How An Empathetic Nature Can Block Creativity

Maria HillCreativity, Personal Development10 Comments

empathetic nature

We HSPs are famous for our empathetic nature. We are also often creative. Often we are also creatively blocked. Is there a relationship? Can our empathetic nature get in the way of creativity and block it? Empathy Is Precious I personally treasure empathy. Not just for its humanitarian value, but because it is also a great tool for discovery. Empathy is a great way to learn about the world. It enables you to look at anything from another point of view. It also helps you with all the information that your nervous system takes in. Being empathetic helps you relate to the energy of each piece of information and if it is a multifaceted energy, you can engage all of it. It also lets you into the complexity and nuance of anything. You are able to perceive the dynamics and structure of anything around you. Empathetic listening is a holistic window to the world and so offers HSPs the potential for a special kind of wisdom that only insight can offer. The Price Of Being Empathetic Empathy can cause us to feel like we are drowning in information. It can feel like we are being overwhelmed with so many factors and considerations that it can be hard for us to move forward. Many HSPs, myself included, like to process every input conscientiously before making decisions and taking action. Hurting someone else is anathema to many HSPs; the pain is too unbearable. As a result, our awareness can become a huge burden. Our sense of responsibility may far outweigh our actual or real role or responsibility. Our skills may not necessarily be up to the information we take in. All of this, of course, forces us to try to come up with ways to handle the overwhelming information, but nonetheless, it … Read More

Why HSPs Have Trouble With Controlling People

Maria HillPersonal Development, Social Smarts22 Comments

If you are alive, you have met controlling people. Controlling people can drive anyone crazy, but If you are a highly sensitive person, you may find the effect of controlling very difficult to live with. Controlling people can certainly have that effect on me. Controlling people will probably not understand why their behavior is problematic for you, the HSP. Each HSP, however, needs to understand that controlling people can be very bad for their health. Why Do People Control? Most people only want to be happy. Many believe that controlling themselves and others is a method to achieve the desired result of happiness. Some of the reasons people try to control others include: they have low amounts of trust possible because of negative experiences they think they are more competent they have deep seated prejudices about right and wrong they have been taught fear they perceive themselves as better and/or more “normal” than others  Controlling people sometimes assume that others want and need what they want and need. Although we all have needs and desires in common, over generalizing about other people is a mistake that controlling people often make. Controlling people often treat others as an extension of their needs and desires. In extreme cases, the person is narcissistic in demanding that they be catered to. So one reason that controlling people control is to get their needs met. The Hidden Agenda Of Controlling People It is fairly easy to recognize that controlling people are trying to get their needs met as we have discussed. Controlling behavior also has a social function: to maintain their comfort level which they do by enforcing social norms and conforming behavior. One thing I have noticed about controlling people is that they often have a wall around them. You can detect it in … Read More

Is Criticism Getting You Down? 7 Ways To Minimize Its Harm

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Social Smarts2 Comments

Does it ever seem relentless? The complaining? The criticism? The attacking? Do you ever feel like throwing your hands up in despair? Do you ever feel like giving up? To be honest, there have been times when I have felt that way. Well, I am here to tell you: DON’T DESPAIR! I am here to tell you a secret about the complainers, the critics and the attackers. They do not want you to know that deep down inside: they are scared. Scared of what? It could be looking bad being cheated looking stupid being excluded making a mistake feeling their own vulnerability or anything else that might be a reason to feel bad. Let’s face it we all can find reasons to feel bad.  In fact, people probably feel bad more often than not and that is not a great way to live. The HSP Advantage You as a highly sensitive person have a advantage: the advantage of empathy. Granted it can be hard to feel empathetic when dealing with a critic.  So here are some ways to change to conversation to one that is more accommodating to you: sometimes empathy works.  People will displace their anger from one event onto someone else.  So if a close friend’s boss was nasty and they could not afford to stand up to that person, your friend might take it out on you.  When this happens, your insight can help you offer empathy for a bad day. sometimes you can point out something that someone does not know. Being able to offer a reason for something that makes neither one of you the villain or the victim is a wonderful strategy for defusing negativity. Providing new information can help the other person to see that you have their best interests at heart. sometimes distance is … Read More

What Accountability Can Miss

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Personal Development4 Comments

I think that accountability misses a lot. For so long it has been touted as important. Don’t misunderstand me, I am all for responsibility. My question is: why, if we are so into accountability, do we live in a world that is such a mess? Even the most developed countries have a problem. It suggests that we need to take a look. Perhaps our ideas about accountability are too limited. What Is Accountability? According to Wikipedia, accountability is: answerability blameworthiness liability the expectation of account-giving. That sounds about right. We are answerable for meeting our assumed obligations to ourselves and others. Obligations are an implied contract and based on assumptions about our expectations. This is where accountability can be problematic. What do we do when expectations are incorrect? even wildly off-base? When Expectations Are Off-Base Expectations are a very big deal. In fact if I were to survey the human landscape of problems, expectations would be at the top of my list of causes of human problems. Look at our environmental problems right now. Many people still think that they can expect our natural resources to provide for us without fail into perpetuity. That is a mistake of expectations that is having tragic consequences. However, people who are working for companies who base their livelihoods on such assumptions are still “accountable” for whatever production quotas or other measurements that keep them employed. So here is a situation where accountability is a problem, in fact there are multiple accountabilities at play. This means that accountability is not simple and should not be treated as a simple way to assign responsibility or blame. Accountability Is Often Tactical Accountability is often intended to protect what exists. It is designed to take care of existing relationships, existing organizational structures, existing wants and needs of a particular cultural system. It is what we expect from … Read More

The Gift Of Compassion From Sensitive People

Edward BonapartianThe HSP Trait2 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always handle doctor’s office visits well especially with procedures involving unexpected pain. All too often, there is a sudden cold sweat followed by nausea and lightheadedness signaling I’m getting ready to faint. For the Highly Sensitive, fainting can be our ingrained response to the invasiveness of  modern medicine followed by the emotional recognition of what is actually happening to our bodies. Dramatic as it may seem, I need to avert my eyes when receiving injections lest I find myself requiring smelling salts in the aftermath. Giving And Receiving Compassion There is a bright spot in these experiences; whenever my face turns that pasty shade of gray during a procedure, I’m deeply touched by the compassion shown by the nurses who come to my aid. In the face of an environment where people are often at their physical and sometimes emotional worst, nursing is the profession where I encounter the highest number of Highly Sensitive people in the workplace. Perhaps everything is as it should be; our inherent capacity to feel another’s person’s distress brings with it the compassion generated from experiencing that pain first hand. Always a remembered gift to those receiving it, compassion isn’t something which can be faked. You have it to give or you don’t. While for the Highly Sensitive extending compassion may feel like a second nature, understanding the gift of receiving it sometimes requires a bit more work. Manny’s Compassion Some years ago I attended a workshop hosted by author Manny Twofeathers. Manny was standing by the front door of the bookstore as I pulled into the parking lot by the front of the building. He had stepped outside to clear his head after giving intuitive readings for clients most of the afternoon. I was glad to see him again. During a lecture he had presented  few weeks earlier  regarding his experiences with the Sundance Ceremony outlined in his book My Road to the Sundance, he had shown me how to tie a prayer flag for a friend  diagnosed with breast cancer. Taking it with him when he left, Manny mentioned it would be taken to … Read More

7 Steps To Access Intuition For Balanced Living

Edward BonapartianEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development8 Comments

There were nine of us sitting in a circle on the floor of the bookstore that day as I began my intuition workshop. Whenever I teach people about intuition, our journey together always begins the same question: “Tell me something” I asked them, “how many of you feel your too sensitive and that this sensitivity hinders your life?”. Every hand in the room raised up, a few more tentatively than others.  I could see flashes of emotion cross their faces as the internal struggle between what our society defines as weakness and what their hearts were telling them began; it was that age old struggle between the head and the heart, one that highly sensitive people know all too well. “So what your telling me, is that my dogs ability to hear sounds at a great distance or smell something I’m cooking in the kitchen while they are outside of the house is a weakness? “ Intuition And Spirituality Pushing further, I posed another question; “How many of you feel a strong urge to work with the spiritual aspects of your life, perhaps through a desire to help others but aren’t quite sure how to accomplish this in a way which is personally meaningful? Remember, that on some level we seek guidance through our spirituality; what happens if we can’t manifest that spiritual guidance with our daily actions? In other words, does your life reflect the core beliefs of your spirituality?” I wasn’t referencing religion here; instead my goal was to increase awareness of their spiritual values because our deepest values always originate from the heart. A trait I notice in highly sensitive people is a deep connection with their spirituality; a connection with the divine which speaks to the heart rather than the mind. With a one last question, I pushed my point deeper; “Is your heart telling you of an imbalance between the aspects of your daily life and spiritual life? Not necessarily in words, but in a gut feeling, perhaps one felt in a dream or in moments of quiet? Maybe, you are here, sitting … Read More