sakurablossom: a ginger girl sitting on a dirt road, staring at the horizon (secret thoughts)
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Thank Goodness for Sensitive People

By understanding, accepting, and appreciating your sensitive nervous system and by learning practical methods to deal with your sensitivity, you will gradually be able to identify and release any internalized false beliefs that there is something inherently wrong with you. HSPs are a large minority in this society that values and thrives on overstimulation, competition, and aggression. However, in order for a society to function at an optimal level there has to be a balance between the non-HSP soldiers and chief executive officers and the mostly HSP counselors and artists.

As a matter of fact, if there were more HSPs, we would probably live in a healthier world, with less war, environmental devastation, and terrorism. It is the HSP whose sensitivity helps create restrictions on smoking, pollution, and noise. However, it's important to note that there are very compassionate and kind non-HSPs and rude and insensitive HSPs. As a matter of fact, my non-HSP dad was one of the most considerate and caring people that I've ever known.

While most non-HSPs are kindhearted, the aggressive traits of non-HSPs are exalted in the media in most societies. Some of the non-HSP chief executive officers of the major corporations have severely damaged the planet with indiscriminate oil drilling, clear cutting of forests, and pollution of the environment. The highly sensitive person has an important mission, which is to serve as a balance to the more aggressive behavior of some of the non-HSPs who advocate a less than nurturing policy toward humans, animals, and Mother Nature. Although you may have been told that you are too sensitive, the truth is that the proliferation of insensitive values has created a world on the brink of disaster, and our only hope for saving the planet is by being sensitive and kind toward all sentient beings.

Although our trait can be challenging, some of the marvelous benefits of being an HSP may include the following: We are conscientious and have the capacity to deeply appreciate beauty, art, and music. We can also really appreciate delicious food, due to our sensitive taste buds, our sensitive sense of smell helps us deeply enjoy aromatic, natural scents, such as flowers. We are intuitive and tend to have deep spiritual experiences. We will notice potential danger, such as immediately feeling a tick crawling on our skin, sooner than non-HSPs. We are very aware of safety issues and will be the first one to know how to exit a building in case of an emergency. We are concerned about the humane treatment of animals. We tend to be kind, compassionate, and understanding, making us natural counselors, teachers, and healers. We have an enthusiasm for life and thus can experience love and joy more deeply than non-HSPs, if we aren't feeling overwhelmed.

The majority, non-HSP culture sometimes negatively judges our sensitivity. The HSP is a minority in all societies, which usually favor the majority non-HSPs (Aron 1996). You may be occasionally told by non-HSPs that there is something wrong with you when you express the need for quiet time or when you're feeling overwhelmed at work or taking care of your duties at home. Being judged for having a finely tuned nervous system is like discriminating against people based on the color of their skin, religion, or national origin. Like other minority groups, it's important that we strive to educate the general population about our sensitive nervous system, accept our sensitvity, and learn ways to cope in the majority non-HSP culture.

While you don't have to demonstrate, carrying placards that read "Sensitivity Power!" (you probably couldn't tolerate the noise and stimulation of a demonstration anyway), it would be beneficial to learn ways to raise your self-esteem. By reading books on HSPs (Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook is a magnificent way to reframe your childhood in light of your sensitivity), attending individual therapy or HSP groups or classes to understand your trait, and employing many of the suggestions in this book you, will improve your self-esteem. Develop new friendships with other HSPs and try not to spend time with judgmental non-HSPs who make you feel flawed. It's also very important not to compare yourself or try to compete with non-HSPs.

The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide - Ted Zeff, PH.D. (pg 9-11)
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May 2012

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How to thrive when the world overwhelms you