Responsive and Un-Responsive
In any workplace, you're likely to have two groups of people, speaking about temperament.
What does this mean? Responsive people are responsive to the inner (intrapersonal) and outer environment. This means that they:
(When I use these terms, they don't have moral value - an 'Un-Responsive' person refers to biological elements in how they naturally respond to the environment. 'Non-Sensitive' is the same - it's the name used for their temperament).
Not less resilient
Due to the effects of these two factors, it can seem like those with a Responsive temperament are less resilient or more sensitive, in the negative way in which that term is taken, than those who are Un-Responsive. This is because they're more affected by seemingly the same things or situations. But they're actually having a different experience.
The result is that the Responsive group is seemingly more easily overwhelmed by apparently the same things - the same data. In fact, they're taking in more and processing it more deeply, meaning that they're experiencing more. This is energy-intensive, as you can imagine. It's draining. And that is why they are overwhelmed seemingly more easily. It's just that it's all happening within, so it's not visible to others.
We could also say that Responsiveness means having a wider range. They are more positively and negatively affected by situations. So they will thrive in good environments and languish in the poor. Said another way, Responsive people do better than Non-Responsive people in a positive environment, and worse than them in a negative one.
Those who are Unresponsive are less affected, both positively and negatively, by their situation. This is why we could say that they have less range.
This is all part of the Responsive experience. You can see, I hope, the sorts of consequences of such a range. Perhaps you can see the possibilities - the potential in that for your organisation. I can!
More than that, though - beyond what you or your group can gain from helping them to thrive (so they can experience and produce more of the positive end of their range), how right and good it also is. How much they can bring, of this light and potential, to the rest! And because they are so responsive, the changes one needs to make to help them thrive at work, for example, don't need to be enormous or difficult. They will respond to the smallest differences, and the benefits for them and everyone will be exponential.
This is the exciting thing about the wider range of experience that Responsive people encompass. What possibilities there are!
If we recognise that those in the Responsive group have an essential service to perform in our society, and provide the space for them to do what they do, they can provide those services as they're meant to. Without that space, everyone misses out on the best form of those services, and people with this temperament miss out on fulfilling their potential.
If organisations, governments, and individuals can recognise and celebrate what those in the Responsive group have to give, then
We're Simply More Responsive for an overview of the research about the two traits of responsiveness and unresponsiveness (otherwise known as sensitive and non-sensitive). Easy read.
Vantage Sensitivity: Individual Differences in Response to Positive Experiences - research regarding differential susceptibility, which is what leads to this difference in range that I've described. Psychological journal article.
Also this journal article, about Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Differences.
Tamara - Sensitive Thrive is my consulting business. I believe that the world needs Highly Sensitive people who are flourishing. We need their hope, insight, wisdom, and awareness of beauty and possibility. My vision is to help create a culture where this temperament is known, understood and valued; where organisations seek Highly Sensitive people to work for them, because they know what they can do. Where HS people feel like they fit in their workplaces, because those workplaces also fit them. A world where HS people belong, thrive, and flourish, and the world is better for it.