Featured Articles

  • 27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

    27 Tips For Navigating College As a Highly Sensitive Person

    By Andrea Runyan While college can be an exciting and fruitful experience, it can also be a challenging time for Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). As the first time when many students are living away from home, college presents many potential challenges for the HSP, such as eating dining hall food; living in a dormitory; having […]

  • Crying and our high sensitivity personality

    Crying and our high sensitivity personality

    Expressiveness = High EQ or Sensitivity We cry in response to many different kinds of experiences, not just painful ones. Keith Beasley described Emotional Quotient, or ‘Sensitivity’ in Mensa Magazine (United Kingdom Edition) in 1987: “The person with a high EQ is one who is easily ‘moved’ and who needs to openly express his or […]

  • 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 […]

  • Jenna Avery on Work for Sensitive Souls

    Jenna Avery on Work for Sensitive Souls

    Jenna Avery writes: Have people always called you “too sensitive?” Do you try to hide it, pretend it doesn’t exist, or work around it as much as possible? Many Highly Sensitive Souls believe that our sensitivity makes us weak, weird, or different. Actually, being sensitive makes us highly aware, caring, and perceptive. In the workplace, […]

  • Highly Sensitive People - Do You Understand Yourself?

    Highly Sensitive People – Do You Understand Yourself?

    Guest Post – By Cliff Harwin, Author of Making Sense of Your High Sensitivity. How very little we know about ourselves…but how much we could know if we took the time to do so. So much of our personal happiness depends on knowing ourselves. We know ourselves better than others do, and yet we don’t […]

  • 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 […]


The high sensitivity personality - Dr. Pat Allen: "I've always known I was different."

The high sensitivity personality – Dr. Pat Allen: “I’ve always known I was different.”

On growing up On the excellent Highly Sensitive People dvd by Jim Hallowes, psychologist Pat Allen, PhD, MFT recalls her mother using the phrase “Still waters run deep” to refer to her – something many of us could relate to. I think my own mother used the phrase, as a subtle form of affirmation of […]

Jenna Avery on dealing with overwhelm

Jenna Avery on dealing with overwhelm

In an article of hers, creativity coach Jenna Avery affirms, “As a sensitive soul, it’s easy to get overstimulated. With stimulation all around, it’s not surprising. “Our urgency-addicted culture and mainstream work ethic is overstimulating. “Sound bites, billboards, spam, and constant advertisements surround us. “Other people’s energy and emotions affect us. Too much light, noise, […]

Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Hear this audio interview with Jacquelyn Strickland – a Licensed Professional Counselor, Coach and workshop leader. She says, “The idea of acting versus reacting is so important for highly sensitive people, because we do take in so much from our environment. I like to use the idea of mindfulness… “Be aware of ways in which […]

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. […]

Lost in our reactions - the high sensitivity personality

Lost in our reactions – the high sensitivity personality

“If the dimension of presence or awareness is missing, then you are lost in the reaction. Then you become the reaction, and you don’t know who you are.” Eckhart Tolle High sensitivity can make our life much richer, but it can also be a distressing and disorienting experience. Probably starting when we were too young […]

Are Highly Sensitive Men More Creative?

Are Highly Sensitive Men More Creative?

“So, I listened to this guy, and he’s got a hypnotic effect. He plays acoustic guitar, of course; and he is a real poet; and he’s a very sensitive guy.” Record producer John Hammond, about Leonard Cohen [BBC Interview.] Psychologist Elaine Aron and other researchers find that approximately 20 percent of the population has the […]

Sensory processing sensitivity: smelling books and reading vinyl record grooves

Sensory processing sensitivity: smelling books and reading vinyl record grooves

Savant sensitivity The term ‘savant’ may be most often used for people such as Daniel Tammet, who is autistic and can recite more than 22,000 digits of pi from memory. [See my post Savant abilities and learning differences relate to developing multiple talents] In his book Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, […]

Jenna Forrest on having a sensitive childhood

Jenna Forrest on having a sensitive childhood

A number of people claim to have had an idyllic or happy early life, the sort evoked by this photo: “The Walk to Paradise Garden” [1946] by W. Eugene Smith. But for many of us who have been highly sensitive all our lives, or had especially challenging experiences as children, that image does not feel […]

Marie Forleo and Ane Axford About Being A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Marie Forleo and Ane Axford About Being A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur

Ane Axford, MS, LMFT (she pronounces it like “Annie”) notes: “I am a highly sensitive person, who is also high sensation seeking, introverted, a licensed mental health and relationship therapist who specializes in working with highly sensitive persons.” In her interview podcast “On HSPs as Entrepreneurs with Marie Forleo,” Ane and Marie talk about being, […]

Programs for Introverts and Highly Sensitive People

Programs for Introverts and Highly Sensitive People

Programs to “encourage, inspire, and equip other introverted and Highly Sensitive People.” (To quote Andy Mort of Sheep Dressed Like Wolves, below). See bottom of page for links to other resource pages for books, articles and more sites. This painting is “Mindfulness” by Erika Pochybova-Johnson – a depiction, it seems to me, of the rich […]

Let Go of Taking Responsibility for Others

Let Go of Taking Responsibility for Others

Creativity coach Jenna Avery notes “Sensitives are often unknowingly affected by the energy, emotions, and desires of others. “This can be both confusing and overstimulating because we are unable to distinguish whether we’re operating from our own center or someone else’s. “I believe that it’s critically important for sensitive souls to learn how to protect […]

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 […]

Is it a disorder, or just shyness?

Is it a disorder, or just shyness?

“As a child, I was very shy. Painfully, excruciatingly shy. I hid a lot in my room. I was so terrified to read out loud in school that I had to have my mother ask my reading teacher not to call on me in class.” – Kim Basinger Many of us were shy as children, […]

Ted Zeff on highly sensitive boys and men

Ted Zeff on highly sensitive boys and men

Dr. Ted Zeff summarizes his research on highly sensitive males, based on interviews with thirty highly sensitive men from five countries: The North American (U.S. and Canada) HSMs (highly sensitive males) who reported that they had supportive parents as boys and who played group sports as a boy were “never” or “rarely” teased for being […]

Learning to live with social anxiety

Learning to live with social anxiety

Many actors and other performers identify themselves as being shy earlier in life, or even as adults. According to a news story, “Shyness was an ongoing problem for Chris Cooper… While studying at the University of Missouri, he vowed to get ‘unblocked.’ “Taking dance classes at nearby Stephens College, he was one of only three […]

Self-Study Classes for Sensitive Souls

Self-Study Classes for Sensitive Souls

Coach Jenna Avery describes her programs: “These self-study classes are the product of my many efforts to find ways to be a happy, healthy, highly sensitive soul. “I have investigated everything I could get my hands on about energy skills, energetic boundary strengthening, interpersonal boundaries, flower essences for sensitive souls, empathy, intuitive development and more. […]

Is shyness an illness?

Is shyness an illness?

Excerpts from article “Is being shy an illness?” By Anna Buckley. Most of us are shy to some degree… So when is being shy an illness? The problem was first recognised as a mental health condition in 1980 and some professionals believe it’s one of the most under-recognised and under-treated mental health problems of the […]

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 […]

Hugh Laurie on feeling emotionally overwhelmed

Hugh Laurie on feeling emotionally overwhelmed

Hugh Laurie plays Dr. Gregory House on the tv series House M.D. Born in Oxford, England, he was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Besides acting and comedy, he has written a thriller, The Gun Seller, and a screenplay for the film version, and a second novel The Paper Soldier. Here are some of his comments […]

Elizabeth Wagele: Are Introverts More Creative than Extraverts?

Elizabeth Wagele: Are Introverts More Creative than Extraverts?

Note – See Facebook post on this article, with a number of comments about Wagele’s perspectives. ~ ~ In her Psychology Today blog post Are Introverts More Creative than Extraverts?, writer, cartoonist and musician Elizabeth Wagele writes about how this key personality dimension relates to creative expression. Here is an excerpt : Are liking solitude […]

Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People

Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People

The idea of the “sensitive artist” may be a cliche, but still basically true. Sometimes high sensitivity may be based on difficult or hurtful situations. Ashley Judd says she was a “hypervigilant child.” To fuel creative expression requires that we have an ability to be in touch with internal and external feelings and sensations. As […]

Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive

Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive

Therese Borchard of Beliefnet interviewed me about the trait; her article [on Beliefnet] is titled 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive and 5 Curses. She also published it for her Huffington Post column with the title 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive – which has over 100 comments. Here are her two questions, and my […]

Denmarkguy on Being Highly Sensitive

Denmarkguy on Being Highly Sensitive

Peter Messerschmidt (also known as ‘Denmarkguy’) notes he is “a writer by calling, but make my actual LIVING from a system of ‘patchwork economics’ that includes writing, consulting, coaching, eBay entrepreneurship, being a a rare stamp dealer, a beach comber and overall Creative Slacker…I am an HSP, INFJ and enneagram type 9, and have spent […]

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 […]

Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Psychologist Susan Meindl writes: Highly sensitive people…have nervous systems and minds which permit more stimulation to enter without automatically and unconsciously shutting it out, and further, that they then cognitively process the stimulation that they receive in more detail than others do. Stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch. HSP’s […]

Neuroscience and sensitivity - our superior colliculus and amygdala

Neuroscience and sensitivity – our superior colliculus and amygdala

A news item by ScienceDaily reported on research that may explain more about the neuroscience that underlies high sensitivity. “Researchers have discovered that a primitive region of the brain responsible for sensorimotor control also has an important role in regulating emotional responses to threatening situations. “This region appears to work in concert with another structure […]

Actors and High Sensitivity

Actors and High Sensitivity

“Most actors are highly sensitive people.”  Nicole Kidman Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted, usually more one way than the other. Many actors and performers identify themselves as “shy” and may have the personality trait of high sensitivity. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD notes highly sensitive people (HSPs) are often called “shy” – but, […]

Cheryl Richardson on Protecting Our High Sensitivity

Cheryl Richardson on Protecting Our High Sensitivity

Express your blessed creativity “The more you become your own best champion, supporter, cheerleader, and trusted confidant, the better able you’ll be to fully and joyfully express your blessed creativity. “That’s when your art becomes more and more successful in the world. It begins with treating yourself with love, respect, kindness, and compassion. “If you’d […]