Book Report: The Highly Sensitive Person

If you’ve read several of these posts, you know that I’m doing a pretty poor job of keeping this blog balanced.  I have written a ton of running posts, a couple of food posts, and not a single post about books.  Which is deceiving in a way, because it makes it seem as if reading is my least favorite of those three hobbies.  I could spend all day curled up with a book, and routinely did so several years ago.  Now that my darling children are on the scene, that’s a luxury I can rarely afford, but it doesn’t mean that my love of reading has diminished at all.  Just that it now takes me considerably longer to get through a book.  Just to be clear, the running posts are still going to heavily outweigh every other topic on this page, but in an attempt to even things out slightly, here’s your first book report.

Today I want to talk to you about The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron.  I haven’t even finished reading it yet, but I’m sharing because of the strong impact that this book is making on me.  In the book, Aron argues that approximately 15-20% of our population can classify themselves as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).  She starts by identifying how to know if you are an HSP, argues against some popular stigmas regarding the trait, and then spends several chapters helping you get to know yourself, and to understand how being an HSP can affect you at work and in relationships.  There are occasional suggested exercises that strike me as a bit hokey at times, but for the most part, the book is a revolution.

I’ve always known that I was an introvert, but there are other parts of my personality that have confused or frustrated me over the years.  I’ve been embarrassed by my inability to watch certain movie or shows that I find too upsetting.  I become easily annoyed by silly things, such as when people leave their grocery carts in the middle of the aisle while shopping.  I’m mortified by how easily I resort to tears when I am feeling angry or frustrated.  I sometimes feel weak for feeling so deeply affected by events that happen to those I am close to.  According to Aron, all of these are characteristics of HSPs.  For me, just having an explanation for why I feel things so deeply has been incredibly validating.  The book has also helped me to identify the positive qualities of my trait, and to learn how to work through the challenges.  I wish I had discovered it years ago.

Are you a highly sensitive person?  Go to this website to find out, and then post a comment and share one characteristic of HSPs that you clearly have.   And please consider reading this book, as it’s a great way to better understand yourself or any HSPs that you may have in your life!


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