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Topic: Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

  1. Frangepani
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    18 December 2021 in reply to white knight
    Hi Tony kw i found your posts very helpful as I am an extreme empath who finds it very difficult to dissociate from other peoples energies.
  2. therising
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    18 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    I've found being a highly sensitive person means you're going to sense a lot of irresponsible people. Take for example someone who triggers you and then insists you 'Settle down' because they don't want to take any responsibility for your upset. They don't want to face it. I admit, this is like a red rag to a bull for me, the phrase 'Settle down'. It's kinda like 'Oh no princess, you worked me up and now you want me to settle down. You're not getting out of it that easily' :) After insisting you settle down, they may also insist 'You're way too sensitive. You need to toughen up a little'. Grrr! So, you've got the initial emotional trigger, a 2nd trigger (settle down) and now this 3rd trigger (you're way too sensitive...). By this stage you can be feeling completely out of control. The 'Way too sensitive...' comment is, again, the other person not taking any responsibility for being insensitive. They've handed responsibility back to you.

    I suppose the question becomes about whether we want to lead someone to become more conscious or not. You can say to the person who's upsetting you 'Have you considered what would lead me to feel so much upset, regarding your initial comment? Can you imagine why it's upset me so much?'. Two very different responses

    1. 'I'm sorry. I never really considered it from your point of view. I'd be upset too, now that I think about it'
    2. 'It's not my fault you're over sensitive. Gee, don't take it so personally!'

    The first person has opened their mind in favour of raising their consciousness, in service to you and themself. The second person's mind remains closed in favour of what works for them. They simply serve themself. What works for them is not taking responsibility for the upset they lead others to feel. The ability to feel the upset of others is something they have no interest in mastering. For a highly sensitive person, they typically don't have to work on developing this ability. It just comes naturally, feeling so intensely.

    So, to someone who says to us 'You're way too sensitive. You need to toughen up', the ideal response may be 'Damn right I'm sensitive. How do you think I'm able to sense inconsiderate people. It's not my fault I have this ability. Have you ever considered it is perhaps a fault of yours, ignoring the opportunity to develop this ability in yourself?' :)

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  3. therising
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    18 December 2021 in reply to Frangepani

    Hi Frangepani

    To be highly empathic is an incredible or super natural ability that can definitely come with a down side. I recall my niece not too long ago mentioning how every time she got to work she'd experience almost overwhelming levels of anxiety. She just couldn't figure out why. There was simply nothing obvious triggering her. She had to work it out, as it was becoming exhausting. I asked her if there was anyone she worked with who was stressed. She smiled with the realisation that everyone at work was highly stressed. She realised she could feel the stress she was walking into every time she got to work. It wasn't her anxiety she was feeling.

    While being an empath can be physically challenging because you can naturally feel so much, it can also be mind altering as it challenges the way we think, sometimes creating a torturous form of internal dialogue like 'What's 'wrong' with me? Why am I so sensitive (when sensitivity is seen as a fault or a defect)?' and the list goes on.

    The second you acknowledge such sensitivity as an ability that you may need to turn the volume down on, perception can change. Different empaths have different ways of managing the volume or how loud they're feeling things. Hope that makes sense. One of the ways to turn the volume down involves opening up a channel for inspiration. I hope the following makes sense, as it's kind of difficult to explain. Just say you have a friend who's been suffering through isolation due to lockdowns. You can feel her pain, her stress/anxiety, her confusion, her hopelessness etc. Imagine meditating on consciously opening a channel for inspiration to come in. You're inviting inspiration the second you open your mind. By the way, inspiration can't enter a closed mind. So, with a now open mind, what suddenly comes to it from out of the blue is 'Walk to the shop together to get a cup of coffee. Coffee is the goal and nothing else. The goal is not to calm down, it's just to focus on obtaining the coffee. Lead her to smell the coffee, in her mind. Lead her to taste it, in her mind. Lead her to feel the cup in her hand, simply in her mind. Now, suggest you make it real'. So, with all this natural inspiration coming to mind from out of the blue, your attention becomes divided. While you're meditating on what comes to mind you're only half feeling.

    May sound weird but imagine being given a super power with no instruction manual. The quest for instructions becomes key to developing your super power :)

  4. Frangepani
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    19 December 2021 in reply to therising
    Hi therising thankyou for replying back to me what you said was very insight and I feel the same way. I am a very sociable person I never use to be I guess you could say the experiences in our lives either makes you or breaks you and believe me I've come close to break a few times but I believe the experiences that I've endured in my life is not going to define who I am. I feel that being an extreme empath has allowed me to be a doormat and let people walk all over me but now I'm saying no enough is enough I deserve better its taken me a while to get here and its only through sheer hard work that I've been doing on myself that my life has turned around and also because of my faith which I feel strongly about take care terising
  5. white knight
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    19 December 2021 in reply to Frangepani

    Hi Frangepani

    HSP is an extremely difficult problem for us and those living with us or dealing with us eg workplace. I can give you examples for myself and hope you can relate.

    I decide to do a good deed. I ask my wife is she'd like a coffee from our brand new barista. Yes please she says. I make it and serve it, she says "thanks". A few sips later she says "its too strong, I get a reaction from it when its that strong". Immediately I feel hurt (like crying inside as men often feel). 10 seconds goes by I react- "well you can go and put more hot water in it then". After a few minutes of what feel like a chemical has invaded my brain, I leave to seek out peace outside. The hurt continues only now she is also hurt because I've taken exception to her comments. Let analyse this.

    My side- Firstly I explain later (as I have numerous times) that my hurt is automatic and immediate but often more likely when I'm tired. Apart from the "thanks" there is no further signs of appreciation from her that accompany the facts she is saying "its too strong". I explain to her that had she added some words like "great effort on the coffee honey but I'm sorry its too strong, I'll go and get some more hot water in it". All would have been good. I feel there isnt enough gratitude shown.

    Her side- She says she only is speaking facts. "its too strong..." so I shouldnt take offence at facts. She says I storm off and get upset too easily.

    Further discussion opened floodgates because I challenge her on the words "stormed off". What else could I do but to walk away? When feeling such upset there is no way I can sit in the same place and brood. I have to change my environment. During this discussion she made a point "you always get so upset and it hurts me". I made a point that this sensitivity is not containable, not avoidable, part of my make up. "So what do you suggest I do under the circumstances"? No answer forthcoming.

    Now, I have a lot of insight so I suggest to her that the actual problem lies 80% on me as my sensitivity is not her fault and must be hard to live with. I also suggest that 20% could be levelled at her because stating mere facts can be taken negatively, a criticism, where if she added some pleasantries it could avoid the clash.

    Here is a thread I'd like to see what you think about it

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/want-to-be-a-hermit-

    Thanks again this is interesting

    TonyWK

  6. Frangepani
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    19 December 2021 in reply to white knight
    Hi white knight i totally get and understand where your coming from. It extremely hurts for me personally where I felt it would be better if I wasn't here list I would be at peace and I wouldn't be such a problem to everyone else. I wanted to say this only my opinion and it is coming from the experiences in my life which haven't been great by any means. I have been doing a lot of intense personal development work on myself over the last 6 months in lockdown and im so grateful that I was giving this opportunity because it has made me the person I am now which is a hell of a lot stronger than what I ever use to be. I can say that I actually stand up for myself never could have done that 6 months ago. I did the work because I want an amazing life and now I know I deserve it after so much pain and suffering I choose to not have that in my life anymore I've had enough. Im not going to let anyone stop me dont care who they are even family of following my dreams. I hope this resonates with you and that it can help you in anyway. I wish you well all the best take care of yourself reach out again by all means if I can help in anyway to share my story I will.
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  7. therising
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    19 December 2021 in reply to Frangepani

    Hi Frangepani

    You're an inspiration with all that hard work and progress. I don't think a lot of people realise how much hard work is involved in being a highly sensitive person. The work involved in learning how to

    • master your feelings
    • not be depressed by depressing degrading people or stressed by stressful energy zapping people
    • analyse carefully in favour of gaining greater self control
    • develop parts of you that have been virtually non existent for years. You mention in so many words 'the intolerant self'. The intolerant self can be an incredibly healthy aspect to develop. It's the part that insists 'You are no one's doormat. You gotta let 'em know that'. It's often overridden by our 'people pleasing' side until it begins to fully come life. Not sure if the development of your intolerant self has led you to cop a few labels like 'Difficult', 'unreasonable', 'bi*ch' etc. People tend to not like it when you stop pleasing them all the time :)

    The list goes on when it comes to the hard work that takes place with self development. It's work that can take years, when there's not a lot of solid guidance and you're working most of it out for yourself. There's a sense of pride that comes with this kind of work, a sense of pride that comes with saying 'I'm raising myself. I'm reaching higher levels of consciousness through my own hard work'. No one can take that away from you. The fact that you can be raising yourself while people are trying to keep you on a level that's comfortable for them can feel like a battle at times, leading to a lot of self doubt. I believe getting beyond the self doubt and realising you are coming to know who you naturally are...well...there's no feeling like it. I think one of the toughest parts of coming to know who you naturally are involves the part where you have to consciously set boundaries and even burn bridges in some cases, so as to graduate to the next level of self development.

    Keep on graduating Frangepani :)

  8. therising
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    19 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    I get where you're coming from with the coffee incident. Some people can't fully relate to feeling words so intensely. Most people more so relate to hearing them and that's it. Someone could say, such as your wife or my husband 'I was just stating a fact (for you to mentally process, relate to and take action over)'. When our initial offering/good deed, no matter how small, comes from the heart, their words can feel kind of heartbreaking. If nothing we did came from the heart there would be no heartbreak for us to feel.

    I can imagine you wouldn't have felt your wife's words so much if she had have said 'Thanks' taken a sip and followed up with 'I wonder why they make the coffee so strong here'. A very different approach to 'The gift you brought me is not good enough'.

    A highly sensitive person is typically a thoughtful person. I imagine you're deeply thoughtful. I imagine you're conscious regarding how people feel your words therefore I imagine you choose your words carefully in a lot of cases. I wonder if you can relate to the following. My husband may say 'I have to be careful with pretty much everything I say to you'. I used to take this comment personally, thinking I was 'too delicate', now not so much. Now my response tends to be 'Yes, full of care is preferable, rather than careless'. Strange to think about but practicing being full of care leads to it becoming effortless. Practice makes perfect :)

    I've discovered it's quite easy to get someone to relate to consciously feeling words, so they can see where I'm coming from. All I have to do is choose words they'd be able to feel. It can be so intensely challenging to undertake this exercise, as you don't want to lead someone to feel down but the goal, in this case, is to get them to know what it's like to feel words. Of course, they have to be in agreement to do this exercise for things not to be taken personally. To say words that they feel hit their chest which then zoom down to their gut can give them an idea of what it's like for us. For them to feel words that hit their chest and then rise up to their throat is another one. There are even words that you can feel taking your breath away. Another part of the exercise can involve leading some to feel words raising them/their spirits. Words can be such a mental, physical and soulful experience.

    Bit of a twist when you can say to someone 'It's not my fault I can feel words, it actually points to my ability', an ability not everyone has :)

  9. white knight
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    19 December 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi the rising

    You've not only hit the nail on the head, you've blown me away with your posts.

    In the last 9 years I've written no less than 300 thought pieces/new posts/topics and some members might have the impression my insight and capabilities cover all areas of my needs. Not so, like others I have little knowledge in some areas and crave it, but I know myself well and know that I could read an entire book and not "get it".

    Your comments on "feeling words" has the clarification I needed. Once we learn these lessons as to why we think differently, then we can move on to the next step.

    Thankyou so much my dear fellow member.

    Yes, I'm the thoughtful type. Always considerate and concerned for others feelings. The lesson? Not everyone has that capacity.

    TonyWK

  10. therising
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    20 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    One of my favourite feelings is feeling myself graduate through a revelation. Sometimes a revelation is so profound it's chilling. You know, when something gives you a chill. Recall mentioning to someone how when I get a chill I associate it with a truth that speaks to my soul, you could say. Kind of like there's a part of you that can feel when something 'rings true'. The chill is like a 'ringing'. I love that feeling. When I mentioned this to them, their response was 'Ooh, I just got a chill' :)

    I smile when I think of my rather extensive library of 'self help' books. Probably 3 quarters I accumulated throughout my years in depression and the rest after coming out of those 15 or so years. It's interesting what you say about reading something and not being able to get it or relate to it. It's weird how I can go back to read a book I read during my depression (which made no difference then) and now it reads very differently. How is that possible? I spoke to someone once about this phenomena and they offered clarity. A book will be relatable at different points of our graduation when it comes to self understanding and understanding our connection to life. I suppose it's kind of like you can give a year 7 a VCE textbook and they won't be able to relate to it. As the year 7 graduates through a process of greater understanding, from years 7 through to 11, once they get to year 12 that textbook finally becomes relatable. It's the vital missing pieces of information that can make a book unrelatable. Hope that all makes sense.

    I've found that being sensitive has led me to recognise the need to develop other abilities. The ability to be more wonderful (more full of wonder) is a must. Wonder can stop me from reaching false depressing conclusions. Wonder opens the mind as opposed to closing it firmly around false depressing beliefs. Wonder can be liberating. For example, you can have someone say to you 'You're absolutely hopeless. You're a complete loser'. Of course, being sensitive enough to feel this comment can be mind altering. It can lead the mind to perhaps believe 'They're right', especially if said to us enough times to become convincing. Cue wonder. 'I wonder what would lead this person to be so depressing. I wonder why they have no filter, why they have no self control. I wonder why they are not inspirational. I wonder what their problem is'. You may reach the conclusion: I am not a loser. I am wonderful and they have a serious problem :)

  11. white knight
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    21 December 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi the rising

    Re: ". I am wonderful and they have a serious problem :) that conclusion which if it comes in someone's life dogged by low self esteem...is a "rising" (sic) of itself, a realisation of not only one's true worth but two edged, the devalue of those that capitalise on the vulnerable...in point HSP's.

    I cannot read long texts due to wandering focus. So I listen to youtube or read short passages. My initial first encounter of my inner self came decades ago. I'd been told to listen to Prem Rawat Maharaji tapes (now youtube). In one he describes climbing a hilltop, sitting on a rock and watching the sunset which he remars, takes two hours to set. In that 2 hours, no phone, no other people, listen, relax...and it's free.

    It was soul cleansing. Amazing. It gave me a feeling "pity those poor souls that haven't been "there".

    "There" is where I write my poetry. Without that place and therefore without HSP my sensitivity would be only a burden. Yet it gives me a place that money cannot buy.

    The text book making sense years later in years 11/12 no different than good therapy imo with questions asked by the therapist or quotes given.

    One example in 1988 was when I told him "I couldn't find confidence in my decision making". He replied "what part of the word "couldnt" is of most value."?

    The quote made sense years later. Could...not. "Could" is more valuable than "not".

    I digress.

    Thankyou

    TonyWK

  12. therising
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    22 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK

    Prem Rawat played a significant part in my life when I first came out of my depression. I suppose you could say he was my first significant spiritual guide, with me having found him after suddenly waking up to the spiritual nature of life. I was captivated by his wisdom and guidance, something that spoke to a deeper part of me.

    I think, one of the benefits to being 'a sensitive' involves feeling who's inspiring and who's not. You could go years without a hint of the right kind of inspiration in your life and be left to think 'What's wrong with me?'. Then, one day, you can suddenly wake up to the fact 'There's no significant inspiration in my life, none I can really feel'. While the first thought can be deeply depressing in a number of ways, the second can be a mind altering revelation which can set you on a quest for the right kind of inspiration.

    How I wish we were all led to feel more constructively in this world. Unfortunately, I think our ability to feel is messed with over time. We tend to start life with this ability and then we're taught to suppress our feelings or hide them or bottle them up. Then when they start to surface, perhaps a little later in life, we see them as 'a problem' that shouldn't be there. We've been led to see them as some form of 'interference'. If we were actually taught to rely on our feelings and master them, life would be very different. We'd be able to feel our way through life a little more easily. I smile when I consider how well regarded HSPs would be in this case, if feelings were held in high regard. Tony, imagine you had people coming to you saying 'I don't know what this feeling I have is telling me. I need an expert in feeling, such as yourself', to which you reply (using your abilities of sensitivity) 'I feel what you're saying, regarding your issue, and I feel a 'depressing' sensation. Do you have any depressing people in your life?'. It would be like people employ you to get a feel for a situation. While a basically sensitive person could get a basic feel for what the problem could be, a highly sensitive person feels more intensely, more easily, more clearly. Imagine that, being employed by people to feel. Strange to think people actually do this for a living. Such people say they have strategies in place so that they aren't left overwhelmed, carrying a lot of intense emotion (from others) around with them. They master their ability to emotionally detach or cleanse themself of other people's feelings.

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  13. quirkywords
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    29 December 2021 in reply to therising

    I have been reading the posts especially Tony’s and the rising.
    zI don’t u derstand all that you. Both are expressing but I think I get the gist.

    I have said this before but when people call me very sensitive they are not praising me.

    I find being sensitive helps me understand others so why must HSP have to apologise and change.

  14. therising
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    29 December 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi quirkywords

    Insulting people, who proclaim sensitivity as a weakness or a fault, really don't understand or recognise a lot of the abilities related to sensitivity. You've spoken about one of those abilities, your naturally ability to gain a better understanding of people, an amazing ability.

    Was saying to someone just yesterday, if I had to choose between a high EQ and a high IQ, EQ would always be my preferred choice, by far. I think developing emotional intelligence can be such a gradual process and sometimes deeply challenging. I've found, part of the challenge comes down to making sense of certain feelings and what those feelings or physical sensations really mean.

    One example that comes to mind is when you feel someone not liking you. You could meet someone for the first time and get a solid sense or a feel for the fact they simply don't like you. Hard not to take this personally. What you feel could be spot on. How that feeling is mentally processed can become the problem, possibly leading to 'What's wrong with me? Why don't they like me?' etc. You can take it personally. In truth, they may not like you because you simply remind them of someone who has deeply depressed them in the past. It's their perception and life experience that has led them to feel dislike towards you. You can't help the fact you look like someone from their past. Emotional intelligence is about identifying the feeling within your body (how your body is getting a feel for a person or a situation). I've found my body to be far more intelligent than my mind at times :) I imagine most of us have had those times where we've said to our self (in hindsight) 'I should have trusted my gut'. Our gut can tell us when something's off about a person. A sudden uncomfortable feeling around the heart can tell us that someone is being heartbreaking towards us, even if we can't mentally process how they're being heartbreaking.

    I've found, one of the most productive mantras in my life to be 'I can feel what you're doing to me'. I can feel if someone's stressing me, depressing me, triggering me to a challenge or shutting me down. Expanding on feeling, you can even feel for when someone needs help, even though they may be saying otherwise.

    I think, when we're sensitive to feeling so much you gotta ask whether we humans are designed to be this way for good reason :)

  15. white knight
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    30 December 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi all,

    I once watched a lecture by Dr Gray of Sydney about ADHD. How it developed in humans was the constant fear of mans broth/meals being stolen. Always looking around like a canary as he stirred his brew and worried about his family. A condition of ultra alertness developed... a tool for survival

    I often wonder that sensitivity developed in the same way eg deep sadness for a dying relative or a tribal elder. Clearly as in ADHD and sensitivity, some humans developed these illnesses and symptoms and other did not. Perhaps some that didnt had the security of a clan, village or castle. I see ADHD as an illness that's main issue is that its symptoms result in behaviours outside the boundaries of what society see as acceptable for 'normal'. Yet it is a natural development.

    As the Rising said, "EQ would always be my preferred choice, by far." There is no way I'd prefer a life without my HSP nor my Dysthymia (constant low mood) but the mood SWINGS I could give away!. Why? Because it allows me to "touch" the depths of love, earth, spirit and care. I dont like judging others but I do observe some that seem cold, unfeeling and consistently hard. Thats not to say they cannot give and receive love.

    One such person was once my best friend from school. I'd known him 35 years (prior to diagnosis and medication)and never saw him cry. His father died and at the gravesite he did cry. The next day I asked him how he felt, he told me he still felt emotional and was recovering. I expressed to him that I understood and furthermore "...I feel like that (emotional)nearly every day at some point". I was trying to get him to connect the dots on how my sad and sensitive was like to live with. Guess what! He still didnt relate. It was a few weeks till he recovered from the trauma and in conversations he indicated that he couldnt see why I couldnt "control my emotions". Hence I dont try now to compare nor explain. Some are HSP and some arent.

    In contrast my wife is HSP certainly and so we are more than compatible emotionally.

    "Feelings seem to be the common theme.

    TonyWK

  16. therising
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    31 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    It's always fascinating to hear about the suspected origins of genetic shifts of sorts, when it comes to our evolution as a species. A lot of the time you can be left thinking 'Yeah, I can see that. That makes sense'. Being led to consider what creates imbalances is also a fascinating one. Whether the imbalances come about through basic environmental influence or conditioning, genetic influence, chemical shifts or all 'round natural factors such as with what's lacking (the security of that tribe), there's a lot to wonder about.

    I think imbalances play a major role in determining how we tick. I think about my 16yo son, for example. As a little kid, he's always had a truly mind blowing magnificent and imagination. While I led him to love and dive into his imagination more often, exercising his 'super power', this led to an imbalance. As he enters into year 11, we've employed a wonderful academic guide who's going to help him work on creating focus this year. The imbalance between imagination and focus is obvious and it frustrates him greatly at times, especially with school work. Whether grounded or off with the fairies, so to speak, the middle is such an incredibly important place to find. Hyperactive or little energy, the middle offers the sweet spot at times. Deluded in a constant state of bliss or depressed by challenges, the middle offers a unique perspective. Always pleasing others or always self serving, the middle offers ways of compromise. Hyper vigilance and anxiety or mindful relaxation, our nervous system and other energetic systems in our body thrive well in the middle.

    The swings can definitely be a massive challenge. When it comes to the upswing, there are moments where those typical thoughts come up such as 'I'm waiting for something to go wrong (aka expecting the worst)' or 'This is not going to last'. It's like predicting the other extreme. Someone once explained this to me, the extremes, in a way I'd never considered it before. While one extreme offers a depressing or potentially depressing challenge to work through, the middle ground is where we meet the challenge and the positive up swing involves the bliss, joy or excitement that comes from having mastered it and no longer facing that challenge. Then, we swing back to the next challenge to master. It's a natural pendulum responsible for our progressive evolution. Knowing this doesn't make the process any easier at times. Evolving can be such exhausting work :)

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  17. On The Road
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    1 January 2022 in reply to white knight

    Hi, Tony

    I think I may be one of the HSP, and I feel like I'm too self-conscious which is do no good for me, I can't control what ppl say, the thing I can do is to adjust myself.

    However, I do have my moments of "talking reckless" that may hurt others which always made me feel bad right afterwards, I think of it a lot because I assume that everyone is just as sensitive as me. When I had the courage to talk about it with the person, most of them were like" I didn't realise that. It's fine you are just too sensitive". and somehow I just feel like I should reduce my interaction with this person to avoid the situation from happening again.

    That's why I feel that my sensitivity didn't help me much in being a caring person, rather it is more like a burden. I saw some people who use their sensitivity very well.

  18. white knight
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    2 January 2022 in reply to On The Road

    Hi On the road, welcome to the thread

    Unfortunately what I've found over my 65 years is that due to my sensitivity/bipolar etc I cannot adjust myself enough to fit in with some people. Everyone has some personalities they dont fit in with but we HSP's have many more that we find abrasive...or they find us too temperamental.

    For that reason I've gone one step away from those types of people. Thos e"types" are not easily defined and usually I have to experience life with them hanging around for a period of time before I identify them. Then its a case of judgement

    • Are they only acting like this for a short time?
    • Do they act like this towards me only in the presence of others eg will they be a great personal friend one on one?
    • Do they have demons themselves that I could help them with and find common ground.?

    I dont find its a case of immediate and obvious rejection.

    "and I feel like I'm too self-conscious" better that than "I dont care about anything nor anybody" which in middle age is very common after a few decades of hurt/relationship breakdown etc.

    It's isnt unlike boxing. You dont know when someone is going to throw a punch. Best approach is to be prepared to dodge the blow then back off and observe, then when ready take action.

    There is no alternative, I've tried them all.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/want-to-be-a-hermit-

    The above thread is the rejection of society experiments I did in my 20's.

    If it's any consolation, the older and wiser you get the less of a problem this is as you keep adjusting towards the most ideal lifestyle where you have a balance of human contact among loved ones and compatible friends and distance monitoring of those of potential trouble or incompatibility.

    TonyWK

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  19. therising
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    2 January 2022 in reply to On The Road

    Hi On The Road

    From what you say, is it possible you've met with 'the straight talker' in you. To give an example, just say you face someone who's often closed minded, degrading and over opinionated. They're the kind of person who shuts you down quite often, when you feel you've got something really good or valid to offer to a conversation. Feeling being shut down can be such a trigger for a HSP, because they can so easily sense that feeling in their body. While part of you may be triggered to feel disappointment, being shut down so often by this person, or a part of you might be triggered to feeling anger, cue 'the straight talker' in you. The straight talker may sound a little like 'Okay, let me give it to you straight. You often behave like an over opinionated closed minded a-hole and I've pretty much had enough'. The problem becomes...when the straight talker takes a back seat after this confrontation and the part that drives you to be kind comes to the forefront, cue the guilt. The straight talker in you that just can't tolerate nonsense may have been absolutely spot on in their observations of that person. The straight talker in you allowed you to be brutally honest in that moment. I've found, sometimes the straight talker in me requires a filter, something that I'm trying to master (when to use a filter, when not to and how much of a filter to use).

    I think sometimes, if I can't carefully wake someone up to how incredibly thoughtless or cruel they're being toward me, my last ditch effort may mean no filter (aka psychological slap/wake up call). If, still, they don't consider the potentially stressful or depressing damage they're doing, the challenge comes down to minimising my interaction with them or cutting them off completely. This can become quite an emotional and mentally tormenting challenge at times.

    Perhaps it's the straight talker in us who takes care of the kid in us at times. The straight talker can be a brave and intolerant and protective facet of our self, saving the kid in us or our gentle nature from harm. Mastering consciously channeling our straight talking self can do wonders for self esteem. Again, mastering the filter aspect can be key, meaning less regret in the long run.

    The straight talker in us can be a handy no nonsense boundary setter, dictating what boundaries people should not cross. I've found there are many facets to a highly sensitive person :)

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  20. quirkywords
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    3 January 2022 in reply to white knight

    Tony

    Your last paragraph intrigued me.

    If it's any consolation, the older and wiser you get the less of a problem this is as you keep adjusting towards the most ideal lifestyle where you have a balance of human contact among loved ones and compatible friends and distance monitoring of those of potential trouble or incompatibility.

    I must not be wise enough or old enough as I am still upset by people who are mean to me.

    The rising,

    I can rarely find my straight talker because the few times it is seen as more sarcastic talker and not straight upfront talker.

    I cringe when people misconstrue my words of standing up for myself as being full of sarcasm. So I put up with people bring critical and remain quiet.

    The people pleaser I am can not handle people seeing me as rude I instead of straight talking.

    Not sure if this makes sense or anyone can relate to my ramble,

  21. white knight
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    3 January 2022 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    People... the most problematic of all my issues beyond illness. So much so taking off 5 times from society to the Snowy mountains to rid them from my life only to return days later without an answer.

    Hence the prevention technique (fortress of survival) then realisation of the half answer (who wants to be a hermit). Both threads cover the dilemma.

    So, I think I was desperate to act and find a defence against toxic people.

    Hence, none in my life at all now and its bliss.

    TonyWK

  22. quirkywords
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    3 January 2022 in reply to white knight

    Tony

    I suppose a few of the people I have in my life can have toxic moments but not all the time.

    I am glad your life is now bliss.

  23. therising
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    3 January 2022 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    I can relate to what you say about sarcasm and how it may may not hold the same impact as putting things bluntly. I should say the straight talker in me is, without a doubt, somewhat sarcastic. An example that comes to mind may involve someone saying 'Why don't you wear make up these days? You'd look so much nicer with a little make up'. The straight talker could chime in with 'I suppose you're right. Perhaps if I painted my face to look better, so I could look different from who I naturally am, I'd be more acceptable'. By the way, I've never said this to anyone. Such sarcasm can leave you being labelled as 'Touchy', 'A bi*ch' and so on. It doesn't have you seen as being direct. I smile when I imagine asking the straight talker in me 'Do you want to be direct or amusing?'. I think sarcasm, if used a certain way, can be a form of personal amusement. It doesn't necessarily matter how it's taken, it's more so about whether it creates a form of personal amusement. I typically only use sarcasm toward someone who's soul destroying. Prefer to amuse myself than have my soul destroyed.

    If sarcasm is misinterpreted, the straight talker may prompt us to say 'Was I not clear in what I was trying to say?'.

    Personally, I still have trouble managing the people pleaser in me. One particular person in my life comes to mind in this case. He is one of the nicest most supportive people you could ever meet. He really is incredible, yet when he's not being nice...well...he's a complete a-hole. When he's being this way, I just can't bring the straight talker or the bi*ch in me to life. I'm still not sure why this is the case and it drives me crazy at times. Perhaps it's because he's someone I've always looked up to, therefor I don't perceive him as being on the same level as me. I feel worth less than him in some ways. He can lead me to feel even more worthless when he's being degrading. Okay, think I just worked it out. The straight talker in me would say to him 'If you think your opinions are more valuable than mine, then you're deluded. The fact you don't want to hear my opinions doesn't reduce their value' :)

    I believe others test us, test our self love, our self respect, our faith in our self and so much more. Passing the test feels good. Not passing the test may simply mean there's more work to be done before we pass the next time around. I think we're always being tested to evolve beyond who we think we are. We're being tested to discover who we really are.

  24. CMF
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    4 January 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi all,

    I find my high sensitivity makes me emotional & wanting to fix things that I can't. This then causes anger and anxiety.

    Cmf x

  25. therising
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    4 January 2022 in reply to CMF

    Hi CMF

    I've found having the ability to sense what needs fixing is great, as long as everyone's on the same page. Whether it's some government body, our partner or whoever else, the second we meet with a highly triggering level of resistance we can become a different person - someone who's easily stressed or angered.

    Feeling that deep need to change things for the better yet meeting with saboteurs is highly triggering. This is why I have great respect for people who've made significant changes in society and certain institutions throughout history. It blows my mind to think about some of the serious resistance they would have met with along the way. While Martin Luther King Jr was sensitive enough to feel the deep pain and sufferance of those he led, I imagine he was also sensitive enough to feel incredible levels of stress and anger triggered by those who were closed minded and resistant to change. I think being surrounded by a supportive group can make a difference. Being supported by those who not only help in the cause but also share the stress and anger means you're not left to feel the full force of everything on your own. You get to vent it too, not keep it all inside as it threatens to build.

    Might sound a bit strange but one of my goals in life is to master being emotionally shut off to certain people. I want to preserve my energy, not have it drained. Some folk are definitely draining :) I used to think emotional detachment was a fault in me until I had the realisation I could achieve more through emotional detachment than I could through making an emotional connection with some people. Taking it up a level, there are some who won't even listen to reason, therefor there's no need to waste time giving them a reason (aka reasoning with them). I suppose this is where the straight talker in us can come in.

    When speaking to someone on the other end of the phone (let's call them Joe), the straight talker might sound a little like 'Hi Joe, I need someone to manage this issue for me. Can you manage it or is this something your manager manages? Do I need to speak to your manager and save us both a whole lot of stress?'. If the people pleaser in me was in play, they wouldn't want to possibly upset Joe by asking to speak to his manager. The straight talker doesn't feel emotion like the people pleaser does. Kinda sounds a little insane but, surprisingly, it works.

    The question can be 'What part of myself do I need to channel/tune into, to get the job done?'.

  26. white knight
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    5 January 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi

    Choices, great to have them.

    The choice when someone is sarcastic and therefore - hurtful. I took the route when young to run and hide. Never reply in any way but being a "people pleaser". Then as I approached 50yo (15 years ago) My tack changed. I was tired of being hurt by those that exercised their choices to hurt me through comments. So my choice became - better to reply quickly with a question/s to go straight to the core of the topic. Questions demand answers, answers give clarity. Then I'd reply to that clarity in a tone and with words equally or just exceeding the tone and content of the other persons onslaught.

    That left me with three possible results

    • A commanding position whereby they apologise for upsetting me (people pleaser reversal)
    • There is a sense of neutrality, of co- agreement that comments/tone wasnt worthy or justified.
    • A risk of elevation to conflict.

    All three were preferred than after they left my company I dwelled for days regretting not saying anything.

    TonyWK

  27. white knight
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    5 January 2022 in reply to CMF

    Hi CMF,

    I hear you. I'd like to recommend the threads (read just the first post)

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/nip-it-in-the-bud-ideas

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/guilt-the-tormentor-

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/who-cries-over-spilt-milk-

    Like to know your thoughts

    TonyWK

  28. white knight
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    5 January 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi the rising

    Re: "The question can be 'What part of myself do I need to channel/tune into, to get the job done?'."

    The 1980's Tony is in his 20's. After years in the military and warder in jails I end up in Telstra (them days Telecom). I'm a labourer/truck driver. I soon found out what its like to work with other people.

    • Some (a good proportion) filled up company cars in the morning and placed their morning tea and lunch costs to the fuel bill paid on the company card!)
    • When hard at labour pulling cables with 6 of us, only 3 were actually pulling the cable, the rest simply acted like they were.
    • Theft was rife. Garden hoses, even plants from peoples front yard
    • With no intention of actually working, any opportunity to sit in a pit and do nothing was the choice, pitting as others like me wanted to work and had fear of getting caught doing nothing- there was no empathy.
    • There was not a tiny bit of emotional sharing between workers.

    A bit off topic but I and some others in such a working environment found themselves unhappy. If we reported them we'd be ostracised (and I was eventually about 2 years later when my endurance ran out). Joining them on their immortal crusades wasnt an option for me.

    I acknowledged that my need was to work alone. Eventually in the year 1999 I returned to investigation work and indeed worked alone.

    TonyWK

  29. therising
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    5 January 2022 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    I occasionally ask myself 'Why does life have to be so challenging in so many little and sometimes big ways?'. Why can't it be simple? Why does learning life's lessons have to be such an ongoing challenge? I smile when what comes to mind for me personally is 'Well, do you want to gradually delete the self limiting, stressful, depressing mental programs in your head or not?'. I think one of the toughest things in life comes down to 'waking up' to feeling the deep need for constructive change. If only that need felt wonderful and happy and inspirational but a lot of the time the need can feel horrible, depressing and stressful. It's like horror, sadness, stress and intolerance eventually forces our hand in some constructive way.

    The mental programs that we're raised with can be so hard to delete at times. The mental programs put into our head that dictate 'Please people, don't upset them. If you upset them they're reject you', 'Don't be a whistleblower, an outcast amongst your clan', 'Don't question anyone in authority, even if their behaviour is highly questionable' and the list goes on. In other words 'Do anything it takes to belong, even if it means living with suppression, oppression, depression and abuse to varying degrees'. To be outspoken, to be a 'whistleblower', to be well and confidently prepared for rejection are typically not programs we're raised with. Can take decades before waking up to feeling the need to develop them and reject the old ones that don't serve us. To reform our self in such a way can be a monumental and sometimes incredibly lonely task, riddled with challenges.

    I think it's a shame that 'feelings' are not things we're raised to better understand. Perhaps we'd see rejection as something other than painful, in some cases. To be rejected by someone who we can't tolerate having a connection with may come to be felt as 'Them severing the connection first, before we do'. Whether they choose or we do, there can be relief eventually felt through disintegrating a connection with someone who's slowly destroying us or someone who chooses to serve themself more than anyone else.

    I think one of the greatest challenges for a HSP can come down to redefining certain feelings, so that what we're really sensing begins to work in our favour. Sometimes sensing that feeling known as 'down' can tell us things are 'heading south' and it's time to consciously change direction. 'Down' can be a very telling feeling and a deeply challenging one.

  30. white knight
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    6 January 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi

    As I read your post therising I was thinking of the ideal response to "down" and "feelings" and why life can be so challenging. It's common denominator- people. If you were the first and only person to live on Mars you'll have a lot of challenges but not of the type you have here now.

    So a story- at 31yo a dog ranger for a council. Part of my job was to patrol the parking areas of the town and issue the dreaded but necessary parking fines. One day I got a complaint. A large white car parked in a disabled bay. I issues the nominal $12 fine (1987) and all ok. Next morning my boss asked me about it. After explaining eg a complaint, no disability sticker, he ordered me to "not issue any more fines to that car". Turned out to be a state ministers Govt vehicle. I was outraged. Pensioners, unemployed had to pay why not him. It fell on deaf ears. My decision? keep issuing as my charter allowed. 3 more fines followed but I never went out of my way, just did my job. We argued... pain in my chest attended DR. ECG- abnormal heart beat- diagnosis heart attack- off work. Before my last hour at work found all such fines (to that car) were withdrawn by the town clerk. I copied all doc's.

    3 months later - had a heart test- found heart had normal beat (faulty machine at DR's, and pain in chest was panic attack. Relief by Dr refused to allow my work return. Another council worker leaked all information to local papers. Council replied that there was no preferential treatment. I replied with evidence fines were indeed withdrawn. Some counselors were angry at town clerk etc. I had meeting with the ombudsman, he sympathised but was toothless.

    I lost my job, it had a strain on my family and friends. So what were my alternatives? 1/ obey the order. Risk factor? the complainant would know I was ignoring that car! 2/ take the matter higher? the town clerk was highest, he was the one that issued the order. 3/ suggest to my boss that he patrol that street, I'd do the others.I thought of that months later.

    Some in that profession said I was "too righteous and sensitive" (Were they too corrupt?). One day I filled up with fuel in that town. The station owner approach and shook my hand "well done in doing the right thing". It was my only reward, but its the only reward I needed.

    People, corruption, lack of moral fibre, nasty egoistic people... My therapist said "Tony, you are black and white in a world of 8 billion people of different shades of grey". But they are too grey!

    TonyWK

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