Being Highly Sensitive and Creative - Page 19

Living in a culture that devalues sensitivity and introversion as much as the U.S. means there are many pressures to be "normal" -meaning extroverted, sociable and outgoing. Dr. Ted Zeff, author of The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, points out that other cultures, such as Thailand, have different attitudes, with a strong appreciation of sensitive or introverted people. Jenna Avery, a "life coach for sensitive souls," counsels people to accept or even pursue being "out of sync" with mainstream society, and be aware of other's judgments of people as too sensitive, too emotional, or too dramatic. [See links to their sites in the Resources section at the end.] And if we are sensitive, we may use those kinds of judgments against ourselves, and think, as Winona Ryder said she did at one time, "Maybe I'm too sensitive for this world." [Photo from post: Winona Ryder: “Maybe I’m too sensitive for this world.”] Certainly there are extremes of emotions that are considered mood disorders and should be dealt with as a mental health issue. But "too emotional" or "too sensitive" are usually criticisms based on majority behavior and standards. Overall, I think being highly sensitive is a trait we can embrace and use to be more creative and aware. But it demands taking care to live strategically, even outside popular values, to avoid overwhelm so we can better nurture our abilities and creative talents. ~~