Being a sensitive person can often feel overwhelming, especially in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world. And these challenges are frequently compounded by the many misconceptions that people have about sensitivity as a trait. As a sensitive person himself, our guest today, Andre Sólo, is deeply familiar with these challenges and has spent the better part of his career dedicated to shedding light on what it truly means to be a highly sensitive person (HSP) and what we all need to understand better about sensitivity.
Through his work and new book, Andre is making profound contributions to those of us who identify as sensitive (even if we don’t know it yet). He is the co-founder of the website, Highly Sensitive Refuge, the world’s largest online community for sensitive people, and recently co-authored the extremely helpful book The Hidden Power of the Highly Sensitive Person in a Loud, Fast, Too-Much World. Andre is also a researcher and speaker and serves as Chief Make-It-Happen Officer of Introvert, Dear, a supportive community and resource for introverted and sensitive individuals alike.
Tuning in today, you’ll learn all about what it means to be a sensitive individual, including why HSPs tend to be creative, empathetic, and highly conscientious, and why it’s so easy for them to become overstimulated. Andre goes on to unpack some of the problematic messaging that society regularly gives to sensitive boys and girls, and how this can result in people suppressing and hiding their sensitivity, rather than embracing it as one of their greatest strengths. Our conversation also explores how sensitive children are impacted by their upbringing and environment, and why the best thing you can do as the parent of a sensitive child is to accept and encourage them just as they are.
Today’s episode is filled with fascinating insights into what it means to move through the world as a sensitive person and provides a helpful guide for what we can do to better understand and support sensitive individuals, allowing them to embrace and leverage their unique superpowers. As a highly sensitive person myself, I’m grateful to Andre for his groundbreaking work in this field.
To learn more about this deeply human trait, and how it can shape a person’s entire identity, be sure to tune in for our conversation with Andre Sólo!
Key Highlights From This Episode:
- Understanding the traits of a highly sensitive person (HSP), and the misconceptions that many people have about sensitive people. [02:45]
- What neuroscience teaches us about how sensitive people take in information in a much deeper way. [04:36]
- The correlations between being introverted and highly sensitive, the difference between these two traits, and what each of them measures. [08:54]
- Why being sensitive can help you be an excellent leader. [11:11]
- Some of the drawbacks of being a sensitive person, why sensitive people often experience strong emotions, and how they can further increase their emotional intelligence. [14:23]
- The three distinct ways that sensitivity can come across in individuals. [17:54]
- Learn about the ‘boost’ effect in sensitive people, why sensitive people are more affected by their environment, and how they can benefit from therapy, meditation and spiritual practices. [21:58]
- The stigma and discrimination that many sensitive people experience, the messaging that girls and boys receive about their sensitive traits, and how to parent a sensitive child. [28:20]
- Helpful tips on how to communicate with teachers about your sensitive child. [34:01]
- The revelatory distinction between empathy and compassion, the concept of emotional contagion, and how sensitive people often absorb the emotions of other people. [39:27]
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“Sensitive people are actually wired at a brain level to process all information more deeply. And that allows us to notice things that others miss, and to make connections and find new ideas that others might not make.” — @justandresolo [0:03:28]
“We’ve spoken to highly sensitive service members who credited their sensitivity as being one of their most important traits as a military service member. So it’s a very kind of flexible and valuable trait.” — @justandresolo [0:06:58]
“Sensitivity comes with many strengths, both physical and emotional, and in terms of creativity and intelligence. At the same time, your brain is putting all this extra work in. So there’s a cost to those gifts. And that cost is overstimulation.” — @justandresolo [0:07:22]
“Just as highly sensitive people get more out of therapy, I think they probably also get more out of spiritual practice. And I can say for myself, personally, that meditating is life-changing and transformative.” — @justandresolo [0:26:46]
“If you have a sensitive child, the biggest thing you can do is to accept and encourage them.” — @justandresolo [0:34:12]
“If you’re picking up the stress, the sadness, the anger, of all the people around you, especially if you’re feeling it very vividly yourself, that is exhausting, uncomfortable, distracting. And it sometimes feels impossible to turn off.” — @justandresolo [0:42:47]
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