If you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), or if you are with an HSP, or if your kid is an HSP, or one of your direct reports is an HSP, there’s something in this book for you. And since about thirty percent of people are HSPs, this book probably has something for you.
When the book says “sensitive,” it mean emotionally sensitive and/or physically sensitive. It does NOT mean touchy, fragile, moody, or any other pejorative relating to processing the world in a different way.
If this definition of “sensitive” is newish to you, this book is a great overview. In my view it’s a little more easy to ready than Dr. Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person, just because Sensitive is newer and maybe a little more fresh (although they both pay respects to Dr. Aron in this book).
Granneman and Solo break down the book as follows:
- Stigma or Superpower (a look at how cultures view sensitivity and how sensitive people view themselves)
- The Sensitive Boost Effect (how sensitivity can be stifled or springboarded, depending on environment)
- Benefits of Sensitivity
- Empathy (especially empathy vs compassion)
Like the authors, I very much grew up seeing my sensitivity as a problem more than a benefit. Even if an HSP wants to embrace who they are and live authentically, it can be hard to do so because of the stigmas we all absorb from culture.
In my opinion this book does a good job of providing some practical advice about tailoring one’s physical environment, choosing to be a compassionate person without absorbing others’ emotions to an unhealthy level, and negotiating an appropriate work situation in a way that makes your temperament seem like an asset to your organization.
If any of these parts of the book sound useful, I’d say go ahead and get it. I also recommend checking out the website the co-authors started some time ago called Sensitive Refuge. They have a lot of good articles from thoughtful and pragmatic contributors.