How to Love a Highly Sensitive Person
Did you know, each of us knows at least one Highly Sensitive person in our immediate world? One out of every 5 people are Highly Sensitive, which means 20% of the population experiences the world with heightened sensitivity, strong emotions, and a level of awareness that would blow your socks off.
Yet, many HSPs struggle to get their needs met in relationships, and are challenged by relationships that deem them "too sensitive", "not laid back enough", and "over emotional.
Here's something though... You care. You're reading this, learnig how best to support the Highly Sensitive people in your life, and I admire you for that.
It took me a long time to condense this to only 3 tips, but here are three that are absolutely crucial to loving and respecting an HSP.
1. PRACTICE COMPASSION: for the HSPs in your life AND yourself! It's no surprise that this is challenging. HSPs show up 100%, unafraid of sharing the true depth of their emotions, and asking others to do the same. This can be tough, and downright terrifying for even the strongest of people. Practicing compassion means looking at everything that is coming up for the both of you, honoring those experiences and doing your part to make space for the supportive connection to take place. (Notice I didn't say BOTH parts! You're only responsible for you).
2. CHECK THE CRITICISM AT THE DOOR: Trust me, we've tried our very best not to be this sensitive. It doesn't work. It's not how we are wired, and THAT IS OK! So, any attempts to tell us to "toughen up", or "grow a thicker skin", are a waste of your time and ours. Instead, talk to us from a place of love. Share your concerns, ask for what you need, and trust us to care enough about you that we will find a way to offer that to you. But leave the shame and blame out of it.
3. LISTEN: You may not always understand why they are crying about how intelligent elephants are (true story, happened to me), but hear them out. Let them know that you are present, their experience matters to you, and get curious. There is no better feeling to a HSP than when you make the effort to understand them.
HSPs what would you add to the list?