Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

Being inner-directed: the high sensitivity personality

“Sometimes because I am very shy, when I meet a director and they are shy too, we just sort of sit there.”

Ang Lee - Sigourney WeaverActor Sigourney Weaver continued in an interview, “I remember when I met Ang Lee and we were left alone — we were supposed to have tea with each other.. I was so shy and he was so shy neither of us said anything to each other for about 20 minutes.”

[From the page Introversion / shyness]

One of the reasons I first posted that quote [years ago] was because thinking of Weaver as shy seemed so discordant with her iconic role of E.T. monster slayer Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986).

How do labels like shy – or introverted, highly sensitive etc – that we may be called, or call ourselves, impact how we view ourselves, and affect how we operate in the social world?

In his article The Highly Sensitive Person: An Introduction, Denmarkguy notes, “The immediate thing that comes to mind when people hear the term ‘sensitive’ is that someone gets their feelings hurt really easily. Whereas this kind of emotional sensitivity can certainly be a part of being an HSP, it is by no means what ‘defines’ the trait.

Sarah Dolliver, Founder of InnerVantage, is pioneering the behavioral term “inner-directed” that unites “those who focus inward to restore.”

She explains, “Why it matters that you know whether you are (or someone you know is) inner-directed is because it impacts how you deal with the world and the choices you make each day.

Avoid labels

“You don’t need psychological or social labels to define you, especially when they stop you from naturally being who you are.

“Labels, like introvert, sensitive, quiet, shy or withdrawn, attempt to describe how others experience you. They do not relate to who you are.

“They can limit you because the tendency is to live to the limits of the label and only go that far. In addition, there is the stigma that can accompany any label, which causes you to feel shame. Any way you look at it, labels confine all you truly are.

“What is important to realize is that there is so much more to you than any label can include. Inner-directed individuals are different and that is good.”

Continued in her article Are You Inner-Directed? And Why It Matters To Know.

Post author: Douglas Eby