Are you very polite?

Us HSPs not only have good manners, we often notice when other people’s don’t. If my husband and I are shopping and he asks an associate for help, then I don’t hear him say Thank You, I quietly hiss, “you didn’t say thank you!” (and then I feel bad about being annoying.)

thank you imageOne of my pet peeves is when I am telling a story and someone interrupts me, and then they don’t acknowledge the fact they interrupted me, or they keep talking and let my story remain unfinished. To me, that is incredibly rude and disrespectful. If I interrupt someone, I try to be careful to fix the situation. I’ll finish my thought and then say, “Sorry, I interrupted you–what were you saying?” or, “Please finish your story”, or, I will ask a specific question to show I was listening to their story and, in a small way, apologize for interrupting. [Read more…]

Creativity & You & Me

aron sm quoteA few years ago, never would I have used the word “creative” to describe myself.

Creative people were painters, sculptors, poets, architects, designers. That’s not me.

I grew up thinking that being creative or artistic was sort of a waste of time–creativity wasn’t practical or of real value. Creative people were dreamers. I wanted to be a person who got things done!

Of course, I eventually realized this was a dumb way to think.

[Read more…]

Empathy Pang: The sharpei and his suitcase

Did you see the story yesterday about the shar-pei dog that was abandoned at a train station in Scotland? Look at this:


This headline and photo do me in. Oh man, it hits me right in the heart.

For three reasons.

[Read more…]

The importance of kindred spirits

kindred spiritsThe first time I heard the phrase kindred spirit was from the popular Anne of Green Gables TV series from the mid-1980s, which was adapted from the L.M. Montgomery novels. The character of Anne Shirley used the term kindred spirits to talk about intimate friends, people with whom who she felt she could bare her soul. She held these people dear to her heart and was fiercely loyal to them.

Susan Cain, author of the introvert juggernaut book Quiet, used the phrase kindred spirits in an interview with Marie Forleo a while back. She said–in terms of networking events–that many people think success is walking away with a handful of business cards. For her, she is simply looking for one kindred spirit. There is usually at least one at every party or networking event. These are people with whom you connect and have chemistry. People you want to get to know stay in touch with.

We go through life, collecting kindred spirits–people we feel connected to in our heart.

This rings true for me. [Read more…]

Do you use high sensitivity as a crutch?

hsp crutch
I’ve mentioned several times about how my husband Jim has tried to understand my high sensitivity.

At first, he didn’t buy into the idea at all. Slowly, over time, I could tell he was accepting it more. He was able to observe, realtime, my visceral reactions to things that I’d told him about re: HSP. For example, if we were taking a walk and a big bus went by and its brakes did that insanely loud SCREEECH sound, my hands would fly up to cover my ears in pain. Previously, when I did this, he rolled his eyes and acted like I was being annoying. But now, he gets that I can’t help how my brain processes that noise. That’s just one (not great) example.

And now, sometimes he does something that I can tell is a clear effort to be accommodating to my more difficult issues. In those moments I have to smile and laugh a little, because it’s so sweet that he’s trying to help. It really touches me.

[Read more…]

7 tips for coping with the challenges of high sensitivity

hsp challengesHave you ever said to yourself:

I’m tired of being hurt and let down by other people. How can I be less sensitive?

Maybe you feel like you give a lot to other people but they don’t return your thoughtfulness. You care so much, but others don’t notice. You can’t trust many people because they will inevitably hurt you or let you down. Your empathy weighs heavily on you. It’s all so tiring. How can you deal?

Here are some strategies that may help.

[Read more…]

Wedding planning tips for HSPs & introverts

At your wedding and reception, you’ll likely be the center of attention among lots of people for many hours, which can be tiring and overwhelming for introverts.cupcake tower

And wedding planning means literally hundreds and hundreds of decisions, which can lead to overwhelm for an HSP.

Decisions like: who to invite, invitations, a color scheme, the caterer, the menu, gift registry, music, the bouquet, centerpieces, photographer, videographer, bartender, bridesmaids & groomsmen, hotel reservations, travel arrangements, the cake, dress, rings, vows, shoes, hair, makeup, nails, rehearsal dinner, seating arrangements, toasts, thank you letters. And the honeymoon.

Goodness gracious, I rattled off this list without really even thinking about it. Within every one of those things is another hundred smaller decisions. Ugh!

All these decisions may lead to one of two things for an HSP: Extreme stress or shutting down. [Read more…]

2014 Gift Guide for Highly Sensitive People & Introverts

gift guide 2014The holiday season is here, which means choosing 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…]

Turn the volume down. I can’t hear you.

monkeys hspmini-rant!

The other day, Jim & I were hanging out at our friends’ house, just chatting for hours. I enjoy that. It’s so much better than going to a bar to hang out. I’d rather be at someone’s house, where the environment is controlled and comfortable.

However, they had music playing in the background, so I had to put extra effort into hearing what anyone said. The music was the same volume level as our voices. [Read more…]

Anticipatory Grief

griefAnticipatory grief is a grief reaction that occurs before an impending loss, typically, the death of someone close to you. Anyone can experience it.

But for HSPs, anticipatory grief can be more than that.

I’ve mentioned before that I have not yet lost anyone very close to me in my lifetime. I know that some day it will happen, and I fear how I will react. I fear the pain I will experience then, because it will be so, so bad.

Now, to a non-HSP, or someone who doesn’t have anticipatory grief, this may sound silly. Why would I waste energy worrying about something I have no control over?

[Read more…]