"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

IWSG: Highly Sensitive?

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People hurt my feelings all the time. So I decided to look into why is everyone so mean? 

I took my problem to Mr. Google and put my head upon his shoulder. While he goggled at me, Mr. Google googled “highly sensitive people”. Me? Sensitive? Then he handed me this article, 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People by Amanda L. Chan. Did you know that one in five people are believe to possess this personality trait?
So MAYBE others ARE NOT (always) being mean to me. I’ll think about that later.
The first sentence of the article asks, “Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else?” Who hasn’t told me I’m an over reflector? Well, actually, their word choice was over thinker. 
Then I pondered, could this highly sensitive (HS) personality trait work for a writer (in a positive way), as in stroking the creative mind?

Are you interested? Follow me...
Being a highly sensitive person could assist the writer in that:
*We never have a problem coming up with feelings and emotions since HS people “feel deeply” and are “emotionally reactive” (#’s 1-2).  
*We are “extremely detailed-oriented” (#7).  Stories must have details. 
*We need more time to “make decisions” (# 5). This could mean we are more careful at self-editing. Well not me, but other writers. Be aware that this could also mean nitpicking our craft to death.
* We are "highly mannered" (#14). That’s me, over-the-top manners, except when I let go with an occasional outburst of inappropriateness. Although manners have nothing to do with writing, it could if you are the person who cannot say no to others and in the process give yourself less time to write.

However, being a highly sensitive person can contribute to self-sabotaging our craft (and life), in that:
*We take everything personally (think reviews, blog comments, Facebook). We might fixate on one negative opinion to twenty positives. Then criticism becomes “amplified”(#15). Is it just me or does it seem that criticism screams its ugly head off and praise only whispers it goodness?  
*We don’t like “annoying sounds”(#11). If you’re a writer (or any creative mind) you may need QUIET. Plus don’t even think that we like the open concept office plan, because we don’t. We want to be tucked away somewhere safe.
What’s my point? If you are a highly sensitive person, recognize it, use it to make your writing even better. AND STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF. In your life you have plenty of people who are your cheerleaders. Focus on them, not on the others. And first and foremost, be your own cheerleader. I promise to do that, too. 
Sincerely,
Teresa, aka a Highly Sensitive Person who likes to write which can hurt... . 

P.S. Still unsure if you’re the one out of five highly sensitive people? Here’s a checklist by Dr. Elaine Aron. Read the entire article 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People by Amanda L. Chan at the Huffington Post here.

P.S.S. Sorry this is so long. 

12 comments:

  1. I seem to fit in with that group very well.
    And being my own cheerleader doesn't come easily. Or naturally. It feels so very wrong.

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  2. Hi Teresa - this is a great post for many ... and the links I'm sure will provide many with some wonderful ideas for characters. I don't think I fall into this category ... but I probably should take more cognisance of it and learn from you all. I do like quiet though! Cheers Hilary

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  3. Oh I know I'm highly sensitive and have been since I was a kid. My feelings get hurt extremely easily, I cry a lot, am over empathetic to others' pain, I hate noisy atmospheres esp. TV and loud war movies.

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  4. Since my day job for 30 some years has either been hairdressing or working as a paralegal, model, actress, and waitress, I learned not take anything personal.

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  5. The cat is too crazy to be too sensitive haha

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  6. That kinda makes sense. I'm off to investigate that article for myself. :)

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  7. Being extra sensitive can also make you aware of the people around you in ways that others more callous never stumble over. I tell myself: take the hit and keep on going ... even if it means limping .. which I've been doing a lot of lately! Happy mid-week, Roland

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  8. I'm not highly sensitive, but I do take my time making decisions.

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  9. Oh yeah - that's me, too! (I scored 24 on that quiz :))
    I've got way too many embarrassing stories about how I've reacted to various arts and stories and life :)

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  10. This is very interesting! I think I share some of those qualities. Mostly, for me, it's a desire to please and not to create waves...and that can, somehow, bring stress to me! But I don't think I worry as much about what people think or say to or about me...maybe these years of navigating harsh reviews from readers, ha!

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  11. I know I'm extra sensitive, but I've gotten better at not letting things shatter me. I think it's an acquired trait born out of necessity. Glad I found you through Insecure Writers!

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  12. Next time you write about me, let me know first.

    Gotcha!

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