Featured Articles

  • 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 […]

  • 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, below). See bottom of page for links to other resource pages for books, articles and more sites. Painting: “Mindfulness” by Erika Pochybova-Johnson. ~ ~ ~ Create Beyond Limits Kaitlyn Mirison writes: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to step away from […]

  • 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, […]


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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Without a High Sensitivity Personality What Would Life Be Like?

Without a High Sensitivity Personality What Would Life Be Like?

“Without sensitivity what would life be like?” author Michael Eigen asks in an article. “Sensitivity nurtures us, gives life color, expressiveness, charm – provides a basis for terror. Sensitivity, feeling and thinking feed each other, are part of each other. “Thinking and feeling are ways sensitivity unfolds or grows… without the sensory sea we take […]

Jenna Avery audio interview on thriving as an HSP

Jenna Avery audio interview on thriving as an HSP

Jenna Avery is a coach who “uses her intuition, deep empathy, and innate practicality to help her visionary, creative clients step fully into their creative ideas, dreams, and ability.” In her programs and mentoring, she helps individuals recognize and more fully express their talents as highly sensitive people. In our interview, she talks about some […]

Sensitive to others but staying safe

Sensitive to others but staying safe

Elaine Aron, PhD notes high sensitivity means “you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings” and also that you are “more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long.” In addition to other sources of sensation and input, a highly stimulating environment may be one or more other […]

Judith Orloff on Sensitive People and Relationships That Work

Judith Orloff on Sensitive People and Relationships That Work

Intuitive Psychiatrist Judith Orloff writes: Loneliness gets to some more than others. But why it hangs on isn’t always apparent when read by traditional medical eyes. In my practice and workshops I’ve been struck by how many sensitive, empathic people who I call “emotional empaths” come to me, lonely, wanting a romantic partner, yet remaining […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]