Starved For Passion? Top 10 Passion Killers For The Highly Sensitive Person

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Many say that the opposite of love is fear. I believe that the opposite of love is apathy.

In an apathetic or indifferent state, passion flat lines and numbness reigns supreme. A once technicolor life fades to black and white and well, what’s the point?

If I were brutally honest with myself, I would say that wallowing in apathy is an activity that has become habitual. I tend to drop into indifference when I am subconsciously starving myself with what I call passion killers. Simply going through the motions of life is excruciating not because its painful, it aches because it does not feel like anything at all.

 It’s not enough to invite passion back in. Been there, tried that.

Recovering Passion From Passion Killers

Passion killers are like weeds that take over our lives. If we want more passion in our lives, we must remove these so-called passion killers. Chances are, you may not even know that they exist. I didn’t. They hide deep in our subconscious minds and if you are a highly sensitive person such as myself, your predisposition to these passion killers may be higher than most.

The top 10 passion killers (in no particular order), are as follows:

  1. Indecisiveness Kills Passion – I am starting with indecisiveness because as highly sensitive people we tend to be vastly irresolute, and for good reason. Sensing life on a deep level allows for a more robust vantage point making choosing anything a challenge. We often have to own and  grieve the choice we do not go with which can prevent us from moving forward with any decision at all. But here’s the thing, when we do not choose, we do not get the opportunity to stand fully behind something. We live in this wishy-washy, spiritless land of letting others choose for us. We never get to discover what make our hearts race or what makes the hair stand up on the backs of our neck. We must choose something, anything; passion will follow.

  1. Competing Priorities Kill Passion – On the heels of indecisiveness comes vying priorities. We HSPs have the gift of experiencing energy on a subtle level enabling us to dream big and often. This is precisely where many of us get stuck, in dreaming mode. It means we start 10 projects and finish none of them. It’s good to dream, but not so good to be a dreamer who lacks direction and supplementary priorities. Giving part of our attention to several things at one time is a sure way to leak passion out like a sieve. Choose one priority and go all the way into it. If you are not sure what takes precedence, get quiet. Meditation or journaling are excellent yet simple ways to prioritize.

  1. No Vision Kills Passion – Having no vision crushes passion the same way having too many does. If you were ever asked what you wanted to do in life and experienced crippling shame that screamed, “I don’t know”, chances are you are familiar with this lack of vision. No vision can be correlated to an intensified outward focus. As sensitives, our heightened depth of processing allows us to be incredibly plugged in to the external world whether we want to or not. For this reason, our wants and desires tend to morph into the wants and desires of others. Of course there is no passion in this place because those wants and desires are not our own. Honing a vision begins with turning inward.  We must start asking ourselves what it is we truly want and go after it. If you aren’t sure what you want, there is no shame in that. The first step to discovering what we truly want is lurking right around the corner from what we don’t. Start there.

  1. Halfway Kills Passion – Being halfway is comparable to standing on the periphery of life.  It looks like not letting ourselves speak up fully. It comes across as  hiding, avoiding, playing out addictive tendencies and saying we are going to do something and not doing it. As someone who avoided most of her days as an emotional eater, I know firsthand how easy it is to give into cravings and hole up. I know what it feels like to be the committer who can’t commit. In a word, awful. It is so necessary that we hold ourselves accountable.  Fully showing up requires that we set goals for ourselves and more importantly, follow through. Goals give us a purpose and we NEED purpose. Making goals that are more about what we want to accomplish and less about when seems to be most effective for sensitive types. Time restraint squashes creativity , the natural home of passion.

  1. Inactivity Kills Passion – The inactivity I speak of here is not that of rest or relaxation rather it is inactivity born from fear or resistance; the analysis paralysis type of inactivity. Author Steven Pressfield writes, “Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” I have found that many highly sensitive people let the strong sensation that accompanies resistance halt them in their tracks. That resistance is what paralyzes us and keeps us running to food (or whatever your addiction of choice may be). Moving through the resistance requires that we expand our tolerance for its sensation; and it’s just that, a sensation in the body. Allowing for greater sensation permits us to show up in a greater way should, and when we choose. My guess is that if you are reading this now, your desire to show up is bigger than the resistance that has been holding you back.

  1. Planning Kills Passion – This is a bit of a double-edged sword. There is a time and a place for planning. When we are in a weakened state, rigid planning is what nurses us back to vitality and allows for more flexibility down the road. You can see how this plays out for someone struggling with an illness, addiction, difficult life circumstance or major transition. Staunch care, steady regimens, and consistent routines are necessary in these scenarios. It’s when we cling onto excessive planning outside of these situations or beyond their expiration date where we fall into trouble. Our lives become too small for the limitlessness that we are. There is no room for passion to grow inside of the rights/wrongs, do’s/don’ts, and shoulds that are dictated by our plans. Let go. Let life flow in and bring with it the passion you have been searching for.

  1. Isolation Kills Passion – Apathy affects us especially during extended periods of isolation.  For HSPs this can be a loaded subject. We require solitude to digest all that we sense; yet too much solitude will throw us straight into apathy. As someone who spent much of her life isolated, I can tell you that I am still healing the parts of me that so desperately craved connection. As human beings we need to be listened to, heard and validated. When we retreat from the world because we feel too much or because connecting feels over stimulating, we begin to wither. We get lost in our minds and life becomes lackluster. Put yourself out there even though it feels frightening. Vulnerability is the birthplace for inspiration, passion, and love; all of which are found inside of connection.

  1. Perfection Kills Passion – Because highly sensitive people are processing things deeply (literally on a cellular level), we can easily see where we/others fall short.  When this becomes the measurement device for how we live our life and how others live their lives, it becomes incredibly painful. Maybe you have had the experience of being called “picky” when looking for a significant other? Or perhaps you have lost friends because they have behaved in a way that has gone against your principles? Or maybe you are someone who stands in the mirror each morning picking apart everything from your wrinkles to your stretch marks to your cellulite. I speak from personal experience in each one of these scenarios and I can tell you that exercising abrasive judgment and extreme perfectionism is a surefire way to keep passion at bay. Relaxing into our humanness is the only way to rediscover desire and it requires that we relax our gaze.

  1. Excessive Control Kills Passion – A heightened illusion of control is necessary for sensitive souls.Because we experience an uncensored version of life, there is an overwhelming need to temper its intensity. Our emotions often feel bigger than we are so we minimize them by eating over them, analyzing them, or going numb in some regard. It is in the minimizing that passion gradually disappears and life fades to black and white. Until we can welcome the vastness of our experiences to flow through us, life will continue to feel empty. Know that you are bigger than your emotions and much larger than the sensations and cravings that overwhelm you. Leaning into the enormity of all that we are will quickly create space for desire to return.

  1. Clutter kills passion – Literal as well as figurative clutter is a passion killer. Our external surroundings are definitely a reflection of our internal state. If you we are living and working in a mess, there will be no room for passion to come up. Think about it…if you have a messy closet full of things you don’t like, don’t fit, and don’t want to wear, how are you going to be enthusiastic about getting dressed in the morning? The same goes for a messy mind. If there are a thousand unchartered thoughts running around unaccounted for, how is there going to be space for true desires and inspiration to come through? Simplify your bedroom, your kitchen, your closet, and your bathroom. And by all means, meditate so that you can move beyond the thoughts that do not matter and give the thoughts that do a home. Write them down and add them to your list of goals. There is no such thing as oversimplification when it comes to rediscovering passion.

Highly sensitive people have so many ways in which they can contribute. It is unfortunate when their lives are cluttered by weeds of bad habits killing off our passionate capacity for living. It does not have to be this way. We can clear out those weeds to allow our natural passion and creativity . We are worth it!

 

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20 Good Reasons to Have Clear Personal Boundaries

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Source: Morguefile

I was struck recently by the exceptionally high number of clients I see, whose inability to set firm personal boundaries is resulting in supersonic stress levels.

Smart business people repeatedly compromised by unreliable colleagues, over demanding superiors or downright crooked clients; caring, supportive people with predatory partners or out of control children. People of integrity whose opportunistic friends, family or employees manipulate them mercilessly and drain their time and energy.

Who Has Difficulty With Personal Boundaries?

Although their stories are all quite different, these are some common threads of boundary challendthat connect them.

  • They are all natural born givers and people pleasers.
  • Their personal boundaries are weak or non existent.
  • Their goals are fuzzy.
  • Their empathy triggers and guilt glands are super-sensitive.
  • They are popular.

And that’s the clue. Sometimes the personal price you pay for this kind of popularity can be way too high. Depending on others to peg your value is a fast track to stress. Why? Because it means other people control your choices in everything you do. They always have the leverage advantage.

This not only leads to self sabotage but it can be dangerous too.

Being overly dependent on other’s approval can make you go against everything you value, if the threat of exclusion from what you perceive as any kind of “inner circle” is terrifying enough. The plots of many thrillers are based on exactly this dynamic.

We all crave validation and respect but at what cost? An inability to set healthy boundaries means sooner or later someone is going to have to pick up the slack—and your place in the popularity polls will plummet. The reason everyone loves you is probably because you do what they want—at the expense of what you want.

Whose Life Is This Anyway?

Although it wasn’t always comfortable, growing up a wild child in a small town with an eccentric family certainly put people pleasing in its right place for me. I learned at an early age not to care too deeply about other people’s opinions. And this immunity to popular opinion helped me make my own rules. As far as I was concerned, if my actions gave those with empty lives something fascinating to focus on, I was performing a community service!

20 Benefits Of Boundary Building

When people praise or validate you, accept it; enjoy it, but don’t become dependent on it. You know whether you have done well or not. Next time you are tempted to cave in order to win popularity, consider these

20 Benefits of boundary building:

  1. Setting boundaries saves time.
  2. Setting boundaries builds respectful relationships.
  3. Setting boundaries increases productivity—yours and everyone else’s.
  4. Setting boundaries enables a team to work as a team—everyone is headed in the same direction, towards the same clear goals.
  5. Setting boundaries builds accountability within your team—no passing the buck.
  6. Setting boundaries stops you feeling overwhelmed, resentful, victimized and stressed.
  7. Setting boundaries frees up energy and enthusiasm.
  8. Setting boundaries fosters confidence, leadership, and organizational abilities.
  9. Setting boundaries generates respect.
  10. Setting boundaries aids concentration and decision making.
  11. Setting boundaries creates a healthy balance between giving and taking.
  12. Setting boundaries allows you to take care of your own wellbeing.
  13. Setting boundaries leads to a happy, balanced life.
  14. Setting boundaries minimizes misunderstanding and conflict.
  15. Setting boundaries gives you a sense of control in your life.
  16. Setting boundaries makes delegating more effective.
  17. Setting boundaries teaches family and team members to think for themselves.
  18. Setting boundaries vastly improves communication—everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them.
  19. Setting boundaries goes a long way towards preventing bullying.
  20. Setting boundaries gives you an authentic sense of authority.

Your boundary building expertise automatically acts as a map for the people who relate to you in any way.

Advantages Of Developing Great Boundaries

Boundaries spell R E S P E C T on every leveland shape the way people respond to you.

If you put inappropriate parts into a machine that is vital for production, will you get maximum production? Success requires putting the right people, with the right qualities, in the right place, for the right reasons—in every area of your life.

Yes you might well have to do some reshuffling to accomplish this. And people pleasers find this very painful. They would rather struggle on for years, having their relationships, careers or health sabotaged, dragging the deadweight of dead wood behind them, silently picking up the slack and stressing themselves into ill health—than just take a stand.

Drawing firm boundaries doesn’t mean you don’t care.

It means you care enough about the bigger picture, to take the necessary actions. It doesn’t mean you don’t like someone. It means you understand where they belong in your life—and where they don’t. It just means you are placing the right components in the right place to maximize the chances of a successful outcome for all.

And yes, when you first install personal boundaries, you will face criticism. Not everyone will understand why, and some will take it personally, but they will get over it. And the wear and tear on your stress-o-meter will be worth it a thousand times over.

What do you think?

There’s Nothing Wrong With You! A Special Class for Highly Sensitive People

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Do you want to see the good in yourself and why it matters?

Do you want to put yourself out there in the world more?

Do you want to live according to what is most important to you?

A Special Class For Highly Sensitive People

The There’s Nothing Wrong With You! class was developed from the survey that more than 450 highly sensitive people responded to. You may have been one of those people. I am very grateful for the generous and open expression of concerns about the challenges of being a highly sensitive.

From the responses I have created 2 foundational classes:

  1. identity because so many have difficulty feeling good about being highly sensitive people
  2. deep evolutional or developmental structure to make it easier for process what you take in, and find your “values” kindred spirits.

The class will be available for self study or with a coaching option. They can be done individually or you will be able to do both classes together. Below are the objectives of each class.

Part 1: Embrace Your Special Nature

In this class, you will:

  • discover why it is important for you to embrace your trait now
  • learn about the archetype can help you compassionately embrace your journey
  • connect the importance of your history to understanding your story
  • start connecting the dots between self perception, culture and family
  • enjoy a deep dive into 11 characteristics of highly sensitive people to claim them and reframe them
  • develop a clear and compelling view of the benefits of each of the 11 HSP characteristics
  • create a statement of who you are – independent of cultural and social perceptions of worth – to build a new foundation for your identity.

Part 2: Claim Your Place In the World

In this class you will:

  • discover the relationship and importance of stories to our identities
  • learn about the visionary role and the highly sensitive person
  • explore the two most fundamental ways we develop and cultures develop
  • learn about one important reason that highly sensitive people have trouble relating to others
  • find out how culture is created – it will surprise you
  • explore the evolutional model that makes the world make sense
  • do a deep dive into the various stages of evolution
  • learn how to marry skepticism and empathy
  • discover how to embrace the past without being a slave to it
  • find the values models that reflects where you are and which helps you find your natural place in the world
  • start a new story about your life.

The class will be available in October.

Being Present: All You Really Need

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Source: Morguefie

Being present is often treated as something to strive for. It is a kind of Holy Grail of spirituality and well being.

Being present is where you live when your head is out of the way.

Why is it so elusive?

How Our Heads Get In The Way

It never ceases to amaze me how much our heads get in the way of living well and enjoying life. It happens so innocently, too.

Our heads which are in the business of helping us and trying to make sure we survive, grapple with our environments and questions about our lives and ourselves in an attempt to make our lives worthwhile. Our brains start at a very young age with the business of making meaning. Our immature brains do not know that when we are young we are unable to fully make meaning. However, our young brains are undaunted by what we do not know and plunge into the complex waters of meaning.

Our meaning makers bump up against the meaning makers of our parents and families as well as our cultures. A lot of mistakes get made in the area of meaning, resulting in prejudice and stereotypes that we then have to work awfully hard to eradicate.

Once we have made meaning, then we continually work with that meaning as we make a life in the world. So we are often drawn back to the past as we try to come to terms with mistaken conclusions we have formed about ourselves and others. So naturally being present is out of the question.

How we made meaning can affect our view of the future and whether or not we over focus on the future. If we learned to dread our environment as a child we may have a recurring and habitual dread and project that on to the future. If we experience a lot of chaos as a child we may come to expect that out future will be the same.

Childhood Costs Us Our Ability To Be Present

Inevitably we experience the holes in development of our families and out cultures as a child. These experiences, whether mild or severe, cause us to develop defenses around our selves and our relationships with others. We learn to fear, which takes us out of our natural loving natures. Fear and being present are antithetical to one another. Fear may be rational or irrational; when it arises it generally puts us into our heads and not in the present. Unless, of course we are being chased by a tiger, then we cannot not be present.

We lose our ability to be present in childhood for several reasons:

  • we have to survive and are dependent on others so we become attuned to our families as a survival mechanism
  • we learn the rules, roles and expectations of our culture which cause us to want to do what is expected
  • cultures create rewards for our conformity and we learn to seek those rewards as validation of our goodness and worthiness.

Belonging is nice but it is often achieved by giving up our true selves. Being popular can feel good and it can also become something that we come to depend on as a part of our identity. We may have gained many skills and experiences from childhood to adulthood. Often, however, we enter adulthood having bonded with our culture but having lost our ability to be present to the awesomeness of the living world.

Why It Is Hard To Be Present

Being present is difficult for a number of reasons:

  • being present reminds us of our aloneness. When being present, you are more aware of yourself as a contributor to the world with full responsibility for your actions and decisions. You are also more aware of the fact that no one can make your decisions or take your actions but yourself.
  • being present reminds of our anonymity or invisibility. Being present can make us aware of our actions wile at the same time reminding us that we are only one person in a multi-billion person tribe in a world with even larger numbers of other species. It can be humbling.
  • being present can remind us of how temporary everything is – so it can remind us of our own death.

Being present can raise fears that make it hard to take that leap of faith into the abundance that it offers us.

The Gifts Of Being Present

Being present means that you are awake to:

  • what is and also what is not
  • the limitlessness of time and space
  • the unknown and the treasures that you may find
  • the creative potential of each moment to manifest healing, and new ways of living
  • the freshness and innocence of each new moment
  • the gift of being alive which you share with all other beings
  • the courage of being present
  • the necessity of being present
  • the joy of being present.

All roads in life lead to the present. It is our shared home with all other living beings. It is where we decide to let go and heal. It is where we take a chance on ourself, someone else, and where we offer something new.

Being present is where the hope is.

See you there!

The Value Of Tension

I think tension can be good.

It is not my favorite thing in life, and as a highly sensitive person it can be challenging, but it  has also made my life better in some ways.

Tension Seeks Resolution

Tension seeks resolution is truth that I have learned from Robert Fritz through his class, Structures, which teaches how to use the creative process to create what you want in life.

One thing I know about as a highly sensitive person is tension. Like many other HSPs who have nuanced perceptions, I often see what others do not, which naturally creates tension.

It leads to a lot of questions:

  • What do I do with what I see?
  • What do I say?
  • What is my responsibility?
  • When do allow events to unfold without interfering?
  • When should I intervene?

These are all hard questions for a highly sensitive person to answer.

Even harder when it feels constant.

Is Tension Dangerous?

I have experienced tension my whole life so I almost feel like an expert on tension.

When I was young other in my life promoted the idea that tension was bad, that it was a sign that something was wrong. So if someone else was unhappy I was the cause.

It meant that I was creating pain and unhappiness for others, which as an HSP I did not want to do. I found this thinking to be a little crazy since I could only do my best and you can’t read anyone else’s mind. Nonetheless, I lived in an environment where there was an expectation of constant pleasure.

The weird thing was that in spite of all these desires and demands everyone was miserable and it did not take much to upset someone. As a creative HSP that was a huge problem since I do not know how to be anything other than creative or myself.

Tension Is Very Useful

In spite of the reactions of others, I have always listened to tension to try and understand it. Most of the time I have found  the tension around me puzzling. I would listen to it, take it on, and trying to understand.

I found it difficult because implicit was an expectation that something should be different, or the tension not there. But how can the moment you are living be anything other than what it is? I scratched my head a lot.  I felt burdened by expectations that seemed misguided since each moment is different with different requirements and needs.

Expecting no tension means that you are actually creating problems for yourself because you are not facing life from reality, but from your imagination. It is one thing to want good things in life, but you have to be in touch with what is going on around you. If you want to make a chocolate cake you do not go to the garage for a ladder. There has to be some relationship between what you are doing, how you are doing it and where you want to go,

There is no magician or wizard to protect you for unrealistic expectations and unwanted outcomes. Is it really someone else’s job?

Tension helps us learn where our desires and reality diverge so that we can figure how to manifest our desires. Expectations are not meant to provide us with a cop-out when we want to avoid the realities of life.

Using Tension Constructively

What I like about tension is that it can feed my creativity.

It can help me see where I am at, what I know or do not know in relation to what I want, and help me develop the tools and skills to make something happen.

Tension is a way of being with what I want that ensures that I do not put what I want on others.

I think that is important.

Using tension constructively is doing something HSPs are good at because we can listen to the gaps:

  • between what we want and what we have
  • between what is said and unsaid
  • between what we know and need to know
  • between what we are able to do and what skills we need

Tension is an important tool that HSPs can use to manage their lives better.

I highly recommend that highly sensitive people try to embrace it to empower themselves.

The Value Of Mistakes

The Importance Of Mistakes - HSP Health Blog

Mistakes are a no-no, even a taboo.

That is unfortunate because they are very important and necessary.

Without mistakes you cannot be in touch with and claim your own power.

Embracing mistakes is a important if you want to come into your own as an HSP.

The Hidden Benefit Of Mistakes

According to Robert Fritz, author of the Path of Least Resistance and Creating, the creative process can be divided into three large phases:

  1. the idea or germination
  2. the development of the idea from concept to completion
  3. releasing the result

Although we can make mistakes at any time and step of the process, mistakes are most valuable when we are in the development phase.

Mistakes are an important part of the trial and error process that lets us engage with an idea and reality.

They tell us when something is not working so that we can consider what to change.

It is through mistakes not only that we learn, but also that we develop mastery over a subject.

Mistakes are our path to our power and effectiveness in the world.

How Mistakes Can Seem Like A Bad Idea

Mistakes can seem like a bad idea, particularly to highly sensitive people.

We do not like the negative feedback and we feel terrible when we have done harm to others.

Our natural gifts can make it difficult for us to want to take any chances. Since we are often misperceived and misunderstood and our insights dismissed, it can seem as if we are taking big risks whenever we move forward.

The Baggage Of Mistakes

There are many misconceptions about mistakes that can create problems for us:

  • mistakes are a matter of life and death. For early humans, mistakes may indeed have been a matter of life and death. However, those days are long gone and we can lighten up about mistakes. Most mistakes may create some inconvenience and even some loss but are rarely life threatening.
  • mistakes are a sign of stupidity. Mistakes have been equated with lower intelligence as far back as I can remember. However, mistakes are inevitable when we are venturing to create something new, or learn a new skill.
  • mistakes are a sign of weakness. Making mistakes can actually be a sign of strength since it takes courage to be willing to learn something new.
  • mistakes are a sign of bad character. What an old saw this is! Character assassination is a favorite method of attacking people who take risks. Mistakes are not a sign of bad character. They are a sign of a learning process under way.
  • mistakes are a sign we do not care. Making mistakes, if we are trying to learn can be a sign of great caring. Sticking your neck out to learn takes courage which is usually a sign of caring.

Embracing Intelligent Risk Taking

The easiest way to move forward in life, embrace your personal growth and learn is to embrace intelligent risk taking.

Not all risk taking is equal. You can make unnecessary mistakes by taking on to much at once, always flying by the seat of your pants,  flying blind without conducting any research and generally making a mess.

Or you can take a wiser approach.

A Process For Intelligent Risk Taking

In order to take intelligent risks, you have to have in your mind a process that can make risk taking an important and valuable part of what you are doing. You need to create a process that you have confidence in.

Here is one that is a start:

  1. identify what you want to do.
  2. break it down into steps. This prevents you from getting in over your head and makes it easier to identify where you want to make corrections and why.
  3. research what is needed to do what you want to do. Understanding the skills, tools and other requirements will make it easier for you to take an intelligent risk.
  4. obtain whatever resources you need. D not skimp on time, materials, education or any other resource you need.
  5. pause to evaluate your progress frequently. It will help you avoid the most egregious and costly errors.
  6. once you are comfortable with your preparation, engage wholeheartedly in accomplishing what you want.

Often the difference between effective and ineffective risk taking is a matter of preparation.

Benefiting From Taking Risks

Highly sensitive people are extremely conscientious and caring people. Often the result, however, is that HSPs back away from taking risks when they d not have to.

Taking intelligent risks and using their conscientiousness and caring to embrace intelligent risk taking can make a big difference not only in being successful but also enjoying growing a learning.

HSPs have much to offer, so when we take risks, everyone often benefits.

It is worth sticking our toes in the water. We may find that it is warm and inviting.

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25 Ways to Handle Anger Productively

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I observe with slack jawed awe as a customer has a meltdown of manic intensity over an account payment query that would bring the New York stock exchange to its knees—the amount in question? Ten dollars! Like a large indignant toad she looms over the cashier who exhibits superhuman maturity and restraint. Without raising her voice, she smiles and gives a logical step by step explanation of why there is no error.

This information is obviously not penetrating the customer’s self righteous fog so the cashier offers to credit her account. At this, the customer hisses I’m not a charity case! I don’t want a credit! I’m a bookkeeper; this account is wrong; you’ve made a mistake! The cashier points out that it’s an automated accounts system and asks whether she should cancel the credit. Yes yells the customer.

When I walk by twenty minutes later, the combat weary but still calm cashier is asking so can we get this clear? Would you like me to credit your account or not? The customer by this time is the subject of ill concealed humor from others. Her ego temporarily punctured, she whips the printout from the cashier’s grasp and departs.

What Was That All About?

Why expend all that energy making a major production out of a minor issue? Why did she so desperately need to be right while making the cashier wrong? The amount in question was absurdly small so it wasn’t about the money.

Obviously her sense of value was disproportionately dependant on being right. When your sense of value is fragile the propaganda machine inside your head often attributes malevolent intent to people when none exists. I know you’re laughing at me….I know you’re out to get me so I’m going to get you first.

But Anger In Itself Isn’t Bad

Like the stress response, it’s a messenger. Anger has a purpose and is frequently misunderstood. Used productively in the right context, it can be a powerful force for good.

  • Anger helps us draw boundaries
  • Anger tells us what is and is not acceptable
  • Anger alerts us when we’re giving too much and receiving too little
  • When someone’s words or actions make us angry, it tells us what WE need to change to feel safe and comfortable again
  • Anger invites us to look inward—rather than the knee jerk reaction of lashing out.

Don’t Believe Me?

Rewind the movie of your life to a time when you felt trapped, victimized, backed into a corner—and suddenly something snapped “enough! I will not tolerate this! I am worth more, and this has to change now” you screamed. I’m willing to bet that desperate, angry outburst led to a quantum leap forward in some area of your life—a dead end work situation, a painful relationship, an overdue lifestyle makeover or an increase in self value. Anger can catapult us out of a comfort zone that has ceased to be comfortable.

25 Ways To Handle Anger Productively

  1. To derail the momentum of someone’s rage—replace the anger trance with a sudden change of subject, or authoritative command. The verbal equivalent of slapping someone out of hysteria.
  2. Although being disemboweled by a leopard might be more appealing—agree with her, show empathy, invite her to sit down, relax and build rapport you must have had a really rough day…..I know how frustrating it is….this deflates anger instantly.
  3. Count to ten or visualize a tranquil scene….yes it does work! It allows the adrenalin surge to subside.
  4. Instead of reacting like a sleep deprived snake, challenge your perception of the issue; reframe the picture in your mind. Perhaps his intent isn’t malicious. You wouldn’t get mad at a toddler for his limited communication skills, would you?
  5. Breathe—slowly and deeply! It is biologically impossible to remain tense or angry while doing this. Try it!
  6. Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the brain; walk away—mentally and/or physically. It could save someone’s life.
  7. Before radically redecorating your aggressor’s face, press the pause button and ask yourself what underlying fear or insecurity pulled your anger trigger.
  8. Get to know your anger triggers intimately.
  9. Use your mental zoom out facility. See the whole picture, not just part of it. Put things into perspective.

10. If it feels as though you’re trying to reason with a stick of dynamite, hold up a ‘red card’ or ‘stop sign’ to call a halt, while you all cool down and evaluate the situation.

11. Channel your rage into physical exercise—go for a walk, run, ride a bike, dance or pummel a punch bag. Regular exercise reduces the anger impulse.

12. If you can visualize eviscerating him or her, you can visualize floating safely above the war zone in a bulletproof bubble.

13. Toilet train your impulses, instead of exploding lock yourself in the bathroom and vent.

14. When your self esteem is strong, you’re confident about where you stand, so you don’t need to keep ‘growling’ to prove it.

15. Suppressed anger makes you sick. It’s as productive as ingesting arsenic. Pour it out on paper, do some emotional vomiting. You might even end up with a bestselling book.

16. Find constructive alternatives to yelling, swearing, attacking, throwing things or ingesting substances. Have a personal life goal that you are passionate about. Think about it, talk about it, study and research it and work towards it—especially when you feel threatened, overwhelmed and powerless.

17. Laugh! If it’s likely to fuel the fire—lock yourself away and laugh. Use your overflow valve.

18. Talk anger triggers through with a counselor, therapist or good friend.

19. Build firm personal boundaries so that it’s harder for people to pull your triggers.

20. Cut or limit contact with people who are anger triggers in your life. Pump up your verbal self defense skills.

21. Recharge your batteries regularly in a quiet ‘safe space’ that no people or noise can invade.

22. Remember our brains cannot discriminate between what is real or imagined. What you consistently watch, listen to; participate in, focus on and who you hang out with colors the way you react to the world.

23. If you do explode, once you have calmed down—apologize; it costs nothing and has a profound impact.

24. Use your resources—get professional help.

25. Use anger CONstructively instead of DEstructively.

Why Impatience Is SO Bad For You

Why Impatience Is So Bad For You - HSP Health Blog

Impatience is so bad for you.

It is one of the most seductive emotional states.

It is a great way to make life more difficult and relationships challenging.

Impatience is like playing a child’s game of bumper cars with real life and adult consequences.

Worshipping At The Altar Of Speed

I find the adoration of speed in our culture to be curious.

When I am going fast, I stop thinking.

Speed demands focus on the task at hand and so it cannot be a time to contemplate what you are doing.

To be truly effective at warp speed, you need to have contemplated, evaluated and assessed your intended actions before you engage in them,

Does our cultural speedfest really allow for that?

In my opinion, no.

Speed For Conquest

When the speed of daily life is ramped up, there are consequences. One of them is what happens with our attention and intention.

When we function at a slower pace, we spend time contemplating what we are doing, what we want to do,  and what we need to do.

We think about the implications of our actions, the alternative courses of action and the possibilities that our choices present.

We can own our intention.

When we have to go faster something has to give. What gives is usually the way we direct our attention.

A high speed life makes us more task oriented and more focused on the short-term.

That means that we delegate the long term to others. In doing so we disempower ourselves.

Faster living means that we have been made one down almost like objects or parts on a conveyor belt. We are the wheels on the bumper cars and someone else is doing the driving.

Our attention has to be elevated but we have lost our intention in the process.

Impatience Is Controlling

Moving at high speed means that there is not a lot of time for considering our purpose and agendas. Our attention is usually directed to working off items on our to-do lists. The really important stuff of life usually does not make our list and so without realizing it, our lives stop being our own.

We are living in speed, even in a state of perpetual emergency.

When you are in an emergency you do not have time to stop and ask why, you simply have to deal with it.

Someone else has set the priorities. While we think we are making choices, we are really filling in the blanks in a sentence created by someone else.

Observe impatient people. They are masters at making something wrong with you if you are not performing as they expect you to, or are not busy enough as if your busyness was a sign of your goodness.

How Impatience Took Us Over

Impatience is important as a social tool. It used to be that we aligned ourselves with nature. Our lives depended on an effective interaction with the source of our nourishment – the physical world we live in.

Nature is slow and always in process. It is interdependent. We have to work with and learn from nature. Imposing our will usually does not work vey well.

With the Industrial Revolution and the development of machines, markets took over from nature and became the center of our lives. We were diminished as was nature, simply servants of the market system.

The machine became almighty. We became dependent on:

  • the political machine
  • the machines of government
  • the machines of finance
  • the machines of war
  • mechanized business.

A machine doesn’t see you or relate to you.

You have to keep up with it, bend to it, and support it. This is why in spite of all the improvements in our living conditions, most of us feel an unspeakable loss. We never had it so good or so bad.

Taking Our Lives Back

Slowing down is the beginning of taking your life back.

It helps to see the mechanized structures of our lives as detrimental to intentional living, and look for ways to be as present as possible to all aspects of our lives.

We are not here to serve some machine.

We are here to live fully.

The impatient life of markets takes so much from us. Letting go of it, being willing to be without it as much as possible restores you to a right relation with your own life.

It’s worth doing.

It’s a great place to be.

Overcoming The Need To Please

Source: HumanSeeHumanDo - Flickr

Highly sensitive people have many ways of handling their nature and the overwhelm that they experience. Being different means that relationships are often difficult for us. We often feel at a disadvantage in relationships feeling one down because we feel disrespected.

There are many reasons for this. Our compassionate non-competitive natures seek mutuality in a one-upsmanship world which does not respect our kindness. So we often want the respect we deserve but cannot claim. So we seek ways to achieve social acceptance. Pleasing is one of those ways.

Do You Feel The Need To Please?

The need to please comes from our need to establish and maintain the interpersonal bridge with others. there are many ways that the interpersonal bridge is created and sustained. Most of the time there is some kind of shared experience or other kind of bond created through:

  • blood relationships
  • being neighbors
  • school and school activities
  • shared interests
  • work
  • community activities
  • shared values
  • shared life experiences

Highly sensitive people have trouble with the interpersonal bridge because often their values are different from those around them and also because they are different and experience most things differently it is hard for them to bond over shared experiences. Many times HSPs are loners but not by choice.

The weakness of the interpersonal bridge is something that we live with each day and it is often a source of feelings of vulnerability. We do not fit in and know it. We suspect therefore that we are unwelcome.

Coming To Terms With The Challenges Of Being Different

Being different does not necessarily mean that we are unwelcome. Humans are notorious for comparing themselves to each other so we may remind others of undeveloped aspects of themselves and in that way create feelings of discomfort. That is not our fault but something to be aware of.

However, if we expect to be close with people whose values are radically different then we are probably inviting some hurt into our lives. There are many people who do not and will not “get” HSPs and that is something that we have to accept.

We can improve our social life if we reserve our serious social investments to those where our values are compatible.

When Do We Start To Please?

The need to please will surface when we are trying to fit in with a group that is different from us where we would like to have some social standing. It could be a work environment or family group. Whatever the situation, pleasing comes from thinking that the burden of the interpersonal bridge is primarily ours and that unless we make a special effort their may not be a relationship and we may be harmed in some way.

In these situations being ourselves is something we think will harm us or cause us to be rejected. We have to be someone else in order to survive socially.

Overcoming The Need To Please

The need to please is above and beyond doing one’s part in a relationship. The need to please is a function of being made inferior in some way. It is an outcome of trying to survive in a social structure where you are disfavored. It is a way of trying to cover up your differentness so that you can acquire needed resources. Pleasing is a social strategy of minorities and social outsiders throughout history.

So what can you do?

Here are some questions to ask about how you are living to see if you can make some changes that will provide you with more social safety:

  • what relationships do I have where I feel a need to please?
  • in what way am I dependent on others for supplies (of any kind) that causes me to be in relationships where I need to please?
  • what changes can I make to reduce my needs so that I have fewer relationships that require unnatural pleasing?
  • if I cannot reduce my needs can I find alternatives that are more supportive of my self respect?
  • can I create what I need?
  • can you ask for more of what you need from relationships that are one-sided to make them feel more mutual?

Sometimes a little strategy can make all the difference in helping us rebalance our relationships and make them more mutual.

Are Passion And Creativity The Same Thing?

Are Passion And Creativity The Same Thing? - HSP Health Blog

 

Do you think passion is important?

Do you think that creativity requires passion?

These are important questions because many people think that creativity requires passion and that without passion, creativity is impossible.

Does Passion Help Creativity

Many people think that passion is necessary for creativity to occur. However, we need to reconsider this idea.

Say you bump into an animal that you have never seen before. In your mind you start to invent stories about what kind of animal you are seeing and why you have not seen it before. These stories are creations of your mind. Did you need passion to create them?

Creating, then, is a natural to us as breathing since we are always engaging with and trying to make sense of the world around us.

Is Passion The Same As Motivation?

When you are motivated, does it come from passion?

When you are hungry your motivation to eat comes from necessity. When you treat someone else well, your motivation can come from love, respect, or if you are dealing with a bully from self preservation.

So motivation can be all over the map. If you tie your creativity to your motivation, you will have trouble creating since your motivation will change and fluctuate.

What Is Passion Anyway!

Passion is most often called a powerful feeling.

The Free Dictionary‘s definition of passion describes 4 basic categories for passion:

  1. a powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
  2. ardent love, strong sexual desire; lust, the object of such love or desire.
  3. boundless enthusiasm… the object of such enthusiasm.
  4. an abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger

I think that we recognize that passion can be a powerful emotion, but there are many powerful emotions. What distinguishes passion is enthusiasm. When we have passion, we feel an enthusiasm for what we are passionate about.

This is another interesting definition of passion from Mapmaker:

Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do.

Simply put, it’s being who you are and doing what comes naturally. When what you do is in alignment with who you are, you get energy from doing it. It’s like water flowing along its natural riverbed. It actually gains energy from the path it’s taking (compare that to what most people experience in their work, which is more like trying to force it up and over a mountain).

So passion comes from a sense of connection between ourselves and what we are doing. Passion happens because there is some relationship between us and the work. In fact you could say that passion occurs because the work is us.

Passion And Creativity Are Not The Same

Creativity is not passion. It is a skill.

Passion comes from us. Our enthusiasm for something says something about who we are and what we have to give the world.

Passion is about something that attracts us; creating is about bringing something into existence.

Passion is a love of chocolate, creating is make an unusual chocolate cake.

Passion is a love of roses, creating is making a new hybrid tea rose.

Passion is a love of color, creating is making your own painting.

You Need Both

Passion tells you something about yourself. Creating is something you do as a result of your passion.

I personally think you need both.

It is a good idea to know yourself and where your enthusiasms lie. It is also a good idea to master the self discipline necessary to create something.

Creativity and passion can reinforce and accentuate each other. When they do you harness the best of yourself and your skills. That means you can offer some serious contribution to the world, which is a wonderful way to live.