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.

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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!

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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:

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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

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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…]

High sensitivity isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed

suffer from left handedness_newsm“If you suffer from HSP…” 

I saw this in a tweet the other day.

It made me wince.

HSP is not something you suffer from.

That’s like saying you “suffer” from being left-handed.

It’s not something that needs to be cured or fixed. It’s not something to be pitied. [Read more…]

Visceral Reactions to Blood & Guts

gutsThe other day, I started rambling to my long-suffering husband about childhood stories. I was talking about how blood, flesh, and dead creatures have always grossed me out in a big way. It seemed to me this could be related to being highly sensitive. If not, then hopefully it’s at least entertaining.

Story Time!

When I was in 5th grade, we were shown a cow lung in class. The entire class crowded around a long table as the teacher showed air expanding the lungs. I remember thinking it was interesting.

Someone looked at me and said, “Are you ok? You are white as a ghost.” [Read more…]

Response to the Wall Street Journal article, “Do You Cry Easily? You May Be a Highly Sensitive Person”

wsj 2A few days ago, an article was published in the WSJ titled, “Do You Cry Easily? You May Be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person.'”

The subtitle: “HSPs can respond more intensely to sounds or crowds; ‘I keep tissues handy at all times.'”

It was accompanied by a photo of a movie theatre full of crying people.

Now, I am thrilled that a major publication is writing about high sensitivity, but the title and subtitle may hurt the cause rather than help.

In this post, I discuss my thoughts on the WSJ article, particularly the aspects I found disappointing. [Read more…]