Thursday, April 08, 2010

HSPs and the delicate exercise of “Jumping to Conclusions.”

As HSPs, I think we sometimes just “read too much” into situations. Last month, I wrote a bit about "taking things too personally." This explores a related issue.

Most of us are empaths, and certainly intuitives. Many are somewhat to very psychic, even. I'm suggesting we sometimes become/are so dependent on intuition and “vibes” and feelings and hunches that we run the risk of reading everything that’s “between the lines,” while completely ignoring the actual WORDS of the message.

What exactly do I mean?

Let me offer a fictional example:

We’re in a conversation with Bob, and he says “I just LOVE the color blue!

We’re wearing a green sweater, and “extrapolate” from Bob’s statement and the fact that he seems a little tense and doesn't make eye contact that he “hates green.” And that his declaration of love for the color blue, combined with the fact that he didn’t also give accolades to green, is actually a latently hostile statement that he can’t stand our green sweater.


Let’s examine this, for a moment. Bob simply stated that he loves blue. No more, no less. We may accurately have picked up his fidgety vibe, but failed to know that he had a big fight with his wife earlier and was avoiding eye-contact to try to avoid a conversation in which he'd have to confess that he'd been the guilty one in causing the fight. I think it behooves to not lose sight of what was really said in a dialogue, and not to assume that some disaster or slight was intended, until we actually have clear evidence of it.

Furthermore, if we often “catch ourselves” assuming malicious intent in seemingly harmless messages, there’s actually an invitation there to examine our own “baggage,” to look at why we believe people are “out to get us.” We might also look at the deeper question of why we rather selfishly believe other people's neutral statements are actually about us. I have observed this kind of "persecution complex" in a number of HSP web groups, where someone will interpret a completely neutral message as "hate mail," after which a huge brou-ha-ha ensues.

To use a saying my Beloved often uses: "Sometimes crows eating crawfish are JUST crows eating crawfish."

To add my own commentary... situations such as the above tend to not just be about "being highly sensitive" but about deeper issues inviting further exploration.

Talk Back: So… have you caught yourself “jumping to conclusions?” And later finding out it was to your detriment? Or does it not apply to you? Have you ever been in this pattern? If you were, and moved past it, what was helpful to you in moving on?

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