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Tag Archives: HSP
Elaine Aron (in “The Undervalued Self”) writes about linking and ranking. Linking is making a connection with someone, includes empathy and care, and is and based on
equality. Ranking is about status, competitive, and not based on equality. You can see both of these dynamics happening in interactions between people. Her theory is that we are born prepared for a certain amount of ranking, but her definition of trauma (paraphrased) is when we expect linking from a person or a group, and instead experience ranking (social defeat), in a manner that is shocking to us.
Why is this important to career choice? Even the most “independent” people will do in life and career what gets them love, what allows them to feel connected to others. If a given life path risked social isolation by your family and friends, would you take that path?
So when you know you need a change, but feel that you risk isolation by making the change, you have a couple of choices. You can go the self-improvement route, try to make yourself strong enough to stand completely on your own. I allow for the theoretical possibility that it works for some people. However, there are many it doesn’t work for, and some even go deeper into multi-thousand-dollar personal growth courses only to realize (if they can even acknowledge this to themselves) they have little to show for it. The best I can say about self-improvement is that it can have some effect, but it’s maybe not worth the struggle, time, effort and money.
Alternately, while you are on your career change journey, you can find a supportive community who will value you for who you really are at all times (not just when you speak the leader’s lingo, or have a “positive attitude”.)
How about you? I would be interested to hear from people who feel they really did “improve themselves” via self-improvement.
The root of the word solution means “to loosen”. And yet, in North American culture when we talk about solutions to problems, we often talk about tightening! Get a grip, regain control, restore order….
“Losing one’s grip on reality” or “loss of control” is associated with mental illness or a stressful situation at minimum.
Lack of control can be disempowering (feeling helpless or stuck), or it can be liberating (one is relieved of the obligation to accomplish the impossible).
People talk a lot about “letting go” or surrender. Do you find this easy to do? Or does it bring up deep fears, like “if I let go of control, everything will fall apart”?
I was just at a Meetup event where I received some unsolicited advice on my business. This wasn’t even a workshop, not someplace where it is assumed that things are open for review and you are open to feedback. It wasn’t even billed as a networking event. It was a social event.
Now, I know I don’t know everything, and I try to see other people’s points of view even if only theoretically. Listening to diverse points of view can be a learning experience. But what I found particularly inappropriate was that this was someone who had just met me. Not only that, they were not offering a suggestion, but rather trying to put me into a position where I had no choice but to agree with them.
It’s possible that as a <Highly Sensitive Person, I am more aware of these things (whether I want to be or not), experience them as someone trying to throw their energy at me, etc.
It’s hard to know friends well enough to “tell them what they should do”, let alone someone you just met. When you just met someone or they are an acquaintance, you simply don’t know the specifics of their situation well enough, and maybe more importantly you don’t know the specifics of them as a person.
Because I know how it feels to be on the receiving end, I have nearly eliminated the word “should” from my vocabulary, and I do not start sentences with the words “You should….” or “You need to….” It is simply not my place to say this to another person, and I believe that to do so is to impose one’s own truth on another person.
Some classes of people seem to be magnets for unsolicited advice. I know as soon as I told people I was starting my own business, that seemed to be a license for them to give me advice. I imagine new parents are in the same boat.
How about you? Have you ever received unsolicited advice in such a way that you were amazed at the person’s lack of tact, or you just felt limited or “boxed in” by what they said?
What kind of advice or support would have been more helpful for you?