Tuesday, January 21, 2020

HSP Living: Be Kind, Whenever Possible!

Be kind whenever possible. It is ALWAYS possible!
~ H.H. The Dalai Lama

The above quote has been a favorite of mine for a very long time.

It resonates rather deeply with me, and I realized recently that the underlying idea has been close to my heart since childhood.

When I was a little kid — perhaps no more than 5-6 years old — I distinctly remember one of my core desires in life was for people to just be nice to each other. I just wanted people to get along.

To my considerable distress, so many people around me seemed both mean and harsh... and definitely not kind to each other. In many ways, it was the harshness and abrasiveness of the external world that ultimately inspired the (working) title for a book I have been working on for some years: "Please Don't Yell At Me!"

Even when people were not actually yelling, their very "way of being" felt very loud and invasive, and I found myself wanting to get away from it. This tendency became even more pronounced when I started school and encountered bullies, for the first time!

Of course, I must hasten to add that mere "kindness" is not an actual attribute of the HSP trait. HSPs can be kind... or not. However, what does tend to become part of an HSP's experience of life is the lingering effects left behind by those people who are not kind to us.

Because we experience everything so intensely, we also tend to experience a lack of kindness very intensely... and then we go on to remember it for a long time, regardless of whether we "want to," or not. Even when it might be well-meaning, someone saying "You just need to get OVER it!" is not very helpful. You've probably experienced that...

Standing By Our Values...

It can be quite a challenge to stand by our values; our core sense of what feels right... in a world that often doesn't seem to care about such things.

When people are being buttheads and mean to us, there's often a temptation to "rise, and take the bait" and return the argument in-kind. But — as a wise person once pointed out to me — a nasty individual has far more practice at being nasty than I have!

On the other hand, I have often found that my refusal to get embroiled in a loud and overstimulating argument is perceived as a variety of generally negative things... from being passive, to being weak, to not caring, to lacking passion.

More than 90% of the time, those assertions are simply not true!

So I remind myself of a few things I have learned, along the way:

I can be enthusiastic, without yelling.
I can be passionate, without overpowering.
I can have boundaries, without being forceful.
And I can be kind, whenever possible!

Thanks for reading!

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