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The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You Paperback – June 2, 1997
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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
“I wept through almost every page of this book out of sheer self-recognition. To say this book changed my life would be an understatement. I am forever grateful to Elaine Aron.”
--Alanis Morissette, singer, songwriter, activist
"This remarkable book...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
"Elaine Aron's perceptive analysis of this fundamental dimension of human nature is must reading. Her balanced presentation suggests new paths for making sensitivity a blessing, not a handicap."
--Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., author of Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It
"Enlightening and empowering, this book is a wonderful gift to us all."
--Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade
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Top Customer Reviews
Things I have been attempting to change my entire life were just NORMAL attributes of an HSP!! I cannot thank Elaine enough for writing this book and for the documentary made with a Kick Start campaign! I took her test on line at her site... highly sensitive person test, and answered yes to all the questions! I cover up most lights on my computer, printer, router and such. I have no sounds except the error sound on my computer. Never could watch violent movies, sensitive to bright lights, strong smells, loud sounds. Can feel everyone when walking into a room. If you "think" you might be one, it could change your life reading this book! I think you only need to answer yes to about 14 of the many questions.
I totally understood why my parents treated me the way they did. I was overly sensitive to so many things and they did not know what to do about it! They did not know "why"! Same with friends and teachers and my sister!
I am a CHANGED person and I Highly Recommend this book to Everyone! Why? Because you might have a friend, partner, child who is highly sensitive and knowing how to treat them, can change both your relationships. It turns out not only are 15 - 20% of humans highly sensitive, so are animals and insects in the same percentages! It is a Natural Trait and not an illness or disease. Scientists can see it in brain scans and DNA testing. We have been misdiagnosed for decades as being shy, withdrawn, depressed and so on, which is not true. I love, love, loved this book!
Since the 80% generally need significant stimulation to stay focused, the 20% find themselves constantly overwhelmed and need to find coping mechanisms to deal with the stimulation, or to remove themselves from it.
The book (and the Highly Sensitive Child) were helpful in understanding why I reacted much more to certain things than most people, and why much of the wisdom of the 80% seemed to have the opposite effect on me.
If you think you are an HSP, or realize that you are one this is the book for you and it has helped me to not pathologize myself and to embrace who I am again.