It is possible for HSPs to survive and even thrive in stressful jobs but it requires a deep level of self-awareness — and a willingness to adopt strategies to balance and reset energy when needed. Here are five strategies to help:
1. Get to know your own talents and needs.
Before you can expect others to understand you at work, you must understand yourself — including the needs and strengths you bring with you. What are your sensitivities and your abilities? What are your unique talents? What do you particularly enjoy doing? And what conditions enable you to do your best work — for example, do you need absolute quiet? Do you prefer to work alone? Or do you actually thrive on some level of stimulation and collaboration?
2. Own the things that make you different.
As an HSP, you’re different from the majority of people. You know this, but you may put a lot of effort into trying to fit in, trying to be like others, and trying to do things the same way as others. The simple act of accepting your differences can bring a great sense of peace.
3. Practice speaking up.
I know, this can be difficult for HSPs — and for introverted HSPs in particular. You may be hesitant to speak up because you’ve been criticized in the past for being different. But people are afraid of what they don’t understand. They don’t understand you, and they see you as “different,” so they may automatically jump to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with you. It’s up to you to put them straight.
4. Plan the self-care you need.
Because it’s so easy for HSPs to become overstimulated at work, it’s important to make self-care a priority. Plan little routines to conserve your energy before, during, and after the workday.
5. Leverage your natural gifts
Nothing stifles your energy more than not using your innate gifts, talents, and abilities.
Do you have a strong intuition about certain things? Do you know things without knowing how or why you know them? Do people seek you out for advice, or share problems with you? All of these things are clues to your unique gifts.
Once you identify them, you must use them in some way — and yes, you can leverage them at work. It’s a rare workplace that doesn’t want an insightful problem-solver that everyone trusts.