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Highly Sensitive People with Rachel Butler Dorneanu, LPC, NCC| 11.16.2022

In this episode, Kristen talks about Rachel Butler Dorneanu, LPC, NCC, about understanding a highly senstive person (HSP) and some self-care practices and coping strategies for HSP.

You'll Learn

  • What it feels like to be a highly sensitive person
  • Some signs of a highly sensitive person
  • How to cope with stress when you are a HSP



For counseling services near Indianapolis, IN, visit www.pathwaystohealingcounseling.com.

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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.

Kristen 0:00
Welcome to the close the chapter podcast. I am Kristen Boice a licenced Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice pathways to healing counselling. Through conversations, education, strategies and shared stories. We will be closing the chapter on all the thoughts, feelings, people and circumstances that don't serve you anymore. And open the door to possibilities and the real you. You won't want to miss an episode, so be sure to

Rachel 0:30
subscribe Welcome to this week's close the chapter podcast. I am delighted that you are here with me today on a topic we have not covered on the podcast so far. So you're not going to want to miss this episode. I'm so excited to talk about highly sensitive people. And you may think, well, that doesn't really apply to me. But you're gonna have to listen to the whole episode, and then decide maybe it's you. Maybe it's a loved one, maybe it's a friend. Maybe it's your child. Maybe it's somebody really special in your life. So you're going to want to listen to the whole thing. And I'm just excited. We have a new topic. So without further ado, let me introduce you to my guest, Rachel Butler, and then I'm going to have you come in and tell us how to pronounce your last name, Rachel.

Sure. So, long story short, if your southern like me is Dora Nanu if you're Romanian advanced, he is Doran Yano.

I love it. We did this when we first got on the call. I was like let's do this where you come in and say your last name absolutely sent more conversational Okay, your LPC NCC which is basically licensure for being a psychotherapist. If you don't know all the acronyms, which is an individual and premarital couples psychotherapist, she works with ages 16 and up her specialties include anxiety, assertiveness, I love that most people don't put that in their bio highly sensitive people which the acronym for that if we use it today's HSP concerns perfectionism premarital counselling, which I love, and I drug my husband to two months into dating, she offers online sessions for Georgia residents and makes therapy convenient and easy to fit into your busy life clients that work with her appreciate her humour and straightforward adaptable approach. And they like that she meets them where they are and work on their goals together. So welcome, Rachel to the podcast.

Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Kristen 2:30
I'm so excited. We already hit it off like the very beginning. We're both like, we're sweating. So here we are. Let's jump in and talk about highly sensitive people. What is a highly sensitive person for those that don't know?

Rachel 2:44
Sure. So this is based on my personal life as an HSP highly sensitive person. So for me, it's typically really empathetic and sensitive, like not just you know, highly sensitive, oh, she's just sensitive get over it. And no, no, no, we don't do this hear. That is more of you are really in tune to different details and changes and subtleties in your environment. That may be loud noises, itchy fabrics, it's all sorts of different senses that you may be extra sensitive to. And so the fun fact is that one, I believe was like 20% in the world, a decent amount, but not a tonne of people 20% in the world has this trait. And so as a personality trait, nothing's wrong with you. It's not a disorder, I promise. There's tonnes of research on it. But it's basically just a really cool trait that we can have as an HSP that you're really in tune with who you are, and you probably survived really well based on evolution. How did

you discover I'm a highly sensitive person.

I always knew something was going on. For me that was a little extra on edge or a little sensitive, a little extra empathic, in a way. But then I discovered I want to say summer of 2020. So perfect timing COVID that some of the bills extra off now that I'm not able to go into keep my same routine. So I started researching it and found out Oh, wow. Okay, so I have a really high score on the HSP test. You can do that. I can link the online little quiz. And it's so helpful if you guys want to take it, but I took that hold, huh? Well, that's me to a tee. Okay, and so I knew that most of my clients were kind of similar people end up getting the training. And I've been obsessed, truly since summer 2020. So it's been fantastic.

Kristen 4:27
So you really discovered it later in life, like, what is happening since I'm off my daily routine. And you took the checklist and they're like, Oh, I am a highly sensitive person. And then what have you learned about coping with it since?

Rachel 4:42
Sure. So, gosh, so many things. One, the training if any therapist or listening to trainings, fantastic, please do it highly recommend. But the things that have been so helpful for me has been to find other HSP individuals in my life and be able to talk with them. So like I know that my mom has HSP as well, she has a higher score than ideal. Bless your heart. And so we talk about like, oh, okay, so routines are lovely. If we're off our routine, woof, look out, if we're around a lot of people maybe not as introverted, but our total social battery is completely drained really quickly, sort of being aware of surroundings, being aware of, oh, that tag on my shirts really itchy, I should probably take that out rather than it's uncomfortable. It's, your whole mind is consumed with it. So knowing those things and be like, You know what that feels like, that's gonna be edgy, I'm gonna fix that I'm gonna keep a routine, I'm gonna make sure I have a good schedule, you should keep see my Google Calendar is colour coded beautifully. But being able to have everything in a format that works for me, but also communicating that with other people of hey, I'm feeling off. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's an HSP thing. But this is what's going on for me right now. And they usually are really respectful. Especially my husband is so sweet. And he's like, cool. Got it. Okay, what do we need to do? Let's do it. So communicating is a big piece too.

Kristen 6:03
And naming it it sounds like naming it, acknowledging it and then sharing that with your partner or your family. I love this quiz it I'll put it in the show notes. So if anyone wants to take the quiz, that would be great. I think I have two kids that are HSP. And I have for a long time thought that the sensitive to sounds noise environment, and they've learned to kind of cope with it. What are some healthy coping strategies that you teach people that are HSPs?

Rachel 6:34
Sure. So just going off of your kids alone, the things that stick out to me because I know loud noises for me are intense, that I'll get some earplugs like you know, the the clear, waxy ones that you can kind of mould and put in your ears, you can do that you can still hear things, you're still aware of what's going on. But if you're gonna be at a loud concert, if you're going to be, gosh, let's say Costco on Black Friday, wow, he would talk about overstimulating, that is like my nightmare, doing that put in earplugs, you know, your shopping list, you're good to go. So having that I'm a big fan of to do lists, so that way, it's not, wow, I'm walking through Costco and I am terrified. Because it is so many aisles, so many things, so many things to be overwhelmed by and interacting with people. And it's my list, I'm good. I'm gonna follow it, checkout, go home and recover. So if that helps to have list, I'm a really big fan of the Todoist app on if you've heard of that, no, you're able to share it with multiple people and have little to do list together and share them and check them off very tight. But if you can't tell, but it's super helpful. So earplugs list. Let's see having good routines, defining like your morning routine, after work routine to decompress, winding down before you go to bed. Let's see, make sure you don't like even if the clothes or the trends are really cute, because I love shopping as a problem. But if you're going to see this cute trend, but then it's really itchy fabric, please don't get it, you're gonna hate it, you'll never wear it, and then you wasted money. So get the things that you know are comfortable, maybe even getting shirts that are, I don't know, 10 different colours, but it's the same shirt. Cool. That works for kids too.

Kristen 8:06
Yes. How about impasse? Like the empathic part, when you kind of shared that you almost overly is that? What like, would you say overly empathic, share a little bit about that, and how it impacts you? And how to cope with that?

Rachel 8:22
Absolutely. So every person is different that has the HSP trait, that they have a very small amount of some of these things and a really big amount of others. So for me personally, and some of my clients as well as that we're not just aware of what someone's going through or having sympathy, it's you truly may take on those feelings of Oh, wow, that was a heavy story. That was really intense. Maybe we cry with them, maybe we are just really feel that heaviness. And when you hear a heavy story that just depends on what's going on. So one being aware that that's happening is huge awareness, mindfulness, all of that. But then the other thing is labelling it, like you said, if this is an empathic moment, this is an HSP moment, this is hard, okay, and so especially if it's for a client as HSP, as well, those are my favourite sessions ever. Being able to just interact with somebody that feels same thing is so, so cool. But the things that are helpful is to notice it, label it, say it out loud, do some deep breathing. We do some deep breathing before we started our episode today, and it was so wonderful. Let's see, what else can you do journaling? I'm a big fan of journaling, getting it out of your head and on paper is so helpful, especially for HSPs. Because you always have so much going on and all your thoughts are going and racing is really intense. Just we're breathing. We wrote it down. We're good. If you need to find somebody that you really trust, has a good support, but she was in your network, talk with them, process it with them. I mean, also, that's why we're therapists and we're really good at that. But those are some of the big things that can be helpful with being empathic.

Kristen 9:59
How does it impact act, human relationships being an HSP? Like how do you work with people and how it really impacts dynamics?

Rachel 10:08
Hmm. Let's say the things that stuck out to me the most in terms of relationships. And that kind of thing would be making sure that you're, again aware, I'm a big fan of mindfulness, but also telling your partner early of, hey, this is something that's going on for me, if you already know that you're an HSP. If not take the quiz together. It's cute. It's free. Why not buy to be able to communicate one having great communication skills of this is what's going on. For me, I'm happy enough to have time. Make sure that your partner is aware and educated of Okay, so when we're in Costco going up and down the aisles and it's too much kit, can you give me like a signal, some kind of like double snap? What do you need to make sure we can kind of calm and get you reregulated. So make sure that there's good communication skills, but also in terms of conflict because a lot of the premarital couples I work with, I love them, they're my favourite people. They're happy couples, that being able to talk with them and teach them. Look, I statements are so important. I'm feeling frazzled when we're late to a dinner reservation. And I need us to be on time. So I can be calm, collected and enjoy our time together. That statement those like I feel statements from I believe it's Gottman obsessed with Gottman, that to be able to have this I feel statements is so important. And to let the partners where I'm coming from. I'm not saying like you made this late. You're horrible. Now, please, please don't be critical if your partner is not going to help anybody. But just doing those ideal statements and then saying I need blah, blah, blah, that that can solve a lot of little lenses with couples

Kristen 11:42
is so important. I teach couples that same thing. And then I add in the story make up which is what you think they think of you. Story I making up is you think I'm way too sensitive? Mm hmm. And is that a story that runs often for HSPs? All the time, all the time, tell me how to work through the shame stories, because those can take over so quickly.

Rachel 12:06
Oh, 100%? I think so to make sure I'm understanding is that the HSP client you might be working with is saying that you think I'm too sensitive.

Kristen 12:15
So they might say that to their portal. So if we're doing couples therapy, and they're, you know, going to use your Costco example, like your I need to be on time you know, that you're waking that request, I always have them add in the shame story, because the shame story is really what blocks them from connection, because they've already projected that shame story of let's say, you think I'm too sensitive. You think I'm too much. You think I can't handle things. I'm making up the story, but I'm believing that's what my partner believes about me.

Rachel 12:45
Mm hmm. That's it breaks my heart for them to say that,

Kristen 12:50
yeah, happens all the time with couples. And in general with people we project all the time about what we think people think of us. Mm hmm. So if we like, well, they can go into Costco and not have any issues. What's wrong with me? There must be something that's that shame story. There must be something wrong with me because everyone else looks like they're enjoying Black Friday at Costco.

Rachel 13:11
Right? I mean, on the bullet enjoy it. But

Kristen 13:14
it's a project right? The story comparison of what's wrong with me when everyone else seems to be able to handle it. So how do you help HSPs work through that shame story they may or may not have.

Rachel 13:26
So for me, and keeping in mind that every therapist is different, I'm definitely more of a CBT challenging thoughts, affirmations, reframing, how can we be kinder to ourselves, because I also work with perfectionist all the time. And there's a really big tie between HSPs and perfectionist, because we want to be able to perfect our routine perfect are something that we don't feel as sensitive to wild. So when I'll tell them as look, awareness is important. But also, let's try and find a way to rewrite your story. So a bit of like a narrative piece of I know that you've noticed this for so long, or in these instances is how it feels for you, we can validate that it's okay to feel that way. Because it's how you're feeling. But also knowing that how you're talking to yourself is so so impactful. Of You're too sensitive, you're doing too much How can you do this XY and Z, that can we turn it on ourselves, I feel like self talk is so important. And also be able to let your partner know, hey, I'm really trying to work on this. And this is how you feel. But this is how I feel that you might feel if that I'll follow a contract. So being able to say something of, I'm aware that I'm sensitive about this, this is who I am. I am setting things in place to make sure that I can take care of myself my sanity, my emotion regulation, my interactions with other people, especially my partner and helping to know that they're working on it but also not the HSP something to be a bad thing that I'm working on finding ways to make this comfortable for me and adjusting my environment in my surroundings to be okay for me that that's how I'm working on it not have I need to shut down these things and push down Z's and low Shenzen ignore the shame and everything else is coming up for me, that's not gonna help anybody because then it boils and then is too much, right? So taking the time to communicate that and work on your self compassion, self kindness towards yourself, is something that I really try and do and lots of affirmations of well of, I'm sensitive, and I'm okay, I'm strong, because of my HSP abilities, those kind of things.

Kristen 15:24
Yeah, I think you're the piece about really acknowledging and owning your own process. And then based on that, then you're communicating, these are the needs, and this is what I'm going to do for myself to meet my own needs. Exactly. And then you're communicating that. So that's kind of the framework of owning that. But acknowledging with tenderness and kindness and nurturing that part and seeing the gifts that offers you talk a little bit about you made the connection between perfectionism and highly sensitive people. Can you share more about that connection?

Rachel 15:57
Oh, absolutely. So as a recovering perfectionist, highly sensitive person, a tad anxious, all the things, you know, it's funny how therapists tend to work with people that are like them, that the things that I've noticed, and also from the research and things that I've found as well, it's just that when you're a highly sensitive person, you so need routine, you so need things to feel okay, and your mind, and your environment, whatever it might be. And then when you can't control those things like people environment at Costco, or wherever it might be things that are bigger than you because unfortunately, we don't have a lot of control over life, which really sucks. But being able to acknowledge that is important. And some of these affirmation things, the mantras intentions of, I'm going into Costco, and I have absolutely no control over what happens, I may run my bugging into somebody, okay? It's okay, I'll have to do it perfectly. The other person isn't doing it perfectly either, that being aware of all those little tendencies, and I'm not saying to journal and nitpick yourself to death, please don't is exhausting. But to be aware of the things that really trigger you that really set you off of whether it's control of interacting with a certain someone of let's say that your morning routine, if you happen to get your, I don't know, your makeup brush fell into the sink, it might feel like the end of the world in the moment, I'm never gonna say don't feel that way. But to be aware of that the makeup brush in this thing is not the end of the world is not gonna throw off your whole day. So as an HSP, you might be saying, Oh, that was a lot. Wow. Okay, it didn't go the way you wanted to. And so now my whole day is ruined, and there's gonna be a giant snowball effect. Not necessarily pretty unlikely. So being aware of those things is kind of challenging your thinking as well, is really, really important. Does that help?

Kristen 17:44
Yes. And I'm wondering the birthplace of HSP. Is it nature versus nurture? Because I'm a trauma trained therapist. So we look at how much does trauma contribute to how our nervous system shows up? Absent? Is there a connection between trauma and HSP? Whether it's birthplace, maybe in utero trauma, maybe a hard delivery in the delivery room, maybe a medical trauma that happened? You know, along the younger years of life, is there any research on the link between the two

Rachel 18:17
there is and I wish I could quote all the lovely things I could find about that. I think it kind of depends, there's a bit of nature and a bit of nurture, it really depends on what's going on for the person. I know that for my mom, for example, very highly sensitive, that was passed down, guaranteed. But also knowing that depending on life circumstances, the trauma piece that you mentioned, whether it is in utero small bits when you were little, they can add up over time. So it can be a bit of both, if I can find the really good research bits often that you're waiting, but in the show notes, but it can be really intense. And I think a big piece of that is also being aware of your attachment style, in terms of HSP of if you're aware that you tend to be really anxious or really avoidant, or disorganised or whatever other attachment styles are, because there's a lot out in the world right now. But to be aware of that is really important. And to be able to find a really awesome trauma informed therapist at work through some of that is really important. So the fun thing out and if you've had a chance to research all the fun things yet, but a lot of therapy clients, especially therapy clients, anyone on this self healing journey tend to be HSP because they're aware Something's off. It's fascinating.

Kristen 19:28
Yeah, they awareness as a child, what do you remember about being an HSP? I know you recently wanting 22 Just kind of discovered it. But as you reflect back on your childhood, what did you notice for yourself? That gave you some indication that okay, I'm HSP now like, walk us through some of those things. Sure.

Rachel 19:47
The things for me personally that really stick out are the itchy fabrics. I remember hating going shopping. Truly dreaded it if it was like really itchy wool sweaters done for you tantrum not okay? If it was, gosh, so itchy fabrics, really loud noises like a siren would really throw me off and rattle me and startle me, I still get scared really easily, like if someone sneaks up behind me not okay, so being really startled easily the other things that stick out as being really sensitive to different kinds of textures. So like maybe watermelon, I hate watermelon, I would love to love it, there's something just often is not a fan. So being aware of those little bits, the other things that stick out as I remember being a really, is not to be braggy by any means just to be like a really great friend, that when I had friends, they were like, Oh, she's a supporter. She's the mom of the group. She's the listener the shoulder to cry on that. And that's what happens today that I mean, obviously, it became the, the therapist of the group. But being able to notice those things, especially when I was little, is also part of like, what put me on my journey, become a therapist anyway. So that worked out really well. But also just to be aware of those, those little bits with friends of wow, I really understand where they're coming from, I'm really engaged. And I like how I feel being able to interact with this person. But those are some of those little moments when I was little did that stick out was perfectionism part of it for you. 200% 100% Absolutely, very high achieving and school had to get straight A's hadn't to have my papers, perfect for me to turn them in. I always had to make sure I turn in things early that this will happen in grad school that I set this goal for myself, I will turn in this giant 20 page research paper early, because that's what my standard was when reality that is ridiculous. That was too much. So that is been like academics, but also with perfectionism. It can be appearance, it can be your professional accomplishments, it can be your environment, if you need to have things on your desk, just so if you need your life to be picture perfect on the cover of a magazine all the time of having this mask of perfection. It can affect a lot of your life. Yeah. And

Kristen 22:05
then your stuff, like I know, like people want their stuff a certain way. And that they don't want other people touching their stuff. Oh, that part of it till

Rachel 22:15
100% You said environment and all that. Absolutely. And so keeping in mind that there's a difference between OCD and perfectionism. But there's also perfectionism underneath OCD. So that that could be a whole nother episode. But just being aware that you may have some of those tendencies. But keeping in mind just because you want things just so does not mean that you have OCD, please do not self diagnose yourself. Just be aware of things. And then if you need someone to process it with like a therapist, then that's a great place to start.

Kristen 22:47
I think that's a really good and state distinction is are there thoughts? Like let's talk about the thoughts around HSP? Because what are some of the thought processes for HSP?

Rachel 23:00
Sure, well, loaded question.

Kristen 23:03
I know, you're gonna give me a big question.

Rachel 23:07
So the thought process is, I mean, gosh, I mean, it can be most of your life, it could be all consuming all day, which is not ideal. But it it could be surrounding the relationship, it become a tad obsessive. If you want to call it that about, well, I need things to be just right, I need to make sure I say the certain thing, all right, put this person on a pedestal or something's not right. And I need to find out what that is and investigate and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig that it can become really intense. If it's relationship related. If it's with certain textures of avoiding a lot of things in your life, that can become a concern as well. So it just depends on what's going on in your head. I just the people that I've worked with that are HSPs the main thought processes are typically relationship stuff, but also alive is just them of it's that inner bits that they're processing of, okay, well, I feel like my heart is racing really fast. And therefore they go into therapy saying well, I have anxiety, okay, it is a possibility. You also may be just really hyper focused and really really really aware of your body processes. So it's a lot of that inner working those thoughts if I noticed I had a thought I had a thought about the thought and all that hyper focusing that's what a lot of people have been working with.

Kristen 24:23
Yeah, cuz I notice the smells of products like whether it's shampoo conditioner, a smell in a room can also activate the nervous system in a certain way. Or like lotions, a certain lotion can feel really soothing or another lotion can feel like oh, Get it off me. I found people can be really sensitive to that even like those types of textures. And then you mentioned the food texture. Like there's something about you know, like for you watermelon, certain textures where someone's like, I just can't I can't tolerate that, in my nervous system. Are those big components of HSP

Rachel 25:01
it is it's anything that has to do with the senses. Yeah. So if it's touch, if it's sense, if it's sounds, smells, tastes any, if I'm missing any other senses that everything's included with being HSP. It's not necessarily just one bit. And so everybody's different. Some people really love watermelon. I love that for them. Congrats. I just not my thing,

Kristen 25:24
not yours. Yeah. And that makes sense. I mean, it's on a continuum, and everybody has different textures, or smells, or sounds, or even sites that may overwhelm them. And it's important to be self aware enough to kind of do that exploration with curiosity and compassion and curiosity about Oh, I get activated, or I get triggered by a certain sound, loud sounds, crowds, whatever textures, whatever that is for you. And then making Is it helpful to make a list to be more self aware?

Rachel 25:55
It is, it depends. I think the biggest thing is knowing you that if you know that you have that list of triggers, and it's going to be something that you obsess over up. Did I interact with any of these things today? Oh, my gosh, I interacted with that. Oh, no. What did I do my day is ruined. Probably not very helpful. If it's more of just having that list to be aware that. Okay, my day felt really awful was going on. Got it. I had watermelon. Okay, that's what threw me off that in that moment. Not that it was catastrophizing and into my whole day, just in that moment. didn't feel right. But one thing I wanted to mention, you brought up a really good point of intense things that you might see that I know for me watching Game of Thrones, not okay, after a certain point of the night. So when I'm having vivid nightmares or something will really affect me if I see a really gory, violent scene, my whole inner being feels off. So being aware of when you watch things, if something is too much, maybe I don't know, some of that was that house of Dragon? I think that's the new spin off of Game of Thrones. I know. I can't watch that anymore. I tried. I wanted to be cool. And watch it. It's too much for me. And that's okay.

Kristen 27:03
That's so good. You know that about your nervous system. When my daughter was little, she would watch Dora the Explorer, which seems pretty benign, like not a big deal. She could not it just jolted her nervous system, and she became more aggressive. Because Dora was a little we would deem, like authoritarian and her approach to that. Yeah, absolutely. So all of a sudden, I was like, what happened? She just and she's very sensitive to the environment. And she knows that about herself now. And there's an empowerment that comes with that. Now she has coping skills, she knows how to tolerate more, she knows how to handle more. And EMDR has been really helpful for her as well, which EMDR is eye movement for those that don't know, eye movement, desensitisation reprocessing? And that's another form of working through the associations that may be from that or just taking that intensity down. It doesn't erase it, it makes it more tolerable.

Rachel 27:59
Absolutely. I'm a big fan of EMDR. I don't personally do it. But I'm obsessed. We love

Kristen 28:04
it our whole practice of clinicians does it. I'm a huge fan, there's brain spotting, somatic experiencing. I mean, there's lots of other modalities that I think can be helpful to me, you mentioned CBT. And there's lots of ways I think, to tend to the nerve, but it impacts the nervous system. 100% That's really important point. I think when we're talking about HSP and the nervous system and connecting to your nervous system, would you say that's an important episode, it

Rachel 28:32
absolutely is something that I teach a lot of my clients in first couple of sessions is the window of tolerance of being aware of your hyper arousal, your hypo arousal. So if you're really fight or flight, or if you're in freeze, knowing those things about yourself, how would you describe it to yourself or somebody else, when you're in those moments of normalcy or whatever else, being able to notice the levels you hit before you freeze the levels you hit before you go into the fight or flight mode, I cover so much of that, to make sure that maybe for one person, you don't even hit hyper arousal, someone that's not an HSP might not even notice that. But for you, you know that you're thrown off more quickly. So being aware of those bits is really, really important. How does someone

Kristen 29:14
develop boundaries for themselves around what they can handle what they can't handle? And tolerate? What are some suggestions with boundaries? Sure.

Rachel 29:24
So the things that I would start with and this is just my personal way of doing things is to do a couple of things that I'd kind of do this bullseye activity with all my clients if so, what is the thing that you're really really comfortable with in terms of sharing with other people of interacting within with yourself so some that cute little basic comfort zone and then a little bit further out and a little bit further out just to label those things so that we that we've visual way to see that is really helpful but also to know that there's different kinds of boundaries, there's boundaries within yourself and there's boundaries and other people that you can have both and it's completely okay is in fact encouraged to have different kinds of boundaries, whether it's with family, romantic relationships, your kids, your boss, your self, your mind, your your emotional experience, we can come up with a lot of different boundaries, but to notice those things that might throw you off. So knowing triggers, right? But also being mindful of how you feel, when you cross a boundary that you have for yourself, maybe that's being late to a reservation, if that's a boundary that you have. Okay, how did you feel in that moment? If it's interacting with other people, let's say that you over shared for whatever reason that you were trying really hard to fit in, and you ended up sharing something that you've are like, Oh, I shouldn't I shared that, that that wasn't my place to share that that noticing that is really, really important, too.

Kristen 30:47
Yeah, those are very helpful. I think the other piece that I think may be important, I'll try it on see what you think. Sure is, we had the fight flight freeze response. And I also wonder about the fawning response with HSP, the people pleasing, I will go overboard to apologise, say, Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Oh, in almost try to take on it because of your discomfort and your fear on response, which is a survival state, which we can learn very young that we don't want to make it wrong or bad. We want to thank it for its service. How big of a role does fawning play into HSP? Do you think huge

Rachel 31:23
the and I'm glad you brought that up, because there's a big tie with that as well. So it's perfectionism people pleasing. HSP. There's a big round I add, exactly. It's, it's fun to explore that as, because if you don't have someone that's an HSP therapist that's informed on those things, they're not going to pick it up. But to be able to sit with somebody like I know exactly what you're talking about when that happens. It's amazing. I love therapy, obviously. But in terms of the fawning response, getting back to that piece is that it can be all consuming. I have some clients that have said, Oh, you know, I share too much about something or I didn't share enough. And now I'm worried about my friendship, and so I'm obsessing if I need to get back with them, I need to have a better friendship with them. I need to do all these extra things. It's like whoa, slow down. I get it. I know where it's coming from, like you said, we respect where funding came from. However, I'm not sure that it's serving you the way that it needs to. I'm not sure that becoming obsessive being super concerned about this one friend that may be really toxic in the first place that may be ghosting you is worth your time and energy. So I'm not sure of you trying to over apologise and bend over backwards to fit into their life and go visit them all the time is helping you. Have you experienced that with your clients as well. Oh

Kristen 32:38
my gosh, yes, I have a case right now. I'm thinking of she came in and she said, I've realised that in this one friendship, I noticing my fawn response. And I took a deep breath. And instead of you know, saying I'm sorry, oh, that's fine. It's not a big deal. Oh, it's fine. She goes, I took a deep breath. She paused and she said, if you could tell me up front next time, that would be super helpful. clear, direct. She recognise that with this particular relationship. She finds a lot when she feels like the friend will say Are you mad at me, you see mad at me. And then she would start fawning. And that insight is transformative because some take that recognition and acknowledge that her discomfort and her fear of disconnection was fond response. And then she learned that I feel worse when I find I feel more disconnected with this person. So I'm going to change it was more clear and direct communication. And she said the friend responded very differently. Not Are you mad at me? She said, Okay, thank you for letting me know. So now we're not clear and direct fawning. There's no clarity in it. Exactly.

Rachel 33:51
So that is beautiful. I

Kristen 33:53
loved it. I was like, Oh, you're saying that? How empowering and it doesn't always go that smoothly for somebody. Yeah, it's not for the other person. It's for them to go. I see when I do fawning.

Rachel 34:05
Oh, I'm so sorry for your clients. Oh, I love it. I love it. When you set that boundaries, like, Yes, I am empowered, I feel okay.

Kristen 34:13
And I can tolerate the discomfort of leaning into not fawning, and trying something different. It's so helpful when we can give ourselves permission and work through that fear and discomfort to try something different. I love this conversation. It was fun. I am so excited to offer that you know the link to the quiz. And are there any other takeaways that you want to say around highly sensitive people that are important that we didn't cover?

Rachel 34:42
There's one thing I honestly have like 10 tabs open. I'm one of those people many tabs but the one thing that I wanted to share this from the HS person.com website I'll send this to you as well is there's an acronym called does D O E S stands for depth of pride. assessing overstimulation emotional responsibility or empathy and sensitive to subtleties. So if it helps to remember this, that acronym and those bits of the acronym is, am I having a does moment? Hmm, what are those things? They're sticking out for me? Is it my overstimulated? Am I really heavily processing this? Am I really feeling intense empathy with this person? Am I really sensitive to the subtleties of small changes in the environment, the small changes in the air conditioning turning on to know those things that that can help with being mindful as well?

Kristen 35:31
Oh, thank you. I love that. Where can people find you if they're interested in learning more? Absolutely. So

Rachel 35:37
I think just about every social platform ever, I'm on them at this point. So it's sage counselling and wellness, I started my practice about a month and a half ago. So that's super dry. Thank you is wonderful. So that's the place to find me is sage counselling and wellness and most active on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there. And then otherwise, you'd go on my website, Sage counselling therapy and wellness.com tonnes, truly tonnes of blog posts everywhere, tonnes of information, good resources, I have a link to my Amazon storefront there if you want a list of different things. There's a full HSP list on Amazon storefront if you want that as well.

Kristen 36:15
Fantastic. I love resources, and so to my listeners, so we appreciate your heart and sharing your insight about HSP. And I'm so grateful for our time together, Rachel.

Yes, thank you for having me. Thank you thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoy this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or a family member. For more information about how to get connected visit Kristen k r i s t e n d Boice b Oh ice.com Thanks and have a great day.