What are the best tips for a highly sensitive person at work?
Greetings to all the fellow HSPs (highly sensitive person) out there, and thank you for stopping by.
Can I offer you a cup of tea while you read this? A chocolate chip and coconut cookie? No?
As you may have gathered, we’ve gathered here today to help each other out, and discuss how to thrive as a highly sensitive person.
What is HSP in the first place
Being a highly sensitive person is just what it sounds like – feeling things more acutely, more intensely, and often not at the best of times.
You should also know that HSP is not anxiety, it is not depression, and neither is it a type of autism. HSPs are quite normal, to use that very ambiguous term, and they can thrive and live their best life just like anyone else.
What are some highly sensitive person symptoms?
There are many different signs and symptoms that will tell you if you are an HSP yourself.
If you’re unsure whether you or someone you love is a highly sensitive person, here are some symptoms to be aware of.
- Abhorring violence and cruelty in any shape or form, even on TV
- Stressing out over deadlines and time limits
- Feeling the need to be alone often
- Being jumpy and tense, especially when it comes to loud environments
- Feeling extremely uncomfortable in uncomfortable clothing, and feeling the need to be comfy all the time
- Having a very active inner life
- Finding change more upsetting and unsettling than others do
- Being sensitive to caffeine and alcohol
- Avoiding and dreading conflict and criticism
- Being very perceptive and noticing details
- Feeling the beauty of art very deeply
What Problems do Highly Sensitive People Have?
The problems you might face as a highly sensitive person are varied and can be more or less challenging. They can rattle your day, or they can have you crawling back to bed as soon as you get home.
I remember very vividly one particularly arduous day at the office a few years back: it was complete pandemonium, we had an unpredictably short deadline, and every single person kept snapping at everyone else. I felt like dying then and there.
Highly sensitive persons are often misunderstood because they react and feel situations differently. These reactions can seem abnormal or extreme to others.
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They can feel someone’s jokes as harsh or refuse to go to violent movies, get all rattled when walking down a busy street with a group of friends, and drawback in silence when they’re feeling everything is a bit too much.
Not to mention that HSP is not a condition, and it can’t be explained to most people. It’s not like you need to cure yourself, undergo treatment, or make yourself function differently. You’re just fine as you are, but in order to thrive as a highly sensitive person, you may need to live your life a little differently.
Let’s talk about survival tips for highly sensitive people, that are especially helpful at work.
Highly Sensitive Person Survival Guide
How do you function as a highly sensitive person?
If you’re looking to survive your HSP and its more challenging features, you can learn more about your triggers and the things that make you uncomfortable, then work around them.
Here’s how to pinpoint your triggers:
- Look out for signs that you are nearing a breaking point. How does your body feel, what sorts of thoughts are you having, how do you feel emotionally?
- Keep a journal of the things that are more difficult, and revisit your list every once in a while.
- Keep a journal of the things that make you feel brilliant, things that relax you, and that you can always turn to when you need soothing.
- Compile a playlist that will help you wind down at the end of a particularly stressful day.
- Try things other HSPs have recommended – you may not even know there is something out there that will be great for calming you down and smoothing out the sharper edges of life.
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How to thrive as a highly sensitive person?
Living your best life and thriving as an HSP is, however, not the same as functioning.
You need to work out a way to implement all that you’ve just learned about yourself from the paragraph above, and fit it into a space where it works best.
Here are some of the things that work for me and other HSPs – but remember, these are all general guidelines, and you will need to tweak them.
HSP Tip #1: Have responses ready
One of the more common things we HSPs find very difficult is responding to feedback, be it positive or negative. And the best way to work around it, I’ve found, is to have a response ready for such situations, especially at work.
- Thanks for the feedback, give me a bit of time to digest it and I’ll get back to you.
- You bring up some interesting points – let me think about them properly and get back to you.
- What is your own take on the situation?
- I think best when I have a bit of quiet time, let me find that and get back to you.
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Depending on the kind of work you do, you may have to prepare different responses, but I do hope you get a general idea.
Also, when going into meetings, try to anticipate the questions that may arise, and have an answer ready, so you’re not caught off your guard.
HSP Tip #2: Accept that it’s not always about you
People will sometimes lash out for no apparent reason – and unleash some of their negativity on you. As a highly sensitive person, you will find this difficult, and often be affected by it for days.
The best way to thrive as a highly sensitive person in these kinds of situations is to teach yourself to accept that this lashing out probably has nothing to do with you. The other person maybe had a bad day, or they’re just looking to vent and don’t know how to do it properly.
Life will always consist of small unpleasant situations – teaching yourself not to take them to heart is your best course forward.
HSP Tip #3: Find your own relaxation method
People most often recommend yoga and meditation as a way to overcome your stress levels and racing thoughts. Both are great ways to help you thrive as a highly sensitive person, and both will certainly be able to help.
Yoga is especially beneficial, as it will also soothe your mind while activating your body.
On the other hand, meditation might come as a bit of a challenge, but if you give yourself enough time, you can master it.
People also reach for methods like energy healing, different breathing techniques, walking meditations, and so on.
The choices really are endless, and as long as you find a routine that fits into your lifestyle and your HSP thought processes, you should be just fine.
HSP Tip #4. Limit your exposure to toxicity
There are people and events out there that are simply not good for you.
I’m not only talking about energy-sucking vampires, but all those who are too loud, too demanding, or simply too boring for your way of life.
And while what I am about to say will sound harsh, you need to get rid of these people in your life. If you can’t cut them out altogether, you should at least limit the time you spend with them.
And don’t for a minute think of this action as selfish – we are all wrongly taught that putting our own feelings first is selfish, but that couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. (Did anyone else just read that in a Chandler voice?)
Putting yourself first does not make you selfish. As long as what you do doesn’t harm someone else, do whatever feels right – including cutting ties with the people who don’t benefit you in any way.
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HSP Tip #5. Stop Before You Snap
HSPs often push themselves a bit too far, trying to blend in or be like everyone else, which is far from the best course of action. You don’t have to wait for yourself to snap before you take positive action.
Your energy levels are just not the same as others’. And there’s nothing wrong with that – all you need to do is readjust the way you live life to match how you feel. Don’t wait to burn out and then try to recover – leave before it gets too much.
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This might mean you come to work early and leave early so you can avoid rush hour. You may leave parties first and go home to read. You may have the weekends all to yourself, and not book any appointments ever.
Learn to recognize the signs of emotional and mental burnout, and act preemptively. Rather than coming up with a recovery routine, work on balancing the things that are not as comfortable, with the things that make your heart and mind thrive.
You Can Thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person
Being an HSP certainly comes with its own set of challenges, but let’s not forget how amazing it actually is.
For all the negative feelings you go through, there are also the brilliant and colorful, uplifting emotions that make you think “I love my life”.
And take time to love yourself as you are as well. Embrace what makes you unique!
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You wouldn’t be having those either without being a highly sensitive person.
Just remember that the next time the world gets a bit too much and use these strategies to not only survive but thrive.
How do you thrive as a highly sensitive person?
More About Guest Contributor
Sarah Kaminski is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She’s been a freelance writer for over a decade and loves researching health and wellness topics.