Are you a "Highly Sensitive Person?"
An Article by Judy Collins, JD, PCC,
Collins Coaching, LLC
For the highly sensitive person, finding their “bliss” in work and relationships can sometimes seem like a never-ending process of trying to reach an elusive goal. The highly sensitive person is extra aware and sensitive to all of the stimulation in their internal and external environments. As a result, they can feel over-stimulated and energy-drained faster than their non-highly sensitive colleagues, friends and partners. This can cause challenges for them that non-highly sensitive people don’t face.
On the other hand, these same characteristics of a highly sensitive person can make them more driven to learn about and move toward what it is they really want and need. In other words, it is less of an option not to focus on attaining their bliss, because they are more keenly aware than non-highly sensitive people when they are feeling unfulfilled in their work or their relationships.
In her book, The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine N. Aron, PhD, lists the following experiences as among those that are usually true for highly sensitive people:
- They are aware of subtleties in their environment.
- Other people’s moods affect them.
- They have a rich, complex inner life.
- They are deeply moved by the arts or music.
- They notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
- When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment, the highly sensitive person tends to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable.
- They startle easily.
- They are easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics or sirens close by.
- They become over-stimulated when a lot is going on around them.
- They are conscientious.
Elaine Aron’s book is very helpful in creating a new perspective on being highly sensitive. Often, highly sensitive people have received messages all their lives that there is something wrong with them, because they are so sensitive. They may have been taught that they cannot survive in the world with this trait or that others find this trait unattractive, feeling like one always has to “walk on eggshells” around the highly sensitive person.
Elaine Aron’s book is a refreshing and enlightening contribution to the perspective that this trait is an important gift to the world that needs to be nurtured and allowed to fully blossom. For those who are highly sensitive, it is important to live in full awareness and appreciation of this aspect of themselves -- to recognize it as a strength and to make choices that honor it.
Resource: The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, PhD
Collins Coaching, LLC provides career coaching, executive and management coaching, work/life balance coaching, relationship coaching and time management coaching. Founder and owner Judy Collins has 30 years of experience and offers a free consultation. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (608) 848-6688. More information about Collins Coaching, LLC is available at www.collinscoaching.com.