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 schedule themselves for drop-in time.
As soon as this was announced, my mom instantly felt turned off. What she liked about drop-in tennis was that the decision to go was up to her. There was no obligation–even though she ended up going almost every week. She didn’t have to answer to anyone if she didn’t show. No commitment, no pressure. And now that she felt she had to commit, she didn’t want to.
As she explained this to me on the phone, I couldn’t help but chuckle, because I completely understood what she was coming from as an HSP.
I think this is also why I dislike working in a traditional office environment. At one job, I had to log in and log out of a computer when I took lunch, so my lunch times could be tabulated. I couldn’t stand feeling like every minute of my day was being counted. For example, if I took an extra 10 minutes of lunch time, why couldn’t I just stay 10 minutes longer at the end of the day? Being held to such a strict schedule made me feel trapped and controlled.
Consider about what we know about HSPs. We don’t like feeling controlled, we don’t like having too much to do, and we don’t like feeling overwhelmed. When I have something to do on my schedule, I can’t stop thinking about it all day. Even if it’s just one thing, I base my whole day on it. And having MORE than one thing scheduled in a day? I instantly feel my stress rise.
Having a clear day with nothing to do feels like a dream. No stress, no obligations, and I can make my own decisions. Ahhhh.
It just clicked after reading your blog several other articles that I am a hsp and that there are others like me! I am trying to figure out what to major in for my masters and it has been so draining trying to make a commitment. And when I try to talk to others, they don’t really understand. Any advice on how to calm the storm of indecision so that I can feel more comfortable making a choice? Thank you so so much for this resource!
Wow, what a great question! I’m glad the blog has been helpful. 🙂 I’ve written a couple posts about decisions and commitment but none really answer your question. I am going to do some research and see if I can find some resources for you. I struggle big time with commitment (I hate signing rental agreements/mortgages, buying a car, deciding whether to get a dog or have kids, etc.) so I can imagine how difficult it is to decide on a major for your masters. I’m sorry no one around you seems to understand the difficulty–we are here for you!! 🙂
Hello Kelly! I found your blog by mistake and by mistake, I found out that I am an HSP… All my life I knew that I was and I am different, after I read few articles in here and found myself in each one of them I understood my condition. I do not remember that they teach me in school about this… If I am looking at my past life, I can see myself in different situation and the answer that my family or teachers gave me all the time was simple… “You are too shy, introvert and to sensible”! I have many problems about commitment and I lost many relationship because I did not know how and what to choose at one point in time. Sometimes I found myself in `no way out` situations and I am thinking all day long about the next decision I will take.
Is funny because I am used to apologise for my English all the time but this, night is different, I discovered that I am not crazy and I am not alone and if I’m thinking my mum have HSP to. Besides my college assignments, I think this is the first time that I wrote such a long text in English. I am happy because reading your articles open a new world for me, and I will try my best to not let this condition to put me down.
Thank you very much indeed!!
Wow, thanks Cosmin! I think your English is just fine. Thank you so much for sharing and it makes me so happy that you could relate to the site. You are definitely not crazy or alone!!! Welcome to the world of HSPs!! 🙂
I love your blog. I am an extroverted HSP and his has been so challenging my entire life. Being a 51 year old orphan has really made me stock of my future and my personal well being. It’s nice to know that there are a lot more like me out there.
Amazing how this relates to me!
My biggest problem: I also force myself into making commitments and then sort of rebel angainst myself like a teenager. That’s why I wasn’t able to stick to a hobby or to vegetarianism. The minute I thought “I am vegetarian” or “I am vegan” I stopped. Too much pressure!!
But how can I stop that since it is holding me back from so much good stuff??
I wish I knew. I’m not great with willpower. :/
I know this problem. It helps me not to force myself. I am not good at making plans, shedules and force myself. I think pressure and willpower is the wrong way for hsp.
I really like this:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Maybe it would help, if you change your thoughts. Try something like “I really like vegan food. May be I eat some today”. Or “playing the piano seems to be cool. I just try it.”
Thanks for this great quote!!