From Publishers Weekly
The titular Highly Sensitive Persons are intelligent, creative, idealistic and possessed of a strong work ethic. But unlike other workers, they suffer under routine, can be bothered by the sensory environment (the hum of fluorescent lights, workplace odors), might go through cycles of enthusiastic over-stimulation followed by brooding withdrawal, and might even dissolve in tears when pressured by deadlines and criticism. "Work Purpose Coach" Jaeger, following Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, insists that HSPs stand up for their right to be sensitive. She provides HSP readers with useful tips on how to monitor oneself, relax and set boundaries to avoid getting overwhelmed; how to face down office bullies; and, using carefully scripted model monologues, how to inform coworkers and supervisors of one's needs as an HSP (talk about "fatigue" rather than "depression," for example). Her goal is to help HSPs ascend from Drudgery, through the "purgatory" of Craft, to their true Calling-which involves "a blending of the intense mind with the love and joy of our imagination and emotions" and leads to being "lifted, inevitably, up toward Heaven." The book is most compelling in its descriptions of Drudgery, which draw on writers like Barbara Ehrenreich to detail what some have termed the "modern slavery" of the corporate workplace. Unfortunately, Jaeger's priority is less to reform the workplace than to survive or escape it, if necessary, through self-employment. Still, readers will find this a perceptive guide to easing their torments.
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This book enlarges upon The Highly Sensitive Person
(1996), by Elaine Aron, who describes the HSP as someone whose nervous system is particularly susceptible to stimuli. HSPs are more sensitive not only to their physical environments but also to emotional trauma. Jaeger believes that about 20 percent of the population can be described as HSPs and that the personality type may be inherited. In discussing the work environment, Jaeger recommends that HSPs avoid drudgery, which is particularly devastating because HSPs are generally creative types who thrive on new challenges. Jaeger also advises that craftwork can quickly deteriorate into drudgery for HSPs, who often remain in a job they hate for too long because of commitments or fear. Instead, HSPs need to find more fulfilling work, which the author refers to as a calling. Jaeger says the particular needs of HSPs include stress management, rest and healing, learning the importance of saying no, and dealing with abusive co-workers. Jaeger includes case studies and quotes from numerous HSPs to illustrate the advantages of finding satisfying work. David SiegfriedCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved