Category: High sensitivity

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

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…” […]

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What do you do with your intensity?

What do you do with your intensity?

Many talented actors, musicians and other performers have the venue and “permission” to use their high physical and emotional intensity. But many of us who are not performers can find it challenging at times to manage our intensities or excitabilities, especially when working with other people. It is easy to point to examples of high […]

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 […]

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 […]

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on High Sensitivity

Cheryl Richardson and Alanis Morissette on High Sensitivity

“Self-Care for the Creative Soul” was 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 […]

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 […]

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).  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.” […]

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 […]