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5 Ways Highly Sensitive People Can Live In an Insensitive World

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The following tips are from Jenna Forrest, an empowerment coach in Durham, North Carolina who helps her highly sensitive clients to understand, refine, and embrace their sensory abilities.

1. Understand their Trait:

The sensitive must first get to know him/herself in the context of their trait. They can do this by reading books about their trait and connecting with other sensitives to share experiences. The result can be a wonderful feeling of relief and being “ok.” As understanding develops, the person may fine him/herself – perhaps for the first time in their life – telling themselves and others the whole truth about how they feel and what they need.

2. Receive Validation:

Many sensitives grew up being seen as different and odd, being labeled, reprimanded in school, etc. The shame of not fitting in can carry into adulthood if the person’s experiences are not validated somewhere along the way. Validation can come from a friend, mentor, counselor or other trusted person who has experienced similar challenges.

3. See their Gifts and Potential:

Sensitives typically feel a calling to help others. They can be troubled by the weight of the world – a weight that keeps them from doing all they want or would otherwise be able to do. This causes them to focus on problems and what they don’t want instead of appreciating their gifts of spirit, intuition, empathy, and creativity. By tapping into these traits and developing them with a mentor or coach, the sensitive person can learn to express more pride, joy and hope. This, in turn, enhances self-esteem and allows him/her to feel connected with a world that could otherwise feel alien.

4. Protect their Energy Field from Intrusion:

Sensitives can see or feel energy as if it’s tangible and solid. Some energy feels like sticky mud, some feels shadowy, some feels light and fluffy. Where it conveys joy and happiness, the sensitive person is apt to thrive. On the flipside, he/she will be negatively affected by anger, dishonesty, exploitation or sadness. Since various types of energies are present everyday, the sensitive must learn to protect him/herself or risk feeling drained or fearful as they come into contact with different people, places, and situations.

5. Clear their Energy Field from Unwanted Negativity and Past Hurts:

Highly sensitive people are likely to be carrying pain with them wherever they go – unrealized hurts and negativity that’s accumulated throughout their lives. This is apt to make them feel heavy or moody. Sensitives can also be negatively affected by world conflicts covered in the media, by political or religious messages, etc. It is life-changing for a sensitive person to discover that he/she can release all of this accumulated pain. Freedom comes when the sensitive is finally able to walk tall in the world like anyone else.

5 Ways Highly Sensitive People Can Live In an Insensitive World

Therese J. Borchard

Therese J. Borchard is a mental health writer and advocate. She is the founder of the online depression communities Project Hope & Beyond and Group Beyond Blue, and is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. You can reach her at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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APA Reference
Borchard, T. (2018). 5 Ways Highly Sensitive People Can Live In an Insensitive World. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 2 Oct 2009)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.