Category: High sensitivity

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

On Being Sensitive

On Being Sensitive

-+*The trait of high sensitivity is experienced by 15 to 20 percent of us, including many well-known actors and performers. In one of my videos are quotes by and about Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger, Amy Brenneman, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen DeGeneres. See Video: On Being Sensitive on the Highly Sensitive site. See more […]

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 […]

'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 […]

Norah Jones on sensitivity and criticism

Norah Jones on sensitivity and criticism

-+*In addition to helping fuel creativity and a richer experience of life, being highly sensitive can make us more vulnerable to self-criticism (and other issues). Elaine Aron, PhD writes about one source or form of this, and how it impacts self-esteem: “Are you often stuck in ranking? Then you are often undervaluing yourself. It’s natural.” […]

Cheryl Richardson on sensitivity and self-care

Cheryl Richardson on sensitivity and self-care

-+*Cheryl Richardson relates an example of her own sensitivity: “Last night I went to see a movie with a group of friends.  “I’d heard wonderful things about the story from people whose opinion I respect, and I was so looking forward to enjoying the film. “However, within twenty minutes of watching, I made a decision […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shy and sensitive and drinking at parties

Shy and sensitive and drinking at parties

-+*Psychologist Elaine Aron notes: “Not all sensitive people are shy; not all shy people are sensitive. “But especially if you are both, although you may have one or two drinks to get through parties, you probably don’t drink very much compared with other people. “You need to know and respect your drinking comfort zone. If […]

Anxiety relief: Energy Psychiatrist Judith Orloff on Emotional Freedom

Anxiety relief: Energy Psychiatrist Judith Orloff on Emotional Freedom

-+*Psychiatrist Judith Orloff says one of the reasons creative people may be vulnerable to anxiety is “They are extremely sensitive.. they are very finely tuned and open to all kinds of energies from the outside, so it’s important they protect themselves and not be overwhelmed.” She notes, “People need immediate relief for anxiety; they don’t […]

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, creativity coach and expert on highly sensitive living, Jenna Avery explains why sensitive people may be so self-critical, and how we can stop doing so: Every time I work with a fellow sensitive soul, it seems like we always bump into some […]

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

Sensitivity and the Power to Endure

Sensitivity and the Power to Endure

-+*By Cat Robson 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…. […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Being a Highly Sensitive Person: Challenges and Creativity

Being a Highly Sensitive Person: Challenges and Creativity

-+*As a highly sensitive person, we can feel more, react to others and the environment more easily and deeply, and sometimes get overwhelmed by so much intensity and stimulation. But it can also fuel creativity. Dolly Parton has talked about part of the trait for her: “I hurt real easy and real deep, which is […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

Creative People and High Sensitivity

Creative People and High Sensitivity

-+*Creative people are often highly sensitive. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD summarizes the personality trait of high sensitivity (sensory processing sensitivity): “Your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.” She thinks all Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) “are creative, by definition.” In this short overview, I include quotes from my interviews with other psychologists: Cheryl […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jessica Chastain on being sensitive and a loner

Jessica Chastain on being sensitive and a loner

-+*Acclaimed for her performance in “Zero Dark Thirty” (she garnered an Academy Award nomination) as a CIA analyst named Maya who untiringly pursues Osama bin Laden, Jessica Chastain has talked about some aspects of her personal life that may have helped her create such powerful characters. In an interview on the Charley Rose Show, Jessica […]

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. ~~~~~~ Originally posted 2009-03-30 21:22:16.

Creative Artist Issues: Audio Interview with Dr. Cheryl Arutt

Creative Artist Issues: Audio 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 […]

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.” […]

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 […]

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…” […]