Highly Sensitive and Living With Social Anxiety

Many people avoid crowds or social contacts that are too anxiety producing. But if this kind of social anxiety is overly self-limiting, holding us back from expressing our talents as fully as we want to, there are ways to deal with it.

How might being a highly sensitive person (HSP) or empath make some people more susceptible to social anxiety?

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Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression

Being highly sensitive probably increases our vulnerability to anxiety and depression, which for many of us go together to some extent. Elaine Aron, PhD thinks “high sensitivity increases the impact of all emotionally tinged events…”

That is a helpful concept, I think: that being highly sensitive increases the potency of any experiences with emotional elements. I’m sure that has been the case for me, and I have had varying degrees of these mood challenges for most of my life. Can you relate?

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Alejandro Inarritu on the Creative Process

Alejandro González Iñárritu has earned a number of award nominations for directing and co-writing “Birdman” and has made a number of interesting comments about creative work.

“You know, in the creative process I think every human being is confronted with doubts and contradictions and flaws . . . and that’s part of it. That’s the deal of it. That’s the complexity of it.”

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More articles :

Video: Our High Sensitivity Personality

This trait of high sensitivity nurtures our creativity and social activism, but also brings challenges. Psychologist Elaine Aron and others describe it as a more finely tuned nervous system. She explains, “It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed…” […]

Personal Growth Ideas in Positive Psychology

In her article Nature and Nocturnal Themes in Positive Psychology, Iris Marie Bloom [Positive Psychology News Daily] relates some of the personal development values in this new orientation of psychology. She notes the research and writing of Norman Doidge focuses on neuroplasticity. Bloom explains, “Every thought we think, every feeling we feel, and every action […]

Do we have to keep declining?

Paul Newman announced last week that he is retiring at 82, that he can no longer perform like he used to: “I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to. You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for […]

Nicole Kidman: high ability and complexity

“You live with a lot of complicated emotions as an actor, and they whirl around you and create havoc at times… I’m willing to fly close to the flame.” Nicole Kidman “Creatively gifted children and adults are emotionally intense and have rich inner lives…It is natural for the gifted to feel deeply and to experience […]

Too much pursuit of happiness?

“I believe the ultimate aim of all human beings is to obtain happiness and a sense of fulfillment.” The Dalai Lama “The effort to try and feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable.” Oliver Burkeman Seemingly endowed with endless effervescent glee, Drew Barrymore has expressed an attitude about happiness and positive […]

Don’t you have to be an artist to be creative?

Years ago, I interviewed a producer who was certain she was not creative, even though she was helping solve many problems associated with making movies. Maybe one reason people think they are not creative is that we are given so many examples in school and the media of eminent, big name artists and creators who […]

Robert Pattinson, Salvador Dalí, introversion, shyness and sensitive people

Shyness may look like introversion or high sensitivity, and they may overlap with each other, but are distinct experiences. Psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD notes shyness “is learned, not innate” and the trait of high sensitivity “is often mislabeled as introversion.” She writes in an edition of her newsletter that “HSPs [highly sensitive people] are so similar to […]


 Margaret Keane: Overcoming Exploitation

In the 1960s, paintings of “sad-eyed children,” massively reproduced in posters and cards, became possibly the best-selling art in the world for a time, thanks to the tireless marketing by Walter Keane of “his” work. The “big eyes” images were owned by celebrities and hung in many permanent collections.

But Walter Keane was a fraud and plagiarist: the art was actually created by his wife Margaret Keane. The story is dramatized in the Tim Burton movie “Big Eyes.”

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Being Highly Sensitive and Creative

“Creatives often feel and perceive more intensely, dramatically, and with a wildly vivid color palate to draw from, which can only be described as looking at the world through a much larger lens.” – Jenna Avery

“Sensitive people, both children and adults, tend to be empathic, smart, intuitive, creative, careful, and conscientious.” – Elaine Aron

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Myths of Creativity and Creators – How They Hold Us Back

“I just thought making movies was something done by geniuses, and I was very clear that I wasn’t one of those.” Director Jane Campion

When “The Artist’s Way” author and creativity coach Julia Cameron has asked people to list ten traits they think artists have, their responses have included: “Artists are broke,” “Artists are crazy,” “Artists are drug-addicted” and “Artists are drunk.”

As creative people, even after achieving some recognition for our talents, we can experience self-critical thoughts and insecurity, such as impostor feelings – sometimes based on these kinds of myths we have picked up about creative “genius” or artists.

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More articles:

Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Ayn Rand on why creating is its own reward

Seeing the movie “The Fountainhead” for the first time was thrilling. The central character of architect Howard Roark is an almost aggressively individualistic, self-directed, self-contained artist, played with assured brio by Gary Co0per. As usual in his films, a heroic mensch. The movie gave me a stronger sense of hope it was possible to be […]

Building Self-confidence and Changing Limiting Beliefs

Playing most of his screen characters, Will Smith exudes assurance and confidence. But he admits: “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.” [From my article Talented, But Insecure.] In his article I work to build self-confidence in myself and others, entrepreneur Stephen Pierce […]

Self-motivation and personal growth development

As a child, we probably did not have to think much about motivating ourselves. If we were in school and had art activity time, we just went ahead and painted something. As adults, we are more concerned with goals and affirmations and other strategies to motivate us to feel energized to do what we want […]

Madness and creativity: do we need to be crazy?

~ ~ ~ ~ The idea of the mad artist is supported to some extent by research, and the experiences of mental illness for many creative people. What do psychologists say? Here is a video on the topic: “Connecting strength and vulnerability of the creative brain” – PBS, July 25, 2014. “Why have so many […]

Myths of Creativity and Creators

“I just thought making movies was something done by geniuses, and I was very clear that I wasn’t one of those.” Jane Campion When “The Artist’s Way” author and creativity coach Julia Cameron has asked people to list ten traits they think artists have, their responses have included: “Artists are broke,” “Artists are crazy,” “Artists […]

Pop Culture Stereotypes of Gifted People

By Sarah Williams. Pop culture as a medium always strives to focus on the extraordinary. As an escape and release from everyday tedium, it is only natural that it would gravitate towards extremes, the ends of the everyday spectrum that tend toward the fantastic, unbelievable, and unforgettable. Hence, many highly gifted characters have graced television […]

Nicole Kidman on being highly sensitive

“It was almost like I needed to have a day job, because this [acting] was too much fun. “But 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 […]

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