Featured Articles

  • Highly sensitive people: latent inhibition and creativity

    Highly sensitive people: latent inhibition and creativity

    One aspect of high sensitivity is increased sensory input. There are some intriguing research studies on how this works at the level of the brain and nervous system, and how it affects creative ability. One study, for example, found that the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the […]

  • Too sensitive for what? Accepting our high sensitivity personality

    Too sensitive for what? Accepting our high sensitivity personality

    “I’m too sensitive to watch most of the reality shows. It’s so painful for me.” Amy Brenneman We may have thoughts that are based on irrational beliefs about how life is, or how we “should be” – and those thoughts can become habitual responses, and be too broad or inaccurate to serve our personal growth. […]

  • Marti Olsen Laney on Introversion Advantages

    Marti Olsen Laney on Introversion Advantages

    Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., M.F.T., is an author, researcher, speaker, educator, psychotherapist and an authority on introversion. On her site: MartiLaney.com she lists : Top 10 Advantages Introverts Possess: 10) Work Well With Others, Especially In One-to-One Relationships 9) Maintain Long-Term Friendships 8) Flexible 7) Independent 6) Strong Ability To Concentrate 5) Self-Reflective 4) Responsible […]

  • Our High Sensitivity Personality

    Our High Sensitivity Personality

    About 15 to 20 percent of us have this trait of high sensitivity, which nurtures our creativity and social activism, but also brings challenges. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD and others describe it as a more finely tuned nervous system. She explains, “It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in […]

  • Highly sensitive people less influenced by culture

    Highly sensitive people less influenced by culture

    Stony Brook University Building on previous brain imaging research that revealed cultural influences play a role in neural activation during perception, Arthur Aron, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University, and colleagues, completed a study that suggests individuals who are highly sensitive have cognitive responses that appear to not be influenced by culture at […]

  • Relationships can be challenging for highly sensitive people

    Relationships can be challenging for highly sensitive people

    Interactions with others and just being in social situations can be challenging for those of us who are highly sensitive. Although sensitivity is not the same thing, it often goes along with introversion or even shyness. [See my post: Shyness, Introversion, Sensitivity – What’s the Difference?] Actor Scarlett Johansson has commented: “I think I was […]


Depressive thinking can accompany being a high sensitivity personality

Depressive thinking can accompany being a high sensitivity personality

Intuitive HSPs may go to dark places In her article Growing Up Gifted Is Not Easy, Elaine Aron, PhD [left] talks about this dark aspect of sensitivity. “Early in my research on sensitivity — while I was studying its relationship to introversion and the four Jungian functions of sensing, thinking, feeling, and intuition — I […]

Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger and Other Creators On Being Highly Sensitive

Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger and Other Creators On Being Highly Sensitive

The trait of high sensitivity is experienced by 15 to 20 percent of us. In this video are some quotes by and about Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger, Amy Brenneman, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen DeGeneres about their experience of sensitivity. Maybe you can relate to some of them. .. Winona Ryder has said, “You […]

Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

“Sometimes because I am very shy, when I meet a director and they are shy too, we just sort of sit there.” Actor Sigourney Weaver continued in an interview, “I remember when I met Ang Lee and we were left alone — we were supposed to have tea with each other.. I was so shy […]

The Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Resource Site

The Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Resource Site

Here is an introduction and video by founder of The Sheep Dressed Like Wolves site, Andy Mort: “I am a musician and songwriter who often struggles to get my quiet temperament working effectively towards my life’s goals and ambitions. “I help encourage, inspire, and equip other introverted and Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) looking to find meaning and […]

The shy personality and two kinds of social phobia

The shy personality and two kinds of social phobia

By Bertil Hjert — “There are two different types of social phobia. The first is generalized, where anything and everything in the way of social interaction has the potential to send your nerves into overdrive. “People who are only afraid of a few or a particular type of social interaction have non-generalized or specific social […]

Are we cry-babies?

Are we cry-babies?

‘Highly sensitive people can be considered “weak” “soft” “pathetic” and “cry babies”.’ That comes from the following article, and reminded me of when I was a kid in Boy Scouts. At one of our meetings, some of the other boys got the idea to have some fun by pantsing someone. I was the chosen victim, […]

Gifted and shy - Jane Fonda, Evan Rachel Wood, Nicole Kidman

Gifted and shy – Jane Fonda, Evan Rachel Wood, Nicole Kidman

Jane Fonda: “Acting was the last thing in the world I wanted to do, I was so shy. But I got fired as a secretary and had to earn some money.” She discovered her passion for acting in the mid-1950s while studying with famed drama coach Lee Strasberg, who told her she was special and […]

Judith Orloff M.D. on "energy vampires"

Judith Orloff M.D. on “energy vampires”

The image is Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman in the movie Dracula (1992). The book Meeting the Shadow declares, “Bram Stoker’s ‘Count Dracula’ [is] but a recent instance of this genre. Tales of vampires and werewolves have probably always been with us.” Aside from the dramatic mythology, psychiatrist and energy specialist Judith Orloff M.D. says […]

Eric Maisel on the creative value of calming

Eric Maisel on the creative value of calming

Creativity coach and psychologist Eric Maisel says “When you free neurons from their usual grip on small thoughts — ten worries, fifteen errands, and so on — and get to reclaim them.. you experience a ‘pregnant emptiness’ which is actually your whole mind, now recovered, readying itself to create.” He adds, “The ‘quieting’ serves the […]

Claire Danes on being shy and high achieving

Claire Danes on being shy and high achieving

“You were very sensitive as a child; family and school problems, childhood illnesses, and the like all affected you more than others. Furthermore, you were different from other kids and almost surely suffered for that.” Elaine Aron, PhD. “I did not perform well socially in junior high. I was a strange girl and I was […]

Highly Sensitive People (HSP) "Meetups" in Los Angeles

Highly Sensitive People (HSP) “Meetups” in Los Angeles

Monthly HSP Meetups Presenter: Jim Hallowes of HighlySensitivePeople.com : “I’m honored to have been invited by Dr. Pat Allen to hold a monthly talk and workshop to discuss the trait of high sensitivity and Highly Sensitive People — what Dr. Pat Allen often calls her “Alphas.” “And, even if you’re not an HSP, I guarantee […]

Counselor Rue Hass on using EFT to help highly sensitive people celebrate their positive qualities

Counselor Rue Hass on using EFT to help highly sensitive people celebrate their positive qualities

Rue Hass, M.A. is a counselor and Intuitive Mentor – and a Highly Sensitive Person. An EFT Master therapist, she uses Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with a variety of clients, including HSP individuals to “help them see what they and others might view as a ‘flaw’ as a ‘blessing’ or gift.” A blog post on […]

Ted Zeff on strategies for nurturing our sensitive self

Ted Zeff on strategies for nurturing our sensitive self

“At least 50 million Americans have a finely tuned nervous system.” Ted Zeff, PhD ~ ~ Coping Strategies that Dr. Ted Zeff teaches for the Highly Sensitive Person: Create a Daily Routine 1. Your morning routine will set the tone for your day while your evening routine will influence the quality of your sleep. 2. […]

Jessica Chastain and High Sensitivity

Jessica Chastain and High Sensitivity

“I’m very sensitive in real life. I cannot not cry if someone around me is crying…even if it’s not appropriate. I have that thing in me, a weakness or sensitivity.” Jessica Chastain Such a powerful, dynamic and emotionally expressive actor, in films including “The Tree of Life”; “The Debt”; “Lawless,” and “The Help,” (for which […]

Keith Urban and Other Stars Show Dark Side of the High Sensitivity Personality

Keith Urban and Other Stars Show Dark Side of the High Sensitivity Personality

Many celebrities have sought treatment Musician Keith Urban once checked himself into a rehab center for alcohol abuse, with support from his wife, actor Nicole Kidman. A number of other stars have sought treatment for drug or alcohol problems, including Haley Joel Osment (star of The Sixth Sense), Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, Robert Downey Jr., […]

Highly Sensitive People: audio interview with Jim Hallowes

Highly Sensitive People: audio interview with Jim Hallowes

Jim Hallowes is founder of the Highly Sensitive People website, and has been studying and presenting information on HSPs for many years. He has a wide range of perspectives on the trait and how it relates to gifted and creative people. See The Creative Mind Interviews to hear the interview. ~~ Related articles Highly Sensitive […]

Relationships and highly sensitive people

Relationships and highly sensitive people

“I am shy and I don’t start relationships with people normally. I guess I have a way that can seem aloof and sort of cold. They didn’t like me that much, but I never resented it. I was different than they were.” Actor Kristin Kreuk. made other comments in an interview about being in high […]

Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity

Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity

By guest author Lisa A. Riley, LMFT, Creativity Coach Throughout my practice, I have encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses. This characteristic does not discriminate between painter, actor, or musician—they all appear to have one thing in common: they experience the world differently than the average individual. Creatives often […]

Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression

Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression

Being highly sensitive probably increases our vulnerability to anxiety and depression, which for many of us go together to some extent. I’m sure that has been the case for me, and I have had varying degrees of these mood challenges for most of my life. Part of my motivation in researching and creating my series […]

Shyness and High Sensitivity - On Stage or Off

Shyness and High Sensitivity – On Stage or Off

Many seemingly self-assured performers and actors have been shy or introverted as children. Some still are, as adults. And many have found that performing has changed their level of confidence. Having the personality trait of high sensitivity – as many creative people do – can interact with shyness and introversion. ~ ~ Amy Adams says, […]

Director Ang Lee: The Artist, The Introvert

Director Ang Lee: The Artist, The Introvert

“He is so sensitive and the way he directs you is so silent.” Director Ang Lee recently won his second Academy Award for “Life of Pi” (his first was for “Brokeback Mountain”). Actor Adil Hussain, one of the stars of “Pi” described how the Taiwanese filmmaker works. He commented that Lee is “so sensitive and the […]

Jenna Forrest on empowering sensitivity and relieving anxiety

Jenna Forrest on empowering sensitivity and relieving anxiety

Jenna Forrest is a coach who offers “energy healing, intuitive coaching and spiritual apprenticeships to help sensitives experience inner peace, higher consciousness, and life transformation” and writes in her memoir Help Is On Its Way about growing up with the trait of high sensitivity. In our podcast interview, she talks about empowering and transcending sensitivity. […]

Highly sensitive relationships - Gwen Stefani: "I'm really emotional"

Highly sensitive relationships – Gwen Stefani: “I’m really emotional”

Like a number of other dynamic and creative musicians and actors, Gwen Stefani affirms she has qualities of the personality trait of high sensitivity: “I’m really emotional. I don’t fight with people – like, I can barely fight with my husband because I’ll just start crying instead. I’ve learnt not to do that.” [imdb.com] A […]

Ranking and Self-Esteem

Ranking and Self-Esteem

In addition to helping fuel creativity and a richer experience of life, being highly sensitive can make us more vulnerable to emotional overwhelm, anxiety, self-criticism and other issues. Healthy self concept and self esteem can be especially challenging for a number of people, perhaps especially those of us who are highly sensitive to our inner […]

Video: The Highly Sensitive Person by Therese J. Borchard

Video: The Highly Sensitive Person by Therese J. Borchard

“Do you get overwhelmed easily? You could be one of the lucky highly sensitive persons living in an overwhelming world.” Therese J. Borchard is the author of the blog “Beyond Blue” on Beliefnet.com, which is featured regularly on The Huffington Post and was voted by PsychCentral.com as one of the top 10 depression blogs. Also […]

Energy Sensitivity

Energy Sensitivity

Energy psychiatrist Judith Orloff, MD explains: “An intuitive empath is someone who not only senses energy but also absorbs it from others and the environment. Their body takes on the angst of the world. It can be very draining. “I’ve been an intuitive empath since childhood which prompted my exploration of this phenomena. I couldn’t […]

Jenna Avery on Recharging Your Energy as a Highly Sensitive Person

Jenna Avery on Recharging Your Energy as a Highly Sensitive Person

Jenna Avery writes: As a sensitive soul, good energy-management skills are a must. This means tuning in to yourself on a regular basis and continually reassessing and adjusting what you take on. It’s a real balancing act. And sometimes, despite your best intentions, your energy gets drained and you feel out of balance. The key, […]

Oxytocin and Social Phobia - relief of social anxiety

Oxytocin and Social Phobia – relief of social anxiety

Excerpts from article Oxytocin and Social Phobia : Some people may confuse the trait of high sensitivity with shyness or social anxiety. Social phobia or social anxiety disorder is characterized by extreme and persistent anxiety associated with social or performance situations. Scientists believe that the amygdala is responsible for the symptoms of social phobia as […]