The Highly Sensitive Person Book Summary - The Highly Sensitive Person Book explained in key points
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The Highly Sensitive Person summary

Elaine N. Aron

How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

4.2 (447 ratings)
8 mins

Brief summary

"The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine N. Aron is a guidebook for those with heightened sensory processing. It explores the traits, challenges, and benefits of being a highly sensitive person, offering tips on how to navigate the world as an HSP.

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    The Highly Sensitive Person
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    Signs you’re a highly sensitive person

    Meet Rob and Rebecca. They’re twins – fraternal, not identical.

    At age three, they become big brother and big sister, so a friendly couple comes to care for the twins for a few days before the new baby comes home.

    When Rob walks into his parents’ room and finds strangers, he’s so terrified, he screams. Rebecca walks in, says hi, and off she goes, smiling.

    Rob’s neither shy nor anxious. He just sees, smells, and hears things Rebecca isn’t equipped to absorb.

    He’s inherited a highly sensitive nervous system. As he grows, he’ll forget most of what’s happened in his childhood – but his body and subconscious will always remember.

    He’ll spend more time processing events. His dreams will be vivid and will have a lot to do with what’s happening in the real world. His dreams might even predict future events with astonishing accuracy.

    If that sounds like you, you’re among the 20 percent of people with Rob’s superpower.

    What Rob experienced when he saw strangers in his parents’ bed wasn’t necessarily fear. It was information overload. He was just overstimulated.

    Highly sensitive people, or HSPs, will complain about the volume of music at a bar. They’ll catch the hint of a frown that says a colleague’s wife hates Christmas parties. They can judge the character of a florist by looking at how she arranges flowers. 

    These subtle clues can come with great benefits. If you’re an HSP, they can help you enjoy the wholesome sensory experiences of laughter, music, work, and sex.

    What you need to look out for is balance. Each person has an optimal arousal level. Get above this threshold and you can experience discomfort, and, in extreme cases, paralysis or panic.

    Of course, everyone has a sensory threshold. The difference here is that the highly sensitive have lower thresholds and might not be able to stand honking cars or large crowds. Some might not even be able to take small groups for very long.

    It’s all about exposure and intensity. Beyond that red line, HSPs need to recharge.

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    What is The Highly Sensitive Person about?

    The Highly Sensitive Person (1996) improves our understanding of that one-fifth of the population whose nervous systems pick up signals the average person can’t register. With greater self-awareness and society’s understanding, people with heightened sensitivity can flourish.

    The Highly Sensitive Person Review

    The Highly Sensitive Person (1996) explores the world of highly sensitive individuals and offers insights into their unique experiences. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a deep understanding of highly sensitive people, helping readers to recognize and embrace their sensitivity.
    • The book offers practical strategies for managing and thriving in a world that is often overwhelming for sensitive individuals.
    • Through real-life stories and relatable examples, it creates a sense of connection and validation for highly sensitive readers, making it a truly enriching and empowering read.

    Who should read The Highly Sensitive Person?

    • Highly sensitive people
    • Parents of highly sensitive children
    • Friends, colleagues, and anyone trying to understand a highly sensitive person

    About the Author

    Elaine N. Aron has made highly sensitive people her life’s mission. Her pioneering work has appeared in leading publications including Counseling Today, Counseling and Human Development, and Brain and Behavior. A highly sensitive person herself, she is an acclaimed clinical psychologist who has presented her in-depth research and analysis in the books The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, The Highly Sensitive Child, and Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person.

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    The Highly Sensitive Person FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Highly Sensitive Person?

    The main message of The Highly Sensitive Person is understanding and embracing the unique qualities of sensitivity for personal growth and well-being.

    How long does it take to read The Highly Sensitive Person?

    The reading time for The Highly Sensitive Person varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Highly Sensitive Person a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Highly Sensitive Person is a valuable read for anyone who wants to understand sensitivity better. It provides insights and strategies for navigating the world with heightened awareness and thriving.

    Who is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person?

    The author of The Highly Sensitive Person is Elaine N. Aron.

    What to read after The Highly Sensitive Person?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Highly Sensitive Person, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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