Thursday, September 08, 2011

Some Important Words about Being Highly Sensitive

The title sounds very impressive and serious, doesn't it? Well, it's not... really. But it is important.
I was planning to write something this morning... but I got sidetracked by reading, instead. I think it's part of the lives of most writers that they are also voracious readers. At the end of my reading, I realized that my own words will "keep," and that I instead wanted to share the words of others, today.
I want to share two pieces of writing about being an HSP. They are both incredibly relevant, yet utterly different in style... a study in contrasts.
The first is a deeply intimate and moving blog post by my friend and fellow HSP, Ane Axford... who examines-- in a deeply personal way-- the truth of opening up to our sensitivity and to laying down our "armor" against the world. As she puts it... are we "hardy" (armor wearing) or "hearty" (open to/about our sensitivity). This is one of the best pieces of exploratory writing on being Highly Sensitive I've read in years... don't miss this one!
The second piece of writing is an article from Psychology Today-- the US' most widely read publication (Est. 1.2 million readers!) in the psychology field. Extensively quoting HSP field experts like Elaine Aron, Ted Zeff and others, the article is testament to just how far awareness of the HSP trait (as something other than "in our imagination" or "New Age hooey") has come, since 1996. This is a very "mainstream" magazine... and even though I don't necessarily agree with everything written, it keeps a very balanced and "non-pathological" perspective.
"Sense and Sensitivity" by Andrea Bartz, in Psychology Today.

As a 15-year proponent of openness about being an HSP, these two-- very different-- articles made me stop and ponder the basic questions:

Where are we? What's more, where are we, as individuals trying to figure things out in life? And where are we, as a global "community" of highly sensitive persons?

How are we doing? Have we done enough? Are we doing enough? Are we being our own (and each other's) advocates, or are we hiding our truth?

What is it we really want, as HSPs?

This time my usual "talk back" space asks you to read the articles, consider, and then leave a comment about your own experience... along with your answers/thoughts about these questions.

As always, thanks for reading!


  1. I just love Ane. Always so helpful to read her inspiring words. I get an "aha" moment nearly every time I read a new blog or Facebook post of hers.

    Enjoying your site. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Peter, thank-you for sharing these links, truly great findings. I began to answer some of your questions, and it got waaay too long. So I made a blog post out of it. You can read it here: (And since I'd like to invite my readers to return to your blog and explore more, there are links at beginning and end of the article to bring you right back here. :))

  3. Hi Peter

    Your reflection is what had set me to decide to quit from my job a week ago, in pursuit of happyness.

    I had decided not to hide away, to stay low.

    5 years ago, I had a strong urge in my innermost to make a difference. However it took me several years, today, to finally figure out what is really right with me.

    I want to help. What courses should I take to empower myself?


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