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The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  17,768 Ratings  ·  738 Reviews
Are you a highly sensitive person?

Do you have a keen imagination and vivid dreams?Is time alone each day as essential to you as food and water?Are you "too shy" or "too sensitive" according to others?Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you?If your answers are yes, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

Most of us feel overstimulated every once in a while, but for
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Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 2nd 1997 by Harmony (first published January 1st 1996)
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Wisdom Will this book have an answer for such person that would change entirely life purpose or should they look somewhere else?

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Edible Tapestry
Oct 15, 2012 Edible Tapestry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's a godsend. So nice to know why I am the way I am after a lifetime of "loved ones" telling me I needed to be less shy, have more confidence (that's real doable when someone constantly criticizes your inborn characteristics), be more outgoing, worry less, am too thin-skinned, take everything personally (duh, I do take it personally when I'm being attacked), and my favorite, "You are just like your father!". I am just like my father, it's an inherited trait and he's one of my favorite people. ...more
Di
I have mixed opinions about this book. On the one hand, I found it helpful in explaining that highly sensitive people are more susceptible to stimulation (e.g., from loud noise, bright lights, strong odors, large crowds, etc.) than most and therefore need to be aware of how to properly balance everyday needs in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. It is also beneficial in the way that it reassures HSPs that they are not alone but that approximately 15-20% of the population shares this trait, and ...more
Kirsten
Ok, I finished it.

First the good: Aron is at her best when she is helping the reader assess real world challenges and come up with concrete solutions. What do you do when your job overwhelms you? How do you work it out with your spouse or friends when activities they find exciting just overwhelm and overstimulate you? That's good stuff, and I think if you're aware that your personal tendencies are causing you to be stuck in unpleasant or untenable situations, this is definitely a helpful book. I
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Thomas
May 03, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it
Thankful that this book exists to support those who have always felt more sensitive to the world around them. Though I enjoy a party every now and then, I do prefer one-on-one conversations and time spent reading books and listening to Ariana Grande. With the popularity of books like Quiet by Susan Cain, society has started to warm up to those who desire time alone and those who get aroused faster by external stimuli. Still, Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person contributes to our understa ...more
Connie
Jul 08, 2015 Connie added it
Shelves: psychology
I'm not really sure how to rate this book (so I won't in terms of a star rating). It's not really what I expected. It’s more of how to get over the stigma of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) which, personally, I've already done. Where the book sort of let me down is that there are a lot of medical reasons - not just depression (which the author does go into in medical terms) - that can cause someone to be HS. A few that I know (because I have them) are:

*Pernicious Anemia – some symptoms are
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Amy
Jun 30, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Ron and Karen B
Shelves: non-fiction
This, for me, was an amazing book. I will be reading it again eventually, just to remind myself of all the important information that Aron researched and now shares with readers. It has taken me roughly 30 years to learn many things about myself which are clearly explained by Aron's research. I feel more confident about expressing my needs, now that I know I'm not the only one, and now that I have been reminded about the strengths which balance out my weaknesses.

I am definitely a "highly sensiti
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Ruth
Apr 20, 2010 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-nonfiction
If you have ever felt like life is too overwhelming and all you want to do is crawl into a cave and hide away from it all, this book might be for you.

This book contains a little too much psychobabble for my taste (too much talk about parenting your inner infant and other wonderful stuff like that - without all of that I would have given it five stars) but I am glad I read it because I finally understand why I am so weird. Now I know why I can be such an introvert even though I love being around
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Catherine
Feb 06, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it
This is the only source I've found that so clearly separates the "Highly Sensitive" trait from simply being an introvert (which I am not). This book helped me understand my own personality in a way I've been looking for since I was little. I feel empowered by this new knowledge, and more able to adapt and adjust to be a happier person, partner and human.
The only reason I gave this 4 stars and not 5 is because I think the author may lose readers when going in depth into subjects like psychotherap
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Salma
Aug 16, 2014 Salma rated it did not like it
هالكتاب إلو عندي ذكريات قديمة
ذكريات دمها تقيل أو يمكن أنا بشوفها دمها تقيل بعد مرور الوقت عليها
قاريتو من شي أكتر من عشر سنين أو 13 سنة
وقتها طلعت روحي و عملت المستحيل لحتى قدرت حصلت عليه
و وقتها أول منتدى اشتركت فيه عالنت بحياتي كان
عن قارئي هذا الكتاب
كان وقتها الاكتشاف العظيم يعني إنو في ناس هيك بالدنيا
و تماهيت مع الحالة، و فلقت راس الناس يلي بعرفهم بهالاكتشاف العجيب و صرت كتير شاعرية وقتها
و كتبت شوية شعر
هي لما كنت عم حاول اتعايش مع ذاتي اللطيفة المزعجة
قبل ما أنتصر أنا و ذاتي الظريفة الشريرة (شوية
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Bookworm
Jul 04, 2014 Bookworm rated it did not like it
Thoroughly disappointed. As I identify as an introvert, I have become increasingly suspicious that I might be high sensitive (or a HSP) as well.

I felt the book went too much into repeating how different people are HSPs are so at different points of their lives (childhood, adulthood, etc.). I get it already. I had hoped there would be more about how to cope and what HSPs can do.

Others have already gone over the issues in the book, but one part that particularly bothered me and turned me off for
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Mary
May 21, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually found this book to be very helpful. The author/psychologist coined the phrase "highly sensitive person"(or "HSP") admittedly in reference to herself and to those whom she has found in her 5 years of research to make up approximately 20% of the human population. Highly sensitive people share many of the same attributes: They are most often introverted (not necessarily “shy”) turning inward for strength and rejuvenation. They are typically highly intelligent, very creative, ...more
Shélah
Jul 29, 2011 Shélah rated it it was ok
I probably didn't like this mostly because it's self-help and I was just trying to get some concept of how to explain myself to other people... but way too much in the way of 'you thought there was something wrong with you, but there isn't!' Seriously, as an introverted person, don't you think most of us (70%) would be able to deduce what it is that makes us different (especially when many of us are also gifted)? Even with a rather tormented adolescence, I never thought there was anything ...more
Sarah
Feb 10, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking was much better. If I hadn't read Quiet before reading this book, I may have given it 2 or 3 stars instead. There were a few helpful discussions of sensitivity and the differences between sensitive and non-sensitive people, but overall.. just.. ugh.

The author sounds very stuck in her way of thinking, and the style of writing was very grating. Everything was about childhood trauma (except for the excerpt that said it wasn't all abo
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Cindy
Mar 04, 2008 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those learning about people
Ever wonder why some people perceive almost everything while others seem oblivious? Ever wonder why some folks seem overwhelmed at times while others see to manage through those markets and crowds without a care? Ever wonder why some are told they are just too sensitive, which makes them distance themselves from others?

If you do, this book will help answer those questions about the 10-20% of our population that has the unique gift or curse of being Highly Sensitive People.
 Lisa Ann ⛄
This book was suggested to me nearly five years ago and at the time I chose to read a more current book on the subject titled The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World by Ted Zeff. Since Amazon recently had the Kindle version of The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You on sale, I decided it was a good time to finally read it.

Just for a little background, Elaine N. Aron has done many years of research
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Alexandra
Feb 10, 2016 Alexandra marked it as didnt-finish
1/1/16 $2.99 on Kindle.

DNF - Chapter 5 of 15.

I give up. So far not what I was looking for. I know I'm not "flawed" and my self-esteem is fine. What I was hoping to find here are ways to improve interactions with others, including hopefully ways to help them understand and accept I am not like them, but not "broken" or needing to "try harder" to be more like them.

This book so far has been all over the place. It's talking about "highly sensitive" to outside stimuli, but then talks about sensitivit
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Cindy
Jul 03, 2008 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This book helped me realize what I had already suspected.....I was in fact a highly sensitive person. And more importantly....it was ok.....for I had good reason for being that way.
Joel
Dec 01, 2008 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Aron has caught on to the fact that some of us are more susceptible to stimulation than others. Rather than use standard medical terminologies such as obsessive compulsion, depression, or bipolar disorder, she calls people afflicted/blessed with this frame of mind "Highly Sensitive Persons" or HSPs.

Aron probes the personality of that 10 to 20% of persons who are especially sensitive to stimula. She offers a checklist of characteristics that might indicate that you are highly sensitive including
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Holly Lindquist
Jan 29, 2012 Holly Lindquist rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I remember feeling quite jazzed about this book when I first read it. After all, I was so shy that I didn't really begin to connect with my peers until late middle school. I felt overwhelmed every time I had to leave my house and whenever I was around people I was a tightly wound ball of anxiety and irritation. I always felt I was way more sensitive to nearly everything than most people, and here was a book that seemed to validate my experience and offer solutions.

Except the solutions didn't rea
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Tripleguess
Feb 12, 2011 Tripleguess rated it liked it
With a box full of books to read and only so much spare time, I've implemented a new rule of thumb; generally, if the book doesn't hook me by the first few chapters, I stop reading it and try the next one. I am a fast reader, so I don't feel I am asking too much of a book to keep me interested for twenty minutes.

This title kept me engaged for about one third of the book. After that I started skimming, and when I had to force myself to keep going I said "Hey, what's up with that, I might as well
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Lucinda
Aug 06, 2016 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational

Seeking a sense of self!

[...] Alas, when being watched, timed or evaluated an intuitive-sensitive goes into themselves and the inability to function is lost...

BALANCE is Key!

This illuminating read is full of profound insights, into the mind and experiences of the intuitive-sensitive being. If anyone so desires to feel and experience what it is like to be this --then look no further; for it's all here in front of you.

As a personal side note, having rated 99% HIGH on everything, clearly I knew
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Sara Shakouri
Apr 06, 2015 Sara Shakouri rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has a soothing tone of an adult talking to a firghtened child. I could understand that. I had been there too: there was that moment when I realized that Poe's "The Tale-Tell Heart" seemed too familiar; that I was about to pass the line and change into those neurotic characters. So when the book started with stories of people terrified about losing their sanity, and the author threw in the nonsense about "royal-adviser class" I thought I can understand why she is doing this, although I ...more
Will Lees
Oct 07, 2012 Will Lees rated it really liked it
This book describes me very well. If felt that finally there was a book and a name for the cluster of many of my traits. A friend in the medical field said that this book describes a personality profile, not a particular diagnosis. However through the author's evidence she shows that sensitivity is a distinct trait, not a side-effect or problem. After reading this book, I was much more comfortable describing what works for me because I fit being a highly sensitive person.

The book says "we are 15
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Alison
First of all, I have to clarify for the record that The World is not, thankfully, (at least at this point in my life), "overwhelming" me.

But I have often been told that I'm being "too sensitive" about a comment someone made about me

And I got intrigued by this book when I saw it referenced in Oprah magazine. (Well...full disclosure, I didn't just "see" it. I took the quiz "Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?" while I was getting a pedicure. And I got a score that landed me in the Yes zone. So I w
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Christine Lloyd
Jul 22, 2013 Christine Lloyd rated it really liked it
I'm a lot happier after reading this book, not because it changed me but because it gave me the language to talk about my quirks and the confidence to be OK with them.
Very few people will identify 100% as a highly sensitive person, and I think most people will identify to a greater or lesser degree. However, as somebody on the sensitive end of the spectrum, I've spent a lot of time frustrated by my inability to deal with long parties with strangers, loud concerts with bright light effects, and a
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Meg
Jul 10, 2010 Meg rated it liked it
3 stars because I found reading this book to be tremendously validating and meaningful, but at the same time I had a lot of criticisms of it. This book describes that percentage of the population whose systems are easily (over)stimulated by sensory information. Wow, do I wish someone had given me this book to read, like, 10 years ago.

The criticisms:
- Wanted more specific techniques and suggestions.

- She's really into how Highly Sensitive People are super important to society and we should all fe
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Jim
Apr 23, 2008 Jim rated it liked it
Aron suggests that what we call shyness and fearfulness is really just a state of neurological over-stimulation caused by high sensitivity to surroundings. This high sensitivity is inborn and has many positive aspects such as increased intuition, empathy and creativity. Highly Sensitive People can learn strategies for dealing with over-stimulation, and they do best when they appreciate their unique sensitivity and take care of their sensitive mind/body by giving it plenty of rest and down time ...more
Dejana
May 29, 2009 Dejana rated it really liked it
I learned that not only nothing is wrong with me because I am "too sensitive", and that I don't need to develop a "thick skin", but that being highly sensitive is a gift that I should be proud of.
Kelly
Jan 15, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really liked the overall message of this book and found it informative. Unfortunately I also found it rather dry, and some of the exercises and comparisons outdated and obtuse.
Paul
Aug 29, 2009 Paul rated it liked it
I'm not very keen on popular psychology and self-help books. But it was interesting to find book written about a character of people into which I fit very well. I never knew there was such a group before.

I've found some things in this book that don't fit me specifically (and a few things I don't like), but I score very high on the self-test on page xvii and many parts of the book describe my personality very well. The book goes a long way in helping the reader understand what makes sensitive peo
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“All virtues have a shadow.” 19 likes
“We are a package deal, however. Our trait of sensitivity means we will also be cautious, inward, needing extra time alone. Because people without the trait (the majority) do not understand that, they see us as timid, shy, weak, or that greatest sin of all, unsociable. Fearing these labels, we try to be like others. But that leads to our becoming overaroused and distressed. Then that gets us labeled neurotic or crazy, first by others and then by ourselves.” 16 likes
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