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:

http://highlysensitive.org/4/actors-and-high-sensitivity/

http://www.genconnect.com/albert-einstein-nicole-kidman-jim-hallowes-list-of-famous-highly-sensitive-people/

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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

 

HSPs, Animals and Children

HSP Relationship to Animals

I was thrilled to find some literature on this topic for a couple of reasons…

#1 – because it helps back my natural thoughts about how I have felt a deep connection with animals and kids,

and

#2 – because this is a really cool topic, and I think that HSPs should pride their relationships with animals and children, because it is such a special gift we possess!

It makes sense if you think about it… I have written before on how HSPs have a natural empathetic ability to relate to others by understanding their circumstance and experiences. We pick up on emotional cues, are often acutely aware of and affected by our environment, and notice changes in other’s moods and energy more frequently than non-HSPs.

These perceptions all have something in common – they arrive through non-verbal cues.

This exact point is why I think HSPs are able to understand and communicate with animals and children so deeply and effectively.

Let me share some examples of situations to give some perspective:

Animals

killer-whales

Horses, Dolphins, Whales, Dogs, Elephants… these are some of the earth’s creatures that have been scientifically proven to have a high level of intelligence, especially emotional intelligence. Whales actually have an emotional part of the brain that doesn’t even exist in humans! No wonder these creatures are so social and connected with each other.

Do you know of the documentary “Black Fish?” Hearing the stories, and learning about the relationships that whales develop with each other and humans was incredibly powerful for me. The story is also very intense and sometimes upsetting, but if you’re an HSP with a love for animals, it is definitely worth watching.

I have been lucky enough to be around horses (from time to time) and dogs quite frequently in my life, and I have definitely experienced a deep connection with them.

For example, my mom, sister and I had an amazing golden retriever named Maggie while I was growing up. We called her our “family Angel.” Whenever my sister and I were fighting or arguing with our mother, Maggie would know. She would appear around the corner with a ball of socks in her mouth, or literally come up to one of us and lay at our feet. She wanted us to stop.

Sometimes if I was alone in the house with Maggie, I swear I could feel what she was feeling. I knew if she was agitated, sad, or content. I also felt her love. How special!

In particular though, I have one fond, outstanding memory of our precious family dog. I came home from grade 8 class one day quite upset about something. Maggie greeted me at the door.

She sat there (when normally she would be jumping up and down asking for a walk) and let me hug her. Her head was on my shoulder, and I cried into her fur. For 10 minutes she was there for me, sitting still, reassuring me it was going to be alright.

Now, don’t worry, I am not trying to claim I am an animal whisperer here…. (Though I think some HSPs probably are!)

I also know an HSP who is an incredible dog trainer. Through practice and years of reading, researching and observing, she has learned to speak their language. Watching her interact with dogs is fascinating. Major empathy and awareness of subtleties is required here.

I would bet money that most of the best animal trainers and care takers in the world are HSPs!

I have read stories about people with special connections to horses as well. They are such majestic creatures; highly intuitive, intelligent, and social. When reading some of Elaine Aron’s writing on HSPs and Animals, she wrote about HSPs and horses a lot. The “Sensitive” movie trailer features HSPs and horses too, and I am really excited to see that part of the film.

Recently, I visited a horse stable where  15 – 18 horses cohabited. One of the stable workers began to tell me about each horse, and how their temperaments and personalities varied and affected the group. I was fascinated.

AB6690-Horse-Trio--by-Robert-Dawson---

A couple of horses who were new to the group stuck together like glue. The more dominant one was very protective of the other, constantly watching over her and coming to her defense if she neared other horses. The story behind these two was that the protected horse was mistreated and neglected while the other one watched from a distance, unable to help.

Horses, like dogs, are also extremely affected by their past situations and environment, causing them to be molded for life, often in negative ways if they were mistreated.

Now, let’s move on to another type of animal…. little humans.

Children:

When I was younger and unaware of my HSP trait, I had a lot of anxiety and fears and of course, I was very affected by my surroundings. Children made me nervous.

Not only did I want to make sure they liked me, but there was usually the pressure of adults watching me and observing my interactions with them (HSPs often become nervous and perform poorly while under examination).

The biggest thing in those situations for me though, was the non-verbal conversations I was having with them…even if they were old enough to speak, it was the conversation on a deeper level through body language and an unspoken understanding.

Kids usually gravitated to me because I acknowledged them in ways that I don’t think everyone does. I would pay attention to them and seemed to know what they wanted… I would empathize with them on their level.

If I ignored them for a time to engage in the adult conversations around me, I would sense their confusion, and sometimes frustration. I felt them non-verbally begging for my attention. Talk about sensory and empathy overload!

Girl-holding-hand-sepia2

I actually recently spoke with another HSP about children, and sure enough, she was usually always the favorite. She said “I think it’s because I sort of connect with them, maybe it’s an HSP thing.”

Now that I am aware of my HSP trait, I am not as overwhelmed by children because I understand my interactions with them from an HSP perspective. I am easier on myself and appreciate my ability to relate to them, instead of feeling strange about it.

I hope this week’s post has guided you to think about your relationships with animals and children! HSPs are well equipped to support, understand them and relate to them. That is a beautiful thing, and one of the many reasons why HSPs are so needed on this earth. 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

XO your fellow HSP, Chelsie