Highly Sensitive Famous People: There are more than you think!

I have been thinking about this topic for a while, and ironically I came across a couple of great articles the other day that highlighted some highly sensitive famous people! Reading these inspired me to share my take on the topic. 🙂

In an article written by Jim Hallowes, the founder of http://www.highlysensitivepeople.com, these famous leaders and revolutionists are noted as having highly sensitive characteristics; take a look at some of these names!

Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Elenor Rosavelt, Princess Dianna, Sir Issac Newton, Thomas Alva Edison and Jane Goodall.

These famous leaders are admired and recognized as leading through caring for humanity, positive change movements, and self-discovery practices – all things that HSPs are naturally good at.

Famous HSP comedians include: Woody Allen, Jim Carey, Steve Martin, Mel brooks, and Johnny Carson (he was actually very quiet and shy off stage). HSPs are artistic by nature, and they have passion; I love that a lot of us are hilarious!

I also discovered some quotes by famous actors about being highly sensitive:

 “I found films to be turbulent and stressful. They have caused me an enormous amount of anxiety, because I do not have a lot of confidence. You are working, intellectually and mentally, and you are having to be with people and socialize all the time.

  • Julie Christie

“Actors like it, on the whole, but I was not born with that quality. I am very quiet and would much prefer to talk to a few people rather than a crowd.”

“I get emotional all the time. I get emotional every time I make a speech, or talk about other cast members,” she says. “Every now and again, my heart just explodes and expands.”

  • Jennifer Beals

“I was a highly sensitive child, and the last thing my parents wanted was for their child to go in and get hurt…”

“Most actors are highly sensitive people, but you have this incredible scrutiny. You have to develop a thick skin, but you can’t have a thick skin in your work.”

“So it’s that constant push-pull of going, how do I stay human and vulnerable and real, and how do I, at the same time, not let all this affect me?”

  • Nicole Kidman

“I think I was born with a great awareness of my surroundings and an awareness of other people. I know when I really connect with somebody… Sometimes that awareness is good, and sometimes I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.”

  • Scarlette Johansson

“I wouldn’t say my insecurities and shyness have lessened just because of expressing myself through acting, but what has a role in my becoming more confident is the kind of false sense of adoration you get from the business… because I was so insecure, it gives me a reason to be a little more confident.”

  • Taye Diggs

“I’ve never been a suicidal person, but there have definitely been times when I’ve thought, I’m too sensitive for this world right now; I just don’t belong here – it’s too fast and I don’t understand it.”

  • Winona Ryder

“I did not perform well socially in junior high. I was a strange girl and I was in a lot of pain because of that.

  • Claire Danes

Famous HSP singers/songwriters and performers include: Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Elton Jon, Alanis Morissette, Neil young, Jim Morison, Celine Dion, Jewel, Keith Urban, Jack Johnson, Dolly Parton, and Barbra Streisand…way back to Mozzart.

As I grow and become more aware of the HSP trait in myself and others, I find myself thinking about HSPs around the world and all of the dynamic situations that they live in.

When my mind drifts to pop culture and the film industry, I find myself fascinated as I think about how many of them must be HSPs given their deep, beautiful lyrics, energy and connection with crowds as they perform, and their dramatic display of emotions on the screen.

Imagine their lives, especially if they don’t fully understand what being an HSP means! Maybe they’re young up-and-coming stars in their teens and 20s… introverts even.

Regular life as an HSP already has its obstacles with overstimulation and the need for downtime, let alone being in demand by thousands of fans every day.

I think that famous people, more than anyone should be well educated on their HSP trait. I can’t help but think this is why some of them turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape, and as a way of coping with the world coming at them twenty-thousand miles an hour, 24/7, 7 days a week.

What about when they are bashed in a trashy mag or made fun of on twitter? HSPs would take it even HARDER than the average person…

These are the things I think about as I listen to and watch my favorite famous artists.

There is a long list of HSP writers as well:

Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Emily Dickenson, Virginia Wolf, E.E. Cummings, James Baldwin, Walt Whitmen and Robert Frost, to name a few.

And I am POSITIVE that there are many more famous authors, singers, actors and leaders in the world who are HSPs.

I had a lot of fun putting together this post for you guys. I certainly can’t help but think, “Wow! look at all these wonderful, world-renowned amazing people named as HSPs… they are like me, they would get me.”

What other famous people do you think are HSPs? There must be so many who haven’t come forth about it. Share some names in a comments below, or on The Sensitive Trait’s Facebook page!

Have a lovely week everyone, thanks for having some fun with me. 🙂

XO Your Fellow HSP, Chelsie

HSP Famous People

Article references for this post:




When Silence Calls

Highly sensitive Person HSP

Has the beauty of silence been forgotten? I know that it is becoming more and more difficult to come by, what with our busy streets, open concept work stations, public transit, TVs, mobile devices, computers…

It is actually impossible for me to eliminate man-made sounds from my house; we live in Langley BC, by a highway. I can only imagine what it must be like in other more densely populated areas of the world like India, or Asia…. Even busy cities like New York.

Do you ever think about how rare complete, soothing, precious, amazing silence is?

It still exists! But today we need to work much harder to seek it out. I would think that many people don’t often realize how much background noise is constant in their life. For HSPs, total silence (with the exception of natural sounds like water lapping, rain falling, birds chirping) is so therapeutic for our souls. The truth is: we need it a lot more than non-HSPs do.

I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to experience complete silence while in Banff National Park, AL. It made me want to seek out solitude like this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

My partner (and fellow HSP) and I were in a canoe paddling around Emerald lake one morning. We were a little clouded in, but the water was still gorgeous. **see the feature picture in this post 🙂

We had beaten the morning crowds, and it was just us out on the lake. We paddled around the lake’s edge, examined the shoreline and admired the crisp blue water all around us. At one point of our journey, I had the urge to say…

“let’s just stop and just listen.”

We decided to take a few minutes of complete silence. No moving in our canoe, paddles up. Just the sounds of birds and woodland animals, and the subtle patter of light rain on the tree leaves and the lake’s surface. All was still.

It was surreal.

My HSP self was glowing, singing, dancing inside! I felt blissful and calm, it moved me deeply; the beauty and the joy of just “being” in silent, serene nature.

This is one of the many reasons why being an HSP is so special!

We get such joy from the simplicity of things. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. Being in nature also recharges our batteries when we are feeling overwhelmed and emotionally depleted by the fast-paced, demanding world we live in.

Because our brain and nervous systems are affected more intensely by external stimuli (busy cities, multiple tasks at once, requests, sounds, smells), and experiences that elicit emotions and our empathy, we simply MUST take time to re-charge.

Can you remember moments of silence and solitude in your past? Not lonely times, but times where you felt peaceful and content. Maybe you marveled at the awe of nature or of life itself.

Before I understood what being an HSP meant, I felt a little strange and disconnected from others when I spent time doing this. But now, I know it is food for me. I can be thankful and content in knowing who I am more now. I understand my sensitive nature and see it as a gift.

So should all of you.

And let me tell you, only good things can come from taking time in quiet, beautiful, natural places. Experience the four elements. Water is especially soothing for HSPs. Next time you’re near it, take notice to how you feel. Does it bring you comfort? Peace? Joy?

This week I invite you to think about your favorite memories of being silent in nature. Feel free to share your stories!

What natural experience will you give your sensitive soul next? Maybe a hike? Or some time reading by the ocean? An Air Mattress float on the quiet side of the lake?

Whatever you choose, I am excited for you, and I commend your taking this time for yourself.

Until next time….

Your fellow HSP, Chelsie


Saying no: HSPs and Boundaries

HSP, Highly Sensitive Person, Boundaries

In order to maintain a happy balance in our lives, we should all have a set of healthy personal boundaries. Boundaries can be tricky; they vary from person to person, and sometimes we don’t quite know how we feel about a situation, so a boundary is hard to reinforce.

Boundaries can be particularly difficult to maintain for HSPs due to their empathetic, caring nature, and their natural desire to make others happy.

As defined by www.dictionary.com, Personal Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them, and how they will respond when someone steps past those limits.

To shed some more light, here are some scenarios that most of us have some sort of boundary for:

  • Personal space – each person may have a slightly different idea of where this limit lies, but there is a limit at some point.
  • Controversial topics – we have different ideas of when other’s points of view become too forceful or offensive.
  • Romantic/sexual interactions – what lines do you have with your partner of 3 years? What about someone on a first date?
  • Respect – we know when we feel disrespected…but some of us speak up sooner than others.

Our individual boundaries vary depending on our personalities…and it is up to each of us to decide what “crossing the line” is.

I believe that because HSPs pick up on people’s feelings and moods and tend to avoid conflict, they may sacrifice their boundaries to “save face” or “keep others happy,”  and not surprisingly when an HSP does let someone cross their boundary, they become extremely resentful and angry about it afterwards.

They might think: “How did this person not intuitively know that they shouldn’t have asked me that /crossed that line?!”

The reality is that most people don’t know unless we tell them so, and better yet show them so, especially if they don’t share your highly empathetic, sensitive nature.

Let’s go back to the title of this blog post for a second… the first part: “Say No.”

When you don’t like how you feel about something, you should say no!

A lot of times we may have mixed feelings about a situation – on one hand we may not be entirely comfortable with something, but on the other hand, we want to maintain peace and be there for others, so we consider removing a boundary line to do this.

Here is what I suggest:

When you feel a resistance inside towards something (i.e.: someone is invading your personal space, you are offended by some else’s opinion, your friend requests something of you for the third time that week) that is your intuition telling you there is a line being crossed. That line is there for a reason. When it’s crossed, it doesn’t feel good.

In order to become clear on the boundaries that are important for you, I suggest that you actually write them out on paper!

Think of it as your celebrity performing rider. What will you and will you not tolerate: at work, at home, in a relationship, with your family, with friends, etc.

Writing them out is the first step; applying them to your life is the second. 🙂


XO, your fellow HSP, Chelsie