Category: High sensitivity

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

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 […]

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness

Bryce Dallas Howard portrays the “unapologetic” Fisher Willow in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond. “I learned some interesting things about myself. Fisher is unapologetic about anything she does or says, and I am not; in fact I am apologizing all the time. “I liked that she was almost hedonistic in her approach to life, […]

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 […]

Steve Wozniak on being shy

Steve Wozniak on being shy

Many accomplished people have been shy during periods of their life. Two examples: Craig McCaw – “Telecommunications billionaire and wireless pioneer, Craig McCaw recognized that shortcomings (shyness and dyslexia) could also be assets. “Maybe my whole attitude toward life comes from being forced, as a relatively shy person, to confront people and ask them to […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Creative Artist Issues: Podcast Interview with Dr. Cheryl Arutt

Creative Artist Issues: Podcast Interview with Dr. Cheryl Arutt

Dr. Cheryl Arutt is a clinical psychologist, specializing in creative artist issues and other topics. She is also a forensic and media consultant. Topics in our audio interview include high sensitivity, regulating disruptive feelings, destructiveness vs creativity, pain and creativity, being unconventional vs rebellion against the self, the fight-or-flight response, and other issues which can […]

Time to cut down on shopping in the physical world?

Time to cut down on shopping in the physical world?

If you are among the twenty percent or so of us who are highly sensitive, you may find holiday shopping scenes less and less appealing, and more stressful. Thanks to Google alerts for “highly sensitive people” I found this stimulating post on the topic, from The Highly Sensitive Christian blog. Here is an excerpt: Six […]

Conformity and Creativity

Conformity and Creativity

“The worship of convention will never lead to astonishment.” Tama J. Kieves Author and personal development coach Tama Kieves faced a number of challenges after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, but felt compelled to leave her career as “an overworked attorney” to follow her “soul’s haunting desire to become a writer.” In her […]

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 […]

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 […]

Embracing Our Exceptionalities, Eccentricities and Sensitivities

Embracing Our Exceptionalities, Eccentricities and Sensitivities

“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 in public ways seems to be easier for some people, and may not […]

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 […]

Intuition: powers and perils

Intuition: powers and perils

Gut reaction, hunch, instinct, nose, presentiment, second sight – the ability to gain understanding outside the usual senses and rational thought can be an invaluable guide to enhance our personal development and help realize ourselves more fully, but there are also potential limitations and distortions. Part of the motivation for writing about this topic was […]

Elaine Aron on holiday stress relief for sensitive people

Elaine Aron on holiday stress relief for sensitive people

Elaine Aron, PhD wrote in an issue of her newsletter about holiday season challenge – for highly sensitive people (HSPs), but her perspectives can be helpful for anyone: “Here come the holidays and the New Year. Give yourself a gift by remembering to do this time of year your way: If you are already doing […]

Sensitive and stressed: sensitivity and the power to endure

Sensitive and stressed: sensitivity and the power to endure

Does being sensitive include the strength to endure and survive hardships? Could it be that what makes us more vulnerable might also make us more durable? I believe in aristocracy, though–if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power…but…of the sensitive, the considerate…. Its members are […]

Being more creative: Less affected by cultural biases

Being more creative: Less affected by cultural biases

Elaine Aron summarizes brain imaging research with HSPs (highly sensitive people) presented to a national conference for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. Here is part of her summary: In this study, 10 Americans of European descent and 10 East-Asians recently in the U.S. underwent “functional magnetic resonance imaging” (fMRI). This means that while […]

Promoting awareness about childhood sensitivity

Promoting awareness about childhood sensitivity

Author Jenna Forrest writes: “Like many sensitive, anxious elementary school kids, I was overwhelmed with my day to day life. “I thought my sensory overload, deep empathy and social shyness meant there was something wrong with me. At the same time, I felt a strong sense of these traits being very important to my future.” […]

Is it a disorder, or just shyness?

Is it a disorder, or just shyness?

“As a child, I was very shy. Painfully, excruciatingly shy. I hid a lot in my room. I was so terrified to read out loud in school that I had to have my mother ask my reading teacher not to call on me in class.” – Kim Basinger Many of us were shy as children, […]

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 […]

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 […]