Friday, November 27, 2020

Highly Sensitive People

COVID gives me much time to contemplate things.  Practicing gratitude and mindfulness through meditation and contemplation helps me not ruminate about the past or make up futuristic stories to become upset about.  In this strange COVID place I have burned through many books and binge watched a variety of shows.  I have also learned more about my own mental processing and found ways to not waste too much time and energy, but to use that energy wisely.  

Enter into my world in my early processing on a documentary that I discovered on Amazon Prime called, "Sensitive: The Untold Story".  This is the story of the reframing of overly sensitive as highly sensitive people.  We take sensitive out of the negative assumption basket and place it in the positve assumption category.  As someone who tries to help people find a more peaceful, satisfying way of relating to the world, I knew that something like this would require more of my being than I usually want to expend on television watching.  The researcher on this bit is one Dr. Elaine Aron.  As is often the case, my ego argued for weeks that I did not need to watch it. I would see the title come up, start the program and then become overstimulated and run away.  I have learned that when my ego bucks something, I probably need to watch the egoic function  and then listen to the non reactive part of me that eagerly says, "this is important".  This paragraph is a great example of how knowing yourself and listening deeply helps a great deal to not be triggered even in chaos.

This documentary was done in 2015 which means much has been added to the base of  Dr. Aron's insights as more people processed it, applied it and saw the connection to other things.  "Sensitive" helped me explore my own bias against being sensitive.  As a child and as an adult I have often been called "overly sensitive".  

This trait is not a positive thing in the eyes of many but it can be most helpful.  As a secretary in my early adulthood, the trait helped me read difficult bosses (all male), and find ways to get along with a variety of personality types.  It also added to my deep biases (assumptions) based on negative judgments. I got triggered into over reactivity by men who seem to rely heavily on their dominance and use of brute force to get what they want in our culture. We can all be condescending and demanding in many different ways and it is always about our own fear of not being seen and heard.  We can all be triggered. Being triggered means my survival instincts have kicked into gear making my ego go into overdrive.  Learning our triggers helps us stay calm. 

After returning to school and becoming credentialed to be a Clinical Social Worker with a Masters Degree, I realized I could read clients emotions and have insight into possible assumptions even when clients were too afraid to tell me.  When used in the right amount, this Overly sensitive trait can help me help them have great insights into behavior.  Trust is a key component in being able to thrive in any relationship, and the more complex the relationship, the greater the trust needed.  Client/therapist is complex.  Parent/child is complex.  Even third generation once removed (In-law, grands) relationships are complex.  Significant other relationships are complex.  Stage of life in combination with these roles is complex.  Read this as all relationships introduce complexity to a situation.   When we cannot make necessary adjustments in relationships, the complexity can lead to schisms/breaks and even terminations of the relationship.  

So if you watch Sensitive:  The Untold Story and relate to a Jean kind of brain, go to  This will help you sort out the complex connections between HSP, Empaths, Introverts and Narcissism.  I truly love google at times like this, because I have learned that if questions pop up about all that for me, it does and has for others as well.  Those five years since the making of the documentary have lead to considerable  insights and studies about these traits.  

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