Invisible Difference

Psychologist Elaine Aron makes the point repeatedly that High Sensitivity isn’t a matter of getting sharper eyesight, keener hearing or even more tender skin than other people. There’s not anything that may be measured or weighed on the outside of a person that will indicate to the audience that an individual is extremely sensitive in Aron’s terms. High sensitivity happens inside the mind. It is specifically a propensity to process sensory information in a more thorough way.

While more detailed processing contributes to slightly slower decision making, it also creates

An increased ability to identify Modest differences

A better memory… since we all have better memories for nicely processed info.

More careful and detailed processing of expertise may also result in more understanding of the consequences of an event for the future, and more understanding of its effect on other aspects of the current. Visit Dalton Associates here.

HSP’s Struggle to Adapt

One may well ask, in the light of these advantages why it so often appears the 15 to 20% of the population who are highly sensitive, struggle to adapt to a world that overwhelms them. Highly sensitive individuals are born as a minority into a social and cognitive world which is not set up to adapt their normal way of becoming. To some highly sensitive person, the entire world will constantly move a bit too quickly for comfort. Other people’s judgments are comparatively quick, demanding and so”prepared” Compared to the procedure for an HSP, the world which the rest of us reside in may appear to be a universe of generalities and approximations. Exceptions to rules and details that are evident when a situation is examined minutely are glossed over or ignored.

A Thought Experiment for Non-HSP’s

If you aren’t an HSP, try this thought experiment in what it would be like to have more to process all the time…

Picture the world together with the volume turned up thirty percent. Thirty percent more cars on the road, moving thirty percent faster. The radio playing half percent louder all the time, feeling thirty percent hungry in any given time and having half percent more paperwork to the procedure for any given job and thirty percent more housework or child-care to accomplish. See: Guelph General & Couples Counselling | Therapists In Guelph

My figure of thirty percentage is fanciful but should you ramp up the detail on your own personal world it is simple to see how it could rapidly become exhausting and over-stimulating. Scale this adventure down to a microscopic level but make it lifelong and pervasive and you start to have an idea what it is like to be an HSP dwelling in our society.

High Sensitivity Compared to Left-Handedness

In a way, HSP’s share a common problem with the roughly 10% of persons who are left-handed. The planet isn’t set up to adapt left-handers. Door handles are badly positioned, stairwells flip the wrong way, and tools have grips which are uncomfortable and unwieldy. Left-handers, as a consequence have a higher rate of minor injuries… not since they are awkward, pristine or in any way poor in their abilities, but only because the world is put up the wrong way for them.

It is just in the last thirty years or so that it has been okay and considered normal, to be left-handed. Our grandparents were rapped on the knuckles and made to train themselves against their character to write in a right-handed copybook style. Left-handers were expected to agree their selection of hand was wrong and inferior. The simple fact that as”imitation” right-handers they might never be well, only lent psychological credence to their sense of oddness and inadequacy. Educators today know that handedness is innate and left-handed kids are no longer treated or penalized as insufficient or inferior and as a consequence they could develop”proudly left-handed”.

Exceptionally sensitive people find themselves in a very similar circumstance. Because their gap is even less noticeable than the option of handedness, those closest to them are often unaware that there is an innate difference in the way that they approach the entire world. There isn’t usually, even at the most loving or supportive households, a conceptual vocabulary to imagine that this kind of difference may exist or that it may be a quality that is shared with a significant proportion of the human population. An HS child, is consequently, too often born into a childhood world which is not accommodating of the particular difference. They develop believing, such as left-handers a hundred decades ago, they are slow, wrong and always out of step with their non-HS peers.

Compared to an HSP, a left-hander stands out like a sore thumb. HSP is practically invisible, and as a human experience, it’s only beginning to be investigated and understood. Where left-handers may be subjected to more accidental bodily injuries, misunderstood HSP’s are certainly exposed to societal mis-attunement which can cause psychological and emotional injuries.

High Sensitivity and Psychotherapy

From the 1930’s, psychologist Carl Jung was one of the first to consider the implications of high sensitivity. He noted that about 25% of his patients experienced emotional problems that were related to the particular quality.

It is not difficult to imagine that when a child is innately prone to procedure information profoundly, to be sharply aware of differences and details and to produce powerful memories for nicely processed substance, they will experience many, many occasions when they are out of step with even the most adoring family. Families that are under pressure or chaotic for economical, health or social reasons will be obvious enough, less open-minded and supportive of”invisible” HSP gap and needs. HS children can subsequently grow up feeling problematic, hard, unappreciated and faulty and frequently seek treatment for issues concerning low self-esteem.

Making the Invisible Visible

Function for HSP’s in psychotherapy revolves around sorting out what aspects of the historical relationships were affected by their sensitivity. Current negative self-assessments and self-judgments have to be examined and debated in the light of the advantages and strengths of sensitivity. Realistic strategies can be elaborated to create a life that takes into consideration the tendency to develop into over-stimulated.

There are lots of gratifying ways to lead a human life and extremely sensitive individuals are uniquely able to appreciate the subtle changes that may make a noticeable difference in their existence. The first step, however, is to make the invisible forces and assumptions visible through conversation and reflection.

Psychotherapy is often a very good place to get this done. The slow pace and supportive environment create a circumstance where their detailed focus on concrete and emotional experiences is an integral component of the therapeutic procedure and many HSP’s deeply enjoy and gain from the opportunity to apply their finest abilities constructively to their self-understanding and personal growth.