I happened to stumble on this blog post by Amanda Flaker while I was on Facebook earlier today.
I was searching for something else and this network for highly sensitive people came up. Maybe I was already a member. I’m not sure.
I would consider myself a highly sensitive person and I am also an empath. Being an empath means I can and sometimes do experience other people’s feelings as if they are my own.
In order to lead a happy life, an empath needs good boundaries and connections with positive, constructive people. Being surrounded by negative or angry people for any length of time is an empath’s worst nightmare.
Some folks may not realize that they are highly sensitive. Others may not realize that they are also empaths. I think it’s helpful to know yourself and especially to know if these two traits apply to you.
I think most writers are highly sensitive people. I occasionally encounter a writer who does not seem to fit the definition of highly sensitive. But this is fairly unusual.
As you can learn from reading the above post, just because a person is highly sensitive does not mean that they are nice. There are plenty of fearful, negative, and defensive sensitive people in the world.
If you think you might be highly sensitive yourself. Here are some resources that can help you find ways to move through the world sensitively without feeling continually irritated and overwhelmed:
Are you highly sensitive, writers? Here’s a self-test. See for yourself and then chime in with your responses to this post.
I also liked Amanda’s follow-up audio about the differences between highly sensitive folks and empaths. She seems to have some good resources on her site for those who fit these descriptions. She seems quite young to be taking on such tricky topics and this makes me want to applaud her.
I guess what I’d like to say to both highly sensitive and empathetic people is, you are a highly creative person. Your sensitivity grants you abilities that other less tuned in folks may not have. If you can focus on self-expression as a goal, you can move beyond merely surviving and into thriving as a sensitive person. Focus on tapping into what you have to offer rather than merely coping with what it’s like to be highly sensitive. Nobody wants to spend their whole life coping, but just about everyone has a deep desire to express themselves authentically.
You have a lot too offer. We all do. Don’t let being highly sensitive stand in your way.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.
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