Clinical experience and research reports confirm that creative people are unusually sensitive, and many artists and other people have commented about their life with the trait of high sensitivity.
For example, creativity coach Lisa Riley, LMFT comments she has “encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses.
“Creatives often feel and perceive more intensely, dramatically, and with a wildly vivid color palate to draw from, which can only be described as looking at the world through a much larger lens.”
From her article: Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity.
> Excerpt read by Cat Robson:
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Of course, being creative is not limited to people who are highly sensitive, or even identified as artists, pursuing creative ventures.
Both creativity and being sensitive are on a spectrum – a range of different levels and qualities.
And being sensitive does not mean you are necessarily an artist.
Musician Jewel expressed in a song of hers both vulnerability and embracing of our personality trait:
Oh please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way
From her song I’m Sensitive on her debut album Pieces of You.
(Photo is from her Facebook page.)
Writer Pearl Buck once commented about sensitivity – though she may not have been aware of, or referring to the personality trait:
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
“To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise…
“Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…”
Buck wrote this many years ago, in a different era, and her comments “abnormally, inhumanly sensitive” are not ones I agree with: We who are highly sensitive make up about twenty percent of the population, and the trait is not “inhuman” or something to be considered weird.
Also, Jewel’s lyrics “please be careful with me” seem to me to reference a common and limiting stereotype about HSPs – that we are fragile and need coddling.
We may be more emotionally vulnerable at times, but it is up to us, not, in general, others, to take care we don’t get hurt or overwhelmed.
Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD is probably the leading expert on high sensitivity, or more technically, sensory processing sensitivity.
“Highly sensitive individuals are those born with a tendency to notice more in their environment and deeply reflect on everything before acting, as compared to those who notice less and act quickly and impulsively.
“As a result, sensitive people, both children and adults, tend to be empathic, smart, intuitive, creative, careful, and conscientious…”
Continued in article Being Highly Sensitive and Creative – an excerpt from one of my books.
Author Susan Vreeland once wrote: “I was a too-sensitive child, unable to distinguish between truth and fiction, prone to nightmares, gouged by cruelty.”
An obituary notes, “Parental attempts at soothing her — ‘It’s only a story’ — carried little weight then and would strike her as ironic later, after her own literary career took hold.”
In a 2014 interview, Vreeland commented on being sensitive and creative:
“Writers have to be observant. Every nuance, every inflection in a voice, the quality of air even — they all get mixed up in this soup of the story developing in our minds. We can’t ignore these little intuitions because sometimes that’s where you find treasures.”
Text and photo from Susan Vreeland dies at 71; blended art and fiction in ‘Girl in Hyacinth Blue’ and other novels By John Wilkens, Los Angeles Times, Sept 1 2017.
One of her bestseller books: Girl in Hyacinth Blue.
One of my multiple articles on emotional challenges that many of us experience: Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression.