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7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

Do you tear up at those super sad SPCA animal rescue commercials? Are your feelings often hurt when your friends tease you? Do you brood over it for days? Are you able to sense sadness in those around you and quickly pick up on the moods of others? Do you deeply empathize with others?

If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, you may be a highly sensitive person.

Highly sensitive people (HSP) are all around us. Between 15 and 20 percent of the population have the innate trait of extreme sensitivity. It is not a disorder or a disability. But it is misunderstood.

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About 70 percent of all highly sensitive people are introverts. Both introverts and HSPs reflect deeply, like meaningful conversations, and need lots of down time, which is not surprising. But the other 30 percent of HSP’s who are extroverted are the most misunderstood. Most people equate introversion and extroversion with sociability. But these two traits only account for someone’s tolerance level in having a large circle of friends and enjoyment in meeting strangers and socializing in large groups. Introversion and extroversion have very little to do with heightened sensitivity. High sensitivity lies deeper. It is an inherent trait.

Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People

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    Highly Sensitive people:

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    • Are easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or loud sirens.
    • Feel stressed when they have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time.
    • Avoid violent movies and TV shows.
    • Withdraw during busy days. They may escape and go to bed or hide in a dark room or some other place where they can have privacy and relief from the situation.
    • Take great pains in arranging their life to avoid, or at least minimize, stressful situations
    • Love aesthetic beauty. They notice and enjoy things like delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, and works of art
    • Have a rich and complex inner thought life.
    • Were seen as sensitive and shy as children.
    • Have a low thresh hold for pain.
    • Crave deep and meaningful relationships.
    • Cry frequently.

    Understanding is the number one key in dealing with highly sensitive people. Know that the best way to love a HSP is by supporting them. Avoid shaming them because of their sensitivity. Validate their feelings and let them know it is OK to feel the way that they do.

    Here are 7 things that deeply hurt highly sensitive people

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      1. Withholding your emotions and being dishonest about how you really feel

      HSP’s can pick up on how you feel, and lying about your feelings only makes things worse. Openness, honesty, and transparency are key when dealing with a sensitive individual. They detest people who play emotional games.

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      2. Refusing to give them space and alone time

      HSP’s need to decompress–frequently. Know that they simply need time to process and recharge after dealing with society. This is not meant to hurt or alienate you. They are not retreating or avoiding you, but rather, replenishing their energy stores.

      3. Disregarding their heightened sensitivity and emotions

      They have a keen sense and deep insight into the emotional world. They can literally feel other people’s pain. They wear their heart on their sleeve. They have a deep, complex personality and long to be loved and accepted as they are. They understand that they can be difficult to deal with.

      4. Criticizing them

      This is one of the worst things you can do to highly sensitive people. They experience your words in a deep and very personal way. Criticism penetrates their heart and seeps into their soul. They are natural people pleasers and have a tendency to engage in self deprecating behaviors to win the acceptance and approval of others.

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      5. Withholding or limiting love and affection

      HSP’s crave love and affection. It is the fuel that energizes their very being. The highly sensitive are prone to depression and feel heightened levels of anxiety. Physical touch helps to reduce anxiety and depression, which they feel on a much deeper level.

      6. Trying to change them

      Trying to change the sensitivity level of the super sensitive is an exercise in futility. It just will not happen. Your efforts to alter them will be sensed and then internalized. They will feel unloved and rejected.

      7. Not Encouraging them to get out of a rut

      Highly sensitive people are paradoxical in that they love spontaneity and are very adventurous but yet are hesitant to try new things. They can easily slip into the habit of staying home too often and become reclusive. Encourage them to get out of the house. Challenge them to get involved in things they love.

      Photo Credit: Shy Child from Sukanto Debnath on Flickr

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      Denise Hill

      Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

      You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

      1. Connecting them with each other

      Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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      It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

      2. Connect with their emotions

      Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

      For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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      3. Keep going back to the beginning

      Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

      On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

      4. Link to your audience’s motivation

      After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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      Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

      5. Entertain them

      While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

      Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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      6. Appeal to loyalty

      Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

      In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

      7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

      Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

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