• Articles & Tips

  • The HSP and Difficult People

    "The HSP and difficult people" is an important topic. Cross, crass, cranky, demanding, demeaning people…if you’re an HSP, these folks are hard to take. From around the Web, I’ve collected four great articles. They are worth printing out to keep handy. They weren’t written specifically for the highly sensitive person. Still, the problems described are ones we certainly encounter. Furthermore, the solutions offered are ones that fit our values.Health expert and wellness coach Susan Biali, M.D. reminds us not to judge a prickly person too quickly: I’ve learned[...]

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    HSPs and Research

    Why would HSPs care about research? Why should we care about HSPs and research? The short answer: when studies were done on "what everybody believed," some things turned out not to be true...especially about the highly sensitive person. Case in point: before you heard about Elaine Aron’s research on the highly sensitive person, did you know that…? … when raised in an enriched, supportive environment, those with this “differential susceptibility” are actually happier, healthier, and more socially skilled than others.  -Elaine Aron, Ph.D., Researchers find [...]

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    Plans, Goals, and Resolutions

    Happy New Year! This is a time of fresh promises to yourself and others. Maybe the best one is to first brush up on which  goals, plans, and resolutions are most likely to work. Here are valuable goal-setting tips for the highly sensitive person and for everyone. This is an excerpt from Pillars of a Balanced Life: An Introduction to Goal-Setting for the Highly Sensitive Person, a free four-week email mini-course.Understanding the time factor is a way to pull back the curtain on the future and better predict our level of satisfaction when we actually move into that future.[...]

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    Parenting Styles and the Highly Sensitive Child

    HSP researcher Elaine Aron, Ph.D. has offered invaluable advice for parents and teachers of the highly sensitive children. She explains how they can help the HSC learn without harming him or her. In this post we also look beyond that to parenting styles and the highly sensitive child plus how those styles help or harm almost all children. Never use harsh discipline on HSCs. They tend to be extremely rule-conscious and usually only require gentle, private reminders. For some, just knowing they made a mistake will reduce them to tears. If reprimanded, punished, or embarrassed, they are [...]

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    The Highly Sensitive Child

    Were you a highly sensitive child? Are you raising one now? Here are some dynamite resources for understanding your own sensitivity and for parenting your precious youngster. If you’ve only read a few articles and still feel defensive about your sensitivity, resolve to learn more about what your parents and teachers didn’t know and couldn’t always help you with. You may find your sensitivity is far more of an asset than you had realized. Some things are worth “studyin’ on” and this is one of them. Begin with either—or better both—of the [...]

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    Your HSP Super Powers

    In this article, you’ll learn more about your HSP super powers, the character strengths that many highly sensitive people share, and about how many of us are blind to our best qualities, plus a simple exercise that can change that. Pre-eminent HSP researcher Elaine Aron, Ph. D. identified these qualities as common in the authentic HSP: creativity, imagination, empathy, intuition, reflection, wisdom, vocation, idea generation, depth, and perceptiveness. Other authors have also highlighted focus, passion, commitment, engagement, critical thinking, independent thinking, the ability to [...]

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    Goals and the Chronically Ill

    Four previous posts on goal-setting offered steps to increase your odds of success in choosing and achieving your goals. If you are one of the 50% of Americans who have at least one chronic health condition, however, those suggestions may not have helped you as much as you might like. If you are healthy, the odds are that someone you know is struggling every day to accomplish tasks you take for granted. Dr. Elaine Aron’s research has found that highly sensitive persons “raised in a positive environment are healthier, happier, and more productive” than non-HSPs. [...]

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    An HSP Coach Looks at Blogging

    The marketing gurus say that stories are what people love, and that I should be chatty and charming and tell you lots about my life. This is not comfortable territory for me as an HSP coach or as an introvert, nor for many of the highly sensitive.  I’ve been an instructor for different kinds of classes for a couple of decades and have reservations about using a class or blog for personal stories from my own life or that of people I know. Here's why.That someone else owns their story until they give me permission to share it. Establishing personal connections is valuable. [...]

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    Visualize Balance in Your Life

    Ready to visualize balance in your life as part of HSP goal-setting? Too many HSPs settle for less in life because they don’t know what they are truly capable of, and there is no one in their life to help them discover their true potential.  That’s the mission of Authenticity Coaching: to focus on what you feel "born to do" and unlock the full potential that’s in you.Imagine that your life could be graphed in a circular fashion. Perhaps parts are flourishing, others languishing. Your career is going well, but you are losing touch with friends or family. Or, you have [...]

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    Eight Tips on Pacing for the HSP

       Sometimes you have just too much going on. Especially if you are a highly sensitive person, there are times when you need to decrease your workload and increase your downtime. The goals, expectations and standards under which you operate may or may not fit your energy level, values, or the amount of support available. If it’s time to make adjustments, here are eight tips on pacing for the HSP, a potpourri of options, some for home, others for the workplace.In the past you may have promised a specific turn-around time at work or at home. Can the time-frame can be [...]

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    Resolutions, Routines and Rewards…Five More Goal-Setting Tips for the HSP

      If you’re an HSP frustrated with the lack of forward movement toward your goals, ask yourself which two priority goals are important for you right now. You can accomplish them with less stress and fuss by using these goal-setting tips for the highly sensitive person. Information is not as important as application; the only useful suggestion is the one that you apply. With that in mind…When it comes to to-do items like eating better and exercising more, many resolutions break down in a few weeks. Often it’s better to create an activity [...]

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    Six Quick Ideas for Staying on Task

         If you’re a highly sensitive person, sometimes you may find yourself overwhelmed with a lengthy to-do list. How do you finish what you need to get done? Here are a few ideas that may work for you whether you are high or low in sensory-processing sensitivity.You may also discard one strategy when it becomes stale and use another. Color or images can help make your to-do list attractive enough to ever want to see it again. If that list is going on the bulletin board or frig, it needs print that is legible, even from a distance, like Cooper Black.You set [...]

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    HSPs & the Orchid-Dandelion Hypothesis

       The highly sensitive child, if raised in a positive atmosphere, grows into an adult who, according to researcher Dr. Elaine Aron, may be “happier, healthier, and more socially skilled” than others. Like orchids, they flourish when given good care. In this article: some, not all, orchid children are HSPs, putting sensitivity into perspective, and an important tip for parenting the orchid child. The orchid-dandelion hypothesis is very good news for the highly sensitive person (HSP). It recognizes that an inborn trait can be not just detrimental in negative [...]

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    Advantages of Being an HSP

    As a sensitive child, you may have experienced great joy in the natural world—plants, pets, animals and babies of any species. You most likely also had the ability to feel more positive emotion than other, less sensitive children would have felt in the same circumstances. In your teen years and now in adulthood, you may benefit more than others would from an upgrade in circumstances. Here are several important research updates, with easy-to-understand definitions of the terms you may come across in other articles. Science has been increasingly aware that the highly sensitive [...]

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    Ten Misconceptions about Happiness

    The highly sensitive person (HSP) thrives in a supportive atmosphere. We can learn a lot about creating that atmosphere from positive psychology. With its focus on happiness and the factors that help individuals and communities thrive, it is a good fit for the HSP. Instead of endlessly trying to fix what we don’t like about ourselves, the research is clear that we can use our innate strengths and core abilities to crowd out the negative. In this post we identify ten misconceptions about happiness that stop many people from experiencing it more often. We can increase our sense of [...]

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    Authenticity for the HSP

    Authenticity is a key piece of success and life satisfaction for the highly sensitive person. It combines both your strengths and your values. When you lack that alignment, some of your energy is drained off by the extra effort needed to keep moving forward. The question to ask: what makes your heart sing? In this article you’ll find more about why authenticity is so important for everyone, especially to the HSP, and how authentic goals mean better results. We'll talk about how using your strengths is the easiest way to authenticity. Included as well is how much is too [...]

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    Negativity Bias or Survival Bias? Is the Bad Stronger Than the Good?

    The highly sensitive person is typically compassionate and conscientious. Must they accept that the bad really is stronger than the good? Some scientists have put forth the idea that humans have a negativity bias. But, is it possible that what we have is actually a survival bias? That we pay attention on a priority basis to those essential issues so that lesser concerns can have meaning? The present thinking seems to be that the bad is stronger than the good: “Over and over,” Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist, says, “the mind reacts to bad things more quickly, strongly and [...]

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    How Does the Highly Sensitive Person Retain a Positive Worldview When “If It Bleeds, It Leads”?

       If you are highly sensitive, you are keenly--and genetically--tuned to positive and negative emotion to a greater degree than the other 80% of the population. How do you stay on an even keel? On Tuesday this week my research told me that… Eliminating all violence from the media is not in keeping with the reality of the human condition. Violence has always been with us and probably always will be. But the 32,000 murders and 40,000 attempted murders witnessed by normal TV viewers over 18 years is clearly unrealistic and exploitative. –TV and Film Violence Reaches a [...]

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    Twelve Tips for the Manager of Highly Sensitive People

    Are you the manager of highly sensitive people? Probably, because HSPs are twenty percent of the population. The authentic HSP tends to more fully consider options and outcomes and so may be a major asset to your department. They are loyal, conscientious employees, good at team-building and customer relations. Being “highly sensitive” means being high in sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), a trait that is inborn and genetic. “Overly sensitive” and “highly sensitive” sound similar and have been confused. You may think of a sensitive person as an [...]

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