What is different about people with a Responsive (Highly Sensitive) temperament?
What is so fundamentally different between Responsive (a.k.a. Highly Sensitive) and Unresponsive temperaments? Why do people who are Responsive in temperament, in fact, need anything different - in the way their workplace (or classroom) is set up, or how managers (or teachers) approach working with them?
Let me explain (you can also read my posts about gifts of sensitivity, brain differences, benefits of thriving HS people in workplaces and why you need them on your team, and other differences)- the differences, and the consequences.
The main differences
These are the basic drivers of differences between sensitive and non-sensitive/ responsive and unresponsive temperaments.
This results in:
1. Greater awareness
- what’s going on around them
- what might happen soon
- how things are interacting and are likely to interact to produce results
2. Increased insight/perceptiveness
- how things come together to make sense
- emotional states of other people, and what those might lead to
- what has led to current situations
- how to resolve the problems in those situations
- how to avoid potential problems
- how to get desired results
- a desire to do what one is doing very well
- (due to) understanding why doing something well is important, and the consequences of not
- self-motivated, because they see the reasons for doing or not doing something – can perceive consequences, meaning, etc.
- aware of others’ emotional states, what might have led to them, and how to approach them
- awareness of the experience of others
- awareness of how a person might have arrived at a conclusion
- can place another person’s position on a matter within their map of reality
- awareness of many things means more connections to be made
- deep processing leads to many connections
- those connections result in creative – different – ideas
It also means:
1. Responsive people are overwhelmed by too much data at once
- they have a great capacity to absorb information, but because they are taking in so much, it needs time to process; too much at once overwhelms their system
2. The deep processing their nervous system does needs time, and sufficient calm and quiet.
- thinking on the spot in unfamiliar situations isn’t one of their gifts
- coming up with wise and valuable insights when that information has had the time and space to be processed is one of their gifts
3. Without this time and space to process the large amount of data they take in, the above desirable results are minimised (or halted, depending on the severity of the lack of time and space).
Importance of understanding this:
With conditions which nurture/support the way their temperament works, HS/Responsive people can give forth all of their gifts, as listed above.
With conditions which counter the way their temperament works, their responsiveness is unable to be effective. It turns, instead, into a liability, and they suffer deeply for it.
1. Provide as many ‘right’ conditions as possible. Result:
This is not a threat; it's an opportunity – an invitation to something better. The excellence we can create together – Sensitive and non-Sensitive/ Responsive and Unresponsive.
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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.