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Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs)

Finding Depth, Peace, and Belonging in a Thrill-Seeking, Distracted World

Overstimulated. Mentally taxed. Dismayed. Misunderstood. 

Confused, you want to ‘hang in’ with friends or groups that want plenty of stimulation and feel little fatigue, while you need a break sooner. And small talk is entertaining, but not your thing. It’s hard on you but others don’t know why, either. 

You wish you could be different. But you can’t put your finger on what to change, whether to change, or why. So what is it? 

For some, this could point to being a highly sensitive person (HSP).

Not a disorder, this quality or ‘trait’ needs to stay put and be understood, accepted, adapted, and used to your advantage.  As an HSP, you are in a group of about 20% of people.

Your gifts are being alert, deeply thoughtful, emotionally receptive, and affected by subtle sensations. But when you don’t know the issue or what will improve the difficult sides of your gifts, the gifts can feel like curses.

You can easily burn out from trying to be what others seem to want. But you also don’t want to miss out or become isolated.

You find yourself asking:

  • If it isn’t social anxiety or poor social skills, what is going on?
  • Where do I find people who understand me, and vice versa? 
  • Will I be alone because I need to recharge from high stimulation and small talk? 
  • How do I capitalize on a sensitive and deep nature?

It can be lonely and anxiety-provoking to feel different in a way that is hard to physically ‘point to’. Most people do not know about HSPs or dismiss the idea. The truth is that trying to hide your true HSP nature is a loss for them, and a draining, self-esteem-harming loss for you, too. 

With enough work with a therapist who is HSP-knowledgeable, you can learn what it means to be an HSP, how to adapt to its challenges, and how to play its upsides and benefits. 

Why is it hard to accept and utilize your HSP nature?

You are trying to adapt to people’s focus on speed, constant connection, and quantity over quality. You do ‘multi-tasking’ only grudgingly and with discomfort, because you knew from the get-go that it is inefficient and harmful when excessive. 

You can worry about being singled out and rejected because of your differences and sensitivity. Most just jump in and sort it out, but you watch, feel, predict, and analyze first.

Your qualities are valuable, but others may dismiss you as over-cautious or ‘reluctant on purpose’.

How therapy can help you be a centered, unashamed HSP

I have a strong interest in HSPs and helping others who quietly feel misunderstood and stuck. In therapy, being understood and valued by me for your HSP qualities is key. You also learn to envision and resolve the ways your past experiences have interacted with being an HSP and, in some ways, made it more difficult for you. 

Although being an HSP is not a disorder, you might have some troubles linked to it. We can deal with those, too. That helps you be yourself confidently, enjoy others, stick up for your needs, and offer the benefits of your way of seeing and being.  

Therapy progress: feeling at peace with HSP identity, needs, and strengths

In therapy, it is important for you to know that the therapist knows about your HSP qualities and directly understands them, even molding sessions to them a bit.

You gain confidence that your deep-thinking, emotion-considering approach will be successful as you define success–even if no one trumpets your name across the internet.

You get more comfortable with ‘calling it a day’ when you can. You can do that because you have faith that your unique approach made an impact, even if others realize it only gradually or subtly.

When dominance and flash get the headlines, it can be hard to see the HSP gifts: the satisfaction and power of deep reflection, sensitive perception, thoughtfulness, and emotional intelligence.

When you are ready to explore, accept, and love your HSP qualities, I’m here.

Click below to schedule a consultation or call me at 909-766-2221. 

A major resource:

I am listed as a therapist who is HSP-knowledgeable (see here):

For a different but generally matching take on ‘sensitive style’, see here.