HSPs and Trying to be Superman/Superwoman

Continuing on the with the Highly Sensitive Person who is also a High Sensation Seeker topic, I’ve been reading a lot more information about it. Reading Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person and the Highly Sensitive Person In Love has really been enjoyable and has made way to a lot of new insights and understandings. She is amazing at expressing her points in a really clear way and in empathizing with various traits and temperaments.

One point Dr. Aron visited in the Highly Sensitive Person In Love was the HSP’s tendency to take on the role of “Superman” or “Superwoman”  before more comfort with ourselves and self-awareness is present. We can try to be all and everything at once. Taking on various responsibilities, working super-long hours, pushing our bodies and minds to the limit, trying to be “out there” just as much or even more than others who are more equipped to do this. We want to show that we have no limits, both to ourselves and to others.

Why? What could be the reason for that besides wanting to burn-out and die at an early age? Seriously.

Dr. Aron poses the question “Are you compensating for your “flaw?” Why are you trying to be so perfect?”  Why are we? What is so wrong with narrowing the focus, being effective in the ways we are meant to be and swallowing the fact that we have limits (as we all do)?

For all of us (as people, not just HSPs) when more focus is put into less tasks, when adequate rest and recovery are balanced with appropriate work and work hours; we are more effective, efficient, happier and have a greater chance of feeling personal fulfillment. Work gets done and it can get done quite well this way. When we take on too much, the opposite may be true. We can be left with a bunch of unfinished projects, a gigantic unfulfilled desire to contribute and, not to mention, one big @ss headache.

Another quote by Dr. Aron from the Highly Sensitive Person In Love; “With new realizations, you can switch the focus to the quality of work rather than the quantity.” You begin to get more done by doing less.

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) who is also a High Sensation Seeker (HSS) may be more susceptible to overworking with an inner drive that can dominate our need for rest and recovery when the HSP side is not in balance or “ignored.” HSP men, even if they are not HSSs, may also be at risk in an attempt to keep up with what they may feel is expected of them as men: Work hard, play hard. Awesome, so long as this is what you really want and your limits/needs are kept in mind.


3 thoughts on “HSPs and Trying to be Superman/Superwoman

  1. Great article. If you are looking for great mind/body exercise for HSP’s I would suggest NIA.

  2. reneeprimeau says:

    Thanks a lot Maria:) I appreciate that and It’s always exciting and helpful to learn from new suggestions.

  3. Peter Messerschmidt says:

    You make some really important points here! I’ve walked the path of excessive striving… but have chosen to leave it behind. Ultimately, it’s all about finding balance, yes? When we find ourselves overcompensating (aka “going to extremes”) it’s usually an invitation to introspect and sit in our $hit to examine what’s really going on… what’s the underlying FEAR?

    In my experience, most HSPs (perhaps less so, if you’re an HSS) tend to be very much “in their heads” but sadly out of touch with their bodies. Maybe that’s not exactly right… they typically *feel* every little thing in their bodies (aches, pains, illness), but they are not really IN their bodies. In groups of HSPs, I’m usually “the exception,” having been an athlete in school and having done physical activity for much of my life.

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