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5 Books Every Highly Sensitive Person Should Read

Updated: Apr 15

There are so many resources out there for highly sensitive people and I know at times it can feel overwhelming! As a highly sensitive person myself, there have been so many books and resources that have helped me over the years; in this post I've listed just a few of my favourite inspirational book.

The first three books are helpful in understanding the traits of sensitivity better and are especially useful if you also relate to being introverted and highly empathetic! I have also found that highly sensitive people tend to be very compassionate but can sometimes struggle with self-compassion or an ability to express their feelings and needs. The last two books on the list help those who want to build self-compassion and authentic, compassionate communication.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Susan Cain celebrates the quiet power and beautiful gifts of those who are introverted. Schools, universities and workplaces tend to be orientated towards those who are more extroverted or prefer to work in groups. These more extraverted traits are, of course, important – but the strengths of working alone and quietly; needing time to reflect before speaking are not always encouraged! The book shares how some of the most creative and innovative people of our time were introverted and often worked alone when making discoveries – people such as Albert Einstein and Rosa Parks! If you're highly sensitive and also an introvert - this book will be highly relatable!

This book is a must for anyone who identifies with being highly sensitive. If you're not sure whether you're highly sensitive or not, the book starts with a short checklist to help you out. Elaine Aron helps us to reframe what it means to be highly sensitive, reminding us that sensitivity is not a flaw, and there is nothing wrong with us. In fact, sensitive people have many gifts and strengths such as intuition, empathy and compassion.

If you're new to the concept of high sensitivity, this should be the first book in your library! The books cover the biological basis of sensitivity and shares the challenges that many of us may face in our relationships (this is explored in more detail in the Highly Sensitive Person in love). For many, this book comes as a welcome relief, in finding that they are not the only ones who feel and experience the world in the way they do.

Dr. Judith Orloff's The Empath's Survival Guide is written for empaths, who often feel overwhelmed and unable to cope in our fast-paced world. Her bestselling books include Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight.

I appreciate how Judith Orloff approaches sensitivity from a holistic and spiritually orientated perspective. Her work and this book consider the energy body and how we may absorb the emotions or energy of others from our environment.

The book provides realistic coping mechanisms and techniques for highly sensitive people who are also incredibly empathetic. It explores ways we can set healthy boundaries and embrace our creativity, intuition and empathy. She shares important topics, such as how to raise sensitive children and the familiar dynamic that can play out between sensitive empaths and narcissists.

Kristin Neff PhD is an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas and has been researching and studying self-compassion for the past decade. I'm a huge fan of Kristin Neff's work. One of the things we can struggle with the most as highly sensitive people is offering ourselves compassion.

This book provides practical meditations and ways in which we can start to cultivate greater compassion for ourselves. Kristin defines self-compassion, shares the benefits of self-compassion and how it can help us develop emotional resilience.

I've found this book and the contents extremely helpful for reducing my own inner critic and letting go of my need to strive towards perfection. I have also found it to be an invaluable resource when coaching others and reference Kristin's Work in my bundle on Self-Compassion as part of the Highly Sensitive Hub.

As a coach for Highly Sensitive People, I teach the importance of setting boundaries and learning how to communicate authentically and empathetically with others. Often as Highly sensitive people, we can struggle to access and express our feeling or needs. From my personal experience of being highly sensitive, valuing my own voice and putting my needs before the needs of others has often been a challenge. This is why I have found Non-Violent Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg such a valuable and helpful tool. The approach is based on the power of empathy - empathy for ourselves, and the person we are in communication with. I strongly recommend this book as a starting point for learning the four-step process that is used in non-violent communication. It is a tool which can be implemented into your life almost straight away!


About the Author

Jules De Vitto, MAEd, MSc Certified Transpersonal Coach and Educator.  

Jules De Vitto has a BSc in Psychology, MA in Education and MSc in Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Spirituality. She is an accredited and certified Transpersonal Coach for HSP, Authentic-Self-Empowerment Facilitator, as well as an experienced trainer and educator.

She is the founder of the Highly Sensitive Human Academy™ which provides quality courses and certified training for Highly Sensitive People all over the globe. She helps those who identify with the traits of high sensitivity to navigate emotional overwhelm, step into their authentic power and align with their true purpose in life.

She is a published author who wrote ‘Resilience: Navigating Loss in a Time of Crisis’ which provides practical resources to cultivate greater resilience and find greater meaning and purpose through times of crisis. She has published her research in the peer-reviewed journal Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology and is the senior editor for the Transpersonal Coaching Psychology Journal.

You can stay connected with Jules through:

The Highly Sensitive Human Academy:


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