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7 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

7 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

I grew up in a household where people held their emotions in. I felt ashamed to be such a highly sensitive person but have learnt through the years that there are some incredible traits that go along with it. Maybe as highly sensitive people, we easily feel pain but we also feel a heightened sense of joy and pleasure. We let it all into us and absorb the good, the bad and the ugly. It takes courage to stay sensitive and serves others much more than you’d probably even realize. There are a lot of us out there too: between 15-20% of the population shares this trait. Embrace everything that it is to be a highly sensitive person because it goes deeper than crying at a sad commercial!

1. You Are Highly Sensitive to Other’s Emotions

You are easily able to tell if something is wrong with someone else even if they try to hide it. It’s almost like a super hero power. You have the opportunity to help people open up by bringing what is obvious to you out into the open. This is something people that are less sensitive can’t do. This makes you one of the best kind of friends to have.

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2. You Are Highly Sensitive to Your Surroundings

If there were any danger around, you would likely be the first to know. You can sense what is around you at all times and while this may be overwhelming, you are always in tune with what’s happening around you. You notice things that others may not, such as a lady bug climbing up a flower stem or a special moment between two random people. You see many beautiful things as you observe the world in all of its detail.

3. Criticism Pushes You to Improve

Often highly sensitive people are natural people-pleasers which means any criticism thrown at you could becomes fuel to really change. It’s not easy for a sensitive person to hear that they aren’t doing something correct. This often motivates you to stop doing that action that may be offending someone. You are flexible and it’s easy for you to evolve with whatever negative feedback you receive.

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4. You Have Deeply Felt Emotions

While a highly sensitive person may feel badly much more easily than others, you also have the capacity to feel wonderful. I always equate the opposite of this to a turtle and his shell. He keeps danger out but he also hides himself from the good stuff. You, on the other hand, feel ultimate joy, bliss and peace. You can’t help but feel so you don’t ignore your emotions. If you’re sad, you let it out. If you’re happy, you laugh until your stomach hurts. You don’t suffer from illness or the bad side effects of holding emotions in all the time.

5. You Have Good Manners

A highly sensitive person remembers their please and thank you’s because it means so much to you. It’s a naturally wonderful trait that you have as a sensitive person, to be sensitive to others around them.

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6. You Have a Creative Mind

A highly sensitive person has highly developed senses which often result in an ability to appreciate art, music and culture. You are easily moved and emotionally touched by creative messages, and are often creative yourself in some way.

7. You Are In Touch With Your Emotions

As a highly sensitive person, you let your emotions show as they arrive within. Perhaps on a deeper level, this alleviates stress and anxiety within the body as you release your emotions. This should never be considered a weakness as it takes courage to look at your feelings and deal with them. There may be some that judge you for crying in public. It may make them uncomfortable because it’s something they are unable to do and probably wish they could.

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In conclusion, embrace your sensitive self because it really does take courage and it’s a natural trait, there is no weakness in it. Denying yourself of the true person you are only makes life more difficult and holding things in is almost impossible anyway. Cry when you need to and laugh just as much – be who you are!

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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