The Gentle Strengths of Highly Sensitive People

Karin Goldgruber

Many Highly Sensitive People HSP consider their sensitivity as a weakness, often because of comments from parents and teachers. In order to fit in we push our strong emotions down and try not to overreact due to over stimulation. This works for a period of time until exactly what we wanted to prevent, namely overreaction,happens.

Highly Sensitive People like everyone else need to express their feelings. Stuffing down all the emotions doesn’t help.
Many times it makes it worse because the overreaction brings on comments like,” you are so sensitive”, “you always overreact”,” it’s not as bad as you say”. Those comments totally feel like your emotions are wrong because they are stronger, bigger. This often leads to beliefs like, “there is something wrong with me” or “I don’t fit in”.

Then there is always the other way of trying to be understood by non HSPs. Exaggerate the feeling. Somehow we think that if we exaggerate, the other person will understand us better. In reality, now they are becoming overwhelmed, by the strong emotions we express.

The question is, how can an HSPs express their feelings and feel understood?
First and foremost, we need to start feeling comfortable with our emotions.
It starts with self acceptance.

This is where I find the statement that is used during an EFT Emotional Freedom techniques session very helpful,” Even though I am so angry, I deeply and completely accept myself”. In the beginning you may not feel like that at all and you may say:” Even though I am so angry I try to accept myself”.

Having been shamed many times about expressing so called negative emotions very strongly makes it hard in the beginning to accept that you experience these feelings.

Yet, we have to start somewhere.
We forget that we have dealt with a wide array of strong feelings all of our lives. Most HSPs have been exploring and practicing different ways to deal with their feelings of overwhelm and stress consistently.

Many HSPs  I work with don’t see in the beginning how well versed they are in dealing with strong feelings. Often they only focus on negative experiences and don’t see their emotional strength. By working on and releasing shame, judgement and other negative feelings, step by step they start to see more sides of themselves.
This acknowledgment of capability, experience and expertise often leads to stronger self confidence, self appreciation and love.
It becomes obvious that sensitivity and vulnerability are very gentle strengths.

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.

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About the Author

Karin is a proud mother of two, a business owner, an immigrant, an avid hiker, a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and many other things. Growing up in Austria, she always felt she was different from others around her, but never quite knew why. It was only in her 40’s that Karin discovered the term HSP, what it meant, and how it applied to her. Gaining this new perspective has helped Karin to better understand herself and how others see her. Soon after learning about HSP’s, Karin learned about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which she has found is very helpful in addressing negative beliefs about herself and her past experiences. With her blogs and her business, Next Step Coaching, Karin seeks to help others learn more about HSPs, themselves, their beliefs about themselves, and to achieve the growth that she herself was able to realize by applying EFT. When writing her Blogs and working with clients, Karin does not seek to provide the answers, but rather to help her readers and clients find their own personal solutions for their unique circumstances.

Karin is a proud mother of two, a business owner, an immigrant, an avid hiker, a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and many other things….

Growing up in Austria Karin is a proud mother of two, a business owner, an immigrant, an avid hiker, a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and many other things. Growing up in Austria, she always felt she was different from others around her, but never quite knew why. It was only in her 40’s that Karin discovered the term HSP, what it meant, and how it applied to her. Gaining this new perspective has helped Karin to better understand herself and how others see her. Soon after learning about HSP’s, Karin learned about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which she has found is very helpful in addressing negative beliefs about herself and her past experiences. With her blogs and her business, Next Step Coaching, Karin seeks to help others learn more about HSPs, themselves, their beliefs about themselves, and to achieve the growth that she herself was able to realize by applying EFT. When writing her Blogs and working with clients, Karin does not seek to provide the answers, but rather to help her readers and clients find their own personal solutions for their unique circumstances.