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Smart HSP High Achievers Meetup Group

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, Licensed Professional Counselor

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) often feel “different,” and in this case “different” means inferior. That’s a terrible feeling, and I want to help you change that experience.

How many questions can you answer “yes” to?

1) Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP) who feels stressed when there’s too much to do?

2) Are you a smart high achiever who has struggled with anxiety or depression?

3) Do you feel compelled to do your best? When someone criticizes you, does it sting?

4) Have people said, “You’re too sensitive. Just let it go.”

5) Do you find yourself wanting to please people to avoid conflicts?

6) Do noisy crowds, time pressures and brash people stress you?

7) Are you an empath? When others are angry or sad, do you have trouble remaining centered?

8) Do you tend to lose yourself in relationships?

9) Have people taken advantage of your compassion without returning your kindness?

10) Does your heart ache when your loved ones won’t emotionally connect with you?

11) Have emotionally abusive relationships left you exhausted?

12) Is it difficult to take time for daily meditation, exercise and to prepare healthy food?

If you see yourself in these questions, you are not alone.

Attend this Meetup group and get acquainted with other like-minded HSP’s who understand you.

Who’s Invited: All highly sensitive people.

Myers Briggs profiles INFJs, ENFJs, INFPs, ENFPs, introverts and extroverts.

When: 2nd Wednesday of the month. 6:30pm-8pm. Attend one or all meetings.

Arrive 6:00 – 6:15pm to allow time for the registration process and to mingle.

1) Wed., March 13, 2019. HSP Strengths and Struggles. RSVP by 3/8/2019.

2) Wed., April 10, 2019. How to set energetic boundaries to protect our empathic nature. RSVP by 4/5/2019.

3) Wed., May 8, 2019. RSVP for Meetup #3 by 5/3/2019.

Mark your calendar now. There will be no refunds after the RSVP date.

If you attend a meeting, you’ll get to vote on the next topic. Choose from …

• Manage your strong emotional reactions.

• Create a self-care program for work-life balance.

• Develop assertiveness so conflicts don’t overwhelm you.

• Identify and stop codependent relationships.

• Set boundaries so you don’t take on other’s emotions.

• Discuss the components of healthy emotional intimacy.

• Meditate to reduce anxiety and increase spiritual intimacy.

• Cultivate inner dialogues to develop self-compassion.

• Design a fulfilling career and a peaceful home.

Where: My office. 5885 Glenridge Drive, Suite 130. Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328.

If you travel south on Glenridge Drive from the intersection of Hammond Drive, turn left at the first driveway past the tennis courts at Hammond Park. Look for the sign: 

Plaza 400 Office Park. Drive to the building in the very back of the complex. Our entrance is next to GA 400.

Tuition: $39 per meeting

Registration. Space is limited to 8 people.

• Make a PayPal payment for $39.00 to Benita@EspositoInstitute.com.

• RSVP and payment are required no later than 5:00p.m. the Friday before the Meetup.

If you would like to attend this “Smart HSP High Achiever” Meetup, complete the Contact Form at SensitiveIntrovert.com, and I’ll get back to you. If you don’t hear from me within 48 hours, call me. There may be a glitch in the system.

If a meeting is full, you’ll be added to the waiting list or you may request a full refund. Or you may apply your fee to a future meeting.

Suggested books available on Amazon:The-Gifted-Highly-Sensitive-Introvert-Book

1) The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

Author: Benita A. Esposito, Licensed Professional Counselor

2) The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron

 

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA is a licensed professional counselor. Click here for credentials.

Benita has passed an exam by Dr. Elaine Aron to counsel and provide life coaching for HSP’s.

Click here to watch my Book Video at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.

Atlanta (Sandy Springs) & Blairsville, GA

Got questions?

Please complete the Contact form.

Counseling & Life Coaching for the Highly Sensitive Person, Atlanta and Blairsville, GA

Bestseller Banner awarded to Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

Drum roll, please!

I’m excited to announce the debut of the paperback version of The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

It is my memoir and teaching stories to guide highly sensitive introverts on the journey to the Authentic Self.

The eBook version launched 10/16/2018. Amazon awarded it the Bestseller banner in 9 categories during the first week.

Amazon began posting the #1 New Release banner for the paperback version in 8 categories on 12/3/2018.

If you ever wanted to achieve a cherished goal, but you doubted you could do it, you’ll be inspired by my story.

Most of the time my book sells more copies than When Bad Things Happen to Good People, The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom, and the Whole-Brain Child which was written by one of my teachers.

I thought that if my book received the Bestseller banner, tons of other books must, too. But that’s not the case. Brian Berni, who manages my Amazon ads, explained that it’s rare for a book to become a bestseller.

There are 4 million eBooks on Amazon.

My eBook ranked #3,305 during the first week.

That means that only 3,304 books sold more copies.

Brian says that he’s happy if a new book ranks 20,000. It’s excellent if a book ranks 6,000.

But it’s absolutely amazing for a book to rank 3,000-4,000. Especially for a first-time author who doesn’t use much social media or have a big platform.

How did this success happen?

For years I had hoped that I could write a bestseller, but it seemed like a pipe dream.

It took me two years to write this book. I didn’t feel confident while writing and publishing my book. I changed the title a thousand times. I fretted over learning the technology required to publish and advertise a book on Amazon. There were hundreds of things to study and memorize. But week after week I learned.

I didn’t study writing in school. I’m not an English major. I enrolled in an adult education course on writing once, but I quit the first time the teacher criticized my work. Highly Sensitive Introverts feel stung by criticism. I have dyslexia so I read slowly and I don’t like to read much. Most writers are readers. Not me.

I consulted the guidance of the Holy Spirit every step of the way:

• what topics to include in this book and which to save for another book
• what writing style to use, and how to edit it.
• which self-publishing school to choose. I found several schools that cost $20,000. I refused to spend that kind of money.
• which sub-contractors to hire for editing, proofreading, cover design, formatting, copywriting the book description and ad management.
• I asked for prayer support. One of the women on the prayer team at my church crocheted a white loose-weave scarf with a tiny cross embedded in it. That scarf hung around my neck 24 hours each weekend while I wrote for 20 months.
• The Holy Spirit sent angels who lifted me up. I acknowledge them all in my book.

I did my best to follow instructions from the Self-Publishing School (SPS) founded by Chandler Bolt. He and his staff have the highest integrity. My book coach, Marcy Pusey, was perfect for me because she is a highly sensitive person, too. She deeply understood me and she was so warm-hearted that I was moved to tears. I had tons of questions and I didn’t hesitate to ask every one of them. The SPS online community is warm and friendly. They provided the support that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, especially when I felt discouraged.

*** If you would like to join the Self-Publishing School so you can learn how to write and publish your book, shoot me an email. I’ll arrange for you to receive a sizable discount.

I knew I could write my book. But, I also knew that if I didn’t learn how to market it well, few people would find it. My goal was to reach masses of people to help improve the quality of life on the planet.

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert eBook sold 849 copies in the first month. Some books don’t sell that much in their lifetime. I hope that the release of the paperback will catapult sales.

I had no idea that my book would become a bestseller. None.

But now, my confidence is growing. I can look back and understand what I did to create a bestseller even though I was a first-time author, a babe in the woods.

I hope you feel encouraged by my story. If I did it, you can do it. My book coach told me that 80% of people want to write a book, but only 2% actually do.

Always remember this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” ―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here’s to your success in achieving your most cherished dreams.

Hop on over to Amazon, and buy your copy of The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert.  Buy a copy for your sensitive friends and for the family members that you want to understand you.

I’d appreciate it if you would write an Amazon review because great reviews boost the rank of the book. Then more sensitive introverts will find the help they need.

Please share this notice on your social media sites.

Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, is a licensed professional counselor, life coach and spiritual counselor. Contact her for a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted phone chat to schedule a coaching session to catapult your success as a sensitive introvert.

Visit www.SensitiveIntrovert.com and www.Flourishing-Lives.com.

Click here to visit the Book Page for The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert.

Highly Sensitive Introverts’ Strengths and Struggles

This is chapter 3 from the book by Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self Read more

Attachment Styles and Highly Sensitive People. What predicts healthy romance?

This is chapter eight in my book. Let’s look at the research on attachment styles to help us understand how to create healthy romantic relationships.

We unconsciously act the way we do in romantic relationships for a good reason. Human beings have an innate drive to form emotional bonds with people who are precious to us. We suffer when we aren’t able to create secure bonds. The need for secure attachment is part of our inherited survival strategy.

Historically, we survive better in packs than alone. Solitary confinement is one of the most devastating forms of punishment. Even though children in orphanages in war-torn countries have food, clothing and shelter, they get sick and sometimes die without adequate loving attention. That’s how important emotional attachment is to us.

Healthy relationships are the number one predictor of our ability to heal from serious disease and maintain emotional and physical health. We live four years longer when we have healthy bonded relationships. (See reference 5.)

Psychological research shows that when we’re babies, we develop one of four attachment styles based on the parenting style of our caregivers.

According to Dr. Edward Tronick’s research, the attachment style of a one-year-old predicts the attachment style of a 25-year-old. (See reference 1.)

As adults, our childhood attachment style influences all of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors at an unconscious level.

Attachment styles have two categories: (1) secure and (2) insecure.

The insecure styles are divided into two sub-categories: anxious and avoidant. Some people have a third insecure style called anxious-avoidant.

1. Secure attachment style
Fifty percent of us enjoy a secure attachment style. Our parents were emotionally healthy, responsive and physically present. As children, we felt understood and cherished. We felt safe and secure. Our physical needs were met. There was no harsh discipline or emotional neglect or icy distance. Appropriate discipline was coupled with warmth and reassurance that we were loved and liked. We were given the appropriate amount of freedom to explore the world in a safe way, and encouraged to develop our unique personality. As adults, we anticipate that people will like us and we will like them. We develop healthy relationships and set appropriate boundaries for self-care.

2. Insecure Attachment Styles

2a) Anxious Attachment Style
Twenty percent of our population has an anxious attachment style. Our parents were inconsistent in meeting our emotional or physical needs. We became watchful, trying to figure out how to please our parents so they wouldn’t abandon us. As adults, we worry that our partner will leave us if there is conflict. We still try to please people. We might feel jealous.

When we don’t get our needs met, we get angry because anger is easier to feel than the loneliness of separation. This is called protest anger.

When we feel misunderstood and unloved, we become stressed. We may act in a manner that is critical, defensive or contemptuous. We’re trying to get our partner to connect with us, but inadvertently we push our partner away. We’re called “pursuers” in the language of Adult Attachment Theory.

An anxious attachment style isn’t right or wrong. Don’t beat yourself up if you have this style. The description helps us understand each other and ourselves. Pursuers often mate with avoidant styles who distance from deep emotional connection in the heat of conflict, leaving us feeling more anxious because we feel the pain of being left alone.

2b) Avoidant Attachment Style

Twenty-three percent of us have an avoidant attachment style. Our parents were emotionally or physically unavailable, neglectful or downright abusive. Scared and tense in our bodies, we became hyper-vigilant trying to intuit our parents’ unpredictable behavior. We had a big dilemma. How could we protect ourselves from parents who emotionally or physically hurt us while being dependent on them to meet our basic needs for food, shelter and clothing? Without the much-needed emotional nurturance, our bodies didn’t feel safe, and we braced ourselves for potential threats. We emotionally distanced and tried to become as self-sufficient as possible.

As adults, we may be independent high-achievers, driven to succeed. We hesitate to ask for help.

We may experience physical pain, chronic fatigue, addictions and other diseases predictable from a lifetime of physiological hyper-arousal. We may fall into depression, or swing between anxiety and depression. Even when we want to form healthy relationships, we anticipate people won’t like us if they really know us, or we won’t like them. We guard against getting too close. We may assume people will judge us, hurt us or try to control us. We’re called “withdrawers.”

2c) Anxious/Avoidant Attachment Style

One percent of us have this combined style. We may jump into relationships quickly, loving the endorphin high of romance, or we may hang back for a long time trying to determine if we’re safe with a potential partner.

We’re often attracted to a person who also has an insecure attachment style. When conflicts arise, we try to work it out, but if our partner doesn’t respond positively, we withdraw to protect ourselves. It’s difficult to open our hearts again, even when our partner begs us to connect, unless there’s a strong friendship already established.

The healthiest relationships contain at least one person with a secure attachment style.

When conflicts arise, the secure attachment style partner provides a stable emotional base so the other partner feels loved. To use an analogy, when the couple is dancing and the insecure partner stumbles, the secure partner is grounded and warm-hearted enough to help the other regain their balance. (See reference 4.)

With individual and couples therapy, people with insecure attachment styles can learn how to repair attachment injuries and connect in emotionally healthy ways. They can develop “earned secure attachment” so they both feel safe, understood and loved.

The science of Adult Attachment Theory is relatively new. With the development of fMRI machines, neuroscience has been able to understand the interplay between our emotions, our physiological reactions and our behaviors, and what happens to make us feel safe or scared in our relationships. (See reference 3.)

Highly Sensitive People and Attachment Styles

Let’s circle back and apply attachment theory to highly sensitive people. Research by Dr. Elaine Aron indicates that highly sensitive children raised by parents who meet their emotional and physical needs develop secure attachment styles just like non-highly sensitive children who have healthy parent styles. (reference 8) As these highly sensitive people mature, they thrive in relationships and they reach their life goals even better than many non-highly sensitives. They are creative, conscientious, compassionate, intuitive and innovative.

However, when the emotional and physical needs of highly sensitive children are not met, they react stronger to deprivation or abuse than non-highly sensitive children.

Their nervous systems respond with more hyper-arousal, like pressing their foot on the car accelerator. Or they experience more hypo-arousal, like pressing their foot on the brake to slow down. Or they vacillate between the two, fluctuating between anxiety and depression.

Highly sensitive people are more prone to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they experience trauma, but with adept psychotherapy the effects of trauma can be healed. (See reference 6.) It’s best to seek therapy as soon as possible after a troubling incident to return the nervous system to resilience.

Highly sensitive people are no more likely to report insecure attachment styles than non-highly sensitive people.

Nothing about highly sensitivity impairs a person’s ability to form a healthy intimate relationship. Highly sensitive people are more attuned to subtle meanings of conversations, and they are able to gain more benefit from loving attention. They’re more empathetic, and better equipped to detect the unmet needs of others and fulfill those needs. They are more adept learners than non-highly sensitive people when healthy relationships skills are modeled for them in therapy. When they receive affirmation and appreciation, they thrive. (See reference 8.)

Conclusion

It’s challenging to form healthy bonded intimate relationships as an adult if we have an insecure attachment style. However, if we’re fortunate enough to mate with a secure attachment-style person, or we learn how to change our patterns in a course of successful psychotherapy, we can change our style to “earned secure attachment” and enjoy flourishing relationships.

Contact Information

If you are a highly sensitive person who wants to heal and learn how to form healthy adult relationships, contact Benita A. Esposito, MA.  She is a licensed professional counselor, life coach and spiritual counselor who specializes in helping highly sensitive people. Benita earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and has four decades professional experience. Complete the Contact Page to schedule a 10-minute complimentary phone interview to see if her services are a good fit for you.

Visit these websites: 

www.SensitiveIntrovert.com

www.flourishing-lives.com

 

References and Resources

Aron, Elaine. (2001). The Highly Sensitive Person in Love. p. 92. New York, NY. Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Aron, Elaine. (2001). The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You. New York, NY. Broadway Books.

Poole Heller, Diane. (2017). Healing Your Attachment Wounds: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships. Audiobook – Original recording by Diane Poole Heller (Narrator, Author),‎ Sounds True, Inc. Louisville, CO.

Poole Heller, Diane. Attachment Style Quiz. https://dianepooleheller.com/attachment-test

Levine, Amir and Heller, Rachel. (2010). Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love. Jeremy P Tarcher/Penguin Group. New York, NY.

Levine, Amir and Heller, Rachel. (2018). Attachment Quiz. http://www.attachedthebook.com/compatibility-quiz/?step=1

Tronick, Edward. (2007). Still Face Experiment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0

Johnson, Sue (2013) Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. New York: Little Brown.

Johnson, Sue. (2011). Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. New York: Little Brown.

Johnson, Sue. (2014). How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Relationship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pruIGfJewhs&t=1s

Ornish, Dean. (1998.) Love and Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and Health. New York, NY. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Bolby, John. (1988). A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. New York, NY. Basic Books/Hatchette Books. (John Bowlby is the father of attachment theory.)

 

Copyright 2017. The Esposito Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.