Wednesday, June 06, 2007

HSPs and Avoidance

I wonder sometimes, why so many HSPs-- and Sensitive-type people, in general-- so frequently become "avoidant." I don't speculate on this idly, because it has been true of my own past, as well.

Yes, on some intellectual level, I understand that HSPs are "hurt more deeply" when life gets rough, but in this particular case I am more referring to a different pattern I often observe.

Metaphorically speaking, the inner reasoning seems to go something like "I was badly hurt by event type A, therefore I will never attempt (completely different) event types B and C." Call it "non-parallel reasoning," if you will.

Being an HSP is an inborn trait. We can't make it "go away," so the only way to thrive in life is to understand the trait, and then-- armed with knowledge-- to strike out on a path that stays true to our essence and values. Hiding in a hole doesn't really use our potential. And we are not "owed" special treatment and concessions by others; the only "debt" we are owed is to treat ourselves with kindness that honors the trait.

Avoidance takes many shapes; wears many faces. On the simplest level, we may "wish" for something but say "I'll wait and let someone else do that, rather than take the initiative." It could be something as incredibly simple as avoiding posting an idea to a web discussion group, choosing to "wait for someone else" to do so, instead. More recently, I have had HSP acquaintances comment about my upcoming trip to the annual HSP Gathering in California with words like "I just couldn't do something like that, with a group-- but do let me know how it goes." The underlying fallacy is that the experience of being with a "group" of HSPs "must be" the same as a past negative experience with with a "group" of non-HSPs on a corporate team-building retreat.... because "that's how groups work."

The two, of course, bear little-- if any-- resemblance.

Whereas there may be exceptions, not much change comes out of waiting for someone else to "bring" us the life we want.

If we want change, we must be our own catalysts.

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