How to better ask for and provide help

As Highly Sensitive people it’s so easy to pick up on other people’s feelings. Our strong perception and awareness of the smallest detail in behaviours, facial expression or tone of voice and then deeply thinking and analyzing it has given us the impression that we know exactly what another person feels. 

To a certain degree this is true, as we see the behaviours, we can even guess what they might do next, because we are good at observing patterns.

Yet despite all of this we can’t, nobody can, know how another person feels. It’s an illusion, and we shouldn’t assume that we can. 

I hate when someone in an attempt to make me feel better says:” I know how you feel”. No, they don’t.

They may have had a similar experience but they don’t know how I am feeling. They don’t even have to know or understand how I feel, in order to help. Listening, being there for someone, and trusting in them, that they will find the right solution are actions that empower the other person.

Why do we want to help? Is it because we feel uncomfortable with their feelings and what they stir in us? Do we need to be needed because we had needed someone and nobody was there for us? 

There are so many reasons why we want to help. We either learned them from our parents or  it’s expected in our society. 

Just because something is the norm, doesn’t make it helpful or good. It’s difficult to admit that one needs others to need one.  

Yet talking and sharing our perceived shortcomings connects us on a deeper level to others. This society has such a problem of asking for help. We expect others to help us without asking, then we resent them for interfering or telling us what to do. 

We need to trust that we got this, that the other person has got it. That they are responsible for their lives and that we can’t fix it. 

I am not saying not to help anyone ever again. But to observe why we want to help. To ask how we can help instead of assuming we know what is best for them. 

As I am learning to ask myself what help I need, I am taking steps to ask for help. That’s a scary thing. I recently asked several of my friends for help, offering them help in return. Each and every one said: I am glad to help you. I am good right now. You were here for me when I needed help. I am here for you now. 

And I thought that I was completely alone, that I had to tackle this all by myself.

I felt ashamed of having to ask for help. 

My whole life I didn’t share my struggles with most of my family and friends because of several reasons. I thought being strong meant never having to ask  for help.

 I didn’t want to worry them. I assumed that they wouldn’t be strong enough to handle this. What arrogance and ignorance. I didn’t even give them the chance to determine for themselves if they wanted to help me or not. 

I didn’t ask because subconsciously I was afraid that they would say no” I can’t help you”. I was so afraid of rejection that I isolated myself. I was so afraid to be hurt that I didn’t even ask.

 I chose to hurt myself instead of taking the risk of being rejected. This way I got hurt every time. In hindsight it’s really stupid, but that’s how it was. I was taught  that in order to be strong I had to be tough.

 I didn’t know that true strength is to be open, vulnerable and sensitive. I am discovering this gentle strength within me and at the same time I am embracing my strong sensitivity.

 It has been quite an adventure and I am so happy to share my struggle with you, so you don’t feel like the only one who thinks and feels this way.

Text and Photo by Karin Goldgruber

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People who experience problems in their relationship and work because of this innate trait.
As an HSP herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.



What changing tires revealed about being a Highly Sensitive…

I  had never changed a tire by myself. 

To be more self reliant and independent I want to learn how to. I learn best when someone shows me how to do something, instead of googling it. Because patience isn’t one of my strengths.

It was a cold snowy winter day and I really needed to change my tires for a trip. I expected to know how to do it on my own after doing it once before with help. Quite an unrealistic expectation, yet it was there.

I felt overwhelmed, trying to remember everything at the same time. I was nervous even though I had help from someone who is great at explaining things and is very patient.

I wanted to show off how independent I am and how much I remembered. I was afraid to make a mistake. I was worried to do the wrong thing and break something.

The first step is to put something behind the other three tires to stop the car from moving.Then to loosen the bolts that hold the tire. I asked about the names of the bolts and the machine we used to loosen them.

 I felt uncomfortable on my knees holding the heavy machine. Pressing the button that tightens the bolt instead of loosening it. Pressing the other button too hard and loosening the bolt too much. Tightening a bit more. Loosening the remaining bolts. Feeling uncomfortable with the machine. Noticing the sound of the machine. 

A nosy neighbor approaching us, wanting to chat. My fear of him telling me I am doing this all wrong. Just focusing on what I am doing, giving short answers. Hoping he gets the hint and leaves. Feeling bad for wanting to focus on the task and not chatting with him.

 Next step, jack up the van. Worried about finding the right spot. Afraid of the jack. Always afraid of making mistakes. Afraid of being laughed at. Even though he wouldn’t do that. The old fear of being criticized. Mistaking kind instructions and explanations for criticism.

 Feeling frustrated with myself for feeling all those things. 

Finally taking the bolts off, lifting the tire of the van. Barely being able to lift up the heavy tire and putting it on. I want to do it on my own. Tightening the bolts. Breathing, relaxing a bit. How do I lower the jack slowly again? My mind feeling empty. Feeling embarrassed to ask again.

 First one done. Take a deep breath. This is not so bad. Feeling happy. Whats next? Noticing that part of my head is thinking about how I can use this experience in a blog. Worried that I won’t have the right names for the tools, bolts  and all the parts. Realizing that it doesn’t matter if I don’t know all the correct names. That it is more important now to change the tires. That it is okay to ask questions. I push my need to know everything aside and focus on what is really important. Getting these snow tires on before it starts to snow more and before it gets dark. 

Second tire. 

I am focused. Talk less and take my time to think through the steps I need to do. I describe what I need to do next. I feel comfortable asking for validation.  My busy mind wants to wander off and write this blog while I am still changing the tire.

More questions come to mind while I am doing one step at a time. Valid questions, but not important to the task at hand. Those questions want to have my attention, when my attention needs to be focused on my work. I reign in my busy mind and I focus. 

Third tire.

 Some of the bolts have a different size and we need to change the thing on the machine, otherwise it won’t work. I automatically assume that I am dumb for not noticing this right away. For rightly assuming that they all should be the same. Being mad at myself for using the wrong one and grinding down on the bolts, thinking that they are just rusty. The ground down bolts are more difficult to loosen and I am becoming nervous again. 

I am mad at myself for not expecting trouble. We manage to get it done. I blamed myself for not knowing that something was wrong.

Fourth tire.

 I feel confident. This one should be easy since I managed to do the first three. I put the machine on to loosen the first bolt. Nothing moves. I check if I accidentally tightened it.

 No. I try the next one and the next one. None of them budge. I get mad at myself for not being strong enough. Yet when he, who is much stronger than I am tries, nothing happens either. 

 I was so quick to find fault with myself never considering that sometimes it is entirely out of your control. It took our combined effort and strength to loosen those bolts. When we put the tire on and lower the jack we see that the tire is losing air.


 It’s getting darker as we quickly replace the broken tire. Feeling frustrated that there is an unexpected step to be done. Yet I am also feeling very proud of having done most of the work myself.  

What did I learn?

1.Focus on what is really important to do. Don’t get sidetracked with additional information. Our natural inclination as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to deeply process information can lead to unnecessary overwhelm and stress. Focus. Focus again and again

2.Overthinking creates over-stimulation and worry for HSPs. Fear of what others might think about our lack of knowledge. It’s normal not to know what I don’t know. I remind myself to be okay with asking questions until I get it. Everyone forgets things and needs to ask for help.

It’s important to give myself the benefit of the doubt and not to be so hard on myself.

3.I am so quick to think that I am the problem. I am quick to acknowledge everyone’s progress and accomplishments. I take my progress and knowledge for granted.Jumping to wrong conclusions.

4.I have unrealistic expectations, wanting to be perfect before even getting started. This creates a lot of unnecessary fear and stress.

This experience was a great reminder for myself that as a Highly Sensitive Person it is very beneficial to be aware of my feelings, and my environment so I can respond in a way that is most beneficial for me.

Blog and Photo by Karin Goldgruber

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People who experience problems in their relationship because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.



Do you worry what other people think of you?

Ever since I can remember I worried what others thought or said about me. I would lie in bed and recall every part of a conversation, wondering how I had been perceived. When I mentioned that I felt hurt or attacked by someone’s comments I often heard:” Don’t take it personal, it was just a joke.” Yet it didn’t feel like a joke. It felt very personal.

Like other Highly Sensitive People, HSP’s, I notice subtle clues, like a tone of voice, facial expression, body language or specific words. Often I read between the lines, when nothing is written. I had a big mental folder of real and imagined hurtful comments, insensitive jokes and stupid, thoughtless remarks.

Because I remembered all those incidences I started to expect being laughed at or made fun of. I felt uncomfortable around other people, worried too much and put too much weight on the opinions of others.
I became too sensitive, too emotional and took everything too serious. I was ready to defend myself and often overreacted. Soon many handled me with kids gloves afraid of hurting my feelings, afraid of my strong reactions.

I started to doubt my perceptions. I became more and more quiet, retreating to the safety of books.
I never felt comfortable just asking someone what they meant. I dislike confrontation just as many other HSP’s do. Fear of looking stupid held me back of finding out what I didn’t understand.

Again and again I jumped to wrong conclusions, based on old hurts, wrong beliefs I had formed over time. I didn’t know how to give someone the benefit of the doubt.
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed most of the time when in company, it never occured to me that those who I considered rude and thoughtless might be as worried, afraid or insecure as I was.

It took me a long time to change those ingrained behaviours and reactions. Through awareness, consistent stress reduction and using EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques I feel more comfortable to question someone’s comments and making sure we are talking about the same thing.
I am now gentler and more forgiving with myself and others.

Text and Photo by Karin Goldgruber

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with HSPs who experience problems in their relationship and life because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.


Direct communication is very important

I’ve never had as much time alone with my Dad as in the last two weeks. My Mom is in the hospital. Somehow most communication between my Dad and I, always went through my Mom, because she was always there. It seemed normal.

That’s just the way it was. Unless one looks around and wonders if certain behaviours are different, it is assumed that everyone else does it the same way.

Men have told me that they have felt left out within their family because of this indirect communication. For different reasons they didn’t have as much time alone with their kids as their wives. They feel helpless. The kids assume that their dads have no interest in them, when they just feel insecure and are many times expected to do everything exactly as their wife does with their children.

A fear of losing the connection with their child, not wanting to share them, believing they only know what’s best for the child might be the motivators for moms to not allow direct communication between child and father.
The problem is that this teaches how communication happens. If it is normal for a person to talk through someone instead of direct communication. a lot of misunderstandings can happen.

In an intimate relationship, a wife may not speak directly with her partner, because that’s the way they learned how to communicate. Instead of talking about feelings with their partner, they get opinions from friends, which could never be accurate.

We may be afraid to speak with our partner about a problem directly because we are afraid of their feelings and reactions. Maybe we heard “ just wait until Dad comes home” way too many times from our mothers.
Sometimes we talk with someone else about how we feel because we don’t want to hurt our partners.

How can our partner know what’s going on when we don’t talk about it. Even though we think we know our partner very well, how they feel, how they think, we actually don’t.

People change and grow and they may have reacted in a certain way in the past doesn’t always mean they will do so now. We just assume they will.
When we don’t communicate directly with our partner we take away the opportunity to get to know them and us better. We deny us moments of deep intimacy and seeing the changes both of us have made.

Life is not static. It is ever changing, not one moment is the same as the other. Not one conversation is the same as the other.

Talking directly with my Dad showed me that I have the same sense of humor as he does. That made me feel more connected with him.It’s never too late to speak directly with the people in our life. It may be a bit scary and unfamiliar at first yet it is worth it.

Text and Photo by Karin Goldgruber

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with HSPs who experience problems in their relationship and life because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.


The good old days are now

Even though I am enjoying stronger winds, breathtaking fall colours and crisper air, I have noticed that I don’t want to accept that summer has ended.

To make things worse, people are already worrying about another long, ice cold winter. This greedy yearning for the past and worrying about an unknown future make it difficult to enjoy the present as much as I would like to.
I am aware that it is only human to want more of what we had and to be well prepared for the future.

Yet both are a waste of time, no one can change the past or command the future.

When I don’t yearn for the past or worry about the future, I am more aware and enjoy the present one moment at a time.

Slowing down, living one moment at a time and making conscious choices eliminates regret, sorrow and yearning for the past for me. Then I make great choices and I feel confident, capable and certain. Thus reducing worry and uncertainty about future events that I can’t control.

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People who experience problems in their relationship and life because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.   Photo by Karin Goldgruber


Die gute alte Zeit ist jetzt


Obwohl ich den stärkeren Wind, atemberaubende Herbstfarben und die kühlere Luft genieße, habe ich bemerkt, dass ich nicht akzeptieren möchte, dass der Sommer zu Ende ist.

Um es noch schlimmer zu machen, machen sich die Menschen bereits Sorgen über einen weiteren langen, eiskalten Winter. Diese gierige Sehnsucht nach  der Vergangenheit und die Sorge um eine unbekannte Zukunft machen es schwierig, die Gegenwart so zu genießen, wie ich es gerne möchte.

Mir ist bewusst, dass es nur menschlich ist, mehr von dem zu wollen, was wir hatten, und für die Zukunft gut vorbereitet zu sein.

Doch beides ist reine Zeitverschwendung, niemand kann die Vergangenheit ändern oder die Zukunft bestimmen.

Wenn ich mich nicht nach der Vergangenheit sehne oder mir keine Sorgen um die Zukunft mache, bin ich mir der Gegenwart sehr bewusst und genieße sie.

Wenn ich mir Zeit nehme,einen Moment nach dem anderen zu leben und bewusste Entscheidungen zu treffen, beseitigt dies, die Trauer, den Kummer und die Sehnsucht nach der Vergangenheit für mich.

 Dann treffe ich gute Entscheidungen und fühle mich zuversichtlich, fähig und sicher. Dadurch werden Sorgen und Unsicherheiten über zukünftige Ereignisse, die ich nicht kontrollieren kann, weniger.


Karin Goldgruber schreibt über das Leben als hochsensible Person HSP, wie man Gefühle von Stress und Überforderung reduziert und authentische Antworten für ihre Probleme findet.

Sie ist eine zertifizierte Praktikerin für emotionale Freiheit Techniken (Klopfakupunktur), die sich auf die Arbeit mit hochsensiblen Menschen spezialisiert hat, die aufgrund dieser angeborenen Eigenschaft Probleme in ihrer Beziehung und ihrem Leben haben.

Als hochsensible Person hat sie viele Herausforderungen und Hindernisse überwunden und andere dazu ermutigt und unterstützt, dasselbe zu tun.           Foto von Karin Goldgruber



Creating space to breathe

When was the last time you have evaluated the progress you have made as a person?

When something in our relationship is tough and painful all our attention is on it. We focus on making it better. When the situation is improved, it’s the new norm and we don’t see it any longer. We don’t appreciate what we have accomplished. We take it for granted. We are continuously unsatisfied with ourselves and stressed out.

By paying attention to my reactions to stress and overwhelm I’ve observed that I have a container that holds my feelings of stress. For many years this container was always filled to the top. When one stressful thing happened, it would overflow. Mostly into my relationship. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed was my norm. Only now can I see how bad it was.

Over time I have created breathing room in myself through the regular use of EFT Emotional Freedom techniques.The container is no longer full all the time. When something unexpected happens, and it always does, I have this extra space to breathe and respond in a better way. I am not as quickly overwhelmed and have time to think logically. I start tapping to reduce the current stress and make smart choices. Being more relaxed and calmer gives me the opportunity to reflect and compare. I see the progress I have made.

New states of operating quickly feel like the norm. It’s so easy to forget how bad it was before.

We need to compare and be aware of the positive changes we have made in our life and our relationship. Be proud and delighted of what we have accomplished. Human nature wants us to quickly move on and do more and better.

Take the time to speak about shifts you notice within you and your relationship.Then you will see that you dealt with a situation that maybe a year ago you would have not been able to handle at all. You see how much progress you have made.

Consistently reducing stress helps you to be stronger, calmer and better prepared as life presents you with challenges. We finally take ownership of our feelings and reactions. We start to regulate our own feelings. We begin to stand on our own two feet.

For our Spanish speaking readers

Creando espacio para respirar
¿Cuándo fue la última vez que evaluaste el progreso de tu desarrollo personal?
Cuando algo en nuestra relación es duro y doloroso, toda nuestra atención está, sin duda, puesta en ello y nos enfocamos en mejorarlo. Cuando la situación mejora, no vemos la nueva norma. No apreciamos lo que hemos logrado. Lo damos por hecho. Estamos, continuamente, estresados e insatisfechos con nosotros mismos.

Al prestar atención a mis reacciones al estrés y al agobio, he observado que tengo un contenedor que carga con mis sentimientos de estrés. Durante muchos años, este contenedor siempre estuvo lleno hasta el tope. Cuando sucedía algo estresante, se desbordaba. Principalmente en mi relación. Sentirme abrumada y estresada era mi norma. Solo ahora puedo ver lo malo que fue.

Con el tiempo, he creado espacio, en mí misma, para respirar, mediante el uso regular de las técnicas de libertad emocional de EFT. El contenedor ya no está lleno todo el tiempo. Cuando sucede algo inesperado -que siempre sucede- tengo este espacio extra para respirar y responder de una mejor manera. Ya no me abrumo tan rápido y tengo tiempo para pensar lógicamente. Empiezo a hacer “tapping” para reducir el estrés actual y tomar decisiones inteligentes. Estar más relajada y tranquila me da la oportunidad de reflexionar y comparar. Veo el progreso que he hecho.

Los nuevos estados de funcionamiento se sienten rápidamente como la norma. Es muy fácil olvidar lo malo que antes era. Necesitamos comparar y estar conscientes de los cambios positivos que hemos realizado en nuestra vida y nuestra relación.

Siéntete orgulloso y encantado de lo que has logrado. La naturaleza humana quiere que avancemos rápidamente y que hagamos más y mejor. Tómate el tiempo para hablar sobre los cambios que notas dentro de ti y de tu relación. Luego verás que te enfrentas a una situación que tal vez hace un año nohubiera podido manejar en absoluto. ¿Ves cuánto progreso has hecho?

La reducción constante del estrés te ayuda a ser más fuerte, más tranquilo y mejor preparado a medida que la vida te presenta desafíos. Finalmente tomamos posesión de nuestros sentimientos y reacciones. Comenzamos a regular nuestros propios sentimientos. Comenzamos a pararnos sobre nuestros propios pies.

Traducción de Blog original por Roberto Fuerte y Aydeli Ríos.

Translation by Roberto Fuerte and Aydeli Rios proof read by Judith Garcia

Original English blog version and picture by Karin Goldgruber



Rekindling a dream

Like a tsunami betrayal washes over me, taking everything I have believed in, hoped for, and trusted in with it. Destroying everything.
My parents won’t allow me to become a visual artist.
I was certain that they would support me. I was wrong.

A deep hopelessness envelopes me, seeps into every part of my being, as the cold creeps into your bones on some looming winter nights. Everything is covered in beautifully deceiving ice crystals.

The pain is so strong that I separate myself from myself. I surrender my dream, so I can continue living. I step outside myself. I observe, as part of me lives a life that is dictated and shaped by what others think is best for me. I take the path that was chosen for me.

Most of my life I judged myself quite harshly for accepting it . I criticized myself and only saw when I surrendered my will. I didn’t see the great choices I made.
Not having a choice in my education and career made me determined to support my sons in their career choices.

Now it is time for me to look at some of my old dreams. Will I study art because I couldn’t before or will I study something else or will I even go to University?

First I had to make my peace with my younger self. I had to acknowledge that she couldn’t speak up, it wasn’t her fault. It was a different time. She didn’t have any life experience.

Even though I never attended University I have continued my education since then. I have studied things that drew me to them. Things I loved. It never seemed like hard work because I loved what I was learning.

My dream of attending University is still very strong, yet as of now writing, doing presentations and working with Highly Sensitive People is more important.
Whether I attend University is really irrelevant. What matters is that it is my free choice.
I no longer feel like I am watching myself living a life I don’t want. I am living my life.

Blog and picture by Karin Goldgruber


Things I have remembered since I’ve started to run

1. If I want different results I need to do things differently

For years I have unsuccessfully used willpower to get myself to run consistently. I like running yet it took me some time to see that I didn’t like running alone.
When I used EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques to look at the resistance to run alone, I discovered that I had a core belief that it’s dangerous. No wonder will power only worked a couple of days every time before I would do anything to avoid running. Don’t be held back by what you assume is holding you back, look deeper.

2. Just because I love something, doesn’t mean I have to own it.

Every morning I see people who walk their dogs. I like to pet them or play with them. Yet I don’t want to own a dog. Just because it brings moments of joy to me doesn’t automatically translate to it providing me an ongoing state of joy if I owned it. We can over gorge on more than just food.

3. I take many of my skills and much of my knowledge for granted.

Most of my life I was sure that others know as much about botany as I do. Since I grew up surrounded by it, it seemed only natural, common sense. I was surprised to learn that most people know very little about it.
We often sell ourselves short assuming that everyone has the same knowledge and skills. Therefore we miss opportunities to stand out and use our expertise.

4.There’s a season for everything

The mornings are getting cooler, the sun rises a bit later every day and sets earlier. Fall is slowly and gently approaching. I won’t be running in the winter, it’s much too cold. Just because we enjoy something it doesn’t make sense to keep doing it constantly.
We forget that when we come back to it that there’s joy and we notice that we missed it.

5. Sometimes I am just not properly prepared

This morning it was quite cool and I was under dressed. As I shivered I considered turning back and changing clothes. I am glad I didn’t, I picked up my pace and soon I was warm. Due to the added incentive of keeping warm, I was able to run at a much faster pace than I would have usually attempted.
Being obsessed with being perfectly prepared adds so much stress to my life and I sometimes waste time, preparing for emergencies that never happen. Therefore robbing me of opportunities to grow and adapt under pressure.

6. Sometimes I forget what makes me happy, even though it’s easy for me to be happy.

There are so many little things that make me happy. The sounds of early birds, the air on my face, the first rays of sun on my skin. The smells and different colours of flowers. The way my body feels when I run.
My heart and soul fill up with joy, love and gratitude when I am in nature. I am happy.

It’s easy to get lost and only focus on big events and achievements that are supposed to make us happy. We forget that the little moments of happiness that are not pursued are the ones that sustain us during the time that passes between big happy moments.

7. Sometimes I need to take a break and sometimes I need to push myself

Some days I feel too lazy or tired to even run for five or ten minutes. Yet when I push myself and leave the house, I end up feeling great because I overcame my inner resistance.
This however does not mean that on the days where I have already run my fair share and my ankles are killing me that I have to force myself to finish no matter the damage it does.

Knowing the difference isn’t always easy. Listening to how my body feels every day is becoming simpler. Being okay with just running for the joy of running takes off the pressure of comparing myself to others or having expectations of distances and times. Some days I push myself to sprint when I am tired, other days I walk home and pick flowers.
Both are necessary.

Karin Goldgruber writes about life as a Highly Sensitive Person HSP, how to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm and how to find authentic answers to your life questions.
She is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People who experience problems in their relationship because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.


What you think about yourself matters

Even though I am at a family gathering, I feel alone. I listen in to the conversations. I find them shallow. I hate it when people talk about other people. It’s not even just talking harshly about others. It’s the comparisons, the comments about other’s choices and actions that really annoy and infuriate me. It’s the incomprehension that the other is not the lesser.

My biggest fear is that when I leave, they will talk about me.

What would they say?

“I don’t get it? Why does she do that? It makes no sense to me. She should do it this way.”

As a little girl I figured that since my family talked about everyone else in their absence, they must also talk about me in mine. It worried and scared me. The person who was talked about was singled out. Separated from the rest of the family. Different than the others.
I started to hide and isolate and flee into any other world I could find, within my mind and outside it.

I wrongly concluded that because they talked about me that I didn’t belong. I didn’t see that they talked about everyone. That they talked about them because they cared. That they didn’t talk about people that didn’t matter.

I started to see that conclusion as truth.
Diligently I collected evidence to confirm and validate my truth.
I felt excluded even though I had denied an invitation. I felt cast out when I retreated from family events because I was overwhelmed. I kept finding more and more evidence.

My mind twisted things around. I would read into things that were not even there. I was only looking for evidence that I didn’t belong. I only saw the world through my lenses, I only heard words through my filters. I filtered out anything that didn’t fit the parameters of my worldview.

Most of my life, my thoughts and beliefs about me were dependent on what I thought that my family said or believed about me. If I thought they liked me, I liked myself. If I thought someone didn’t like me I questioned myself. I have since learned that their feelings, thoughts and comments have nothing to do with me, only them.
I stopped talking badly about myself in my head. I began to like myself and feel comfortable with my choices and decisions. I stopped questioning myself. I began to be the only authority in my life.

I din’t need my family’s approval of my life and my choices any longer. I didn’t need to be liked by my family because I like myself.
I wasn’t scared to be talked about, commented on. It doesn’t matter what they say about me.
It matters what I know about myself.

I have decided to express my love and appreciation for my family without expecting anything in return. I know that I can deal with whatever feelings will come up.

Karin Goldgruber is a Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner who specializes in working with Highly Sensitive People HSP who experience problems in their relationship because of this innate trait.
As a Highly Sensitive Person herself she has overcome many challenges and obstacles and encourages and empowers others to do the same.


I went MiA Missing in Austria for ten weeks

I left Canada in the beginning of May on hiatus and I went missing in action. I had plans to review the course that I had taken, read books for work, get new customers, walk every day, bike every day, write every day, draw every day,eat well, lose weight, write tons of articles, spend time with friends,while being back home, helping my aging parents.

You probably think it’s impossible to do all of it , every single day. It was.
Yet every vacation I have the same intentions and expectations for my time. A large amount of unstructured time always begs me to quickly fill it with work. It’s feels impossible not to fill those void spaces with plans.

I was brought up in a very productive, industrious family with mostly entrepreneurs and workaholics. Parts of me wants to be like everyone else and work, work, work, even during a vacation. I felt pressure to justify spending so much time with my parents.

Things went right already in the first two weeks. I spend a few days with my younger son in Vienna. We had no plans. And it was wonderful. We slept as long as we wanted. We ate when we were hungry. We walked the city streets, watched people. I loved it. We talked about everything and nothing. It was simple, yet it filled my heart and soul to the brim.

I had such ambitious plans for the rest of my stay, after he left.
Luckily those plans didn’t come to fruition. I wasn’t motivated to write, study and work every day, as my busy brain had planned. I slept in,and read, books I enjoyed. I swam in ice cold mountain rivers and lakes. I hiked through a canyon with my sisters. I ate an abundance of wild strawberries.

I felt guilty looking at my books and my laptop sitting lonely on my desk, waiting for me to work, yet I closed the door behind me and did what I really wanted and needed to do. I walked often with my mom. I watched TV with my dad. We played cards. I did seemingly unimportant, insignificant things.

Yet those things helped me to relax and to realize how stressed and worried I had been. It helped me to make my peace with their age and that things will change. But for now we are alive and we will do and say maybe unimportant things. Nothing spectacular, but real. Everyday life together. That’s more that I could have planned for.