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  • 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 […]

  • 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, […]

  • Winona Ryder: "Maybe I'm too sensitive for this world."

    Winona Ryder: “Maybe I’m too sensitive for this world.”

    Winona Ryder starred in the film based on Susanna Kaysen‘s novel Girl, Interrupted, and thinks Kaysen “captures a mood we’ve all experienced. “It’s like a reflective time we’ve all had in our lives, whether to kill ourselves, whether to be miserable or move on. You go through spells where you feel that maybe you’re too […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]


Elaine Aron

Videos: Elaine Aron on the trait of high sensitivity

Video: Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., summarizes the trait of high sensitivity: ~ ~ Two video clips from documentary “A Talk on High Sensitivity” by Shari Dyer www.keiganproductions.com – available on Elaine Aron’s site hsperson.com . . .. You can also purchase another DVD: Elaine Aron: A Seminar on Learning How to Thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person. […]

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 […]

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, […]

Different Personality Styles to Deal with a High Sensitivity Personality

Different Personality Styles to Deal with a High Sensitivity Personality

Dealing with sensitivity The photo is Christina Ricci as Wednesday in “Addams Family Values” (1993), which also featured David Krumholtz [later in the tv series "Numb3rs"] as a rather stereotypical highly sensitive kid, repressed and using an inhaler to cope with asthma. But Wednesday may represent another sort of coping with high sensitivity: responding to […]

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 […]

Sarah Dolliver on better boundaries for inner-directed individuals

Sarah Dolliver on better boundaries for inner-directed individuals

Sarah Dolliver is the Founder of InnerVantage, the “online community for inner-directed individuals (those who focus inward to restore).” [Apparently no longer online.] In her article Build Better Boundaries, she writes: * Have you ever agreed to do something that you knew you would rather not do? * Have you not given yourself enough time […]

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, […]

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 […]

Jean Houston on perceptual capacity and psychic ability

Jean Houston on perceptual capacity and psychic ability

In our interview, Jean Houston commented about the Theory of Emotional Development of Kazimierz Dabrowski (which talks about levels of excitability or functioning), and about psychic ability in relation to giftedness. Houston agrees that ‘psychic’ has been used in our culture as a pejorative term: “Don’t I know it,” she says with a laugh. “I […]

Our high sensitivity personality: normalcy, wholeness, acceptance

Our high sensitivity personality: normalcy, wholeness, acceptance

In her authoritative book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, Elaine Aron, PhD notes, we are at “the extreme end of the dimension of sensitivity.” But she adds, “For many HSPs the real challenge is to achieve the middle ground. No more ‘too shy’ or ‘too sensitive’ or too […]

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 […]

Bryce Dallas Howard and Judith Orloff on psychic ability

Bryce Dallas Howard and Judith Orloff on psychic ability

“It goes beyond the senses, as we know it. It’s our ability to intuit the mystery.” Judith Orloff, MD In the movie “Hereafter,” the character George Lonegan (Matt Damon) seems to be able to communicate with people beyond the grave. Reviewer Roger Ebert noted the movie “believes most psychics are frauds” but “supposes one who […]

Understanding Empathy

Understanding Empathy

By Jenna Avery. As a sensitive soul, you are likely to have a high degree of empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel another person’s emotions as if they are your own. In many ways, being empathic is a gift, because it allows you to fully experience, understand, and support others. In other ways, it […]

Genes and the startle response and high sensitivity

Genes and the startle response and high sensitivity

One aspect of a highly sensitive nervous system can be a strong startle response or startle reflex, which can be related to a vulnerability to anxiety. Among the items in the Self-Test for sensitivity by Dr. Elaine Aron is “I startle easily.” In an edition of her Comfort Zone newsletter titled The Benefits of Being […]

Shy monkeys and anxious temperament

Shy monkeys and anxious temperament

From a PhysOrg.com Medicine & Health / Research news article: New research indicates that the brains of those suffering from anxiety and severe shyness in social situations consistently respond more strongly to stress, and show signs of being anxious even in situations that others find safe. The UW Department of Psychiatry and HealthEmotions Research Institute […]

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 […]

Sensitive and Stressed - Waking up into Anxiety

Sensitive and Stressed – Waking up into Anxiety

In her article Understanding Early Morning Anxiety, Deanne Repich [left] talks about the common experience of “sleeping peacefully in your warm, cozy bed. You are at peace, finally getting a break from the cares and tasks of the day. “Then, BOOM! Suddenly, the shrill sound of your alarm clock jerks you awake. It triggers the […]

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 […]

Highly Sensitive and Creative

Highly Sensitive and Creative

“Highly sensitive people are all creative by definition.” Elaine Aron, PhD adds that it is “because we process things so thoroughly and notice so many subtleties and emotional meanings that we can easily put two unusual things together.” Sensory sensitivity also comes into play in many creative endeavors. When Therese Borchard of Beliefnet interviewed me […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Getting beyond our fears and anxiety

Getting beyond our fears and anxiety

News story about Cinders the pig: “You can’t get much happier than a pig in muck, or so we are told. But when this little piggy arrived in the farmyard she showed a marked reluctance to get her trotters dirty. “While her six brothers and sisters messed around in the mire, she stayed on the […]

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 […]

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. […]