10 Gifts of a Highly Sensitive Person
Being a sensitive person is not always a walk in the park. Sometimes it requires that you stay home for a little extra R&R, when your friends are planning something fun; sometimes it leaves you wondering why you can’t seem to do it the way everyone else does and has left you feeling different from the crowd. However, your sensitivities enable development in you that is impossible in others. A highly sensitive person is gifted in many ways. Here are just a few:
You are highly intuitive: This may go without saying but highly sensitive people are intuitive people and intuition has been linked with things like higher creativity and emotional intelligence. Once you have learned how to effectively navigate the challenges of being highly sensitive, you will begin to reap the rewards of your exceptional intuition.
You are more in tune with others: On the one hand, a walk through a crowded public place may leave you overstimulated and overwhelmed. On the other hand, this same challenge reflects your unique ability to be tuned into others on a different frequency that most of us. This natural ability to know how others are feeling can help you connect deeply with the important people in your life.
You stop problems when they are small: Sensitive means you feel even the little things. Because of this, you don’t need to wait for little things to become big problems. After all, to you it might already feel like a big problem when it is still small by others’ standards. So, if you have heard all your life that you are making a big deal out of nothing, congratulations! You have the raw material to stop a problem before it gets out of hand. Pay attention and develop your ability to find new and better solutions.
You can’t tolerate the Bullshit: You can likely hear the subtext in any exchange and know if someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. This may lead to some awkward moments, but people can count on you to say it like it is or, at very least, not jump on the bandwagon when it is going to crazy town and no one else seems to be watching the road.
You help others (and yourself) avoid problems: Your friend might not be able to sense the fact that the new person that she just met is sub-par, but you can. Once you learn to trust yourself, being attuned to yourself helps you sense and judge people and scenarios around you, allow you to avoid a lot of problems with seeming ease.
You are creative: Ok – not every sensitive person is creative, but many of them are. Even if your creativity doesn’t make you an artist, your sensitivity likely manifests in other ways that can be seen as creative. Perhaps, you are a bit more attentive to your environment and so you create a more welcoming space; or maybe your sensitivity to food turns you into an amazing cook.
You can voice the Shadow: Many sensitive people are tapped into what is being avoided or unacknowledged and – consciously or unconsciously – bring this information forward. This can sometimes backfire and result in a “killing of the messenger” situation but approached with skill it can be a powerful tool of transformation.
You’re a cultural light bearer: You bring something much needed to the world: a taste of what is just beyond other people’s reach. Your connection to nature or your spirituality, your awareness of important problems and connections to new solutions are part of the gifts you naturally bring everywhere you go.
You are a Natural advocate for the underserved: Animals and kids likely feel safe around you, whether or not you even like them. They know you are more in tune and therefore will not overlook what some other miss. Along these same lines, you are likely to pick up on the wants and needs of other groups as well. For you, there is much more than just paying attention to pack.
You are a skilled counselor or coach: Because of all of what has been said in this article, whether you do it for a living or not, you have the natural ability to help others. You probably notice that people tell you their problems or confide in you a lot. They can “just tell” that you get them in a way others do not.
Being highly sensitive comes with a responsibility to take care of yourself and learn about your gifts so that you can use them more effectively in the world. When we avoid this responsibility we suffer. When we act on it we enjoy the benefits our way of being provides including the profound positive impact we can have on others. Every highly sensitive person is gifted. Celebrate yours!
Passion and balance
How do those who are deeply passionate about their work balance their lives? I have written a few articles on the topic of balance and could list several ways “to balance your life” but that does not seem to answer the deeper part of this question, which is much more complicated than the basics of work/life balance.
I had someone say to me once that part of the root meaning of the word “passion” is “to suffer”. I suspect that those people who are truly passionate about what they do can relate to this definition of passion — to be passionate about something is to be consumed and driven by it. Where in this experience is the concept of balance? Passion might compel you to write at 3am and work for days without showering, with little sleep, and barely eating. This is not balance — and this is not the work-alcoholism of the typical American that might be remedied by the standard concept of balance.
Anyone who has been passionately connected to his or her work knows that the self is not always maintained in the process. The creative element that is a part of visioning and passionate action requires dissolution of the self. This makes it challenging to deeply understand what balance is all about under these circumstances.
However, if we substitute caring for ourselves in place of balance, we get a bit closer to something that might serve those of us who are so intimately connected with our passion. While balance might imply that we spend a certain amount of time doing separate activities, caring for ourselves implies that we are an essential part of our passionate work. If we are not healthy, then our work is not healthy either.
If we are not healthy then our work is not healthy.
Period and no exceptions.
While the metaphysics of this statement are intriguing, answering the following question will help us to apply it to our lives: How might your approach to work change if you looked at it from the perspective of the above statement?