The Highly Sensitive Person as Artist, Signs 8,9,10
Visit highlysensitiverefuge.com , 21 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person, author Jenn Granneman Dec. 12 2019 .
Disclaimer: I am not giving professional advice here. These are my opinions. That said……
8 is Sudden, loud noises startle you.
9 is Your Clothing Matters.
10 is Your pain tolerance is less.
I’m going to smoosh these three together. I don’t want to rearrange the original article or edit its 21 Signs, but rather illuminate them.
We’re now finding common themes cropping up.
For the HSP Creative these Signs are once again a matter of degree, and the issues are ones of control, understanding and respect.
Of course sudden loud noises startle. But for the HSP the consequences are amplified compared to the non-HSP. I refer back to the ‘fight or flight’, startle reflex.
At the same time, having a studio in a bustling part of a city can be very stimulating, and that’s why many Creatives actually need to be part of that creative culture. These are issues of control.
And this brings up the larger role that sound sensitivity has for the HSP Creative. Perhaps you hear better, or sooner, the nuances in music. Perhaps there is inspiration in the rhythms of city life. Perhaps you need ‘white noise’, not too loud, but just enough to cancel out the sound in your head. It is all about control.
It goes badly when you over-use substances to make you less sensitive. Controlled adrenaline rushes are great, but recklessly driving your motorized vehicle or cutting yourself is a deep problem that you need help with. ‘Self medicating’ has its limits.
9. Your clothing matters.
As an HSP you will notice clothing that irritates. Too tight, too loose, too rough, too hot, too cold. Slippery. Perhaps even too colourful. “The HSP will carefully select their wardrobe to completely avoid them.”
And the corollary is true, I contend: The HSP Creative will deliberately select the wardrobe that feels best (both in form and function) for their profession. This means warm clothing when its cold, cool clothing when it’s hot, clothing that helps you create. Fashion comes after, if at all. We don’t need to be distracted by our clothing as we work.
If, like Francis Bacon, the artist, we create in utter chaos, we might wear the worst looking paint smeared pants and shirts. Bacon often painted in a paint smeared dressing gown. But when Bacon went out to eat and socialize he wore expensive, immaculate clothing. Lucien Freud wore loose drab sweat pants and t-shirts and he was worth tens of millions of dollars. This has nothing to do with money, it has to do with empowering your creative gifts.
I think the clothing Sign is something we learn about ourselves very early on in our lives, and work out through our teenage years, as peer pressure and culture butt heads with our personal requirements.
10. Your pain tolerance is less.
“Many HSPs are more sensitive to pain of all kinds.”
What’s to be said? Just because you are sensitive, however, does not mean you should retire from life. Far from it. Play sports, go hiking. Work hard. So you limp for a while, once in a while. So what? You’ll have more insight into life to fuel your creative world.
I think there is an irony here. I suggest that HSPs can actually become adjusted to ‘carrying’ a lot more pain than non-HSPs, as we get older. This, however, does not mean that we have increased our ability to take on more pain, rather, it means that we have less pain tolerance left in reserve.
Again, this Sign comes down to personal management. At what point do you draw the line and say, “That’s enough. Just can’t do this anymore, it’s too much.”?
You might push yourself too far and learn that you can’t lie to your body. I’ve actually said that for years: “The body never lies.” Even though Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “Your form is not who you are; it’s just a garage where you get to park your soul for a little while,” it is still YOUR form and it is a complex system with a mind of its own, and it is the interface between you, your soul, and the rest of existence.
All of which means that, if nothing else, the HSP Creative’s finely tuned instrument / interface deserves respect and you should pay attention!
Don’t ignore the messages from your body. You might want something so greatly that you will ignore the signs, put up with the pain, power through. But at some point you can go too far. Everyone can do this, go too far, but for the HS Person there is the irony that you are supposed to be more sensitive, not just to the outside world but to the inside world of your body, so the expectation is that you should be more aware and more responsible.
Taking on too much stress and too much pain will eventually cause your body to rebel. How will depend on your unique physical make up and experiences, but ‘the chickens will come home to roost’. That is, what seemed like small, little things will eventually grow on their own into big things and come back and cause trouble.
Can we say ulcers, or auto immune malfunctions, or worn out joints? Chronic health issues, Hello!
Easy examples of dangerous practices for the HSP Creatives are things like over exposure to chemicals (to the point where one suffers from uncontrollable allergic reactions, breathing problems, even poisoning), carpel tunnel (from years of holding tiny brushes for long unbroken periods of time or endless hours typing at un-ergonomic keyboards), and worn out feet and joints (dance, circus performance).
Renoir started his career painting ceramics with highly toxic paints and tiny tiny brushes (and no safeguards) and this likely led to his later crippling arthritis.
If you are an academic, writer, or computer based creative, you might have problems with your eyes from too much reading, too much screen time, or back problems from sitting too long, or later, health and weight issues from too little physical activity. There is a reason a big post-production / compositing company in Toronto will fire you if you don’t take the mandatory stretching break every hour. Your current unbroken 16 hours of super production is not worth the health care costs and lost work time that looms down the road.
So, keep your garage in good shape, it’s much smarter than you think. The Body never lies. You’ll figure it out.