“Growing up I always felt my sensitive nature was a burden or character flaw. But in actual fact, being a highly sensitive person has brought so many incredible people and opportunities into my life.”
– Jas Rawlinson
“You’re just too sensitive…toughen up.”
Throughout my life, I’ve heard this many times. And I’ll admit that until just recently, I had always thought of my sensitive nature as a bad thing.
As a result, I spent so much of my life wishing I could be tougher– just so I didn’t ‘feel’ so much…so that I could deal with rude managers or bullies without bursting into tears.
What made it even harder, was that I didn’t even know that being a ‘highly sensitive person’ (also known as an HSP) was a legitimate personality type.
Thankfully, in more recent years, I’ve come to understand that being an HSP is actually a gift in many ways.
For example, a few weeks ago I was asked to speak to Brisbane’s Carindale community about domestic violence…and it just so happened that it came the morning after the brutal murder of Hannah Clarke and her children.
I won’t lie. It was tough. My heart was hurting and I barely slept the night before.
Internally, all I wanted to do was cry.
And yet, everyone in the audience later shared how much my sensitivity and empathy…my emotion…positively impacted on them.
That even a week later, they couldn’t stop thinking about my talk.
The truth is, being sensitive is a special thing because it allows us to empathise and connect so deeply.
Also, did you know that gentle-hearted and sensitive people are:
- better able to understand ourselves and others far more deeply than many people can (or care to)
- more likely to practice quality self-care due to our high levels of self-awareness
- also more likely to be highly creative and deeply passionate about helping others and creating social change
Knowing what I know now, I feel like my life journey makes so much more sense! Especially my passion for shining a light on taboo topics like domestic violence, child abuse and mental illness.
Recently I was given an incredible opportunity to share my insights into surviving and thriving as a highly sensitive person with Phil La Duke from Authority Magazine.
What an experience!
So many people have since shared with me how much they related to this article, so I thought I’d share it here.
In this article, I share:
- My own experience with being a Highly Sensitive Person and how it impacts my work/everyday life
- How to utilise the benefits of social media while looking after your emotional health
- Myths about being a highly sensitive person
- And also my top 5 tips on how to thrive as an HSP
Whether you’re an HSP yourself…or you know someone who is…this article is a must read for anyone looking to understand more deeply the challenges and gifts of this special personality type.