Highly Sensitive People Who Get Hurt Easily

loveu-podcastepisode-64

I don’t entirely understand highly sensitive people. In fact, I find it hard to offer constructive advice that doesn’t involve them changing into less sensitive people. That’s why I’m offering this Love U Podcast, as a resource to HSPs who struggle with relationships and want to know how they can better survive the tumultuous world of dating.

Click here for more on how to navigate the challenges of either being highly sensitive or being in a relationship with someone who is highly sensitive. And visit Dr. Elaine Aron’s website to gain insight into her research on this inherited trait.

Want to be a guest on the Love U Podcast? Click here to ask a question. 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Marika

    Wow, for some reason Evan, that podcast really had an impact on me! Thank you. I think your tone and wording was so helpful and direct, while also being extremely caring towards the callers.

    I’m not a HSP, but I definitely feel that sense of ‘righteous indignation’ when people cancel at the last minute, or do other things I consider to be rude or poor form. Which happens a lot in dating! Was it easy for you to overcome that New Yorker type attitude you talk about and become more easygoing? I can see the value of rolling with the punches a bit better and not being so quick to pull out the ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again’ type attitude. It’s funny, I find it very easy to do with friends, I can feel compassion for them and just move on with little or no frustration when they have to cancel or change plans, but it dating it all seems so much more personal and high stakes. I can really relate to that second caller, and thank you for helping me see these things in a different light.

  2. 2
    GoWiththeFlow

    Thank you to Evan and the two callers who really allowed their vulnerability to show.  I was really impressed with how Evan was able to break it down into separate parts.  Yes, it’s completely reasonable for the callers to decide that they don’t want to be with men who are either hyper-vigilant about being “controlled” or who have a habit of cancelling plans at the last minute.  But, it’s also good to examine how the callers’ sensitivity to perceived criticism and slights could be relationship sabotaging as well.

  3. 3
    Adelaide

    This is a great podcast full of really carefully delivered, truthful advice.

  4. 4
    S.

    I too appreciate the care with which you coached these women.  When I listened to this I realized that I’m not as sensitive, emotionally, as I once was. I’m sensitive to scents, the cold, scratchy t-shirt tags, but men?  Eh.  I think once I learned to read them and understand them better, I don’t let it get to me as much.  Go figure.
    With Lilian, she might be highly sensitive.  But I also agree that her ex-boyfriend was a terrible communicator.  If a woman is initiating sex, why make her feel bad about it?  He may not be a bad guy, but he’s not right or Lilian.

    “There is a lid for every pot, but some pots have fewer lids.” I like this theory you start out with. That HSP people should find other HSP people. “Easier to find someone who doesn’t trigger you and who doesn’t have to walk around on eggshells around you, than for you to try to become someone you’re not.”

    The difficulty with being more like a steel water jug is you run the risk of overcorrecting and then not letting anyone in. Not being able to feel. That may just be a fear, but not an unbased one.  The last thing a sensitive person ever wants to become is insensitive.

    So I’m a bit unclear on the advice: should HSP’s just date other HSPs or should they try to grow a tougher skin and date people who aren’t sensitive?

  5. 5
    Henriette

    Great topic, Evan.  I disagree with the HSP website which claims that 15-20% of the population is “highly sensitive people;” surely, the combination of extreme emotional AND physical sensitivity is less common than that!   However, I do think most folks (myself and yourself, included) can at times be sensitive in ways that do not serve us well.

    Jeremy has mentioned CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in other posts.  I’ve found that these kinds of mental exercises ~ taking a step back and trying to “reframe” my thoughts ~ have helped me enormously not only diminishing my hurts but also better understanding the underlying causes of the pain so that I could work on strengthening some of my own “sensitive spots.”  For example, perhaps being stung by things like a suggestion that she dye her hair black or chronic last-minute cancellations are caused in part by the callers’  internal beliefs that “Men only cancel on/ make hair dye suggestions to women they don’t really care about/ find sufficiently attractive as they are.”  These kinds of automatic assumptions are not necessarily true and are often unhelpful.  Learning how to identify and challenge our own assumptions can help mitigate the pain we feel when overly-sensitive: a useful skill to possess when dating!

    Finally, I don’t know if very sensitive people need ~ or would even be best advised ~ to date other very sensitive people.  I’ve seen too many relationships where both parties spend entirely too much time reacting to supposed hurts inflicted by the other partner What I think is best is that sensitive people date those who are happy, courteous and easy-going enough to tweak their communication style to accommodate the more sensitive partner.   There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not dating/ breaking up with someone whose communication style isn’t wrong per se, but is wrong for you.

     

  6. 6
    Emily

    Great to hear you talking about this! Elaine Aron’s book “The highly sensitive person in love” was so helpful to me. Another resource is Rose Rosetree’s books for Empaths (as some HSPs are also empaths). “Become the most important person in the room” was so helpful also.

  7. 7
    Tali

    Wow I’ve done tonnes of coaching and this podcast really impacted me strongly, Thankyou for being honest and at the same time being kind and caring!

    I am an incredibly sensitive HSP but have done a lot of work around it.

    I would love to know then where’s the fine line between saying to your boyfriend “no worries, you understand he has to cancel because of work duties” and your ok with it compared with other times you are triggered and saying “that a you are not ok with him cancelling etc” – because then doesn’t it depend on the day and your mood too? (Sometimes you’ll be ok with him cancelling and other times not)?

    And also if you are an HSP and you are constantly being triggered/hurt then instead of brushing off someone’s “behaviour” and ignoring that you are feeling hurt by that person can’t you just say “we’re not a match and it’s ok to lose friends/partners in life?” (because as you mentioned Evan youve lost lots of friends over being sensitive but isn’t that better than constantly feeling you are being hurt by them? (Whether it’s your perception or they are actually doing something that is hurtful).

    Thankyou 🙂

     

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