, shyness and sensitive people

Shyness may look like introversion or high sensitivity, and they may overlap with each other, but are distinct experiences. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD notes shyness “is learned, not innate” and the trait of high sensitivity “is often mislabeled as introversion.” She writes in an edition of her newsletter that “HSPs [highly sensitive people] are so similar to […]

Sensitive and authentic: Can Authenticity Be Selective?

Sensitive and authentic: Can Authenticity Be Selective?

By Cat Robson One of my constant internal dialogs  revolves around whether or not I’m being authentic. Am I compromising myself? Trying too hard to avoid conflict by keeping silent? Is my desire to have other people feel understood an authentic part of me or counterproductive? And just because a trait is authentic, should I […]

Highly Sensitive People: Preparation, Performing, Perfectionism

Highly Sensitive People: Preparation, Performing, Perfectionism

With something like twenty percent of us being highly sensitive, that means there are many performers with the trait – musicians, actors, public speakers. In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD writes that public speaking or performing is “a natural for HSPs – yes, it is. (I leave you to think about […]

Video: Our High Sensitivity Personality

Video: Our High Sensitivity Personality

This trait of high sensitivity nurtures our creativity and social activism, but also brings challenges. Psychologist Elaine Aron and others describe it as a more finely tuned nervous system. She explains, “It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed…” […]

"I was the shyest human ever..." - Ingrid Bergman

“I was the shyest human ever…” – Ingrid Bergman

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up.” – Ingrid Bergman  [imdb.com] ~ ~ Related : Artistic confidence – Being shy and an actor Actors and High Sensitivity Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity – What’s the Difference? Shy or Introverted or Highly Sensitive in the Arts. ~~~ […]

Shyness, the amygdala and anxiety

Shyness, the amygdala and anxiety

Being shy may not be uncommon for children, but when it endures for us as teens and adults, shyness impedes the kinds of social connections that can enhance our talents and creative expression. Research is helping explain shyness in terms of brain physiology, particularly involving the amygdala (technically amygdalae) – a pair of structures in […]

Audrey Hepburn: Introverted and Highly Sensitive

Audrey Hepburn: Introverted and Highly Sensitive

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” More quotes attributed to Audrey Hepburn: “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite […]

Highly sensitive: singer Joss Stone on being a 'little empath'

Highly sensitive: singer Joss Stone on being a ‘little empath’

Singer Joss Stone talked about being highly sensitive: “I think I’m just very, very emotional. My mom used to call me her little empath. Which can be dangerous when you set yourself to be that open. “But in another way, it just makes your life fuller…” Continued on Highly Sensitive. high sensitivity resources, gifted talented […]

Director Ang Lee, Introvert

Director Ang Lee, Introvert

“He is so sensitive and the way he directs you is so silent.” Actor Adil Hussain, of “Life of Pi” describing how Ang Lee works. The director recently won his second Academy Award for “Life of Pi”. In an article on leadership, author Susan Cain gives a number of examples of “effective Asian-American leaders” including Ang […]