Do you know someone who feels very deeply? They might even be affected by bright lights, strong scents, itchy clothing, and loud sounds. It’s possible they sense other people’s feelings before they ever say a word. They may even have a rich and complex inner life. This might be someone you know or it might even describe you! If you’re not an HSP, you most certainly know an HSP, so listen in on this conversation with Cheri Gregory, the author of Sensitive and Strong so you better understand yourself or the HSP’s in your life!
I shared my story in Episode 1 about the importance of being compassionate. One thing I realized was that my Buck up mindset was especially difficult on the HSP’s in my life: my husband and several of my kids not to mention some in my extended family as well!
I loved being able to talk with Cheri about her experiences finding out that she is a Highly Sensitive Person and how she learned to navigate and give a name to the challenges she had experienced all of her life.
“[Before finding out I was an HSP] I just knew that there was something fundamentally flawed with me. There was something wrong with me. I felt like I was completely defective… I lived in a state of being perpetually overwhelmed [by life]”
She talks about the power of learning the name for this, so she could begin to control her reactions and learn the skills to thrive.
What makes someone an HSP?
While there are many genetic reasons, but the main thing is Sensory Processing Sensitivity.
Sensory processing sensitivity: Receiving input from their sense at a much higher rater and their brains are processing them at a deeper rate, than those who are not HSPs. Every HSP has a different sensitivity.
I learned that at least 15-20% of people in a given room are Highly Sensitive People! That means there are probably several people in your life that are highly sensitive.
5 Key Qualities of Highly Sensitive People
- They need time to process.
- They are easily overstimulated.
- They feel things intensely.
- They are highly empathetic.
- They notice nuances.
A myth is that HSPs wallow in their emotions. Instead, they are trying to put names to those emotions so they can move forward.
I love this conversations with Cheri and am so excited to share it with you!
If you or someone you know is Highly Sensitive, know that it is normal and you are not alone!
Resources Mentioned in Today’s Podcast
Sensitive and Strong: A guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them
Susan Kane’s book:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
What you need to know about Highly Sensitive People
Carol Dweck’s book:
The Growth Mindset
The Realities of Being a Highly Sensitive Mom
The Realities of Raising a Highly Sensitive Child
About Cheri Gregory
Cheri Gregory is an author, speaker, collaborator, and a Highly Sensitive Person.
She’s the founder of the Sensitive & Strong online community, and co-author of four books, including Sensitive & Strong: a Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them.
She and her husband, Daniel — who is also a Highly Sensitive Person — have been married for almost 32 years. They have two grown children, Annemarie and Jonathon, who are also HSPs.
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Jill and Mark,
Hope you and family are well.
Love the photos you’ve posted!
It is good to see the ESP info you’ve shared here as I am one of those, what are also called, “overly-sensitive persons”.
As stated here, the topic is very important, especially when it comes to relationships, in general, and even more so in abuse and trauma situations where a lower intensity of abuse to an “ESP” can feel like a higher intensity of abuse, quickening the onset of symptoms such as depression, acute anxiety and even PTSD.
Keep up the great work!
Hi Bob, I’m so glad you found it helpful! You’re right being an HSP can be heightened in abuse and trauma situations for sure.
Oh my goodness! This is my husband. I’m constantly saying “You’re so sensitive! What happened to you as a child?” Now I know it’s how he’s wired. I am going to have him listen to this. I’ll also need to do some research in how I can help him. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Julie, that’s what happened to me when I first learned about HSP! My husband and several of my kids are HSP’s and I suddenly saw them through different eyes!