Saturday, 16 May 2015

Are you a highly sensitive person?

As part of my personal development in my training to be a Counsellor I really enjoyed reading the book 'The Highly Sensitive Person' by Elaine Aron.  I found it quite affirming in being able to identify myself as also being a highly sensitive person.  I have often recommended this books to clients I have worked with.  The book is based on the idea that around 30% of people can be classed as highly sensitive in the sense of actually having a more highly sensitive nervous system. 

This highly sensitive nervous system has both positive and negative attributes it brings up.  It describes it as being how we categorise things.  A less sensitive person may only break things down into around 5 categories for example but a highly sensitive person may break the same thing down into 10.  The world can therefore seem more overwhelming for a highly sensitive person as society typically operates on an extraverted way of seeing things, therefore being highly sensitive can often be something that is discriminated against.

Why are you so sensitive? Don't be such a cry baby etc etc.  Whereas the world and mentality typically favours the more extraverted, the introverted are very much needed and typically exist more behind the scenes.  Counsellors, writers, movie directors etc would be careers more typically taken by the highly sensitive.

Aron affirms how it is not about making an elite out of being highly sensitive but rather just a standing up for our sensitivity, a restoring pride and a making equal.  Her book is useful to give figures in history who have been highly sensitive and to provide techniques for self support to be highly sensitive and to survive well in an extravert world.  She has written a series of books.

Being highly sensitive often involves needing quieter work spaces, preferring smaller crowds, needing wind down time.  It is important to look after yourself well as a highly sensitive person while also standing up for yourself as being highly sensitive and what being highly sensitive can offer to the world.  Carl Jung , Abraham Lincoln, and Walt Disney were people highlighted as being 'highly sensitive'.

Are you a highly sensitive person?