For those who prefer to watch, or listen to videos, please skip ahead to the bottom of the page where you can hear me chat about this topic and give you some pointers. If you prefer to read the information, then please keep going 🙂
What you are currently doing:
Many ladies I have talked to recently seem to have this tendency, so there’s a good chance you might too, especially if you are a HSP-Extrovert! We are usually very open, vulnerable, and we share all of ourselves with all of the people that we come into contact with! And then what happens, is that one day we get really badly hurt, used or taken advantage of. Then we often sway too far in the opposite direction. We shut down and don’t let anyone get too close because we don’t know how to protect ourselves…
Obviously this is not a formula for long lasting happy friendships & relationships. There are a couple of reasons these things tend to happen to us.
First of all, the majority of people are not like us, because highly sensitive extroverts only make up about 6% of the population. All the highly sensitive extroverts reading this will probably relate to this example: you meet someone new, and are simply doing what you usually do i.e. sharing ALL OF yourself with this person and next minute, you get the sense of them kind of backing away, and you realise you have done it once again and you are just a little bit ‘too much’ for them. It gets weird and uncomfortable….
This is quite a common experience. Due to the simple fact that the majority of people are not like us, therefore they don’t understand us and our enthusiasm can sometimes overwhelm them. We share a lot of ourselves with people; we let them into our inner circle, to our inner sanctum. We show them the vulnerable parts of us and often we get hurt. We get taken advantage of. We become the victim of narcissists as well, because we’re kind of like homing beacons for narcissists. It is almost like they can smell the vulnerability in us!
What can we do instead?
I will introduce you to the ‘house analogy’. It can be such a helpful tool to use in order to protect yourself, and your heart, a little more than perhaps you have been doing. The house analogy is a way of thinking about your life, your personality and your world in relation to a house. It works exactly like your house, in that you should be mindful and careful about who you let into your house, and then also which parts of the house you allow them to spend time in.
As an example: some people might knock on the door and you don’t even let them in because you feel like they might be a narcissist, maybe they’re someone that takes advantage of people, maybe they are reminding you of a shonky car salesman! You look for the warning signs before you let them in the house and not invite them immediately into your bedroom – which, by the way, many of us have been doing for many years (not literally, but you get the idea) – so no wonder we keep getting burnt!
Some people, maybe work colleagues or a friend of a friend, you might invite them in, but they might only be guests in the lounge room to start with. Again, definitely not straight into the bedroom!
Think of the bedroom as the sacred sanctuary of the house. The bedroom is like our heart, in this analogy. People have to earn the right to enter our heart, our circle, our inner sanctuary. They need to spend some time in the living room, in the kitchen, and perhaps other rooms, before they prove to us that they are worthy of being let into our heart (bedroom).
The moral of the house analogy is you don’t let just everybody in. People have to earn the right to go into other rooms of the house, especially your bedroom and be able to feel comfortable in that space. Think of it as a privilege, not a right.
Next time you meet someone new – spend a bit of time getting to know them in the lounge room, the kitchen, hell, even on the front door step to start with, if you don’t know them very well!! It’s all going to help protect your sensitive heart!
Take Action Challenge Activity:
- Make a list of your friends, your work colleagues and your acquaintances.
- Write down next to their name – the room of the house they are currently in. Are they still on the front door step, in the kitchen, are they already in the bedroom, is everybody in the bedroom, and you need to put some of them out?!?! Haha!
- In the next column, identify where they should be currently based on how well you know them. You might need to backtrack some of them out of the bedroom back to the front door. i.e get to know them a bit better, before revealing all of your heart and soul to them.
- Let them earn that special place in your life!
If you’re not already a member of my free Facebook group, then please join the group here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitiveextrovertswithjennt/) and share your findings & observations from this challenge with the group. See you in there!