In this four-part series, I’ll explore the four key characteristics all highly sensitive people (HSPs) share. Each article will feature a dahlia from my garden.
Why dahlias? In Are you highly sensitive? 4 commitments you need to thrive, I describe how HSPs have a lot in common with these gorgeous flowers. Dahlias need different treatment from the average plant: we have to dig the tubers up each fall; wash, sort, label, and store them at a certain temperature (not too hot, not too cold!); then re-plant them in the spring. A lot of work! But in return, we get a riotous explosion of blooms, enough to fill our house with bouquets for two months each year.
In my time off from growing dahlias, I’ve studied in depth what I need to thrive as an HSP. The result? My life and happiness have bloomed. Information about our trait is key for sensitive people, and the motherlode of that information is the work of Elaine Aron.* Dr. Aron was the first to identify the HSP trait and to describe the four key characteristics all HSPs have in common: depth of processing, emotional intensity, overarousal, and sensory sensitivity (“DOES” for short.)
Today I’ll write about the first of these characteristics, depth of processing. But first, I’d like to give you two tasks. Each, as it happens, requires you to use the very deep processing abilities we’ll be exploring: [Read more…]