Pushing buttons: dealing with people who antagonize you

push buttonsI’m a member of several Facebook groups for HSPs and I see this topic come up a lot: People will describe a co-worker, family member, or a stranger on the internet who says things that they disagree with so strongly that they get angry…and sometimes they verbally fight back. Then those angry feelings linger for a long time. How to cope? [Read more…]

Is self-employment really the best for HSPs?

job imageThinking about quitting your office job and “doing your own thing”?

Heck, I extoll the virtues of working for oneself here. In fact, it’s the second-most-read post on this site.

But I’ve been rethinking things.

I previously said that the best job for HSPs is to work for oneself. I thought it was that simple. After all, working for yourself means you can control your environment—the temperature, the lighting, the ergonomics, the hours you work, and of course, the work itself. [Read more…]

Condolences: what to say (and NOT say) to a friend who’s hurting

You’d think as an HSP that I’d be good at knowing what to say when someone else is hurting. But I’m always afraid that I’ll say the wrong thing.condolence

A friend had a cancer scare recently. While I was waiting to hear from her about her test results, I thought: what do I say if she does have cancer? I had no clue. I know that I would feel the fear and despair along with her, but I wouldn’t know what to actually SAY out loud to be helpful. I asked myself, “what would I want someone to say to ME, if I was in her shoes?” but I didn’t know. [Read more…]

How to deal with overwhelming parties & gatherings

5 re (2)Recently, I traveled to the other side of the country to visit family and friends. While there, I found myself at a big family party. It’s been so long since I’d been in that situation! It reminded me how hours-long parties can wear on me, no matter how much I like those in attendance.

At big family parties, there may be loud people, music, dancing, cooking, singing, and talking, of course. And people might drink a bit too much and act a little wild and unpredictable.

Here are my tips on how to deal with long parties. These tips are mainly for when you feel tapped out on the small talk and overwhelmed by people. And yes, these tips are more geared toward introverts than extroverts.

[Read more…]

Don’t see the movie “Inside Out” …

…unless you want to cry for an hour straight.

Yes, I want to talk about the Pixar movie Inside Out. It’s about feelings.

It s a lovely movie with a nice message. It is funny and creative. But it is SUPER sad and sentimental. As an HSP, I felt it was a bit emotionally manipulative.

But Kelly, are you denigrating a universally-heralded, sweet, children’s movie? How dare you!

[Read more…]

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Highly Sensitive People & Introverts

gift guide img blog** This was originally posted in Dec. 2014, updated June 2015. **

Whether it’s a holiday, birthday, anniversary, or just to say “Hi!”, this list can help you choose the perfect gift for your introverted, highly sensitive friend, spouse, co-worker, or family member. Featured here are presents for people who are overwhelmed by social and environment stimuli, are empathetic, sensitive to beauty, and cherish privacy and peacefulness. [Read more…]

What we can learn from Bjork about HSP confidence

3776689_511ef65e27_mI can remember the first time I ever heard or saw a Bjork song. Specifically.

I was sitting close to the front of the TV–watching MTV. At the time, my parents didn’t want me watching MTV, so I often did it sneakily. A video came on that captured my attention in a way I’ll never forget. [Read more…]

5 Reasons Dating is Challenging for Introverts (& What To Do About It)

sarah jonesApologies to the extroverted HSPs out there, because today I have a little sumthin’ for the innies. This is a special guest post by Sarah Jones of Introverted Alpha. Sarah focuses specifically on helping introverted men become successful with women in a way that is respectful, insightful, and genuine to both parties. One of the things that makes her  successful is how well she understands the nature of introverts. Here’s Sarah with 5 reasons dating is challenging for introverts:

[Read more…]

Highly Sensitive Men: successes & struggles

hsp man image smallI feel uncomfortable writing or talking about issues with which I don’t have first hand experience–like being a parent or an extrovert. I want the things I write about to be honest and sincere. So, for this post (and the accompanying podcast episodes), I asked several highly sensitive men to share their stories and opinions.

While geared toward men, much of this can apply to all HSPs.

Why did I want to write specifically about men? There is the cultural expectation that women are more emotional and sensitive than men–that men should be tough and stoic. It seems to me that this could clash with the traits of being an HSP.

The challenges of being a highly sensitive man

[Read more…]

The superpower of smell

small_429674813A few years ago, I was standing in my kitchen and I faintly smelled something. Something bad. I said to Jim, “Do you smell that?” He says no.

Now I’m on a mission. “I swear I smell something bad. Where the heck is that coming from?” I mumbled to myself.

If you are anything like me, you know what came next. I searched every single corner of the kitchen looking for this smell. [Read more…]