Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Highly Sensitive Person

1996, 1997 Broadway Books edition
Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
Possibly bought newish for $14.00
Worn paperback

In my review of The Path of Least Resistance (1989), I said, "I don't find self-help books helpful."  This book is a partial exception.  I appreciate Aron celebrating qualities that are often belittled, the various aspects of sensitivity.  However, on this my third or fourth reading, I found myself very tense by the end.  (The last time I read it, I posted on Facebook that the book made me cry.)  Instead of providing coping strategies to thrive, I felt like the book was instead bringing up painful memories, without ways to deal with them.  Her advice on dealing with loud noises, crowds, and the like is more useful, but I think she's blurring environmental sensitivity with emotional sensitivity.

Marginal recommendation, and make sure you read it in a soothing place, not partially on the bus, with a loud seatmate exclaiming, "A book!  I thought everyone had a Kindle these days!"

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