Have you been jumping through emotional hoops to fit other people’s perceptions of you?
If so, I’ll bet you’re tired — exhausted, even. Whether you’re a highly sensitive person, trauma survivor, people-pleaser, a grown-up gifted kid or neurodivergent, you already know the cost of a never-ending performance. Your body has been footing the bill for far too long already.
That’s why I sat down with my very own therapist, Emma Ocean, to really get to the heart of what it means to be a highly sensitive person, and how to transform this vulnerability into strength for daily living.
In this exchange, Emma and I discuss how we can know if we’re highly sensitive people (she offers this helpful quiz), looking at the Venn diagram overlap between empathy, people-pleasing tendencies, trauma and neurodivergence that can go into our ‘origin stories,’ discerning the difference between intuition and anxiety, learning how to set healthy boundaries and take care of ourselves.
Please tune in to this insightful conversation, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
If Emma’s kindness and intelligence resonate with you as much as they do with me (working with Emma has been a life-changer), you’ll be excited to know that she’s launching The Sensitives, a powerful six-week online course and learning community, beginning January 15th.
Y’all, she’s offering so much in this course, but not in a way that overwhelms. It’s an expertly-guided process that will give you the tools you need to know yourself, pay attention, and create a life-path that lights you up. It’s generous, affordable, and grounding, especially for those who have suffered from religious trauma or other forms of emotional wounding.
I can’t really do her offering justice, so if your interest is piqued, please check this out.
Emma Ocean is an existential, systemic & body-oriented therapist. The focus of her work is integrating our inner trinity of spirituality, sexuality and creativity by developing self-trust with our Bodies. Emma bridges the science and spirituality of psychology to dispel shame, embodying the power of ShadoWork to experience authentic wholeness. You can find Emma via her therapy practice, her courses resource, her wonderful Substack newsletter, and on Instagram.
I love the distinction between anxiety and intuition, as well as the emphasis on protecting yourself and doing what’s good for the body.
One question left unanswered: I’d love to hear your thoughts on intuition versus ego. How do you learn when your intuition is that good gong worth listening to vs. when it’s veering toward our own selfishness.
Like, I get the guardrails, and the idea of what’s good for you, but how do you balance what’s good for yourself with what we owe each other? When do you stay for that fourth coffee vs let yourself go to bed?
Assuming you’ve done a lot of work on yourself and struggle with this, are there any handy tips, beyond, say, reading Scanlon’s What We Owe to Each Other for deciding, on a case-by-case basis, whether, in a situation, one is protecting oneself vs shortchanging one’s community?