For further information on avoidance for HSPs, Dr. Aron directed us to studies that can be found on her website hsperson.com.
Here are some outtakes from notes that I took during Dr. Aron’s lectures.
Avoidance for HSPs is a good thing, not a negative or cowardly thing. Loosely quoted, “avoidance is not weak, dysfunctional or wrong… It is necessary for our self-care, healing and thriving. If you know it’s going to be excruciatingly overwhelming… avoid it. The cost to your cortisol levels, cardiovascular function and whole being is simply not worth it.”
My take on this: How many times my clients and myself have felt frustrated, self-directed anger, embarrassment and shame around not being able to withstand the environments that make us feel just plain awful? Hearing the master herself tote the benefits of avoidance for HSPs is liberating beyond words! So next time you think you should force yourself into such situations or someone else pushes you into them, you can feel right, strong and empowered by saying “no” or curtailing the amount of time spent that is conducive to your comfort level. Yes, there are plenty of situations where we do want to challenge ourselves, but not in those instances that clearly cost us more than such attempted growth is worth! We have to be very discerning judges on this front.
“Differential Susceptibility”: The differences in HSP’s childhood environments that can make them more susceptible to difficulty in young adult and adult life, i.e. HSPs with stressful childhoods will have more difficulties, for example but not limited to, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. You will find this term and others in Dr. Aron’s research as stated above.