As a little kid I loved gum ball machines. For just a penny I could put in a penny, turn the knob and get a big, hard, colorful chew of sugar. My dentist loved them! But a step up from an ordinary gum ball machine was that which dispensed bright pastel plastic capsules with toys inside. One of them which was at the entrance of Zayres in Woburn contained little black rubber mice. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that squishy object contained within the shiny capsule. I took much perverse pleasure by using it to scare girls.
Zayres is gone forever and I no longer seek gum ball machines. But as a Highly Sensitive Person I’m continually drawn to bright shiny objects. I’m referring to any event, possession, relationship, or experience that glints in the light as a possible fulfillment of a deeply felt personal need. It promises balance and inner peace, a sense of completeness and attainment for HSPs. Ultimately they may be illusions but such “bright shiny objects” surely get our attention!
HSPs are more susceptible to going after the “perfect ideal” in life because we are always trying to find our place in the world. We are born without boundaries, open to and overwhelmed by the stimuli of our world. We tend to appear naïve to hearty people, without the filters necessary to keep us from being hurt or betrayed in relationships. We look to those bright objects when they come along with the hope of a child looking for love.
HSPs can make life difficult for ourselves by expecting too much from ourselves. We relate to others opposite to the way hearty people do. If we are attracted to someone as our next “bright shiny object” we can get quite engrossed. Through our highly developed intuition we sense what is going on in them. We may get caught in continuous analysis loops as we ponder their situations and how we might/should react. Our high degree of empathy causes us to feel their energy and we actually suffer a great deal as a result.
In relationships HSPs tend to plunge in head-first with intensity, seeking immediate and deep communication. If we are conscious we learn to find our boundaries by moving gradually into less intensity in order to protect ourselves from unnecessary emotional pain. Our focus over time is to become stronger and more resilient.
Many hearty people, who make up 80% of the population, move into relationships slowly and gradually, content with superficial communication at first. If they are conscious they learn to expand their personal boundaries by moving into greater intensity in order to experience the good that can come from emotional vulnerability. Their focus over time is to become more open.
Are you an HSP who risks emotional pain by going after the next, best “bright shiny object”? Are you a hearty person who needs to open up to greater vulnerability and risk? In either case we can help each other by listening to our stories and being patient with our differences. Ultimately we are caretakers of our own hearts, which we are charged with keeping open as the universe creates miracles in and through us.
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I loved the commentary about Zayre Dept Store. I remember those toy/gum machines outside the store in my home town as a delightful draw for the eye.
As for the HSP/Hearty split? Is it really so decisive a difference in people? I feel a grey scale in me, on certain topics or times I’m HSP, at other times I’m Hearty.
Good posting today.
ps I scared the girls in my hood with real (dead) rats I found in my hood. I would hide them in wildflower bouquests I picked “for” them. 🙂
The HSP/Hearty split certainly does have a lot of grey areas. There is a huge variety among HSPs with certain characteristics common to all. The same is probably true of the hearty, who have areas highly sensitive areas, but unlike HSPs, are not as easily overwhelmed by them.