Something happened a few days ago that I think nicely illustrates the difference between a highly sensitive person (me) and a non-HSP (my husband Jim).
Jim and I were invited to a Rosh Hashanah dinner at a friend’s house. She told us to bring two loaves of challah bread.
We went to the Jewish deli/bakery, asked for challah, and they told us there were three varieties. As neither of us is Jewish, we didn’t know which to get.
I paused, already starting to think through a bunch of stuff: should we just get the cheapest one, since we don’t know which one to get? Or since this is a special occasion, should we get the bigger one?
And before I could figure it out, Jim says, “That one.” He picks the least expensive one; it looks similar to a regular loaf of bread but bumpy on top.
Then the bakery person asks, “Do you want it sliced?”
So, again, I start the analysis. Getting it sliced would certainly make it more convenient to eat. But what if it’s not supposed to be sliced? Wouldn’t it be smarter to leave it as-is and let the host decide? I thought the point of challah was to tear it apart…
Jim: “Yeah, slice it, please.”
I turn to him and I’m kind of like, “Are you sure? What if it’s not supposed to be sliced?” But it was too late. (Plus, I was super enthralled with the cool slicing machine–it sliced the entire loaf all at once!)
As we are walking out, I start asking him all my questions. What if we made a mistake? My friend was cooking this big dinner for the holiday. I wasn’t sure how traditional vs. casual it would be. What if the bread was a big deal and we messed it up?
In the car, I google “challah” and “Rosh Hashanah dinner” and I find a site saying that the loaf is held up in the air, a blessing is said, then pieces are torn/cut from it. OH NO!! We ruined dinner!! How would you hold up a bunch of sliced bread?!
Jim’s response to all this? “They didn’t tell us to get a certain kind of challah bread, so they can’t be upset at us for getting the wrong one.”
My response to THAT? “You’re right, BUT…don’t we owe it to them to maybe do a tiny bit of research so we don’t mess up their holiday dinner that they worked so hard to prepare? They were nice enough to invite us…”
A few hours after going to the bakery is when it hit me–this is such an example of being highly sensitive! I’m being “conscientious” to a fault! I need to let it go. As soon as we left the bakery, Jim was done thinking about it and was on to the next thing! Yet I kept turning it over and over in my head all day, worrying if we did the right thing or would mess up my friend’s dinner.
I even texted and emailed two other Jewish people I knew to ask their advice. I was so worried!!! They both said it was probably ok. That made me feel better.
So that’s the story–HSP vs. non-HSP and sliced challah bread.
Ok, you want to know how dinner went, right? No one cared about the sliced bread. Someone commented that normally it was a round shape for the holiday, but that was it.
Great post! A practical and perfect snapshot, Kelly.
Very awesome!!! And very true!!! 🙂
That’s me… All day… Every day
This post made me laugh because I would have done exactly what you did! I have to say, life would be easier if I could follow Jim’s approach.
Thanks for sharing!
Haha! Totally! I wish I didn’t have to obsess over every little detail! A lot of times, it doesn’t do much good!
I feel you, I feel you! But your husband makes a point to remember in other contexts and situations too. Like, sometimes people just don’t give sufficient detail about the thing for you to know exactly how to carry something out, or in this case, how the bread is prepared.
So what ended up happening? What did your friends think of the bread? 😀
Hey there! At the very end of the post is the turn-out….the bread was fine. No one cared, although someone said usually it’s a different shape, but that was it!
I definitely agreed with his comment that since they didn’t tell us which kind to get, they couldn’t be mad at us for getting the wrong one! I overthought it.
Oh Kelly, this cracked me up – I do this kind of thing All. The. Time. and never thought to associate it with HSP-ness!!
I’m glad it was ok in the end – and a good lesson to try and let things go and not analyse every tiny detail, for me 🙂
“conscientious” to a fault!
Yes that’s me again. I think I’m being such a good and caring person and most of the time nobody cares or worse critisizes me for taking so long to make a decision. Jim had the right idea 🙂