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Protected: Got any advice?

I've had a big change in my life recently. For the past couple years, I've worked for myself from home. But I recently started a "normal" job. Yes, in an office. Can you believe it?! I can't either. I was so afraid to give up my self-employment, but the opportunity...

This Freaking Nectarine: An Ode to Fruit

It boggles my mind that anything can taste this incredible. This freaking nectarine is so perfectly sweet, tangy, and juicy that it makes my eyes roll back in my head. Even as it just sat there in my fruit bowl, it gave off a heady fragrance that made me think of...

Mother’s Day Gifts for Highly Sensitive People and Introverts

Mother's Day is coming up soon--it's on May 14th this year! Have you found a gift for the mother in your life? This list shows gifts ideal for a highly sensitive and/or introverted mom. (Note: Introverts and HSPs are not the same thing. All introverts are not HSPs,...

The Joy of Spending Time in Your Own World

Spending time alone in silence is the gentle reminder of the company we do have. It gives time for reflections, thoughts and memories to unfold. It allows you to understand yourself in more depth and invites you to discover what makes you happy–truly happy.

How to deal with houseguests

There are times when you might find yourself with friends or family staying under your roof. Depending on the situation, you might be excited and happy about this--and a bit stressed out. Look, it's not normal to spend 24 hours a day with someone. Ok, maybe your...

Gift Guide for Highly Sensitive People & Introverts 2017

Are you looking for a gift for an introverted, highly sensitive friend, co-worker, or family member? Then this list is for you. Featured are presents for people who are overwhelmed by social and environment stimuli, are empathic, sensitive to beauty, and cherish privacy and peacefulness. (And don’t forget to treat yourself!)

The appreciation of stones & rocks

I went to a farmers market in a small town in North Carolina recently. It was a nice little market, but one particular stall caught my eye. It was an older gentleman selling rocks. He had a handout on suiseki, which is the appreciation of small, naturally occurring...

How has the knowledge I’m a Highly Sensitive Person changed me?

Since learning about HSPs a few years ago, I’ve come a long way. In this post, I’m sharing with you some of the main things I’ve come to realize. Maybe this will open the door for your own realizations about how knowledge of high sensitivity has affected you, too.

Social anxiety? Here are 3 counter-intuitive tips to beat it.

Do you have social anxiety? Not all HSPs have it, but many do. This guest post is by Katrina Razavi, communication coach and founder of CommunicationforNerds.com. Here, she shares 3 specific actions to begin making a change in your social life, including: Why you...

Perfection in Nature: Let’s Talk about “Beauty Threshold”

I moved to Southern California from the East Coast a few years ago. One thing I've noticed here is that there are so many flowers, and they are so beautiful. I'm not even a person who is "into" flowers, really. Many times when I am out for a walk, I see a stray flower...

Join me in the Thank You Card Challenge

Two years ago, I stumbled upon an item called "A Year of Gratitude" from a retailer called Uncommon Goods. And I haven't been able to stop thinking about it ever since. Here it is: It consists of 52 stylish Thank You cards, envelopes, and a small journal. The idea is...

Gift Guide for Highly Sensitive People & Introverts 2016

Are you struggling to find a gift for an introverted, highly sensitive friend, spouse, co-worker, or family member? Then this list is for you. Featured here are presents for people who are overwhelmed by social and environment stimuli, are empathic, sensitive to...

HSP and Autism, Asperger’s

The question is: Is being autistic (or having Asperger’s syndrome) related to being a Highly Sensitive Person?
The answer is no, according to Dr. Elaine Aron.

One step forward….one step back.

Journalists and writers seemingly can't help themselves. When they write an article about Highly Sensitive People, they just can't stop themselves from sticking in pejorative, judgmental language. Sometimes it's so minor that it's hard to perceive, but it's almost...

Sensory Deprivation: Try a float session!

Have you ever heard of floating? In the therapeutic, spa-sense? A float session consists of lying naked (or in a swimsuit) in an individual tank of warm water that is super-saturated with Epsom salts. The door of the tank can be closed so you are in complete darkness...

Taking breaks in group vacations

A 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,...

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

For 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...

Nice people make me cry

When a stranger does something unexpectedly nice, does it make you emotional? Here’s my story about an empathic insurance agent who almost made me cry.

Pushing buttons: dealing with people who antagonize you

I’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...

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. 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...

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...

The 2014-15 Gift Guide for Highly Sensitive People & Introverts

>>See the NEW 2016-17 list here<< 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...

What we can learn from Bjork about HSP confidence

I 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...

The superpower of smell

A 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...

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

"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. The...

Visceral Reactions to Blood & Guts

The 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...

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…heard of it?

Lately, I have been hearing about cognitive behavioral therapy all over the place. From a close friend, HSPs who've emailed me to talk about it, in blog posts, and more. A friend told me in detail about her experience in cognitive therapy sessions, and I was...

It takes me forever to do anything

I'm not fast. I'm not quick at doing most things. However, I am deliberate and accurate. One example of this is cooking. Even if I have one of those "20 minute meal" type recipes, it's going to take me over an hour. I will wash, peel, slice, chop, and do every single...

“Freedom” isn’t a Goal

I spent the better (worse?) part of nearly ten years working in a cubicle. To put it gently...I didn't like it. I wanted to escape from working in a cubicle in an office. I wanted to work for myself, from home (or wherever I wanted). I wanted FREEDOM and AUTONOMY. I...

Some jokes aren’t funny

Are there pranks you don't find funny? Are you offended by jokes that other people aren't offended by? It's frequently debated in pop culture whether certain controversial topics are ok to joke about. Rape, pedophilia, and racial violence are frequently among these...

High Sensitivity vs. Sensory Processing Disorder

How is Sensory Processing Disorder related or unrelated to high sensitivity? In some ways they are very different, but in others, there appears to be some overlap. First of all, Sensory Processing Disorder is a disorder, and high sensitivity isn't. Sensory Processing...

Eating outside is overrated

It gets really hot in New York in the summer. 90 degrees isn't unusual. When I lived and worked in Westchester County, just outside NYC, my coworkers always seemed to want to eat lunch in the courtyard outside our workplace. Even when it was like 90 degrees and humid....

Extrovert Highly Sensitive People

Extroverted Highly Sensitive People can walk a tightrope between desiring social interactions and overwhelm. Learn how extroverted HSPs cope & thrive!

Empathy & Regret at a Spicy Wing Eating Contest

Jim and I went to an event a few days ago that was holding a spicy wing eating contest. I was immediately excited because Jim never thinks anything is spicy. I've only seen him unable to eat something spicy once in all the years I've known him. (It was a ghost pepper...

Being extra-observant helps with some random things

Highly Sensitive People are often extremely observant to details. Today I was thinking about how this manifests itself in some small, quite unimportant ways. Here are some things I think I'm good at because I am observant to details: Recognizing languages visually. I...

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...

HSPs Need Creative Outlets!

A 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...

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. 1. Of course, it is sad that a dog was abandoned. 2. The...

The importance of kindred spirits

The 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,...

Do you use high sensitivity as a 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...

7 tips to cope with the challenges of high sensitivity

Have 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...

The Importance of Caring Less at Your Office Job

Stress from a job can sometimes be alleviated by doing one thing: caring less. This might be easier said than done for a Highly Sensitive Person, who just cares *so* much about everything.

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

mini-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,...

Anticipatory Grief

Anticipatory 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 extremely intense.

Aging, Inevitability, and the Loss of Uniqueness

When I was a young kid, I remember wondering why women on TV and in movies would make jokes about lying about their age or not wanting to admit their age. I thought it was so stupid; who cares how old you are? I completely, totally did not comprehend why it was a bad...

Empathy toward other people’s loss

Us HSPs pick up on the emotions of others, including pain and sadness. It can stay with us and bother us more than others. There are tons of examples I could talk about, but one popped into my head the other day. It was something I haven't really thought about in...

Weather Affects My Mood

I grew up in Michigan then lived in New York, where winters are freezing and snowy and summers are hot and humid. Now I live in San Diego, in Southern California, which has arguably the best weather in the country. There aren't discernible seasons: it's nice...

Compassion Fatigue

I read about the recent suicide of well-known and respected animal behaviorist Sophia Yin with a heavy, heavy heart. I became familiar with her as I threw myself into the world of dog ownership and training several months ago. A thoughtful piece about her in...

The most meaningful book I’ve read

About ten years ago, I read a book that I think about more than any other I've read. It was The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera--a popular book to read in your college years. Oddly enough, I've only read it once. It's not the kind of book you can simply...

HSP vs. Non-HSP: The Challah Debacle

Here’s an incident–involving challah bread–that nicely illustrates the difference between a highly sensitive person and someone without the trait.

Be less sensitive? How to calm down when you are obsessing

A comment on the blog today asked, "How can I be less sensitive to things?" It might not be possible to be less sensitive, but you can change your reactions to things. I'd like to share a tactic that has helped me. Try to "catch" yourself when you find yourself...

Let’s “get some drinks”

After going to a party, a group dinner, or hanging out with people, extraverts will often say: Where are we going next?  It reminds me of something my super-extravert husband does that drives me up the wall. We'll have a lovely dinner with friends, and we've paid the...

Incontinuities and Illogicalities Ruin Movies & TV

I was watching Big Bang Theory today. In the episode, Leonard was being sent on a trip to Switzerland to observe the Hadron Collider. The entire episode was about Sheldon trying to convince Leonard to take him on the trip instead of Penny, since it had been...

I Hate Scary Horror Movies

I’m sensitive to horror movies and violence because it stays with me a long time. So I avoid this type of entertainment. I hate scary movies!

How to Explain Being an HSP to Your Partner

When I first learned about what it meant to be an HSP and an introvert, it was life changing. But I had to find a way to explain it to the person who has to deal with me the most, my partner. How could I explain that there’s nothing wrong with me, but that I’m just different, and my desires and needs are just as valid as a non-HSPs?

I’m not lazy…HSPs just need more sleep.

Oh, sweet, sweet, sleep. Dr. Elaine Aron recommends that HSPs "spend 8-10 hours in bed each day, sleeping or not." (source) I totally agree! I love my sleep. "Getting enough sleep" is never a question for me. It is essential. I love feeling comfortable and clean and...

Shower time: I Hate Feeling Dirty

I know I run the risk of sounding too damn negative all the time -- "I hate this", "I can't stand that" -- but these are truly the phrases people search for that lead them here. I could write a catchier title, but then how would people find us, and discover they...

Responding to Haters, Yet Again

A friend posted a link to my new podcast on her Facebook wall and someone had some not-so-nice things to say. Here's some of it: I think someone 'realizing' they are highly sensitive is about the worst thing that could happen to them.  It's the emotional equivalent of...

Robin Williams, Suicide, and Depression

I was shocked and saddened when I heard that Robin Williams ended his life, as I'm sure we all were. I wasn't an especially huge fan of his, but I liked the guy. He's been around my entire life. I remember watching Mork and Mindy as a kid. To hear that someone ended...

Emotional cutting: reading things that make me sad

A couple months ago, I fostered a dog and ended up adopting her. It was my first experience ever caring for a pet. It was like a whole new world for me, and I found myself reading tons of online articles about dogs and watching YouTube videos on training, grooming,...

How did being an introvert or HSP affect you as a kid?

When you look back at your life, what little memories can you recall where you were made to feel guilty, inadequate, dumb, or unsuccessful about being introverted or highly sensitive? As a child, I remember being told to "speak up", "participate more", "go play with...

Bad news: we can’t change the world to fit our needs

Learning about introversion and high sensitivity has helped me accept myself so much more. And since then, I've tried to build my life in a way where I can avoid situations that stress me out and upset me. I attend fewer social events (and I don't beat myself up about...

Fearing (Other Peoples’) Death

Downer Time!! I think you can tell from the title that this isn't going to be a bright and sunny post. So...I have been very fortunate in my life thus far that I have not lost anyone close to me. But I know that someday that will change. And that scares me so much. I...

Parties

I thought I was better at parties. My husband and I have a number of "couple friends", i.e., other couples who are our friends. We've known them for years, we hang out regularly, and I enjoy spending time with them. Whenever we went to parties, inevitably, some of...

World Cup: I have so much empathy for sport disappointments

I watched the Brazil v. Chile game yesterday, which ended in penalty kicks. It was down to one guy--if he MISSED the goal, Chile lost and was out of the tournament. If you start watching at 7:00, you can see it here. Watching this made me so sad for the guy that I had...

Anger is an emotion, too

With all this talk about how us HSPs feel emotions so deeply, I'm reminded that not all these emotions are sanguine. I had a run-in with anger the other day. Sigh. I don't want to admit what I'm about to admit, because, of course, in retrospect, it sounds so stupid...

How Can I Meet Other Highly Sensitive People?

I'm glad you asked! Now that you know you're a Highly Sensitive Person, wouldn't it be great to meet other people like you? Who also hated small talk? Who didn't want to hang out at a noisy bar all night? Who were conscientious and good listeners? So, how does one...

Interview: “My Partner is a Highly Sensitive Person”

Has your spouse, partner, or friend told you that they are a Highly Sensitive Person? What are you supposed to do with that information? What does it mean to be a HSP? And what does it mean for you, as their loved one? I've interviewed three people whose partners are...

How cool would a fitness gym for HSPs and introverts be?!

The Social Anxiety / Shyness / Introvert / HSP Gym has dividers between every treadmill, every stationary bike, and every weight bench--kind of like cubicles. There is an indicator light above each machine area to let you know if it's occupied. The gym has an app...

Why do we equate “sensitive” with “weak”?

Why do so many of us think that being "sensitive" means you are "weak"? Sensitive is supposed to mean “quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences.” That doesn't sound weak at all...it sounds observant! It sounds like someone I want to be...

Headphones are the New Wall: Everyone Hates Open Office Plans

My first taste of an open office plan took me by surprise. Several years ago, I was on the first day of a new job, and was led into an office meant for one person. In that office were three desks, one each for me and my two officemates. I looked around, incredulous. I...

I Hate Talking on the Phone

File this under "social anxiety." The other day, a friend rang me. I saw her name pop up on my phone. I like this friend a lot, but I HATE talking on the phone. I audibly groaned and felt guilty as I stared at the ringing phone and decided to ignore the call....

I Can’t Shop When People are Waiting for Me

I've never been able to shop with other people. Especially when someone is waiting for me. Just the idea of it sounds awful. There have been times when my husband and I are at the mall, and I need to buy something, and he's in a generous mood and tells me to "take my...

Having “plans” weighs on me all day

If I have one thing to do in a day, it weighs on me all day long. Even if it’s something enjoyable. There will be a kernel of anxiety in my brain all day, until the event happens.

Do Some Sounds Fill You With Rage? Maybe It’s Misophonia

Are there certain sounds that trigger extreme annoyance and anger in you? It could be chewing, footsteps, sniffling, throat clearing, keyboard clicking, crinkly food wrappers, smacking lips, the sound of the letter "P", slurping, or, really, anything. If this sounds...

A Rant Against Job Interviews (Plus, 3 interview tips anyway)

I think it’s fair to say that most people dislike job interviews. And for HSPs, they are extra super not-fun. My rant: Unless you are interviewing for a job where interviewing will be your function, then being judged by your performance in an interview doesn't make...

Highly Sensitive Person Travel Survival Kit

I enjoy traveling, but it isn't without its challenges as an HSP. Here are a list of the essentials (and, well, not-so-essentials) that will help make your trip much more comfortable and enjoyable. Sleep Mask: Block out any offending light sources when you are trying...

The difference Between Introverts and Highly Sensitive People?

Introversion and high sensitivity often get lumped together. It's estimated that 70% of HSPs are introverts (source), so I can see how it is easy to get them confused. If you aren't sure of the difference, hopefully this post will help make things a bit clearer....

Remembering the dreaded “Class Participation”

Going through old boxes of stuff at my parents' house, I found this progress report from a religion class I attended in first grade, when I was about 6 years old. Classic!!! Check it out--I've got perfect marks on everything, except a C in "oral participation." In the...

Follow-Up: My First Experience Taking Care of a Dog

I recently wrote a post where I wondered if I would be able to handle having a dog. I grew up in a house where my dad hated pets, so we never had one. He thought they were dirty and annoying. So I grew up thinking the same thing. I didn't like when dogs got near me....

Brainstorming without talking: “Brainswarming”

Brainstorming is played out. Does anyone really use it as a way to solve problems anymore? It seems as out-of-touch as dial-up modems and AOL. There must be better ways to solve problems while harnessing the power of a bunch of brains at once, but how? Recent articles...

Airplane turbulence scares me so much

Something weird has happened to me over the past ten years or so. I’ve slowly gotten more and more scared of turbulence on airplanes. It’s now to the point where I’m barely fighting off a panic attack. When I was younger, I enjoyed turbulence. I would snicker when I...

Could I handle having a dog?

I've never owned or cared for a pet other than a goldfish. That's right: no cats, no dogs. My husband wants a dog. At first, I was 100% against the idea. Having a dog in my house sounded gross. It would track in dirt, of course. Anyone who has a dog has a dirty house,...

Worrying about Worrying: Anxiety Management

We've all heard about anger management--what about anxiety management? Now, not every highly sensitive person struggles with anxiety, but many of us do. Anger management teaches people how to understand and acknowledge their feelings and anger. Us anxious folks can...

Mental Self-Flagellation: When I Screw Up, No One is Madder than Me

I do freelance work. The person I work for assigns me tasks from her own clients. The other day, I completed a project for her and submitted an online proposal for one of her clients. About five minutes later, I realized I had made a huge, huge mistake. I submitted...

All the Battles I Fought When I Worked in a Cubicle

Bright lights. A painful chair. Odors. Lack of privacy, quiet, and control. That’s office life. As an HSP, I’m highly tuned in to my environment and lots of little things become big things since I can’t stop obsessing over them.

HSPs and Depression

Is there a connection between being a highly sensitive person and depression? According to Dr. Elaine Aron's research: Yes and No; it depends. To super-simplify: If an HSP grew up in a non-supportive environment, they are more likely to be depressed. If an HSP grew up...

The Friendly Face Syndrome

This is going to be weird. So, remember Hugo Chávez? The former dictator of Venezuela who died last year? He, you know, sort of hated the U.S. I realize this is a big generalization, but you know what I mean. In general, he was not a friend of my country. Well, I had...

Enjoy Parties for the First Time Ever: Take Two Cars!

I like parties, but I like them under my terms! I am an introvert, and after a certain amount of time around people, I run out of energy and get cranky and want to go home and be alone. Yadda yadda yadda. You know all this stuff already. But, my husband is an...

We HSPs–we appreciate the small things.

It's Christmas Eve, and I'm working in a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I order a hot cocoa, and after a few minutes, the barista--who is working alone--brings it to my table, very carefully sets it down, and rotates it so the heart shape is facing just the right...

“I Hate Sensitive People”

I discovered that some people were finding my blog by searching for the phrase, "I hate sensitive people." Hi there, you!!!! I used to dislike sensitive people, too. When I was younger, I thought showing sensitivity was a weakness. I wanted to be tough. Being tough is...

Gifts for Introverts and HSPs (Highly Sensitive People)

See the updated 2015-16 gift guide here! Are you struggling to find a gift for an introverted, highly sensitive friend, spouse, co-worker, or family member? Then this list is for you. Featured here are practical presents for those of us who are overwhelmed by social...

How to Travel the World Long-Term When You’re Highly Sensitive

Are you easily overwhelmed by noise, crowds, bright lights, and bad smells? Are you jumpy and tend to worry a lot? If you are like me, and are biologically wired to be sensitive to your environment, then little things may tend to bother you more than the “average”...

The right to silence trumps the right to noise

I remember the time when I heard someone playing music in their cubicle. It was several cubes away, but I could still faintly hear it. I worked in a cube farm, as it is so affectionately called. Dozens and dozens of cubicles all next to each other in a giant room. I...

Feeling the Physical Pain of Others

Today, my husband Jim was in a motorbike accident. I think that if you ride a scooter long enough in Thailand, you will get in an accident. I was working in a cafe when Jim showed up and sat at my table. I was wasn't expecting him, since he was out getting info on...

Decision-Free Living

Decision-free living. Did that phrase give you goosebumps? It did for me. Do you realize how much of your energy and power that decision-making takes from you over the course of a day? Let's look at how HSPs approach decision making. We thoroughly examine (and...

Find a Work-Around for Your Fear

Amy over at Nomadtopia is spending a few weeks in Bali and has discovered lots of menacing stray dogs hanging out near her apartment. She found herself feeling fearful and stressed about having to walk by and encounter these scary canines. Her anxiety would rise...

I Tear Up at Performance Reviews at Work

I've never admitted this to anyone before, but every time I've had a performance review at work, my eyes fill with tears. Hold up. You are probably thinking it's due to nerves or fear. But I don't think that's it. When you step into your boss's office and close the...

Don’t Stand Over Me While I’m Working

HSPs generally perform poorly when being watched, and yeah, I can totally confirm this. One of my old bosses would sometimes stand right over me and watch me while I did things on the computer. It was so insufferable that I called him out on it. I probably said...

My Goal is to Take Down Bright Lights in the Workplace

In all three of my previous office jobs, I had to be moved to a different spot in the office because I was bothered by the bright, fluorescent office lights. (In all three instances, this put me in a location in the building far away from the rest of my department....

Highly Sensitive Person Travel Tips

People who know me are sometimes surprised that I travel as much as I do, since I don't seem like the most laid-back person ever. Since little things tend to bother me more than the average person, you'd think independent travel would be more difficult than it is for...

Sensitive to Physical Violence: Boxing’s Not For Me

I recently went to a Muay Thai fight in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I've never seen boxing or fighting in real life before. I was looking forward to an interesting night. I know I am sensitive to violence in movies, so I wondered if seeing people hit each other would bother...

Intense feelings upon seeing beggars or the homeless

I've been traveling a lot lately, and I've seen people all over the world who are begging on the street or homeless. In Thailand, especially, we've seen people missing limbs and with severe physical disfigurement. In Bangkok, we saw a woman sitting on the street,...

The Worst Places on Earth for HSPs

Overstimulation. Noise, chaos, bright lights, smells, crowds. These are the highly sensitive person's kryptonite. There are some places that have overstimulation in spades, and it's best you avoid them if you don't want to ruin your day. Here's my list of the WORST...

Finding the “stasis of peace”

I'm learning every day how to better manage my needs as a person with high sensitivity and introversion. Like I always say, folks, it's about acknowledging, accepting, and adjusting! I do feel frustrated and even mad at myself sometimes because I have to do so many...

Karaoke Bar Neighbors? Ruh-roh.

Yesterday, my husband and I booked an apartment for a month in Chiang Mai, a city in Northern Thailand. My goal while being here is to pretty much work on my laptop all day, so we aren't really here for sightseeing. So....we spent most of the day riding around on a...

Why I’d rather just sit and listen

"I don't know what to talk to people about. I'm okay with just sitting there and listening to others. Then if I try to interject, people shut me out, like I don't exist (depending on the people.) So, It's best to just sit quietly." I got this paragraph in an email...

Coffee is my Kryptonite: Caffeine Effects & Sensitivity

As I type this, I am sitting in a cafe, sipping a decaf mocha, as the hipster baristas roll their eyes at my lameness. I am ridiculously sensitive to caffeine. Having one cup of coffee can make me feel terrible for hours and hours. But, like sunburns, I seem to forget...

Why am I so easily distracted at work?

Sometimes I am amazed that for a somewhat intelligent person, I have such a hard time staying focused on my work. Isn't that a sign of being weak-minded or incompetent? Nope, good news! I can blame it on HSP! 🙂 A recent article by HSP expert Peter...

TV Characters that have HSP Traits: Sheldon Cooper

In the video below, Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory explains in detail why he must sit in a specific seat in his living room. Quote: "In the winter, that seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, but not so close to cause perspiration. In this summer, it's...

Sudden Noises Really Make Me Jump

A bus screeched to a stop in front of me as I waited to cross the street. I grimaced and instinctively covered my ears. It literally HURT my ears.

How to tell if you work with a Highly Sensitive Person

This great article by HSP expert Elaine Aron explains how to identify HSPs in the workplace. I wish some of my former managers had been this forward-thinking! She recommends using the acronym DOES to sniff out an HSP. Check it out: Depth of processing. Does this...

Deadlines, Schedules, and Commitment Stress Me Out

Yesterday I was talking to my mom on the phone and she described a super-HSP moment. She was a regular during the drop-in times at the local tennis club. One day, the club announced that instead of just showing up to play (the definition of "drop-in"), members had to...

You Might be a Highly Sensitive Person if…

You can't sleep because you hear a clock ticking in the other room. You can't sleep because there is a tiny sliver of light coming in from between the curtains. You can't sleep because you can't stop thinking about something someone said to you that day. You can smell...

Why Don’t People Know When to be Quiet?

So I'm working on my laptop in a huge public library. It's a giant room filled with 4-seater tables filled with people on laptops or studying. I was the only one at my table when three people came and sat down. No big deal. It became apparent that two of the people...

Second-Guessing Decisions

Do you have a hard time making decisions? HSPs are cautious decision-makers who weigh every piece of information before making a choice.

Working at Night = Complete Control

I've always thought of myself as a "night" person. Not because I like to party, but because I like staying up late after everyone else in my house is asleep. Last night, when I was typing away at 2am, I realized why I'm a night owl. Because late at night is the only...

The Day “I lost it” because I was overstimulated

This is a hard story for me to tell. I am embarrassed and ashamed of it. It's the one time in my life that I've had an outburst and lost my cool in public. I was hanging out with my husband and a group of 6+ friends. We were all sitting around a large outdoor table at...

Why People with Anxiety Shouldn’t Join a CSA

A local farm just added my workplace as a new drop off location for their CSA. I was so excited to be a part of it--to get regular shipments of organic, fresh produce, to try new vegetables, and basically be forced to eat new foods and be healthier. This was just what...

Understanding your HSP Partner (for non-HSPs)

Are you are in a relationship with someone who has Highly Sensitive Person traits? Here are some commonly asked questions to help you learn about HSP: Aren’t “sensitive” people drama queens and crybabies? Step 1 of understanding HSPs is adjusting your personal...

Emma Watson has an Introvert Revelation

This recent quote I read from Emma Watson makes me like her a whole lot. "Have you seen Quiet by Susan Cain? ... It discusses how [extroverts] in our society are bigged up so much, and if you’re anything other than an [extrovert] you’re made to think there’s something...