357: The Gift of Being HSP, author Jenn Granneman talks about her New Book Sensitive
Wednesday May 17, 2023

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Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is a fairly new identifier to describe anyone who is highly responsive to their environment. This high responsiveness can appear in a variety of ways and different arenas of our lives – physically, emotionally, in relationships, simply going about our days and interacting with the world around us.

In 1996, American clinical research psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron wrote her seminal book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive in a World That Overwhelms You, and it was in this book that term HSP was coined. Author Jenn Granneman joins me to talk about her new book on this topic of HSP, a book that includes new research that furthers supports Dr. Aron’s findings, as well as exploring history revealing that this gift has always been with us, we just didn’t identify it until recently, and welcoming in specific insights and tools to elevate this awesome gift that can indeed deep the quality of our entire life.

Jenn Granneman’s book, who she co-authored with Andre Sólo, Sensitive: The Hidden Power of the Highly Sensitive Person in a Loud, Fast, Too-Much World was released on February 28, 2023, and quickly became a bestseller in the category of Popular Psychology Studies and was recently chosen by Amazon’s editor’s as the Editor’s Pick for Non-Fiction.

Today she joins me to talk about what HSP is, the misconceptions, how being HSP is actually a source of strength, how to approach relationships and the work place as well as talking about why she hopes this book starts a Sensitive Revolution.

Explore Jenn Granneman’s websites on HSP and Introversion below, as well as other links you might be interested in:

~Explore more episodes of The Simple Sophisticate podcast

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11 thoughts on “357: The Gift of Being HSP, author Jenn Granneman talks about her New Book Sensitive

  1. Just finished listening; oh, if only books such as Jenn’s were published in my younger days. Thank you, Shannon. Yes, the world is too loud, moving too quickly. I was a guest a few weeks ago at the baseball stadium. I did enjoy the game but driving there, etc. was too much. I’m purchasing the book today. ~ Teresa. P. S. I smiled when you pitched Earth Breeze, Ecco sheets. I too am a satisfied customer.
    I don’t know about you BUT lifting those huge, heavy jugs of laundry detergent…… Too much for this old lady!

    1. Thank you for tuning in Teresa. The value of knowing ourselves and honoring what we need is so life lifting. I think you will appreciate all that you discover in the book and you know, now that you point out the weight shift from a jug to a sheet, that is so true!!! I genuinely love their product and will be continuing to use them. Thank you for sharing your experience with them.
      Wishing you a wonderful evening. 🙂

  2. Shannon~

    This is an outstanding conversation regarding HSP. I spent most of this podcast proclaiming…YES!, as so many aspects of this interview rang true. It is very accurate that most feel that being a sensitive person is a weakness and that you are “crazy” when you are so easily affected by noise, activity, or when you cry over an AT&T commercial. Unfortunately, I allowed this negative talk to change some of the things about myself that made me compassionate, empathetic, and accepting of differences. In the last few years, I have been working to return to the person I once was and I am much happier.
    As someone who takes on the feelings and emotions of others, negativity completely drains me. Getting “permission” to set boundaries has reinforced my decision to no longer have a relationship with someone who can be very toxic and narcissistic. Recently, I have felt that I have given so much with only criticism in return that I just cannot engage with them anymore if I am going to be happy. This has come with a lot of guilt, but there is also a release of a mighty weight.

    Thank you both!


    1. Thanks for sharing, Michelle. So glad you are getting back to the person you were meant to be and are happier now. I also fight with guilt, thinking if I just put a liiiiittle more in things will improve. They usually don’t and I end up just draining to the point of exhaustion and despair. Going forward, my first attempt in toxic relationships, if it isn’t one I can let go of easily (and they usually aren’t), will be to accept the other person for who they are and keep things in perspective. Sadly, this will limit the level of intimacy I crave from interactions but I see no other choice at times. I’m beginning to understand the very many different types of people out there and hope to live harmoniously with each of them. Wish me luck! 🙂

  3. I always feel grateful to have found your blog, Shannon, but during times like this I truly wonder where I’d be without it! Thank you for finding and sharing all that you do, it’s made such a difference in my life.

    I’m really just beginning to embrace the gift of HSP. Honestly, it still feels like a burden at times but more and more I see and thrill at the strengths. It’s easy to fault others for their negative reactions to us but I want to work more on just accepting that as something I can’t change and don’t have the energy to even try. I tire easily as it is, due to grief, some personal situations, etc. and this is where I want to spend my efforts. Otherwise, I just feel like I’m spinning wheels. I look forward to getting better at choosing where and how I interact.

    During this interview (thank you to Jenn btw for using her energy for our benefit) I thought back to my childhood and how I would just up and decide it was time to go to bed at a slumber party, no matter what was going on. I know it confused a lot of people but makes so much sense now. My parents just sort of left me to be in my own little world because they didn’t understand and, sadly, didn’t attempt to (in my opinion, that is). This goes back to accepting the reaction of others, though. Obviously a big challenge for me… I do feel the strength that HSP brings, as she mentioned, and it is a great comfort. A haven in the storm, when all else fails.

    One thing that piqued my interest is the concept that we bore easily. I’ve always felt difficult to “entertain”. “Keeping busy” does not come easy to me and I think now that might stem from knowing something won’t fulfill, so why bother? Anyways, lots to think on. Thanks again, so much!

    1. You are right, Melissa!
      So much to ponder after this conversation. But like you, I almost feel validated. It is so difficult to navigate those difficult relationships, and I wish you luck in having the strength to let go of the ones that are not “worth your giving”. You are right about accepting the person as they are, even if we don’t understand them.
      Yes! The boredom think has me reflecting.
      Take good care of yourself!

  4. Melissa, you are very brave. Sharing one’s inner struggles takes courage. You are safe here. I too experienced all you’ve expressed. I understand. After so many decades I’ve come to realize how precious it is to be so utterly sensitive. What you described seems very natural. Seeking solitude, the quiet is the ‘work’ of a contemplative. ~ Teresa

    1. How kind, Teresa, thank you. So true, we have so much going on under the surface. It truly is our “work”. Very nice to connect with you.

      1. I appreciate your response. I’ve come to believe, over time, after much reflection, being ‘HSP’ is a gift. We’re blessed; not running rapidly through life, we experience deeper appreciation for nature and just ‘being.’ There aren’t too many individuals I’ve known who can stop and just be!

  5. I’m finding this book to be confirmation of what I already know about myself, and I’m learning some new things, too – like how to be more gentle and appreciative of myself just the way I am, and the best ways to support my youngest grandchild and his sensitive nature. It makes me happy that I’m a curious, lifelong learner. Thank you both for this interview.

    1. Pamela,

      Thank you for sharing how Jenn’s book is providing insight and helpful tips and ideas for embracing, and yep, celebrating this gift. I am so glad your grandson has you in his life and truly grateful you are finding your life more enriched. Thank you for listening to our chat.

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