Why I’m moving away from “Highly Sensitive.”
Very simply, the phrase ‘highly sensitive person’ is a net negative from the very start and has placed me on the defensive to reframe it as a net positive over the years. The battle to de-stigmatize ‘highly sensitive’ has been an ongoing and constant one in my writings, my seminars, and in discussing it with just about everyone, including other HSPs.
Why fight a battle that is uphill all the way and one that we will always have to fight? The broader culture will NEVER accept ‘highly sensitive,’ especially when connected with men. ‘Highly sensitive men’ is a non-starter and needs to be left aside in favor of a far more appropriate and descriptive phrase that still captures the essence of sensory processing sensitivity but reframes it as a net positive from the beginning!
It is long overdue and my adoption of High Sensory Intelligence came about as a result of working with Willow McIntosh, founder of InLuminance, the first to use the phrase High Sensory Intelligence as a way of recasting sensory processing sensitivity as having a purpose in nature, of our being able to understand that purpose and bring our lives into alignment with our capacities in ways that serve our highest abilities.
I would much rather describe to people what I mean by High Sensory Intelligence than Highly Sensitive Man any day! Now, please be mindful that the trait we are all interested in, sensory processing sensitivity, is still couched within High Sensory Intelligence, just as Highly Sensitive subsumed it in a similar way. High Sensory Intelligence simply shifts the focus from skeptical and put off to “hey, I like the sound of ‘intelligence,” let me learn more!”
So, that’s it, I have shifted from Highly Sensitive Person to High Sensory Intelligence. You may see variations of the same descriptive phrase: sensory intelligent men/people, high sensory intelligence people, etc. but they all describe the same trait, but with the added realignment of how we may flourish and create the kind of lives we are capable of and that the world needs!