Counter to what you might think…Highly Sensitive People (even us introverted ones) do appreciate connection and play. We just find amusement in places that the typical person (or at least the typical American person) might not quite think of when you imagine “play.”
So if you’re a highly sensitive person trying to communicate to your friends how to best connect with you (or if you’re someone who is close to a highly sensitive person and is trying to figure out how best to connect with them) here are some examples of things to consider…
- Go to an art museum. Many highly sensitive people tend to be creative. OR at the very least, the appreciate creativity. Going to an art gallery or museum gives an HSP an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of someone else without having to have a long-winded conversation about it. There is freedom of movement. It’s a space where its perfectly respectable to stand in one place and simply observe for long periods of time.
- Sign up for a Paint Nite. If you want to go out drinking with your buddies…but don’t want to get caught up in the whirlwind of loud base playing rap music and strobe lights – try something like paint nite! You can all go and paint your own painting while sipping cocktails and chit-chatting. Its a way to socialize and have a good time…but while also working our creativity muscles and without the ick factor of waaaaaay too much commotion
- Walking/Running buddies! What’s nice about running is that its more or less an individualized sport. No balls. No nets. Just you and your shoes and the ground. It’s a practice that many highly sensitive people tend to appreciate because it can burn off some of that excess adrenaline and cortisol we have a habit of creating in more abundance than most. We can talk and connect even while we decompress our bodies and give it a chance to unwind.
- Boardgames. They aren’t just for kids, guys. It’s a great way to keep the focus on something outside of only the conversation while still having a conversation. Those long pauses feel significantly less awkward for all parties when there is something else to focus on.
- Discussion groups. I know it might not necessarily sound like play…but for most highly sensitive folks, having a chance to chit-chat about books, philosophy, art….or life in general…tends to light up a highly sensitive person. In many cases, highly sensitive people are keying into the nuances of what it means to be alive. We catch expressions others miss. Most of us are fascinated by the inner workings of our own minds. Why did I do that? Why did that trigger him? How can we live well? It gives us an opportunity to puzzle out what makes us tick while also getting some insight into how the world works around us.
Highly sensitive people can often come across as being unwilling or unable to kick back and enjoy themselves. Their inquisitive nature might be endearing at times…but do they ever just have a beer, kick back and relax? The answer is YES! We just do it a little differently. We love people with the best of em! Just…in smaller doses.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you think of when you hear the word “Play”??