Book reviews

"The highly sensitive person" (Elaine Aron, 1996)

I started reading this book with excitement as it was supposed to help me understand not just how I am (I do know I am very sensitive), but how to explain it to others and perhaps give me a few tools and resources to deal with others who "don't get it".

So as I said, I started reading with excitement and but it began getting deflated halfway, and totally emptied by the final chapters as it kind of derails into a sort of New Age pseudo religious wreck which I'm not even sure would convince religious people. Very odd!

The other thing that I couldn't help being bothered by was the condescension and sort of self-pity we're supposed to feel I guess. Or maybe this is a natural reaction. I don't know! It made the book quite annoying to read; possibly more so because of its repetitiveness. "You were, or maybe not, a sad child. It's OK, tap yourself in the back and say to yourself that it's OK" then this gets repeated over and over again in different variations. I am maybe not the target?

On the other hand there is a bunch of useful advice such as the difference between introversion and high sensitivity (they're not the same even though sometimes they appear together!), or not trying to avoid over stimulation all the time because then it kind of results in you ending in a black hole of lack of progression and you never can cope with stimulation, or strategies to design a balance of arousing and calming activities, so you can progress in life and not just be in a corner because everything is too much to cope.

Overall I'd say if you can ignore the annoying parts, there's a bunch of interesting advice in here. If you don't think you can, you'd better just search for summaries and more 'scientific' articles (rather than 'self help') on the Internet.