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25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people can often be seen as weak, but that’s not the case. More often than not, they are stronger than the average human being, and have the capability of letting their protective walls down when building personal and professional relationships. Developing a relationship with someone who is highly sensitive can help you become more in touch with your own feelings  as well as help you see life’s messages that you may be missing. It may take patience to understand the inner thoughts of a highly sensitive person however you should feel honored that they are choosing you to be a part of their life.

1. They think with their heart

They follow their heart’s desire with ease when it comes to thinking ideas through. However, this can become a problem when they leap off the deep end without considering the logistics of a situation.  

2. They talk everything out

They need to express their thoughts and feelings freely about everything, in order to feel heard and appreciated. Ironically, highly sensitive people can sometimes have a hard time listening to advice from others due to their sensitivity to words, and can often be offended if the wrong words are used during conversation.

3. They don’t rush through life

They know how to enjoy life’s moments by taking their time with everything they do. The pressure they may sometimes feel from others to hurry along, only adds stress on the relationship at hand, and not the trust that they require. Highly sensitive people enjoy taking in the scenery, and strive to keep stress to a minimum.  

4. They appreciate time alone

With being so sensitive, it’s important for highly sensitive people to have time alone to decompress. Its amazing how quickly they can absorb any and all negative energy from the people in which surround them.  

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5. They strive to only do good

They truly want to do great things in this world and put their whole hearts into whatever it is that they are doing. However, they are easily discouraged when the great things they are working on don’t shape up as they had envisioned. Such as an unappreciated homemade gift, and/or gestures.  

6. They pay attention to details

They can sometimes over think details to a point of driving everyone around them mad, but their observations usually payoff greatly. They naturally pay attention to the body language and emotions of everyone and everything around them. From nature, to animals, and people, they can predict something is not on point before it’s even been revealed. Such as someone lying about something, a sickness someone may be carrying, a pregnancy, a job promotion, or even a natural disaster!  

7. They can give great advice

People who are highly sensitive are great at analyzing situations and offering up the best advice. They love feeling needed and can struggle when that great advise that they had given is not put to good use.  

8. They display a tough exterior

Sensitive people tend to display a strong exterior with a stiff upper lip, and can be unknowingly mad at you for months. They may be hurt by something extremely small that you did or said, and will sometimes hold onto it to instead of expressing it, to avoid jeopardizing the chance of hurting you back. They recognize that it’s something they need to work on because of their high sensitivity, not something for you to deal with.  

9. They know their worth

Sensitive people know when they are not being valued, and have the strength to walk away from any toxic situation. Others may not understand their reasoning looking at the whole picture, but the build up of bad habits in any given relationship will have them naturally walking away in search for greener pastures.  

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10. They are well mannered and polite

You can pretty much always expect a highly sensitive person to be aware of their surrounds by showcasing their expert manners. In return, they expect the same politeness and well-mannered behaviors from others, and may see you as rude if you don’t.  

11. They are passionate

Whether it’s with their family, their friends, their love interest, or even their career, passion never falls short in their day-to-day lives. Sometimes if the energy is not reciprocated back to them, they can be become hard on the people they are putting so much energy into. With their passionate personalities on the line, they thrive on appreciation from others.

12. They are spiritual

They believe in karma and how everything happens for a reason. They believe that the universe works in a particular way to always make full circle. They like to live a life in harmony, even though they tend to struggle to find it internally. Highly sensitive people are likely to try activities such as meditation and yoga, at least once in their life, in search for that higher connection with their body and mind.  

13. They have strong intuitions

They usually know something is going to happen before hand. Sometimes this may initially come across as if they are accusing or blaming, when in fact they just want to express and advise others of what they are feel may happen, and soon.  

14. They trust their body

When making big life decisions like signing a legal binding contract, their body may alarm them that something is not right. To some this may seem frustrating, but they have learned from experience to trust their body when something doesn’t feel right.

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15. They are empathic towards others

They can always put the shoe on the other foot, and understand what it must be like for someone else to go through certain struggles in life. This habit really plays a role when there’s an argument at hand, because it doesn’t take highly sensitive people long to see their self inside of someone else’s problem and instantly want to help or lend a hand. However, they sense too often that people do not replicate this emotion, which can sometimes reactive their initial anger.

16. They are compassionate towards others

They can truly hold concern for other people when they see others in a difficult situation. A highly sensitive person doesn’t need to know the person in harms way on a personal level, but can instantly feel compassion for the child who just fell off their bike, the shop owner who was just robbed, or even the character from a movie who just had their heart broken.  

17. They put others before themselves

They sometimes get so wrapped up in the needs of other people, they can forget about their self. However, it’s a hard pill for them to swallow when they feel unappreciated for their effort and time. Not that they only help others for recognition, but a simple, “Thank you” will keep a highly sensitive person pleased.  

18. They read people well

Within moments of meeting someone for the first time, they can gather a very accurate story of who a person really is. As time unravels, a highly sensitive person can surprise people with fun facts, which the person didn’t even realize about their self.  

19. They love animals

They have a special bond with animals in whereby animals trust them completely. Not only do highly sensitive people appreciate the mutual respect that animals give without conditions, they are also sensitive to the needs and wants of each and every animal, and make a point to pay extra attention to all forms of communication they animal may or may not be giving.  

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20. They ask a lot of questions

In order to make sense of the world, they ask a lot of questions. Sometimes these questions can get them in trouble when they get too political or emotionally deep, but the questions they ask always leave us thinking in a positive light.  

21. They make very calculated decisions

Highly sensitive people naturally think with their hearts, they make decisions based on the details of their emotions. They usually ask them-selves many internal questions like, “Why do I feel this way?”. Their decision-making is almost as calculated as a game of chest, and everything needs to have a reason and purpose before the next move is made.  

22. They gain satisfaction with decision-making

They love knowing that their strategic planning paid off in the end, which it usually does. However when it doesn’t, they can be extremely hard on themselves with self-doubt.  

23. They are problem solvers

They may be highly sensitive but they are not ones for thinking linearly. They hold many emotions, and this drives their many ways of thinking out solutions to their problems. Highly sensitive people like to map out all possibilities in order to solve each problem as best, as they know how and then execute!  

24. They stand up for what they feel is right

When they have a thought, a vision, an idea, or a feeling, they will voice it, even if they may be standing alone. However, they can sometimes feel as if they are too different from the rest of the world and become disheartened at times, when they see how insensitive some people can really be.  

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25. They can admit when they are wrong

Highly sensitive people know how important it is to be recognized for the things that they do correctly. Therefore, it’s easy for them to admit their mistakes and give credit to others who deserve it by saying, “I’m sorry, you are right.”

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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