Comment: Is sensitivity a super power?

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There’s a hilarious scene in the film Bedazzled where Brendan Fraser’s character is magically transformed into a highly sensitive version of himself. He writes poetry, feels everything deeply, blubbers at the sunset, loses the girl and is generally a bit pathetic. But founders of the Highly Sensitive Refuge, Andre Solo and Jenn Granneman, argue that being highly sensitive isn’t a weakness, it’s actually a super power.

Full disclosure: I’ve admired Andre and Jenn’s work for years and devour their weekly newsletters. (I also think Andre’s name sounds a bit like Hans Sólo, so that makes him extra cool too.) Jenn founded Introvert, Dear and together they unpack some of the astonishing science behind the nature of sensitivity and introversion. They have a great team of writers and in (what seems to me) a remarkable act of generosity they make most of their work free online. Their efforts have helped me enormously and I’m grateful for their boldness in speaking up on this topic. It’s changed how I view my own sensitivity and the sensitivity of others. Here are some key points:

Worried that you might be too touchy? Do you feel things too deeply? Do you struggle to hide your emotions sometimes?

Sólo and Granneman point to the fact that 30% of the population are highly sensitive and this is actually a unique strength which can serve you well. But what is a highly sensitive person and how do you know if you are one? If you’re new to this concept and want to understand more here are 21 Signs That You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

What might a highly sensitive man look like?

Several men in my world are incredibly intuitive. They can read the room, quickly gather and process all the data and gauge the mood in a heartbeat. They also seem to have highly tuned predator detection circuits and instinctively scan the horizon for risks. Equipped with permanent 360 degree radar, powerful protective drives and lightning fast reactions I love being around these guys because they make me feel so safe. This article explains How Highly Sensitive Men Are Different From Highly Sensitive Women

On needing time alone

As a highly sensitive person myself I enjoy having some time to process all that data my brain has absorbed. Ticking jobs off a list, finishing tasks and closing some of my mental “tabs” also helps me to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Friends have mistaken me for an extrovert because I’m always so excited to see them, but those who are around me the most know that after about four hours of human contact I burn out and become quite boring! Granneman explains why we sometimes need time alone.

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.
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