Posts about Emotion

The appreciation of stones & rocks

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...
Join me in the Thank You Card Challenge

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...
Ep. 54: Crying

Ep. 54: Crying

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/54._Crying.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSHSPs cry easily. HSPs cry all the time. In this episode, I talk about my problem with the statements like the ones...
Nice people make me cry

Nice people make me cry

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...
Podcast Ep. #48: Condolences

Podcast Ep. #48: Condolences

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/48._condolences.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSYou’d think as an HSP that I’d be good at knowing what to say when someone I care about, a friend or family...

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...
What we can learn from Bjork about HSP confidence

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...
Visceral Reactions to Blood & Guts

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...
Podcast #42: Kelly Gets Profound

Podcast #42: Kelly Gets Profound

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/42._Kelly_Gets_Profound.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSWhat if we HSPs could fully allow and embrace our strongest emotions? Our reactions to beauty in nature...
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…heard of it?

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...
Nice Nurse: The Importance of Compassionate Care

Nice Nurse: The Importance of Compassionate Care

Imagine riding in a car with your friends, and everything goes black. The next thing you know, you are lying somewhere, but you can’t see. You’re in indescribable pain. You can’t speak. You can’t move your head. Then you feel a soft touch on your hand and arm, and a...
HSP Podcast Episode 37: Self-Criticism

HSP Podcast Episode 37: Self-Criticism

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/37._Self-criticism.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS My new book is out on Amazon: A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life: stories & tips for those who...
Podcast Episode 35: Being offended by “jokes”

Podcast Episode 35: Being offended by “jokes”

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/35._Not_all_jokes_are_funny.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSHave you ever been told: “Learn to take a joke.” “Why are you so serious?”...
Some jokes aren’t funny

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...
HSP Podcast #32: Compassionate Care

HSP Podcast #32: Compassionate Care

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/32._Compassionate_Care.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS Imagine riding in a car with your friends, and everything goes black. The next thing you know, you are...
Empathy & Regret at a Spicy Wing Eating Contest

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...
Empathy Pang: The sharpei and his suitcase

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 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?

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...
HSP Podcast #22: Emotional Cutting

HSP Podcast #22: Emotional Cutting

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/22._Emotional_Cutting.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSEmotional cutting is reading or watching things that hurt us emotionally…but we keeping doing them...
HSP Podcast Episode 20: Anticipatory Grief

HSP Podcast Episode 20: Anticipatory Grief

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/20._Anticipatory_Grief.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSAnticipatory grief is a grief reaction that occurs before an impending loss, typically, the death of...
Anticipatory Grief

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

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

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...
Weather Affects My Mood

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...
HSP Podcast #14: So. Much. Empathy.

HSP Podcast #14: So. Much. Empathy.

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/14-_So._Much._Empathy..mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSEpisode 14 of the Highly Sensitive Person Podcast is about empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another...
Compassion Fatigue

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

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...
HSP Podcast Episode 12: Beauty in Nature & Art

HSP Podcast Episode 12: Beauty in Nature & Art

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/HSP_ep12_beauty.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSHighly sensitive people are often deeply moved by beauty in art and nature. This is a pretty cool aspect of being an HSP. In Episode 12 of the...
HSP Podcast 11: I Hate Being Highly Sensitive

HSP Podcast 11: I Hate Being Highly Sensitive

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/HSP_ep11_hate.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSWhy can’t I ever be happy with the way things are? Why do little things bother me? Why do I complain so much? Why can’t I be normal?...
HSP Podcast Episode 9: Scary Horror Movies? NOPE

HSP Podcast Episode 9: Scary Horror Movies? NOPE

http://media.blubrry.com/hsp/p/traffic.libsyn.com/highlysensitiveperson/HSP_ep9_scary_movies.mp3Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSI am highly sensitive to violence and horror. I learned early in life that I don’t want anything to do with scary movies. Friends...
I Never Watch Horror Movies

I Never Watch Horror Movies

When I was a kid, my parents didn’t let me watch R-rated movies. So, of course, that meant I really wanted to watch R-rated movies. I remember going to a friend’s house for a sleepover, maybe in middle school. All us girls sat in the living room and...
Robin Williams, Suicide, and Depression

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...
Emotional cutting: reading things that make me sad

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,...

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...

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

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

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...
Worrying about Worrying: Anxiety Management

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...
HSPs and Depression

HSPs and Depression

Is there a connection between depression and being highly sensitive? 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 in...
Overwhelmed by Beauty

Overwhelmed by Beauty

Check this out. I learned about something called Stendhal Syndrome today. It’s “a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is...
We HSPs–we appreciate the small things.

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...
“I Hate Sensitive People”

“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....

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...
Decision-Free Living

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...
I Tear Up at Performance Reviews at Work

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...

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...

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...
Sorry if This is a Bit Dark: Hating my Sensitivity

Sorry if This is a Bit Dark: Hating my Sensitivity

Warning: This is a bit dark. I hate that I’m highly sensitive. I wish I was normal. I wish I wasn’t bothered by so many small things. I wish I could just be happy instead of always wishing things were better. And these feelings make me angry at myself. Why...
Why I’d rather just sit and listen

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.”...

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...
The Day “I lost it” because I was overstimulated

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...

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...