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The Highly Sensitive Person

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  10,208 ratings  ·  434 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...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 2nd 1997 by Harmony (first published January 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Ingrid George
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...more
Amy
Jun 30, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Connie
Nov 12, 2013 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...more
Mary
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, compassionat...more
Salma
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...more
Catherine
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...more
Ruth
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...more
Cindy
Mar 04, 2008 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Cindy
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.
Shélah
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 'wrong...more
BooksAndTea
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...more
Joel
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...more
Lady  ~☆ Alice♪♫
A new friend with CFIDS advised me to read this in 1999..so finally I am getting to it and learning so much. I already knew I had this and I have never felt bad about it much altho our culture really looks down on it and you are supposed to tremble and cower for being different. The best places for the highly sensitive are China where it is prized and also I think I read Iceland. The worst place for being HS is overly macho is Canada. The highly sensitive cannot drink coffee but I can so I am be...more
Jim
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 f...more
Meg
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...more
Paul Dubuc
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...more
Dejana
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.
Tripleguess
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...more
Will Lees
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...more
Laura Cowan
With the exception of the number of references to Jungian psychology (a narrow perspective), this book is absolutely a treasure for those who have always felt that their sensitivity is a flaw, or that there's something wrong with them for not fitting into the way everyone expects them to be. I have known about this trait in myself for a long time (and unfortunately viewed it partly as a weakness for many years), but I still learned a lot about how pervasive this trait is in affecting my life, fo...more
Christine Lloyd
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...more
White
When my husband was not even my "boyfriend" but just a friend, he gave me this book to read. You can walk around with your head in the wrong place your whole life and believe that there is something wrong with being sensitive. So many of us compensate in different ways. We try to adopt a "kick butt" attitude, we hibernate, we avoid, we get angry instead of feel hurt. But there's no denying that high sensitivity is a challenge to live with, within yourself.

I walked away from this book feeling lik...more
Sara
I wanted to like this book and finish it. However, I found it boring. I noticed I was hearing the same thing again and again. The one thing I did find beneficial that it is important for a person who gets overstimulated easily to find ways that can help live a life based on their tolerance level. People can't be put in a box a be expected to be able to endure the same amount of daily input. If anything, I think this book would be beneficial for those who think people are to sensitive as well as...more
Litlove
Despite the title, that makes me feel a bit silly, this is an accurate and insightful account of the obstacles people who process deeply have to confront in everyday life. Note to everyone: don't invite me to parties, unless they're virtual.
Cari
This book was recommended to me by a friend - and it was very helpful. It explained a few things which I have always found challenging and/or did not understand about myself.

Many traits of the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) were discussed and, instead of being explained away by labels or nutty psycho-babble, I found myself nodding my head to several passages, more often than not.

I've been sensitive to noise my entire life. Growing up I was labeled as withdrawn or a lone wolf. As a young adult I l...more
Sarah
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...more
Charles
Nothing groundbreaking here, really. Sure, Aron validates introverted approaches and sensitive nervous systems, but the scientific research she presents on this subject is very limited; Aron's own research is limited to questionnaires and self-assessment tools, and she does not cite any biologically-oriented studies in her book, which makes her premise fairly weak. At its worst, this book delves into wishy-washy New Age spirituality that borders on endorsing psychosis (spirit guides and aliens?...more
Danielle Redz
Sigh... I hate when I have to bash books, but this one just didn't do anything for me. My mom recommended I read it because she was convinced I was highly sensitive- I do too.

I had a handful of problems, but before I get into them let me just say that some of the things said in this book was interesting and I can't say I didn't learn anything. You know what they say: Knowledge is power. I don't regret reading this book either, in some ways I'm glad I did.

Practically, the book wasn't easy to get...more
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Introvert Book Club: The Highly Sensitive Person 10 10 Oct 02, 2014 08:40AM  
Tips on being an HSP in a largely non-HSP world 8 22 Jun 10, 2014 01:44PM  
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“All virtues have a shadow.” 12 likes
“HSPs make such good targets because we react so strongly.” 8 likes
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