Taking breaks in group vacations

mexicoA few weeks ago, my husband Jim and I went to Guanajuato, Mexico to meet up with a couple we are friends with. They currently live in Mexico.

I normally would be uncomfortable “vacationing” with other people, but I’m pretty comfortable with these folks.

One afternoon, after we had exhausted all the normal tourist activities, we settled in at an outdoor bar on the main square and commenced drinking. We were having a grand time, just people watching, talking, and laughing. [Read more…]

11 Tips for handling the chaos of kids as an introverted HSP

HSP parentingFor Highly Sensitive People–particularly introverts–the concept of parenting may elicit feelings of anxiety and overwhelm in addition to the standard emotion of joy. There is an extra layer of challenge due to the ease with which HSPs become overstimulated and overwhelmed—a situation that occurs naturally because kids have energy and curiosity.

For introverted HSP parents, having peaceful moments in which to reenergize is as crucial as water and air. I know the ridiculously large amounts of quiet alone time I require, and I wonder how introverted, easily-overstimulated parents can handle it. [Read more…]

Nice people make me cry

SOS (1)I’ve always struggled with getting emotional when people are unexpectedly or extraordinarily nice–when a stranger goes out of their way to do something nice for me or someone else.

It can be embarrassing to tear up when these things happen.

Look, I don’t mean I cry when someone holds open a door for me. It has to be more than that. Here’s a recent example. [Read more…]

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…]