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Dare to be Vulnerable

January 5, 2013

Some years ago, when I was around 29, I was invited to an extravagant dinner in honour of some work I had done for a voluntary organisation I was working for. It wasn’t just me, you understand, there were hundreds of volunteers who had worked very hard to host the eighth national conference for the parents of drug users – my role was to co-ordinate and deliver the therapeutic interventions should any of the delegates require. I was also responsible for supervising student counsellors and checking delegates in on the first day, but I digress.

Still to this day I can hear the whisperings of: “He looks so vulnerable sat there. He’s very young isn’t he?” My boss and her assistant, who were also good friends of mine, had had a few drinks and didn’t realise that they were carrying out a conversation about me in full earshot and vision – I was sitting at the same table! I can still experience the feeling that I felt back then…. when I really recall that event, this is what happens in my body:-

My lips dry, so does my mouth, I get a little breathless, my heart beats a little faster and I feel a knot in the centre of my chest.


Because I have been exposed as a Highly Sensitive Person – look it up: ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ or ‘HSP’ for short. Let me tell you about HSP’s – we are FABULOUS. The reason we are fabulous is because we dare to be vulnerable, our hearts are very open, we see more than the average Joe, we are massively intuitive, we can hold a deep reflective conversation, we are attuned to life’s flow, we….we… I could go on and on and on.

As with all things in life, there can be pitfalls. One pitfall (or potential pitfall to be more precise) is that people who are not HSP’s very often will not understand what makes us tick.

This can result in:

  • Jealousy
  • Resentment
  • Confusion
  • Bullying
  • Ridicule
  • Being Patronised (‘Oh the poor thing, he’s so sensitive’)

Apart from the bullying – all of the above were taking place that night over the dinner table (and the bullying took place, by other managers, in the office). I was relatively young to be co-ordinating a Therapy Service and I had only been qualified a couple of months, plus – I was REALLY good at my job.

Why was I SO good at my job?

Because I am a Highly Sensitive Person.

Why are YOU so good at YOUR job??? CONGRATULATIONS!

I am so very happy for you. I am so pleased that you too are an HSP, welcome to the tribe –

YOUR tribe.

It is what it is and you know something? Together we can manage and transform some of the negative symptoms of being HSP’s. Would you have it any other way? I know I wouldn’t. There are many pitfalls sure – but there are MANY advantages to being an HSP. I will talk about these in a later blog and in the meantime feel free to contact me with your HSP stories. I promise to keep them to myself unless you say it’s okay to share.

With Love,

Matt Chase

  1. You have hit the nail on the head, all what you have experianced so have I when I was younger I but never really understood why, for years I have never fitted in within the workplace this makes you doubt yourself as you are seen as the odd one out, Now I enjoy being different and realise I am sensitive and I allow this power to shine through this is who I am and I am happy to be this way.

  2. What a FABULOUS post. being a HSP is COOL! And GLORIOUS! And WONDERFUL! Such a beautifully written article. WELL DONE!

  3. Highly sensitive, thats me and yea, that uncomfortable moment when we feel naked and transparent. I wear my emotions on my sleeve so I am always being read, they normally just say to me, hey you ok. I nod and say, of course.
    hey thanks for the follow (:

  4. Haha HSP, that’s me. I’ve been told it is not a pitfall but a gift that I should embrace.

    • I think it’s both! It can be VERY helpful in steering our lives but also does come with added challenges which is why I think it is very important to find your tribe! Be a part of a community that supports you. 🙂

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