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Working Life as an HSP

HSPs need to feel fulfilled in their careers, otherwise they often develop symptoms that manifest both internally and when they are at work. Why are the professional needs of an HSP so different from those of the average person? What is stopping HSPs from realizing their professional dreams?

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HSPs and Professional Success

At first glance, professional success and sensitivity seem to be mutually incompatible: people at the top of their careers are often domineering personalities, with a dog-eat-dog mentality. The business world is a place where almost any personality trait is accepted — except those traits most common to highly sensitive people: empathy, compassion, the ability to notice things that others miss, the willingness to work on making relationships more harmonious.

In the workplace, highly sensitive people are often used as scapegoats — aggressive and domineering colleagues and bosses frequently offload their negative feelings onto them. Because HSPs are often bad at setting boundaries, they fail to protect their inner selves from aggressions and encroachments and instead tend to internalize the stigma and blame.

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Where HSPs Belong

Dr. Elaine Aron, who has conducted a lot of the psychological research on high sensitivity, argues that in the past highly sensitive people often worked at creative and intellectually demanding jobs, but they were ousted from those positions at the start of the industrial age, as the demand for manual labor declined and less sensitive people, who previously worked in manual labor, began to apply for these same jobs.

Although we can't verify the extent to which this is the main cause, it is evident that most highly sensitive people today are not in the positions where they belong. Their resources and skills are constantly undervalued, as the hidden dynamics of the market favor those who are dominant and aggressive.

What is an HSP to do then — give up?

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Escaping Social Conditioning and Finding One’s Courage

A highly sensitive person can be a good fit for many occupational niches and professions, including being self-employed, working remotely from the safety of one’s own home, and having the courage to take one's artistic talents seriously.

Yet, when interviewing HSPs, we continue to ask them about their dream jobs — only to find that most of those who know what their dream job would be, have never even attempted to make that dream a reality.

Most HSPs have been socially conditioned to believe that their skills have little to no value, are too afraid to failure to even try to succeed and feel that a successful and worthwhile career is not for them. They have internalized this conditioning and have given up on their dreams.

The most shocking thing about this is that most of their dreams are quite realistic (HSPs don’t typically dream of founding a multi-billion dollar company and sailing away on a yacht).

Low self-esteem, social conditioning, unresolved fears, and a lack of self-awareness often keep the HSP trapped in the wrong profession.

A specialized HSP counseling service like ours can address all these issues. You can find out more about this here:

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