Highly Sensitive People

 

Have been reading a fascinating book, My Beautiful Genome: exposing our genetic future one quirk at a time by Lone Frank. With enormous courage, she has her genome researched and is candid about the results, good and bad.

It, of course, prompts (I will not misuse the expression “begs the question” which actually means a circular argument, not a question begging to be asked!) the question of where is our free will or true choice if so much is genetically programmed? The genes have to be prompted environmentally in order to be expressed – epigenetics, a true compromise between nature and nurture.

I would like to feel that there is still free will, that we are still able to make choices, from character that we have chosen to strengthen, rather than our lives being preprogrammed reactions. Otherwise, what about courage? Endurance? Hard won victories, when one strives to conquer weaknesses?

She also refers to a personality test which I found amazingly accurate: The IPIP-NEO (International Personality Item Pool).

That led to psychologist Elaine Aron’s work on highly sensitive people who make up about one in five of us. We (because when I did the test I answered yes to almost all the questions) have more sensitive senses. We react more to noise – yes, I find noise very stressful. We apparently take longer to process information but are more sensitive to subtle detail. Interestingly, we are not necessarily neurotic or introverted. Most interestingly of all, provided we do not have highly stressed childhoods, which seem to turn on all alarms, we do better in life than the less sensitive. And we are not particularly neurotic. Wow!

About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
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