I have been unemployed for a pretty long time (which explains why my name is the idle soul) and also conducting my job search for a pretty long time as well. To keep tabs, my SO printed a list to fill in the number of resumes that I sent out each day. Similar to corporate ways, I get reprimanded if I fail to send out any and praises when I hit above his baseline of five. He doesn’t care if there were fewer suitable job openings for that day, nor does he care that we had been out the whole day and it was nighttime when we reached home. To him, and any other corporate manager, all he sees is the tip of the iceberg and the rest are just excuses.
I am also living with my SO’s family who seem mainly extroverted with a not-like introvert introvert (aka noisy). I think, it takes a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) living with non-HSPs to really feel the difference. For instance, crowds and long periods of noise are perfectly normal to them. They get by without needing solitude at the end of the day. Frequently they also make snap decisions easily and never, ever ponder about the big mysteries of life.
I show emotions on my face. There was a period of time when I cried frequently over a seemingly purposeless life and my SO just couldn’t get it. He simply felt that I was too idle as an unemployed individual, and spending time on unnecessary thoughts. When we are going out for dinner and my SO asks my opinion for a dinner place, I try to intuit the answer. So an answer sometimes comes after 30 minutes.
What non-HSPs see and acknowledge are simply the tip of the iceberg. Below it is where our great emotions churn when we think about our life, spirit and soul. It is also the place where we keep our deep sentimentality for treasured friends and family. It is where we go to when life moves on after the loss of a loved one and realised that life really, somehow stopped with them. Below the tip comes forth these tears that perhaps are never-ending because we never really know how deep our iceberg goes.
So when we tell others we are a HSP, know that there really is a huge chunk of us that is too huge and scary to show it all at once, not excuses. And as I shake your hand and introduce myself – all you are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.