Mastering Give-and-Take, an Essential HSP Skill, Part 1

On June 14, I spent the late evening and part of the night huddled in the basement under the staircase, as a tornado touched down in the countryside two miles from our small town. In the morning, when we assessed the damage, we found many of our trees gave up some of their limbs to the straight-line winds created by the event. I mourned one limb in particular. It was from a tree in our front yard. The limb was massive and it fell so as to block access to our front door. I documented the damage on my Instagram account, uploading a video showing the extent of blockage that this limb created.

Picture of tree from our yard, with missing limb wound.

After we cleaned up the next day, and were able to take a breath, we noticed something odd in the wound left behind from this large branch that came down. Take a look at the close-up picture posted below, and see if you can see the oddity.

Can you see it? There was bark growing on the tree in parts where the limb should have attached itself to the tree, exposing its hollowness and thereby causing weakness in the branch. The branch had little inner strength to resist the brutal attack of the winds. It is no wonder this branch gave way and was destroyed by that wind.

The hollowed-out portion of the limb caused it to be more brittle than its counterparts, and that weakness was no match for the power of its adversary, the wind. Without a solid core, giving it strength, it could not create the give-and-take sway needed to survive.

We, as HSPs, can take a lesson from the limb of this tree. While opinion is changing, many of us grew up listening to criticisms from the world, and often our own support group. Some of these include:

Close-up of wound, exposing evidence of hollow branch.
  • Stop being so sensitive.
  • Toughen up.
  • Why are you crying?
  • Stop being so emotional.

I’m sure you have your own set of criticisms that were aimed at you. Being sensitive, we take such criticism to heart, and especially as a child. As one so young, this type of criticism is harmful, because children are new to a harsh world. Their job at this time in life is to form a solid foundation with which to navigate an insensitive environment. When attacks like this happen to a sensitive child, there is injury to their core being. And we’ve seen what a weakened core can cause – lethal damage.

Not all HSPs suffer from this phenomenon. Those who received understanding and support in the beginning of their lives have an advantage, and those HSPs had a high-quality tool to triumph over it. To those who did not receive such support, it becomes necessary for survival to build that reinforcement yourself.

Join me in the next post, where we will look at ways HSPs can counteract this kind of damage. And, with that newly found inner strength, how to find the right mix of give and take to satisfy their empathic drive, while maintaining a protective shield against assault from an insensitive world.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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