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This is a weekly podcast for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP’s), introverts, empaths, intuitives, INFJ’s or anyone else that wants a little help supporting sensitivity! 

HSP SOS #38- Aging & Highly Sensitive Persons No one escapes getting older, but how does aging impact HSPs differently than non-HSPs?  Michelle and The Captain share Dr. Elaine Aron’s view on why highly sensitive persons are more in-tune with the aging process, as well as discuss their own perspectives on aging.

HSP SOS #37- Addiction & Highly Sensitive Persons Addiction is not an easy topic to talk about, but it is an important one. On this episode, Michelle Lynn and The Captain start a conversation about the possible connection between sensitivity and addiction, as well as explore why addiction is a highly sensitive persons topic.  If you have struggled with addiction, or someone you know has struggled with addiction, please take a moment to be a part of this important discussion.  It’s not about judging or educating.  It’s just about taking the time to pause and reflect on the role addiction plays in our lives and why our current approach to helping people with addiction doesn’t always work.

HSP SOS #36- Keeping Passion Positive Are you an extremely passionate person?  Do you go “all in” on the projects, activities, and topics that interest you?  On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss how highly sensitive people demonstrate an intense passion for their interests and talk about how this truly is an amazing gift.  They also dive into what happens when a passion starts to become an obsession, as well as share some helpful tips on how HSPs can pursue their passion without it leading to problems.

HSP SOS #35 – Highly Sensitive & Hormonal Are you feeling hormonal?  As a highly sensitive person, that’s the last thing you want to be accused of, but is it possible that HSPs are more sensitive to hormonal changes in their bodies than non-HSPs?  On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss how hormones might impact HSPs at different stages of their lives, and this isn’t just a conversation for the ladies.  The highly sensitive men out there might be surprised by the discussion of male hormone cycles and something called Irritable Male Syndrome.  If you’ve ever wondered if you were more sensitive to the hormonal changes in your body than others, then you won’t want to miss this awkward and informational episode!

HSP SOS #34 – Emotional Balance Are you in control of your emotions, or are your emotions in control of you?  On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss Dr. Elaine Aron’s definition of emotional regulation, as well as the reasons why highly sensitive people can have a more difficult time processing and handling their emotions.  Listen in as these two talk about the consequences of allowing oneself to get emotionally out of balance, and hear ten ways that HSPs can start better regulating their emotions to truly honor their sensitivity as a gift instead of a curse.

HSP SOS #33 – Low Self Esteem in HSPs In her book The Undervalued Self, Dr. Elaine Aron explains how highly sensitive people often struggle with low self-esteem more so than non-HSPs. In this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss low self-esteem attacks, why HSPs suffer from LSE more than others, as well as highlight the work of Dr. Marilyn J. Sorensen, a leading expert in the area of low self-esteem. They share their results from Sorensen’s low self-esteem assessment, and even provide some quick tips on how HSPs can begin to boost feelings of self worth.

HSP SOS #32 – HSP/ HSP Relationships: Double the Love or Double the Trouble Is it really better to be in a relationship with another highly sensitive person?  Does doubling the sensitivity double the love?  On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss Dr. Elaine Aron’s research on the benefits and pitfalls of two HSPs being in a relationship together.  Some useful tips for couples trying to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.

HSP SOS #31 – Perfecting Perfection Have you ever been called a perfectionist?  Do you worry endlessly about getting things right?  In this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and the Captain talk about why highly sensitive people have a tendency to exhibit traits of perfectionism.  They also discuss healthy types of perfectionism vs. destructive forms and share their personal perspectives on their own perfectionistic qualities.  It’s possible that you aren’t as bad as you believe, or as ridiculous as others have made you feel, in regards to your own brand of perfectionism.

HSP SOS #30 – Fear and Arousal in Highly Sensitive Persons How big of a role does fear play in your life?  On this episode, Michelle and The Captain discuss the difference between fear and arousal in highly sensitive persons, as well as why forcing introverts and HSPs to face their fears isn’t always successful.  We share some of our own personal strategies for handling perceived dangers, real dangers, and the manufactured fears of the media.  If you find yourself constantly questioning whether to protect yourself or open yourself up, this is an episode you don’t want to miss.

HSP SOS #29 – “I Feel Lonely” Do you often feel alone?  Has the feeling of loneliness become a reoccurring part of your life?  On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain discuss common misconceptions about loneliness, Dr. Elaine Aron’s description of feeling alone, the latest research and science behind loneliness, as well as how loneliness can be especially challenging for a highly sensitive person and what can be done about it. 

HSP SOS #28 – Maintaining Friends Making and maintaining meaningful friendships is something that many HSPs worry about.  Do we have enough friends?  Why do people like us initially, but then get turned off by our intensity?  In this episode, Michelle and The Captain tackle tough questions like these,  as well as discuss how  introversion, ADD, anxiety, depression, and perception can  factor into the complexity of highly sensitive friendships.  If you have ever struggled as an HSP with making and keeping friends, then you won’t want to miss HSP SOS #28!

HSP SOS #27 – Highly Sensitive Children “Some highly sensitive children are fairly difficult–active, emotionally intense, demanding, and persistent–while others are calm, turned inward, and almost too easy to raise except when they are expected to join a group of children they do not know. But outspoken and fussy or reserved and obedient, all HSCs are sensitive to their emotional and physical environment” -Dr. Elaine Aron. If you are a parent of an HSC, or you were an HSC, you are well aware of the gifts and challenges associated with the trait of sensitivity. On this episode of HSP SOS, Michelle and The Captain talk with fellow HSP Melissa Schwartz. Melissa is a coach for parents of highly sensitive children, author, speaker, and co-creator of Leading Edge Parenting, not to mention just an enthusiastic advocate for HSPs internationally. It’s HSP SOS #27 Highly Sensitive Children!

HSP SOS #26 – Am I Enough? Some HSPs struggle with the feeling that they just aren’t enough.  Fear of disappointing others, combined with self-doubt, can convince highly sensitive persons that friends and loved ones would be happier without them around. In this very intimate and personal episode of HSP SOS, Michelle puts The Captain on the spot and forces him to reconsider his own worth.  If you ever find yourself feeling like you are too much, yet at the same time not enough, then please listen. There are many reasons that HSPs struggle the most with the people they love the most, but there are also many things we can do to put our lives and relationships back into perspective.

HSP SOS #25 – Sensitive and Sick What happens when a highly sensitive person gets sick?  Honestly, it’s not always pretty, but there are some real reasons why HSPs are more physically and emotionally impacted by the sniffles than are non-HSPs.  Michelle and the Captain share tips on how to minimize conflict when the highly sensitive get sick, as well as contemplate why some people seem to share their misery more with others.

HSP SOS #24 – Highly Sensitive Body Image How do HSPs react to the media’s portrayal of the “perfect” body and body shaming? Is it possible that the highly sensitive are more negatively impacted by perceptions of an ideal body than the non-HSPs?  On this episode, Michelle and the Captain share their struggles with developing a healthy body image, as well as challenge other HSPs to take a more active role in combating the stereotypes, put-downs, and myths perpetuated by society.  

HSP S.O.S. #23 – Happy Highly Sensitive Holidays What do HSPs want for Christmas?  They probably want everyone to just chill-out and relax a little.  On this episode  Michelle shares her personal experiences with something she calls Seasonal Spiraling, and she explains to The Captain how everyone’s anxiety around the holidays triggers her own anxiety.  Introverts and HSPs don’t hate Christmas.  They just enjoy different aspects of the season than a majority of the population.

HSP S.O.S. #22- Emotional Balance for HSPs & Empaths When you feel EVERYTHING, maintaining emotional balance can be a real challenge.  On this episode, Michelle and The Captain talk about the danger of being too fixated on feelings, as well as the moodiness that arrises from “putting a lid it.”.  For HSPs and empaths, dealing with emotions is a bit of an art form.  Traditional self-help strategies aren’t always enough.  Sensitive souls often need to go deeper and acknowledge what psychologist Carl Jung calls the shadow self in order to truly establish and maintain emotional balance.

HSP S.O.S. #21- Gender Strangeness What confuses you about the opposite sex? Everything? There’s a reason for that, and it’s something Dr. Elaine Aron calls “gender strangeness.”  HSP’s often have a difficult time understanding and accepting traditional gender stereotypes, and the highly sensitive person in love is greatly impacted by the slightest hint of turmoil.  In this episode of HSP S.O.S, Michelle and The Captain talk about their own struggles with gender roles and how that has impacted their perception of self and their relationships with others.  If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it’s quite possible then that HSP’s are out of this world!

HSP S.O.S. #20 – Anxiety It feels a lot like drowning, and anytime anyone tries to save you, they just end up sinking too.  Episode #20 of HSP S.O.S. is all about anxiety!  Being highly sensitive with an anxiety disorder can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible to be happy. Michelle and the Captain discuss different types of anxiety, personal struggles with PTSD, and tips for coping with the impact anxiety can have on a highly sensitive person’s life. 

HSP S.O.S #19 – The Highly Sensitive & Halloween On this special edition of HSP S.O.S. Michelle and The Captain discuss their personal sensitivities to Halloween.  Listen in as they share how the changing seasons, abundant sweets, scary movies, holiday memories, haunted houses, and the quest for the perfect costume impact them as HSP’s.  Don’t be too scared.  It’s a Happy Highly Sensitive Halloween!

HSP S.O.S. #18 – Letting Go As a highly sensitive person, or empath, it is extremely challenging to ignore, brush off, or forget about our experiences with others.  Failed relationships, uncomfortable situations at work, “bad” decisions, and even passing comments made by strangers can haunt our memories for years.  In this episode, Michelle and the Captain explore their ability to forgive and forget.  They discuss how even if they can forgive someone, there are many reasons why their highly sensitive personalities won’t allow them to just let it go.  Michelle shares the latest research on genetic memory, and challenges the Captain to consider if painful memories serve a positive purpose in the present.  It’s a whole lot of geekery filled  Feelz on episode #18 of HSP S.O.S.

HSP S.O.S #17- The Highly Sensitive & School While highly sensitive children are often bright, energetic, creative, and empathetic, these positive traits aren’t always recognized, or rewarded, in the everyday classroom.  On this episode, Michelle and the Captain travel back to their own school days, and discuss common struggles for Highly Sensitive Children, introverts, and HSS/ HSP’s in an educational setting.  With depression, anxiety, and the suicide rate of children and young adults on the rise, a highly sensitive education that acknowledges different personality traits as well as the specific needs of highly sensitive children feels like a priority.  The conversation gets heated, but it address a topic that needs serious attention in education.

HSP S.O.S. #16 – High Sensation Seeking HSP’s High Sensation Seeking is a lot more than just chasing a thrill, especially when it comes to being a highly sensitive person.  Michelle and The Captain go through Dr. Elaine Aron’s High Sensation Seeking Self-Test, and discuss the push and pull of being an HSS/ HSP.  They reference the research of Martin Zuckerman, Dr. Elaine Aron, and Dr. Tracy Cooper, as well as share some of their own high sensation seeking experiences and thoughts.  Listen as Michelle explains how it feels to be an INFJ-T  HSS/ HSP with ADHD, and discover what it means to be “High Sensation Seeking by Association.”  

HSP S.O.S #15 – Highly Sensitive Persons & Attachment Styles in Relationships Did you feel neglected, criticized, or let down by the adults in your life as a child?  Do you have a hard time letting go of the past? Michelle and The Captain follow up their previous discussion about HSP’s and their fear of intimacy by diving head first into something called attachment theory.  Listen in as they return to Dr. Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person in Love and discuss how the attachment styles we develop as children greatly impact our happiness and security in relationships as adults.  Learn why it’s not a matter of just “growing up and getting over it,” and discover how to start the process of forming secure relationships in the future.  They also reflect on Susan Cain’s advice on how to love like a grown up.  It’s another emotionally charged look into highly sensitive love on episode #15 of HSP S.O.S.

HSP S.O.S. #14- Highly Sensitive Persons & The Fear of Intimacy Are you a kind person, full of love, yet you just can’t seem to make relationships work?  Believe it or not, HSP’s have some unique challenges when it come to forming a close relationship with a significant other.  It’s not uncommon for these loving, sensitive individuals to have a subconscious fear of intimacy.  Listen in as Michelle and the Captain go through The Fear of Intimacy survey found in Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person in Love.  It is a painfully honest and revealing episode that anyone who has ever struggled with making a relationship work can surely relate to.  

HSP S.O.S. #13- Highly Sensitive Persons Contemplate Death There are some subjects that people are really uncomfortable talking about, but that doesn’t stop Michelle and The Captain from sharing their personal thoughts on the topic of death.  From an early age, they both struggled with anticipatory grief and a general sense that there is more to life than just every day routine.  Listen in as they discuss Dabrowski’s Theory of Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults and dive into their own feelings about life and death.  It may seem like a heavy topic, but when we talk about the things we fear, that’s when true understanding and healing takes place. How we care for the sick and elderly, all the way to planning our own funeral, are topics of discussion on episode #13 of HSP S.O.S. 

HSP S.O.S. #12- Highly Sensitive Persons & Post Vacation Depression Post Vacation Depression can be challenging to recover from for a highly sensitive person or empath.  Whether you are an introvert that prefers a calm staycation or an extrovert that fancies an exotic vacation, there are many factors before, during, and after a break from reality that impact emotional well-being.  On this episode, Michelle and the Captain discuss their own vacation hangovers, the scientific reasons for post vacation blues, as well as how to minimize the negative effects of a staycation or vacation.  This episode includes the usual laughs as our INFJ (Michelle) and ENFP (The Captain) retell personal stories of the varying perspectives of an introvert and extrovert on vacation.

HSP S.O.S. #11- Highly Sensitive Persons & Social Media Anxiety Social Media Anxiety, Likes Anxiety, a Facebook Anxiety Scale?  As technology use increases, so do mental health issues associated with its use.  Michelle and The Captain discuss common traps the highly sensitive should avoid when using this form of communication, as well as the benefits social media can have for this unique segment of the population.  Technology is a growing part of our lives that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon, so let’s discuss how to use it to our advantage

HSP S.O.S. #10- Too Many Feelings (The Hurtz)  Emotions are amplified for a highly sensitive person… the good ones, the bad ones, and everything else in between.  On this episode, Michelle and The Captain discuss sadness, depression, emotional snowballing, the neuroscience behind feelings, and share several different strategies for dealing with “the hurtz.”  Michelle also talks about her own recent bout of “the hurtz,” and explains why being sad from time to time doesn’t make her a broken person.

HSP S.O.S. #9- Highly Sensitive Empaths Imagine if you had to not only navigate your own emotions, but also the emotions of everyone else around you.  What if you could hear people’s thoughts, and you could see what others could not?  Sounds like a highly sensitive nightmare, but for empaths this is a reality.  On this episode, Michelle and The Captain talk about a unique group of highly sensitive people called empaths.  Empaths are around 2% of the population, and this group often feels misunderstood, isolated, and overwhelmed.  Listen to this episode to learn more about different types of empaths, the science behind all this energy talk, and ways to cope with the stress of being an empath.  It’s time to celebrate the gift of empathy and release the burden- all on episode #9 of HSP S.O.S.

HSP S.O.S. #8- Highly Sensitive Extroverts Highly sensitive extroverts are a minority within a minority population making up only 25-30% of the total HSP community.  Michelle and The Captain discuss unique challenges for extroverts that are highly sensitive, as well as provide some tips for these individuals to help them protect their energy.  Michelle and The Captain also share their Myer’s Briggs personality types, and discuss how highly sensitive extroverts and introverts often compliment one another in friendships and romantic relationships.

HSP S.O.S. #7- The Highly Sensitive Person’s Connection to Animals Michelle and the Captain discuss why the gift of sensitivity allows HSP’s and empaths to connect with animals at a very deep emotional level.  They dive into the differences between the communication styles of cats and dogs, and talk about how these differences can help people practice empathy towards animals and other people.  There’s also a discussion about animal rights advocate Temple Grandin and how she uses her Autism and sensitivity to the world around her to help make the lives of animals a little bit better.  It’s all about the Furry Feelz on this episode of HSP S.O.S.

HSP S.O.S. #6- Are Highly Sensitive Persons Jerk-Magnets Michelle and The Captain discuss how Highly Sensitive People end up in toxic friendships and relationships. They explain the HSP and Narcissist connection, as well as provide some useful strategies on how to let go of negative people and maintain healthy, balanced interactions with friends. The two of them also respond to Shipmate Lynn’s questions related to feeling ignored and bullied in friendships and conversations.

HSP S.O.S. #5- The Highly Sensitive Man Michelle and The Captain discuss the unique challenges faced by the highly sensitive male, as well as society’s misconception of masculine sensitivity.  Michelle talks about the highly sensitive men in her life, and the role men, women, and educators play in helping support the well-being of highly sensitive boys.

HSP S.O.S. #4- Sensitive Superheroes Michelle and The Captain discuss how imaginary friends and fictional characters can be beneficial for HSP children and adults. They also geek-out about something called superhero therapy!

HSP S.O.S. #3- Sensitive but Rude? Michelle and The Captain talk about how highly sensitive people aren’t always viewed as being the most sensitive when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

HSP S.O.S. #2- Food Sensitivities Part 2  Michelle and The Captain discuss the real physical affects that food can have on Highly Sensitive Persons.

HSP S.O.S. #1- Food Sensitivities Part 1 Michelle and The Captain discuss the emotional relationships to food and how they can affect HSP’s

*Bonus Episodes*

Listen to episode #25 of The Captain’s Pod!  Where Michelle Lynn began her journey on the show by interviewing The Captain himself!

Episode #44- I Love You Weirdo The Captain (an ENFP)  and Michelle (an INFJ) explode with laughter as they discuss recent articles regarding relationships.  They examine why we ask the people we admire most to change what it is that made us fall in love with them in the first place.   They also dive into why if you are lucky enough to find yourself in a relationship with a weirdo, you should never let that weirdo go.  If you are weird, if you know someone weird, or if you are dating someone weird, this one is definitely for you.  Episode #44 reminds us to embrace our inner weirdness, because “normal” is boring.