10 Books for Sensitive People to Help Navigate Life

by Aly Hazlewood on September 4, 2018

I am what has now been coined, a Highly Sensitive Person. Perhaps you are too? What I once viewed as a major flaw, I now see as my greatest Superpower, particularly in my present roles of EFT Therapist and Meditation Teacher. However, it took almost 40 years to arrive at that place of acceptance and peace. What certainly helped along the way were recommendations of books on this broad subject by fellow HSP’s. I’m sharing them here in the hope that you might find them as useful and nourishing as I did.

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The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When The World Overwhelms You

“In this important book, Dr. Aron provides examples of characteristic behaviours of HSP’s, and these are reflected in the questions she typically asks interview subjects:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Dr. Aron explains that in the past HSPs have been called “shy,” “timid,” “inhibited,” or “introverted,” but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait. Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extraverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences. If these were mostly bad experiences, then yes, they will be truly shy. But in a culture that prefers confident, “bold” extraverts, it is harmful as well as mistaken to stigmatize all HSPs as shy when many are not.”

For me, this book felt like having the light turned on. Suddenly my quirks and sensitivities made much more sense, were validated and normalised, and I felt much less alone and ‘weird’.

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