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  1. #71
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I fit the HSP description anymore. I definitely did during childhood and adolescence, but it seems to have dampened quite a bit since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalViolet View Post
    I hate it when people tell me it's a chemical inbalance. It amounts to the same thing as you are wired wrong. When I get a second, I'll pull up some of the science papers that indicate across the board, at least in mammals about 15-20% of the population is considered to be Highly sensitive. Especially in pack animals, the HS as a part of the group confer a definite advantage. Hypervigilant means real dangers are percieved quicker, so action can take place faster.
    Exactly. It's normal for a species to have variation in a number of traits, including temperament. When I studied ecology, our text gave several examples of this. It described a hypothetical population of rabbits, some bolder in temperament and some more reactive and timid. The bolder ones were more likely to survive if the food supply is low, because they were more willing to venture out farther to find more. The more timid ones were more likely to survive if there were a lot of predators about. The fact that there was variation ensures the population survives changes in the environment. In social species, there's even more reason for this as individuals can play different roles and all that.

    I question sometimes whether the HSP traits should all be grouped together like that. It seems pretty common to have heightened sensitivity to some things but not others. There could be some genes that influence overall sensitivity, but people can also end up sensitive to certain things and not others. Sensitivity to strong tastes and new foods, for example, depends partly on the amount of taste receptors on your tongue. People who have less tend to like stronger flavours, and people with more tend to be pickier eaters. There are likely all kinds of factors like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    Yesterday, for instance, I was watching this older couple at work. The woman, mother of 10, has severe dementia. Very sweet tiny little old lady sitting in a geri chair. She had a bib on for some reason. The husband is still with it and came to visit her. He was wearing a little tan hat, kind of like a beret, but i'm not sure of the correct term. His facial expression was lost, and she looks like an elderly child. He was holding her face and looking directly into her eyes, bent over her like he was taking care of a baby, straightening her bib. I can't really describe what I saw in every single detail, but in one glance my heart immediately dropped into my stomach and tears came out of my eyes. It was really embarrassing. An aide was watching me, goes, "Are you crying?" (She knew what I was looking at.) It was so embarrassing that I had to go in the bathroom for a few minutes. (One of many examples.)
    To me, that's a part of "highly sensitive" or "empathic." I feel like I just see too much sometimes. I'm happier when it's turned down or turned off.
    Personally, if those were relatives of mine and I'd witnessed your tears, I'd be glad that my loved one was in the hands of someone who genuinely cares about them and can enter others' worlds like that. I think that would be a comfort. My grandfather's in a nursing home and the staff mostly act very light and breezy, and I suppose a lot of that detached kindness is necessary: they can't be walking around on the verge of tears all the time. I've wondered what it's like to need to keep that balance, to feel enough empathy for these people to be motivated and satisfied in their jobs, and yet stay detached enough not be overwhelmed. The way people can deteriorate like that is very sad; how could it not be?

  2. #72
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankpages View Post
    I'm not sure I fit the HSP description anymore. I definitely did during childhood and adolescence, but it seems to have dampened quite a bit since then.



    Exactly. It's normal for a species to have variation in a number of traits, including temperament. When I studied ecology, our text gave several examples of this. It described a hypothetical population of rabbits, some bolder in temperament and some more reactive and timid. The bolder ones were more likely to survive if the food supply is low, because they were more willing to venture out farther to find more. The more timid ones were more likely to survive if there were a lot of predators about. The fact that there was variation ensures the population survives changes in the environment. In social species, there's even more reason for this as individuals can play different roles and all that.

    I question sometimes whether the HSP traits should all be grouped together like that. It seems pretty common to have heightened sensitivity to some things but not others. There could be some genes that influence overall sensitivity, but people can also end up sensitive to certain things and not others. Sensitivity to strong tastes and new foods, for example, depends partly on the amount of taste receptors on your tongue. People who have less tend to like stronger flavours, and people with more tend to be pickier eaters. There are likely all kinds of factors like that.



    Personally, if those were relatives of mine and I'd witnessed your tears, I'd be glad that my loved one was in the hands of someone who genuinely cares about them and can enter others' worlds like that. I think that would be a comfort. My grandfather's in a nursing home and the staff mostly act very light and breezy, and I suppose a lot of that detached kindness is necessary: they can't be walking around on the verge of tears all the time. I've wondered what it's like to need to keep that balance, to feel enough empathy for these people to be motivated and satisfied in their jobs, and yet stay detached enough not be overwhelmed. The way people can deteriorate like that is very sad; how could it not be?
    Oh, well, thank you.
    I did find the light and breezy attitude overall as well. You need a wall about you to work in that environment. But, it took an exceptionally long time for me to build that wall and now I have the right balance most of the time.

    While we do a great job with the medical care, this environment is about more than just that. It's about socializing and challenging their minds. Anyone in an environment surrounded by people who are quickly declining physically and mentally are going to also do the same. I try to challenge them the best way that I can when I have time.

    Sometimes work just drains every last little bit of energy out of me. Other times are better. One time my cousin and I were sitting at a table feeding residents, and got one of them "on a roll", though she was confused, she kept saying the most hilarious stuff. In a dining room full of extremely quiet residents, workers, and family members, you just heard our whole table, (residents, myself, and my cousin,) roaring with laughter in the corner. People around us were starting to laugh. It made the whole night better. My energy is your energy, your energy is my energy. (That's why the happy attitude is wonderful in that environment when appropriate!)

    I've even been able to find highly sensitive residents... I never understood how someone so confused might ask me "what's wrong?" One day or be tearful and the next to be happy right along with me. There is one that I expect to be practically psychic with emotions. On the day that I decided I may be highly sensitive and kept thinking about it, the resident kept walking up to me and giving me big hugs.

    At the end of the day, with this personality in this setting I feel that I could really write a book.

    Edit: Got wasted and passed out last night. Needed to get rid of myself for a minute, my thoughts and reactions to everything being so odd yesterday. I feel more normal this morning. (Drinking kills brain cells, in this case, some unwanted ones!)
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  3. #73
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    Often at work, I find myself overwhelmed with incomprehensible sadness. It usually happens in the mornings, a little while after most employees have arrived.

    I just assumed it was a result of being miserable at work.

    Yesterday, after being hit with a wave of sadness, I realized one of my coworkers was crying and whispering to another coworker, presumably for advice and emotional support. It happened again today.

    So I think I found one source of my random bouts of sadness at work.

    Is this an HSP phenomenon?



    It also brings up the question... do I hate my job for reasons that were unaware to me? I really enjoyed it for a week or so, but the unexplained, random bouts of sadness began almost immediately and had me convinced I must be in the wrong job. But I think it's the people. If I could do my job in a large, empty building with no one around, I think I'd be fine.

  4. #74
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starcrash View Post
    Often at work, I find myself overwhelmed with incomprehensible sadness. It usually happens in the mornings, a little while after most employees have arrived.

    I just assumed it was a result of being miserable at work.

    Yesterday, after being hit with a wave of sadness, I realized one of my coworkers was crying and whispering to another coworker, presumably for advice and emotional support. It happened again today.

    So I think I found one source of my random bouts of sadness at work.

    Is this an HSP phenomenon?



    It also brings up the question... do I hate my job for reasons that were unaware to me? I really enjoyed it for a week or so, but the unexplained, random bouts of sadness began almost immediately and had me convinced I must be in the wrong job. But I think it's the people. If I could do my job in a large, empty building with no one around, I think I'd be fine.
    I'm an empath as well (unfortunately?). For me it's to the point that if the person is someone I'm close to, they don't even have to be near me in order for me to feel if they're having a particularly strong emotion. Sometimes it's the emotion itself, and other times it's just feeling "prompted" to check in with them.

    I've worked with at a lot of places that favor open floor plans which are literally a little slice of hell for me. Between the physical environmental stimuli and all the emotional background noise I have to do a lot of shit to just stay sane in that kind of environment. I could share a couple of techniques that I've learned over the years if you're interested. They're more hand wave-y than I'd prefer to go into publicly, but I've found them to be effective.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind Up Rex View Post
    I'm an empath as well (unfortunately?). For me it's to the point that if the person is someone I'm close to, they don't even have to be near me in order for me to feel if they're having a particularly strong emotion. Sometimes it's the emotion itself, and other times it's just feeling "prompted" to check in with them.

    I've worked with at a lot of places that favor open floor plans which are literally a little slice of hell for me. Between the physical environmental stimuli and all the emotional background noise I have to do a lot of shit to just stay sane in that kind of environment. I could share a couple of techniques that I've learned over the years if you're interested. They're more hand wave-y than I'd prefer to go into publicly, but I've found them to be effective.
    Yes, I'm open to any advice to help me get through this. I don't want to quit only to find myself in a similar situation at a new job. Like I said, I like my job, I just don't like the way I feel when I'm at work.

    Feelings suuuuck.
    Likes Wind Up Rex, EJCC liked this post

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