Maybe you’ve been wondering, “Can I learn how to become a Highly Sensitive Person?” (For short, an HSP.)
Realistically, honestly, what can you do? If you yearn to develop more sensitivity, are you doomed to disappointment?
HSPs are on my mind more than usual these days. Because I’m preparing for a new, in-person workshop: Socially Savvy HSPs and Empaths, August 10-11, 2019.
And what’s the most poignant kind of question folks ask me as an Empath Coach?
- How can I become an HSP?
- OR How can I become an empath?
Today let’s find some answers. (And some reassurance.)
First of All, a Really Important Distinction
HSPs are born, not made. Period. Elaine Aron, Ph.D. pointed this out in her book, “The Highly Sensitive Person.” According to her research, just 1 in 5 people is an HSP. And according to my research, 1 in 4 HSPs is an empath. That’s 1 in 20 people.
In my view, there are pro’s and con’s concerning every degree of innate sensitivity. (If you like, ask me about that by using the COMMENT boxes below.)
For instance, both pro’s and con’s for being an HSP… And also for not being an HSP.
However you’re wired sensitivity-wise, that’s non-negotiable. Yet plenty else is, as you’ll read in this article.
Note: We’re Having an Honest Conversation Here. Not some Feel-Good Fantasy
Sadly, I do think that’s worth noting.
- Have you encountered “experts” who promise to make you an HSP? (Or an empath, for that matter!!!) Sadly, yes. But what they offer won’t work.
- Isn’t making that kind of empty promise an example of Personal Growth Pandering? I sure think so.
- If you wish, COMMENT below with an approach that seems credible to you. Provide the name of the “expert” and a link to what’s proposed to turn people into HSPs or empaths. Maybe also a summary of the approach. I’d be glad to add some discernment.
If it’s Any Consolation
Did you know? Before birth… Like other human beings… You made a Life Contract. What was included in that contract, outlining the spiritual purpose of your life?
- You chose your parents. Purposely! Really! Euwwww? Still, really!
- You chose all the main events in your life before age 21. (Or for some highly ambitions persons, age 28.)
- Included was your choice about whether you’d be an HSP. Or a Highly-Highly Sensitive Person — an empath. Or neither an HSP nor an empath.
Please give yourself credit for having made the right choice. When it comes to the lifetime that you co-created with Divine help, nothing was stupid. Nothing was “loser.” Spiritually and emotionally, you came to Earth School to learn certain things. For that purpose, you designed a nervous system with exactly the right degree of inner sensitivity.
Wouldn’t it be wise to accept what you chose? Embrace the life that is possible for you. Regardless of your degree of built-in sensitivity… So many great and glorious kinds of learning are possible for you! Loads of personal growth. And spiritual awakening, as well.
Although You Can’t BECOME More Sensitive, Guess What?
You can learn RES-style SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills. Depending upon your degree of innate sensitivity, I can help you to live better. Live better as who you are, the way you’re wired for being sensitive. Becoming a sweeter person, kinder; effective and powerful but also kind.
What’s the secret? Gaining a range of SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills.
“SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills”? Meaning What?
Re-establishing your human connection with others.
Learning how to act like a caring person. (Rather than a self-absorbed person.)
And, pretty much, gaining every single thing that you now imagine… would be yours…. if only you were born as an HSP.
Really! Feel free to COMMENT below and share.
Would you treat people differently if you were both sensitive and inwardly strong?
Next up, I’ve got some tips for helping you to gain these social skills. In Part One of this Three-Part article, I’ll summarize the first three. Hmm, will you be able to guess what the other seven will be?
Consider this set of 10 tips your INTRODUCTION to RES SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills.
Becoming SOCIALLY Sensitive Tip #1. Change What You Can.
Remember the Serenity Prayer? The gist is: Change what you can. Stop trying to change what you can’t.
Powerful wisdom! And not only for recovering alcoholics and other 12-steppers. That Serenity Prayer helps people who haven’t yet accepted the degree of innate sensitivity that God gave them. (For instance, gave them via that aforementioned Life Contract.)
Using free will, you can change lots of things. But not:
- Whether you’re not especially sensitive
- OR you’re an HSP
- OR you’re an empath.
- All this is non-negotiable.
By contrast, you may have quite a bit of growth potential regarding everyday social skills. For instance, do you listen to people — real people, not just celebrities — every day?
Do you listen sympathetically, giving that person the benefit of your full attention?
Alternatively, you might listen with attitude: Hidden — or not so hidden — snark.
Or else you might be in the habit of multi-tasking while you listen. Either physically checking your texts. Or else writing your next one in your head.
SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills include giving your friends the benefit of everyday human listening. Paying full attention — one of the sweetest gifts you can give to any person, ever.
What Makes this Tip a Skill? And Vital for SOCIAL Sensitivity!
Listening better isn’t just about your personal growth. Or your spiritual awakening.
Ever notice? Your society has a kind of Collective Attention Deficit Disorder. Mother’s taking care of their babies while chatting on their phones. Rather than paying attention to that amazing baby!
Shallow listening has become the norm. Watch people on subways or in malls, or on city streets. Even people who are nominally “together” often do a kind of parallel play. Ignoring the humans. Paying more attention to their electronic toys.
Please, set a change in motion. Follow through with this tip and you just might set in motion a change to Collective Consciousness.
Becoming SOCIALLY Sensitive Tip #2. Become More Self-Actualized
Personal growth doesn’t just happen, does it? Yet so many people act as though they don’t need to do a thing more. Because they’ve done — or are doing — one “perfect” thing. Such as what?
- Believing that they’re saved forever by Jesus Christ. Like it’s a done deal, and all that matters.
- Dressing cute.
- Developing an awesome six-pack.
Improving your SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills, what’s irrelevant? Your social status, and the groups you belong to. Like if you are:
- Saved. (As in Born Again.)
- A meditator.
- Always dressed so cute.
- Jacked up.
- An HSP or empath.
- Rich and “superior.”
- Poor, struggling, and “more honest” than the snooty rich people.
Rather, your SOCIAL sensitivity skills are about what you do.
Makes this Tip a Skill? And Vital for SOCIAL Sensitivity!
Aren’t you fed up with society’s increasing tribalism?
Innocently, in small ways, human ways — talk to people. Talk to them as people.
Maybe you’ve heard the great Methodist quote, from John Wesley:
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
What’s our version for SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills?
Live humanly. Live among other people as humanly as you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
Becoming SOCIALLY Sensitive Tip #3. Thoughtfully Read Good Advice Columns
Probably your favorite newspaper has several. I’d recommend these, for instance:
- Michelle Singletary, in the Washington Post. The Color of Money. Advice for living within your means.
- Karla L. Miller, in the Washington Post. Work advice.
- Carolyn Hax, syndicated columnist. Solving relationship problems.
- Philip Galanes, in the New York Times. Social Q’s. Lighthearted advice about awkward social situations.
- Kwame Anthony Appiah, in the New York Times. He’s The Ethicist.
Read thoughtfully and you might learn something:
- Discovering yet again how other people are very different from yourself.
- Gaining humility about the complexities of the human condition.
- Considering whether or not you agree with the columnist’s advice.
For increasing your SOCIAL Sensitivity Skills, check any attitude of superiority at the door. Then enter into the wild variety of problems that good people can face. Because everybody is not just like you (only with a different hairstyle).
What Makes this Tip a Skill? And Vital for SOCIAL Sensitivity!
Whatever your degree of innate sensitivity, you suffer sometimes. Well, other people suffer as well.
Of course I don’t recommend that you immerse yourself in all the human suffering. But advice columns offer you a means of learning in some detail. Learning about one person’s suffering. And offering approaches to learn about human problem solving.
Living now, in the Age of Awakening, it’s all too easy to recoil from human suffering. To take the spiritual bypass. To move into spiritual addiction or spiritual shutdown. And to use whatever you believe in most strongly, as a way to ignore human struggles.
If you read one advice column each day, you’ll upgrade your SOCIAL Sensitivity.
No Conclusion Yet. But a Pause
Blog-Buddies, do you have any reactions to share? Other advice columnists to recommend? I’m listening!