More About HSPs
Emotional Sensitivity & Empathic
By Kyra Mesich, Psy.D.*
Emotional sensitivity is a common character trait. Sensitive people feel emotions deeply, connect with other people's emotions, and make great counselors, teachers, and artists. Sensitivity should be regarded as positive, but, sadly, in our society it is generally perceived as a weakness. As sensitive people, we have often wished we were tougher or more 'thick-skinned. Why is sensitivity so unappreciated and misunderstood?
You may be surprised to learn the answer lies outside the realm of conventional psychology. Sensitive people are receptive to emotional energy. This happens on a conscious, psychological level, but also on a deeper, psychic level. This deeper aspect of sensitivity is what our modern day society ignores. It is this lack of understanding of the psychic nature of sensitivity that causes problems -- not sensitivity itself.
Sensitive people are empathic. This means we are receptive to emotional energy from friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers. Because our society does not acknowledge the existence of empathic ability, sensitive people are left with no way to interpret or manage the empathic information received from the people around us. This is the reason so many people describe their sensitivity as painful, and why it can sometimes feel overwhelming. We have never been taught about the empathic abilities we naturally have, much less how to use or manage the emotional energy we constantly perceive.
Empathic ability is a psychic, intuitive strength. But it can only be used to our benefit when we are aware and knowledgeable about its existence. Modern times have managed to keep us in the dark about the psychic gifts our sensitivity represents. Are you ready to step out into the light?
*Kyra Mesich has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and has researched the psychic correlates of emotional sensitivity. She is author of "The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide".
What is an Energy Vampire? By Judith Orloff
(Used with permissionfrom the author)
Many of us “sensitives” absorb energy from others, particularly negative energy, and get exhausted by it. It’s essential that we learn strategies not to do that. Please refer to my book, "Guide to Intuitive Healing" * in chapter 7 on Centering and Protection for many techniques. In that chapter I also talk about energy vampires, those people who sap our energy. Here’s an introduction to dealing with them which is part of the third step to intuitive healing I discuss in the book. We need to combat these creature so they don’t suck the life from us.
Tips for Dealing With Energy Vampires
1. Take an inventory of people in your life who give energy, and people who drain. Specifically identify the energy vampires, and begin to evaluate ones you'd like to limit contact with or eliminate. Plan at least one complete afternoon with people who give off positive energy and avoid drainers. Notice how this beneficially affects their physical and emotional well-being.
2. Protect Your Energy: Set Clear Boundaries It’s crucial to limit the time you spend discussing a vampire’s gripes. When approaching her, remember: the difference between being a bitch and setting boundaries is attitude. Instead of saying, “You’re selfish and self-obsessed, I can’t take you anymore,” which a part of you likely feels, take a breath and shift to your heart.
3.Meditate. Sitting in meditation is a life-line to your center, to the earth. it will ground you when you’ve been struck by a vampire. By calming the mind, you can re-align with your essence. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Then gently extend your awareness downward to strata, bedrock, minerals, and soil. From the base of your spine begin to feel a continuity with the earth's core. Picture having a long tail that roots in that center. Allow the earth's energy to infuse your body and stabilize you. If you meditate for five minutes or an hour this is sacred time.
4. When you’re with vampires you can’t get away from visualize a protective shield of while light surrounding every inch of you. This lets positive energy in, but keeps negative energy out—particularly efficient for vampires at family dinners or social events where you’re trapped.
Relationships are always an energy exchange. To stay feeling our best, we must ask ourselves: Who gives us energy? Who saps it? It's important to be surrounded by supportive, heart-centered people who make us feel safe and secure. It's equally important to pinpoint the energy vampires, who, whether they intend to or not, leech our energy.
Positive energy in others can be rejuvenating . For instance, you're nervous about a job interview, but the minute you meet your prospective boss you relax. He's so calm and welcoming, you calm down too. Or perhaps you have a good friend around whom you always feel loved. These are energy-givers, those we must gravitate towards.
In contrast, energy vampires exude negative energy that drains. Vampires range from the intentionally malicious ones to those who are oblivious to their effect. Some are overbearing and obnoxious; others are friendly and charming. For example, you're at a party talking to a perfectly nice person, but suddenly you're nauseous or weak. Or how about the co-worker who drones on about how she broke up with her boyfriend for the tenth time? Eventually, she feels better, but you're spent. The bottom line is that on a subtle energy level these people suck you dry.
Judith Orloff, M.D is a board certified psychiatrist and practicing intuitive, author of the bestsellers, "Second Sight", and "Intuitive Healing", and her latest book "Positive Energy". She is assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and an international workshop leader.
Feel Like an Oddball?
By Patricia B Monroe, PhD ~ Life Coach
I have to smile at all the comments about oddball feelings we HSP's have occasionally. I do feel like that myself a lot. Yet, at a family gathering not so long ago, I looked around in a sort of detached way and came up with a totally new definition for oddball. There surrounding me was a room full of the most eclectic "odd" people I have ever seen in one family. I am really laughing now thinking how we are so very different even though genetically connected.
I stood there in the center of all of these people and started laughing to myself. Yes, they thought I was the oddball. Maybe I am. I have worked very hard these last ten years to do my inner work, and even though I have gotten comfortable with myself, I know it will continue in many forms. That is OK with me, for to not keep learning is to stop growing in wisdom.
Years ago, I started accepting my differences. I went against the family expectations in order to leave a marriage because it was destroying me from the inside out. I decided to live in another country temporarily because it was the only place I knew to get completely away from all the family and in order to find myself again. Then I came home when I knew it was time. I know when I need to get into nature, and do so. I honor my body's needs for healthy food, exercise, and proper supplements. I know that colors have a vibratory pattern that affect me, so I decorate accordingly. I also know that I am greatly affected by areas of the country, so I am making plans to honor that also by a move . I am comfortable writing my poetry, even though it is very mystical in nature and most people have no clue what I am talking about much less feeling in the poems.
I know that each of us in our own way is just a journeyman traveling through life in order to grow. We stumble, fall, get up and go on. I have learned not to judge someone's stumbles. I also have learned not to judge my own.
I am constantly seeking, constantly nurturing myself, constantly growing in wisdom, albeit sometimes it feels like I am stuck in a sea of molasses. Even that is OK. I am as I am as I am. Perhaps that makes me an oddball.
Maybe oddball is just someone who is sensitive enough to see beyond the obvious. Perhaps oddball is someone who knows the sixth sense is so much more powerful than the other five. Perhaps oddball is someone who is constantly striving, growing, trying, seeking, changing, introspective, spiritual, evolving, processing, learning. Perhaps oddballs are journeymen, or perhaps even sojourners in this life. Perhaps oddballs are the ones who are genuinely happy from the inside out.
This I do know. Oddballs are trendsetters and discoverers in this world. We are the ones who not only take a different path, sometimes we even blaze a new trail. Einstein was an oddball. Columbus was an oddball. Mother Teresa was an oddball. Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King were oddballs.
So, HSPs, to my own thinking, I celebrate the oddballs in life. Long may they continue to be exactly what they were created to be: Clever, self sufficient, visionary, and very, very brave.
Reprinted with permission from the author.