Highly Sensitive People, Empaths and Introverts
Highly Sensitive People Have Strong Emotional Responses
Highly sensitive people make up about 20% of the population. If you’re an HSP, that means you’re likely surrounded by people who don’t understand your needs. You may be accustomed to pushing yourself through states of overwhelm, over-stimulation, anxiety and exhaustion. If you were a highly sensitive child and never had help with embracing and respecting the trait you were born with, you might be suffering in all kinds of ways.
Highly sensitive people are generally prone to shame and feeling criticized. You may have been told you were “too sensitive” or “overly emotional.” Most HSPs respond best when treated with genuine warmth and gentleness. That’s why it might be important to work with a therapist who understands the trait and can provide the kind of emotional environment that you can feel safe and thrive in. Instead of feeling like your sensitivity is a burden to yourself and others, you can learn to cherish it as one of the most beautiful aspects of who you are.
If you grew up with caregivers who couldn’t respond to your sensitivity in a way that made you feel understood, safe and validated, this can greatly contribute to lower self-esteem and feelings of depression and anxiety later in life. HSPs often need more affection and emotional contact; if this was something you didn’t get enough of; you might even suffer from a form of complex trauma.
Empaths: Managing and Embracing Your Gift
Being an empath might feel like a blessing and a curse. Feeling other people’s emotions is exhausting, and quite painful. At the same time, you might like that people turn to you for support. Perhaps you appreciate your depth of feeling because you feel all emotions to a greater degree.
Yet managing your empathic gift may not come easy to you. You soak it all in. At times, it feels like you have no skin or protective barrier. Learning ways of managing your emotional and energetic boundaries, and clearing them, can make all the difference in how you feel and move through life.
Introverts: Quality Over Quantity
Introverts usually have a rich inner life. You recharge by spending time alone. Social stimulation might feel draining. Not all HSPs are introverts, and vice-versa, but there’s a commonality that HSPs and introverts process information and sensory stimuli differently than the rest of the population. The world is dominated by extroverts, so it’s not uncommon for introverts to feel some level of oppression. If this oppression is internalized, you might be dealing with shame, guilt or a loud internal critic that further harms your experience of life. Life is hard enough; you know this! Why continue to suffer when there’s a way to embrace who you are and come to celebrate it?
Why I Work with HSPs, Empaths and Introverts
It’s simple. I identify as all three. Sometimes it takes one to know one; and I mean REALLY know one. People who feel deeply often make wonderful healers, yet struggle with burn out, isolation, overwhelm and depletion. I’ve had to navigate taking care of myself while deeply caring for others. Since I literally feel your pain, I also have to find ways to release and transform what I take in. If you would like help navigating your gift as a highly sensitive person, empath, and/or introvert, call me today to get started.