The concept of "Highly Sensitive People (HSP)" as more than just a term to describe someone who has difficulty coping or interacting without becoming upset, only just recently came to my attention. For years I have suffered through severe shyness and social anxiety. I do not watch or read the news due to the negative nature of what you can find there -- it was common for me to have tears in my eyes and deal with days of depression after viewing something troubling. I tend to become overwhelmed in a lot of different situations. If I'm reading or watching a show that has something sad occurring or someone crying, I will cry right along with them. It is common to be watching Dr. Who and have Mr. Reuel look at me and ask, "Are you crying again?" Sometimes they're sad tears and sometimes they're happy tears, but oh yes, I'm crying again.
So, to see doctors and experts discuss HSP as a biological difference is an amazing relief for someone like me. To finally be able to show someone a definition that explains my personality in so many key ways is an amazing feeling. Oh, how many times was I told "to just get over it." Well, sorry folks, but I can't.
A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high sensory processing sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness, as originally coined by Carl Jung). Some common signs are sensitivity to loud noises, bright or fluorescent lights, and strong smells. HSP's often describe themselves as having a rich and complex inner life. They may startle easily and get rattled when required to accomplish a lot in a short time. According to Elaine N. Aron and colleagues as well as other researchers, highly sensitive people, who compose about a fifth of the population (equal numbers in men and women), may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems. This is a specific trait, with key consequences for how we view people, that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness, social anxiety problems, social inhibition, social phobia and innate fearfulness, and introversion.
And, how does this deal with life and books or anything that you would care about? Well, in my first novel, "Finding the Dragon," Alvena Anderson is a highly sensitive person. Throughout the book you see her trying desperately to deal with issues from the past, that as an HSP, she had never been able to let go.
I know for some readers Alvena appears weak, but I beg to differ. Alvena is all to aware of the world around her and processing that world can be difficult. It causes her to appear wishy-washy and insecure, which she is, but we see her grow throughout her and Kai's story. While finding love, she also finds that inner strength to accept who she is and find her place in the world at large. How can she use her extrasensory perception, her attention to detail, and her empathy with the world? That is a major question that Alvena needed and that is what she has found with Kai and the Dásreach.
"Life doesn't change, but people do. So learn to accept that not everybody is who you thought you knew."
Josette Reuel is an avid reader of many different genres - her passion is mostly Sci-fi and Paranormal, especially Romance, but she also read's contemporaries, historicals, and much more.
I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished.