The Science and Soul of Living Well

Recovering from criticism as a highly sensitive person (HSP)

October 6, 2021

In today's episode, I describe the trait of high sensitivity and share some key research that is helpful in understanding high sensitivity. I also discuss how cultural values, families of origin, life experiences and relationships shape our perceptions of high sensitivity. The judgment and criticism that highly sensitive people (HSPs) often face from others can result in an internalization of these harmful messages and profound self-judgment. Because this self-judgment can really erode self-esteem as an HSP, I share several examples of concrete ways we can both individually and collectively work on reframing how we think, talk about, and treat high sensitivity. I conclude by sharing key principles and actionable steps for facilitating your recovery from criticism and invalidation as an HSP.

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Because HSPs are so attuned to the external environment and tend to be highly conscientious, they can at times struggle with perfectionism. If this sounds like you, download free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" ( and check-out the accompanying 3-part perfectionism series on the podcast (Episodes 28, 29, and 30).

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and navigating high sensitivity in a compassionate way that nourishes your unique needs and strengths, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021:

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in regulating your nervous system and building resilience as an HSP, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience:

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and thriving as a highly sensitive person.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

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