10 thoughts on “How to Set Boundaries When You Are a Highly Sensitive Person

  • September 29, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    A great article! I have been setting STRONG boundaries for a few years now for my own self care. I really like the limits on communication. My husband runs his real estate business from home and if people can’t reach him on his mobile they just call the home phone. To me this is serious boundary crossing from professional life into private life. I say to them “This is the home phone, have you tried his mobile?” But it doesn’t always come easy. Definitely a work in progress.

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  • September 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I’m so glad information like this is starting to appear. For most of my life, I’ve felt overly sensitive about how others perceive me and I have fallen over myself to help anyone and everyone, regardless of and heedless to my own needs and wellbeing. Random comments from others have reinforced my belief that it is a character flaw. Now I look at it differently and don’t feel ashamed of my ‘weaknesses’. Every person has their own unique qualities, their strengths and weaknesses, and yes, I am now proud to be that highly-sensitive person. I just have to keep working in my boundaries – that’s a big challenge.

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  • October 4, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Life is much tougher for highly sensitive people. One of lifes biggest lessons for me has been to embrace my ‘gift’ of empathy. My empathy is not ony for others, but for animals too, and I care deeply for this beautiful planet that we have all been blessed to live on.

    People judge us and say cruel things, but remember that we have what they don’t and can’t relate to. Let our compassion be a beacon of light to follow throughout our existence on earth then, leave this world knowing that we have spread our compassion to many others. In a cruel world such as this a little kindness goes a long, long way.

    We must protect ourselves and set healthy boundries, in essence, we are learning to be assertive which highly sensitive people seem to lack. In doing so we embrace how we were made and treasure something beautiful.

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  • October 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    So many terms thrown around that it is difficult to get to the core of the matter. When you say “over sensitive” is it the same as “narcissist”, then? Being overly dependent on other people’s approval and praise to the point of doing things you do not want just to have them praise you?

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    • October 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks for your question. Highly Sensitive People are very different than narcissists. For example, HSPs have a high level of empathy and feel things very deeply, but a narcissist lacks empathy. An excellent source of info on HSPs is: http://hsperson.com/

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  • October 6, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I am so glad to see this information and support for those who are helped by it. I come from a little different perspective on this topic. I am not a HSP. But I am an in-law to one who is also, I believe, histrionic and demanding that every little feeling she has be accommodated to by the world around her. She has had work-peers leave notes on her desk that she needs counseling. Her ultra-sensitivity has made family get-togethers an exercise in keeping one’s mouth shut and finding ways to escape the the gathering because of the emotional demandingness that this high-maintenance person requires. When one does not accommodate every little feeling she has the “offender” is put on her personal internal revenge list. She thinks she’s ‘right’ about all things ‘feeling’. It is exhausting for many of us who have to deal with a HSP and it has created family strife.
    I do not bring this up to victimize a HSP. I bring this up to simply add to the whole of the picture. All of the above issues would smooth themselves out if our HSP would learn to take care of herself first – it would be a giant gift to the rest of us who feel for her but cannot help her. Because this particular difficulty is hers. Thank you for listening.

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    • October 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

      I would also like to add that, as an HSP family member, we are regularly accused of “doing something” to her, “hurting” her. She manufactures perceived hurts where none are lobbied or meant for her from others. She uses these hurts to extract apologies from them for issues that simply do not exist. It’s almost like she enjoys the hurtful victimization so that she can demand the world bend to her. She uses her HSP to control the world around her. While we love our HSP family member, and she is exhausted by her breadth and depth of feelings, we, too, are exhausted by it. The advice to “say no” and go take care of one’s self when needed is excellent and beneficial – for us all 🙂

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      • October 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        Different Perspective,
        Thanks for your thoughtful comment. That does sound like a very difficult situation. The manipulative nature of what you’re describing makes me think there’s something else at work here….but hard for me to say since I obviously don’t know your family member. I agree that boundaries and self-care are excellent ways to cope and have the best relationship possible.
        best wishes,
        Sharon

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    • October 6, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Perhaps there is more to your family member than being a highly sensitive person. I know over the years with my mother any perceived criticism was taken very badly. There would be the silent treatment and sullenness etc. If we were late for lunch or whatever there would be huffiness. If any of the kids said “no” to her there would be slamming down of the phone. I see this as shame: or feeling unworthy for others not meeting her needs or not meeting her expectations. Also, she was not able to convey how she really felt about things so there would be this passive/aggressive behaviour. Unfortunately, this has been passed down to some of her children. This is purely my opinion of having lived with somebody similar to your family member. It is never easy living in a volatile relationship such as this. It’s like walking on egg shells. Good luck.

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  • August 5, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Thank you for this as yet again I fell foul of a tradesman who did not do a job I requested and I need to learn to not be too trusting of people as I hate to be suspicious

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