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    From the preface to The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide by Ted Zeff, Ph.D:

    "I wish those neighbors would turn down their music. It's driving me crazy. I can't stand it anymore."

    "What music? I don't hear a thing. You shouldn't let noise bother you. Something's wrong with you."

    Actually, nothing is wrong with you if you are sensitive to noise, scents, lights, or if you feel overwhelmed by crowds, time pressure or can't screen out stimuli. You may simply be part of the 15 to 20 percent of the population who are Highly Sensitive.


    If the above few lines sound familiar we invite you to check out our Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Greater Chicagoland Sharing Circle. No monthly on-going commitment is required but we'll be happy to hang out with you again and again!

    Our non-profit* Meetup group gathers each month to listen, support, and to share possible ways to understand ourselves and find better balance in a world that can be challenging for us in so many ways. We share, laugh and converse in an open and comfortable way. Our group is inclusive welcoming all individuals of all ages, nations, genders and sexual orientations, religions- or none. Come as you are. A warm welcome awaits!

    (* Although we are a non-profit group we are required to pay a monthly fee to MeetUp for access to their website. We invite you to contribute a dollar or more (cash) to our HSP group kitty jar if you are in a position to do so.)


    A few questions from the Self-Test developed by Elaine Aron, Ph.D. to help determine if you are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) :

    Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?

    Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?

    Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?

    Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place, where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?

    Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?

    Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?

    Do you have a rich and complex inner life?

    When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Want more? Use any search engine to find the full Highly Sensitive Self-Test. 


Here's what attendees say:

"At first I didn't want to go to the HSP Meetup because I feel shy and timid. Now it's something I look forward to. It's actually the safest place for me."

"HSP meetings make me more comfortable existing in my own skin. The meetings demystify my own experiences with which I struggle and feel alone."


And best parts of being Highly Sensitive? Here, again quoting Elaine Aron, Ph.D., include:

We are better at spotting errors and avoiding them.

We are highly conscientious- a very valuable quality!

We are good at tasks requiring vigilance, accuracy, and the detection of minor differences.

We are able to concentrate very deeply especially when there are no distractions.

We are able to learn without even being aware that we've learned something.

We often think about or own thinking- meaning we are self-reflective.

We are deeply affected by other people's moods and emotions. (We can care deeply.)

We are more right-brained and less linear and more creative in a synthesizing way.

Being HSP really does make us special!

In The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Dr. Elaine Aron, we learn that characteristics many of us were brought up thinking were "weird" or "wrong" actually are part of the everyday lives of 15-20% of the population. Our HSP Sharing Circle will allow HSPs in Chicago to meet one another and feel understood and accepted in comfortable, casual conversation - "the HSP way to party!" (Aron, 113).

A warm welcome awaits you. We look forward to seeing you!