"You're just too sensitive"… "why are you always so shy?"
If these are phrases you're used to hearing, you might just be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). The trait of high sensitivity was discovered by Dr. Elaine Aron and explains the 20-30% of the population with a unique way of processing sensory information.
Even if you're not an HSP, someone close to you may be, so it's important to understand the trait to make life more enjoyable for your highly sensitive loved ones.
After taking an online test and discovering they are definitely not HSPs, Lianne & Corey decided to ask expert Dr. Bianca Acevedo to shed light on this misunderstood trait. Referencing research studies, Dr. Acevedo explains how to tell if you are an HSP, what that means, and how to look after your sensitive body to reduce overwhelm and experience the many benefits of high sensitivity.
If you're an HSP, or know someone who is, episode 5 will prove you're not as alone as you may have thought.
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Get To The Point
0:27 What to Expect Summary of episode 5
1:23 Quick Quote By Frank Lloyd Wright
1:41 Focus On… Highly Sensitive People. Are Lianne and Corey HSPs?
4:49 Interview Introduction Background on Dr. Bianca Acevedo
5:34 Interview Dr. Bianca Acevedo on how to tell if you're an HSP, what that means, and how HSPs can live their best lives
34:30 Interview Digestion Key takeaways from interview
35:37 Take It Further Recommended books, apps, and online resources
To find out if you're an HSP, take the online test. Scores of 14 out of 27 (and higher) are considered highly sensitive. There's a separate test for children.
The best information about HSPs can be found on Dr. Elaine Aron's website and in her ground-breaking book. She's also written a book about Highly Sensitive Children.
The trait of high sensitivity occurs naturally in several species from fruit flies to primates and humans. About 20-30% of the population is highly sensitive.
HSPs process and reflect on information at a deeper level and are more sensitive to things like smells, noise, crowds, and even the emotions of others. The downside is a tendency to get overwhelmed
HSPs are often undervalued and misunderstood by a modern society that values bravado, extraversion, and appearing tough, especially for men.
Key Interview Takeaways
- Research has shown the highly sensitive brain is associated with more awareness and more empathy in the mirror neuron system.
- HSPs can pick up subtle stimuli both in the external environment and internally.
- Many people aren't aware they are highly sensitive. In the past, incorrect labels like shy, introverted, neurotic, and overly empathic have been assigned to HSPs, especially HSP children. HSP children can also be incorrectly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
- Recommended resources include Dr. Elaine Aron's website, book, and movies on HSPs in relationships, The Highly Sensitive Man by Tom Falkenstein,
- Not all HSPs have the same levels of sensitivity, it's not black and white.
- Being highly sensitive is not a disorder. It's a biological trait with a genetic and biological component, similar to having red hair vs brown hair.
- HSPs tend to need more downtime and alone time to process the extra information they take in. They're usually okay with solitude.
- Check out Bianca's app, LoveSmart (iPhone only) which provides a self-assessment tool to measure several different areas of a relationship. It's a useful tool to identify which areas of your relationship are strongest and those that need attention.
Connect With Dr. Bianca Acevedo
Foundation for Healthy Relationships and Lives
Dr. Acevedo is the Director and Founder of the Foundation for Healthy Relationships and Lives, a research scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), a private consultant, writer, and public speaker. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from NYU and a PhD in Social/Health Psychology from Stony Brook University.
She conducts research on the science of love, empathy, highly sensitive people, and mind-body practices.
Dr. Acevedo also teaches courses in interpersonal relationships, positive psychology, and research methods. She has published several widely-recognized articles on the science of love and the HSP trait. Her contributions to psychology were recognized with the 2012 International Woman in Science Award.