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The Highly Sensitive Person Kindle Edition

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews Review

Are you an HSP? Are you easily overwhelmed by stimuli? Affected by other people's moods? Easily startled? Do you need to withdraw during busy times to a private, quiet place? Do you get nervous or shaky if someone is observing you or competing with you? HSP, shorthand for "highly sensitive person," describes 15 to 20 percent of the population. Being sensitive is a normal trait--nothing defective about it. But you may not realize that, because society rewards the outgoing personality and treats shyness and sensitivity as something to be overcome. According to author Elaine Aron (herself an HSP), sensitive people have the unusual ability to sense subtleties, spot or avoid errors, concentrate deeply, and delve deeply. This book helps HSPs to understand themselves and their sensitive trait and its impact on personal history, career, relationships, and inner life. The book offers advice for typical problems. For example, you learn strategies for coping with overarousal, overcoming social discomfort, being in love relationships, managing job challenges, and much more. The author covers a lot of material clearly, in an approachable style, using case studies, self-tests, and exercises to bring the information home. The book is essential for you if you are an HSP--you'll learn a lot about yourself. It's also useful for people in a relationship with an HSP. --Joan Price


'This remarkable book speaks clearly to highly sensitive people. It gives a fresh perspective, a sigh of relief, and a good sense of where we belong in society.' JOHN GRAY, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Product Details

  • File Size: 478 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (November 26, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 26, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GT1YES8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,890 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Elaine Aron, Ph.D., is recognized internationally as one of the leading scientists studying the psychology of love and close relationships. Dr. Aron's research on love, conducted with her husband, Dr. Art Aron, has been featured in the New York Times, Time, and National Geographic. She is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person, The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, and The Highly Sensitive Child. She has lived in many places all over North America, from a geodesic dome on Cortes Island to an aging southern mansion on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and now divides her time between New York and San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

446 of 459 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
In this unique book, research psychologist Elaine Aron breaks new psychological ground by defining a personality trait inadequately explored in the past, a trait that an estimated 15-20% of the U.S. population carries. The trait manifests in a highly sensitive nervous system present from birth and probably inherited, much like other personality traits or physical features. Highly sensitive people, or HSPs as Aron calls people who possess this trait, are much more sensitive to nearly everything they experience -- from the sensory characteristics of objects and events, to the subtleties of inner feelings and relationships between people. As a result of this heightened awareness to everything in their environment, highly sensitive people in our culture are often told, "You're too sensitive for your own good," and are admonished to develop a "tougher skin." Ms. Aron discusses the ways in which people with this trait have frequently been mislabeld in the past, often branded as "shy," "introverted," or "neurotic," even by professionals. She goes to great lengths to define and describe the sensitivity trait as it influences an individual's life, providing both research evidence and personal anecdotes from the scores of people interviewed for her work. The evidence illustrates that being a highly sensitive person is both a blessing and a burden, depending upon a number of different factors in the life history of the individual. Possessing this trait can make life challenging at times but Ms. Aron, herself an HSP, emphasizes that being sensitive is not a psychological disorder or a personality flaw to get rid of. The sensitivity trait is merely a part of an individual's personality.Read more ›
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476 of 495 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
My husband bought this book for me because he'd read about it and thought that I might be what Aron terms a "highly sensitive person" (HSP). Like many of the other reviewers here, I was amazed to discover that Aron described, and explained, many of my own traits and experiences: sensitivity to noise and dislike of hubbub (strong characteristics of American culture); stress and fatigue from brief and ordinary, though intense to me, social interactions; the ability to sense other people's moods and what is going on below surface interactions more so than others seem to; and the feeling of being the only one who experiences the world as I do. Aron's study is grounded in solid research and persuasive scientific explanations, as well as in her personal experiences and those of numerous subjects she interviewd. This is a path-breaking book that not only validates the experiences of sensitive people but gives specific, thoughtful advice for understanding ourselves, coping in the world (in a variety of situations, including one's job), and making the most of our senstivity. I suspect that the opinionated rants found among some of these reviews are from non-HSPs who don't get it, because HSPs are by nature more thoughtful (rather than boorish and angry) and would offer well-considered, fair assessments of the book. Thank you, Dr. Aron, for giving us this wonderful book.
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504 of 535 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on February 12, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly wish that this book would have existed 30 or more years ago. Almost everthing traditionally written on this subject has been tacitly negative. The highly sensitive, or introverted, personality type was automatically assumed to be defective to some degree for their failure to "adapt" to the extroverted "norm." I think that this is because most traditional American psychological thought has been fundamentally industrial and military psychology- the subject is always supposed to adapt to the environment and never the other way around. Those who cannot adapt are identified and disposed of. That is certainly how military psychology has always been practiced. This book is the first to demonstrate that highly sensitive people are both "normal" and have many valuable traits. Indeed, they excel against extraverts in most areas that make people truly "human." Not only that, but in other cultures without an unnatural majority of extraverts, the sensitive person was seen as the ideal friend and citizen.

I especially appreciated the explanation of the biochemistry of "over-stimulation." When sensitive people are forced to interact in unnatural evironments the cortisol levels in their bloodstream increases, making them even more sensitive to their environment than they usually are. Unless they can withdraw, or otherwise calm themselves, it is a virtual certainty that they will overreact. This means that they will act contrary to their usual conscientious, reasonable, and understanding normal behavior in order to escape. Needless to say, inspite of the fact that this reaction is virtually out of their control, this overreaction is dealt with harshly by society- and by employers.
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155 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Pooky on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book had so much promise - a really great questionnaire, which leads the reader into saying 'yes' to many of the questions and concluding 'yes I am highly sensitive...that explains so much about what can I do about it??'. But from there the book fails to really provide any insight, comfort or tools in order to cope as a sensitive person in our over-stimulating world.

I totally agree with her premise (which is what pulled me in), but she fails to really 'comfort' you and encourage you to embrace and capitalize on your strengths. Where are the examples of HSP's who have achieved great careers and great things? She provides a few examples of HSP's who have 'succeeded' but these people are all just everyday types 'getting by' in spite of their trait. This leads you to conclude that this is the best you can hope for. The kicker was towards the end when she talked about a HSP she went to school with, and here I am thinking, finally, 'this person will embrace their sensitivity and take on the world and bloom into a successful person, shining their sensitive light into the world' ....wrong... he committed suicide. Comforting and inspiring. Not.

Her writing style fails to engage, and she also has a habit of instructing you to really minimize rather than embrace your sensitivity and hide it as much as possible, leading you to conclude that you are really not okay. Surely she realizes that sensitive types reading her book are likely to be quite wounded by this?

In the hands of a much more engaging, skilled and warm writer (e.g. Martha Beck) this could have been a truly great contribution on a new and under-investigated topic. In its current form I found it quite an emotionally painful read like being told from a stern and uncaring mother 'you are not really okay and you don't really fit in, so go and minimize your trait and cater to the less sensitive types'. Huge, more than unsettling and upsetting read.
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