Highly Sensitive People


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Just imagine what the world might be like if the highly sensitive people were in charge. Shopping malls, if they existed, would play soothing music at low volumes and eliminate the flashing lights. Restaurants would be designed such that you could talk in a normal tone and be heard by your dinner mates; shouting to be heard over the din of the other diners, the kitchen, and the wait staff a thing of the past. Television would stop emphasizing violence and focus more on the good stuff of life. Oh, those could be the days…

What is a highly sensitive person, you may be asking. I can’t recall the first time I heard the term, but I do know it was shortly after the book, “The Highly Sensitive Person, " by Elaine Aron, was released. It’s best to read the book to get a full view, and in the spirit of explanation I’ll give a few bullet points here:

  • 20% of the population is “wired" differently. They take in more information that the other 80%, and process it on a much deeper level. It’s common for something they’ve experienced to stay with them twice as long as it would the others.

  • They may hear they are “too sensitive" from those around them, that they need tougher skin. They tend to be emotional and feel things deeply.

  • They notice the little things in their environment. This makes them attentive to what fabrics they wear, what type of food they eat (and how often), how well they sleep if one small thing around them changes, and what perfume the person next to them is wearing.

    Why am I bringing this up? Because Leslie and I are highly sensitive people and we spent our lives up until we heard the term wondering what was wrong with us. In light of this new information we understand that there are many like us; in fact, a quick poll of those we enjoy being with shows that many of them are highly sensitive, too – who knew! Oprah always says when you know better you do better. Applying that to this newfound knowledge about being highly sensitive, ponder these questions:

  • Many may feel that there is something wrong with them because of their sensitivity. Reframing this thought, how could you view your sensitivity as a good thing?

  • Highly sensitive people are frequently connected to others, animals and the planet on a deep level. How can this be used to make you and those around you live a better life?

  • What is the best way you can take care of yourself? Perhaps it is eating more frequently, visiting spas, meeting with a group of supportive friends that share your trait, or giving yourself permission to stay in the house all day.

    Learning about and living as a highly sensitive person can at once be challenging and the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Owning our own businesses, running workshops and teaching classes, developing a business alliance with a day spa, coaching one on one clients, and being part of a supportive community – our partnership first and foremost – have been terrific ways for Leslie and I to take care of our sensitivity. We encourage you to find the support you need to discover the true contribution that you are, just as you are. What first step will you take today to embrace your gift?


    Lifestyle Catalysts Kristine Carey & Leslie Gebhart are certified life coaches who ask: Are you tired of people telling you that’s just how it is? Be a part of their complimentary conversation the first Monday of each Month and discover how it can be: http://www.lifestylecatalyst.com/register.shtml . Action creates change; what choice will you make today?

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