“Almost every adult coming to me for psychotherapy is a highly sensitive person who was raised by parents or enrolled in a school (usually both) that at best largely ignored them, so that they felt unimportant or, at worst (and more often), treated them as if there was something deeply wrong with them at their core. As adults, they continue to feel deep shame. Until faced and worked through, the shame and low self-esteem can cause excruciating pain every day – as much emotional pain as the worst sort of chronic physical pain. It also keeps them from finding friends or life partners and from fully using their talents (or else they overexploit those talents in an attempt to prove their worth). Trying to change those feelings in an adult is slow work and costly. Essentially, it involves rewiring the brain. So as a parent, you want to do everything you can to wire you child’s brain right to begin with.” From ‘The Highly Sensitive Child’ by Elaine Aron, Ph.D., pg 115
Aron then continues with an section of her book on ways to promote self-esteem in highly sensitive individuals. Here is an excerpt on How to Promote Self-esteem:
- Look at yourself.
- Words count, too
- Spend time with your child
- Show respect
- Help your HSC understand himself in relation to nonsensitive people
- Bring up strengths when your child mentions a weakness
To get the full description of each of these self-esteem promoting tools, consult pages 117-120 of ‘The Highly Sensitive Child’ by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.