Best HSP Books that Will Help You See the Beauty of Being Highly Sensitive
Have you wondered, “Why am I so sensitive?” or “How do I be less sensitive?”
Don’t worry! You are normal. According to research, about 20% of the population is highly sensitive. 70% of them are introverts, while 30% are extroverts. There are too many people that are highly sensitive to consider this trait as a disorder.
Furthermore, some of us are just innately more sensitive than others. We have a nervous system that is biologically different from the rest. We feel overstimulated easily by the environment because we are aware of subtleties.
The term, highly sensitive person (HSP), to describe people with highly sensitive traits, is made popular by the psychologist and author, Elaine Aron. There’s no surprise that half of the books on this list belong to her. Another authority in this field is Ted Zeff. He offers a male perspective on the subject.
Pick a book below that resonates with you the most.
Bonus: My Book on Highly Sensitive People and Depression
Note: The way I look at my books will never be the same as the way I look at other books, so to be fair I rather keep them off the list.
The Emotional Gift by Yong Kang Chan
What if depression is a gift and not suffering?
A highly sensitive person tends to get overwhelmed by other people’s emotions and not so good with extreme changes in life. In this memoir, the author shares with you his experience with depression and what he learns from it.
The author’s depression is triggered by a sudden loss of job and identity. Initially, he resisted the emotions that he felt but later he discovered that depression is a gift to him. Not only does depression helped him to understand his own emotions, but it also led him to learn more about self-love and spirituality.
If you are an HSP who is suffering from depression or going through a tough transition in life, this book will give you hope and insights on your suffering.
10 Best HSP Books for Highly or Overly Sensitive People
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1. The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
Not sure if you are a highly sensitive person (HSP)? Read this book.
Included in this book are self-assessment tests that help you determine if you are an HSP and identify your particular sensitivities.
Based on scientific research and hundreds of interviews, this book is suitable for both HSP and non-HSP who wants to understand their loved ones. Even if you are moderately sensitive, this book is useful for you too.
In this book, you will learn how to handle overstimulation of your nervous system and ways to reframe your past experiences. There is also advice for typical problems that some HSPs face such as shyness and difficulty finding the right kind of work.
2. The Highly Sensitive Person in Love by Elaine Aron
“Without deep conversations, HSPs are especially likely to be bored in their relationship.”
This book can be read with your HSP or non-HSP partner, or it can be read alone. Whether you are an HSP who is in an intimate relationship or not in love right now, this book is useful to you.
Based on research, this book offers practical advice on making the most of all personality combinations. At the same time, reading this book makes you feel understood as an HSP because the author describes clearly how an HSP feels in a relationship.
Even if you are not an HSP but love someone who is, this book will help you be a better partner.
3. The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron
Highly sensitive children face unique challenges as they grow up. They have unique gifts but without the right parenting or schooling, they can be shy or problematic.
If you suspect that your child is highly sensitive, read this book. It helps you to understand your HSP child and their behaviors. More importantly, you learn how to parent your highly sensitive child in a kind and compassion way, and change your expectations of how your child should behave.
Based on research on the child’s temperament, this book is great for both parents and teachers. It gets you reflecting on your current parenting and teaching styles, and help you build a relationship with your highly sensitive child.
4. The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide by Ted Zeff
Do you often sense things that other people ignore such as bright lights and strong smells? Do you find it hard to cope with time pressure?
This book provides you with various methods to calm your senses and helps you master your sensitive nervous system.
In this book, you will also find helpful HSP-related information about resolving your sleep problems, coping with your work environment, dealing with noisy neighbors, and creating harmonious relationships with others. It also explores Eastern philosophy and spirituality and provides relaxation and meditation techniques.
This is an easy-to-read book and is non-technical. It’s good for beginners who want some practical ways to deal with their overstimulated, daily life.
5. The Strong, Sensitive Boy by Ted Zeff
If you have a son that is highly sensitive and you want to understand how he is different from the other boys, this book is for you.
This book addresses unique challenges that a sensitive boy faces in school and at home. Growing up in a society that expects males to be tough and repress their emotions, sensitive boys feel the pressure to change themselves to fit in. This often causes them to deny themselves and have low self-esteem.
This book is not only good for parents and teachers. Sensitive men who want to heal their childhood wounds will find this useful too, especially if they were bullied in school or have parents who don’t understand their sensitive nature.
6. The Highly Sensitive Person’s Workbook by Elaine Aron
If you have read the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, and you want more, this workbook is for you.
Not only does this workbook compliments the book, but it also provides more tools and exercises to help you to explore your own experiences of being an HSP.
This workbook is ideal for individual and HSP support groups. All exercises are marked A, B, or C to indicate the types of groups that will be most comfortable with each task. Depending on how comfortable you are at disclosing your personal issues, you can choose a level that is suitable for you.
In the last chapter, the author also provides a guideline to help you set up your own HSP discussion group.
7. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert by Benita Esposito
If you like intimate, personal stories that are vulnerable and transparent, this memoir is for you.
Written for highly sensitive introverts, this book depicts the author’s journey from a driven, high-achiever to someone who accepts her sensitive side. If your busy lifestyle is causing anxiety, depression, and stress in your life, this book will resonate with you.
The healing methods the author uses in this book is rooted in Christian theology. But there are also self-reflection exercises to help you be in touch with your authentic self and embrace your gift as an HSP. Reading this book makes you feel that you are not alone.
8. Thrive by Tracy Cooper
This book is written specifically about highly sensitive people and their careers. If you find it difficult to fit into your company’s culture or you feel frustrated about finding a career that works for you, this book will give you a few pointers.
This book is based on the results of two research studies that were conducted by the author. He interviewed thirty-five HSPs to understand their experiences with careers and surveyed 1,551 participants to derive the statistics.
This book might not help you decide on your career, but it does provide some career advice that helps you reflect on your career path.
9. The Power of Sensitivity by Ted Zeff
If you are someone who loves reading success stories, this book is for you.
For this book, the author has gathered 44 uplifting stories contributed by HSP from all over the world. Reading their stories make you feel that your highly sensitive traits are normal. You are not the only one who experience these struggles. At the end of each story, the author also offers his own perspectives.
The stories are also grouped into 25 different topics such as career, parenting, and decision-making. You get a wide spectrum of new ideas and strategies that other people have used, which you can implement and help you cope with different aspects of being an HSP.
10. Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
Highly sensitive people often feel they are different from others in society. So many of them seek therapy because they believe they have a disorder.
This book helps you to clarify and distinguish highly sensitive traits with clinical diagnoses such as panic disorder. It also shows you how HSP presents themselves differently from non-sensitive in the therapeutic setting.
This is a useful guide for therapists, social workers, and psychologists to help their HSP clients. Or if you are a patient, you can share this book with your therapist so that he or she understands your highly sensitive traits better and provide you customized solutions that cater to your unique needs.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.