Ep.52: Intuition (Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?)
Are you a highly sensitive person? Maybe you are an intuitive, empath or energy healer? Intuition has caught the attention of scientists and studies are now being done to determine why people sometimes “know” things before they know it through evidence. In this episode I discuss some of these recent discoveries in science on the subject of intuition. You’ll also learn why it’s important to understand when it comes to your health, relationships or safety.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Take the Quiz and find out if you are an Intuitive, Empath or Energy Healer!
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Robyn: Hi, everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw. Welcome back to Your High-Vibration Life. Today we are talking about intuition and also whether you might be a highly-sensitive person. Even if you’re not, you have people in your family, people you live with, people you work with who are, and so I think this is going to be really helpful to you.
Do you believe that there is information available to you in the form of energies? We just are releasing a quiz. The quiz is 16 questions. You can take it in less than 90 seconds. Probably you want to go take it before we go through this content today. You can find it at greensmoothiegirl.com/vibequiz. That’s greensmoothiegirl.com/vibequiz. So I’m assuming that you’ve taken the quiz so we can talk in a little bit more depth about what you might have learned about yourself. I’m sure you want to share that quiz with people close to you. You’re going to have a really mind-opening experience to learn more about how the people in your world, the people you love how they interact with energies.
So there are four categories that you’re quizzed for. There is highly-sensitive people. This is a real thing. If you think that this is just something made up, there’s a lot of research out there driven mostly by Dr. Elaine Aron, who is a PhD, psychologist. She has discovered that 15 to 20% of a population qualifies in this category. The other category is if you’re a highly-sensitive person, it’s extremely likely that you’ll also find yourself to be an empath, an intuitive, or an energy healer. You can be more than one of those categories. So I hope you’ve enjoyed taking the quiz and learning which energy gifts you have.
I’m going to tell you a little story about my children and how eye opening it was for me to actually quantify what I already knew about them. It’s really validating to learn, “Oh, I have this sensitivity,” or I have this energetic ability. This is why X, Y, and Z have been happening my entire life.
If you haven’t heard Episode 9, my interview with Carol Lynn Pearson was so interesting. She talked about synchronicity, because she has written a book on it. One of the questions in the quiz for intuitives is whether you notice things that seemed coincidental but later prove to have significant meaning. These kinds of things are going to go past everybody else, but the intuitives notice them. It’s one of the hallmarks of being an intuitive.
Intuitives are really special kind of person. I actually had quite a few friends whom I believed to be highly-sensitive people take the quiz. I haven’t been wrong yet. It tells you if you’re high or very high. So you can take a look again at your quiz results and see if you’re high or very high.
I had my medical doctor friend Ann Shippy from Austin take the quiz. I was quite certain that she would be very high in all categories and she was. She was actually very high in all four categories. So it’s great that she chose a career as a healer. We were camping together recently and I had said, “You’re so very emotionally connected and very emphatic. I have this quiz that I want you to take.”
My creative musician and author friend Stacy was also very high in all four categories. I’m going to tell you how she described what’s it’s like to be an intuitive in this episode. I had another psychotherapist friend of mine. Actually, all my therapist friends I had take the quiz. All of them had some energetic gifts, which gives you a sense of why they would be drawn to the field of psychotherapy, which is a really great field for an empath and intuitive.
My friend Megan, who practices in drug and alcohol counseling, was high in all the categories. She told me, “I took it three times because I kept hoping that I wouldn’t be a highly-sensitive person.”
Another very emotionally even keel good friend is from Finland. She’s also a psychotherapist. My friend Sadia wasn’t a highly-sensitive person or an energy healer. Like me, she was very high-intuitive and very high-empath. You can imagine that these be such good qualities to have, is it, as a therapist.
I put three people through the test who didn’t rank for any of the four categories. That would be my executive assistant Caroline; my not sure whether I were to call him a boyfriend or a friend, but for many years now we’ve dated off and on; Lyle was not any of the four; and my older daughter Emma and my daughter Emma felt a little bit bad.
What does that mean? What is it mean that you’re not a highly-sensitive person or have any of those energetic gifts? First, let’s let go of any of them being good or bad, or right or wrong. We all have intuition. We all have empathy unless we have narcissistic personality disorder. Some people have a lot of them.
My friend Stacy I told you I would explain how she told me what it’s like to be an intuitive. She said, “I feel if I stand on my tiptoes that there’s a stream of information that I can tap into almost anytime that I want. There’s a stream of information going past above my head that I can sort of tip my head into.”
There’s a really interesting study out of the University of Iowa, where researchers had people play a card game. There were four card decks but two of them were rigged. One of them was rigged so that there were small gains and small losses. The other one was rigged so there were very big wins and devastating losses. It took 50 cards for the people to start consciously, mentally avoiding the high-stakes deck where they got so punished. It took them 80 cards to know that that deck was rigged and to verbalize it to the researchers.
Here’s what interesting. After only 10 cards, a sensor that had been placed on the palms of all the participants, the palms started sweating. People started to register when they reached for that rigged card deck that had the high wins and high losses. So it’s pretty interesting that we know things before we know them.
Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink talks a lot about the concept of thin slicing. Because there are more and more research studies being done in the field of psychology, we have so much data coming in any given event in our life that it might take us weeks or months to process a big event. There are things in my life, big breakups or big tragedies, big losses. It might take us years to process what actually happened there, things like a childhood of abuse, a natural disaster where there was a loss of life being in that, a divorce. Things like these can take a really long time.
However, the body is equipped in ways that science doesn’t entirely understand, but they’re starting to understand a little bit more. The body is equipped to know things very quickly that allows us to react in ways that are uncanny but really helpful. What we’re learning about this thin slicing where we react quickly on information we cannot explain is that these are reactions and this knowledge is accurate and it’s usually very appropriate.
So many times people describe knowing before a bomb is going to go off, knowing that there’s a threat to your children before there’s any actual discernible data in the environment, knowing when you’re about to meet your future spouse. You’ve heard people tell stories about I looked across the room and I knew or people about to meet their maker. We’ve heard many stories about incredible examples of when intuition give us information that was critically important.
For example, a friend I was talking to not long ago told me about how she visited New York City. She and her children were walking down the street. Suddenly, she grabbed her children and shoved them into the car, ran a little ways down the road, dragging her children, had no idea why shoved her kids into the car, because she felt a presence behind her. She didn’t hear anything. No one spoke to her. There were no footsteps. She felt the presence behind her and later learned that there had been a serious crime involving loss of life on that street by a serial killer. I’m bringing up a really chilling example, which I will not do again I promise. This is to remind us that our intuition is powerful and important.
When I was 21 years old, I was cooking a pot of chili at the stove. My husband had been assigned in our church congregation to watch over two families. It’s a tradition in the faith that I was raised in. Once a month, he checked in with these two families. I didn’t know them. I didn’t even know their name. I heard him called this family on the phone. Before I had the thought in my head, before I actually had the thought and processed it, I found myself saying, “Tell them that we will be right over with a pot of chili and we will pick up their laundry.” So my husband gave me a funny look and he repeated into the phone slowly because it was a strange thing to offer to do or to say. He said, “Uh, my wife says that we’ll be over in a few minutes with a pot of chili and we will pick up your laundry.” So he hung up the phone and we just laughed. I said, “I don’t know what that’s about.” He said, “Me neither.”
We packaged up the chili that I’ve been cooking on the stove and we went over to these people’s house. He took the chili up to the door and started bringing laundry out. The laundry was in boxes and baskets. It filled up the back of our car. We were college students and it turns out this family who I didn’t even know who he was talking to, this family had two small children. I swear every single item of clothing may could possibly have owned came out in cardboard boxes and baskets. We went to the laundromat, because like I said we were college students. We were all broke. We were living in apartment south of campus. We went to the laundromat and we spent couple of hours doing our laundry, folding it and taking it back.
I didn’t meet them. The next Sunday at church, the man got up in church and he shared a story of how he and his wife had been sick for about five days and their children were sick. Everyone was throwing up. Everyone was weak. They couldn’t even get out to the store. They didn’t have any food. They also didn’t have any clean clothes. Every single thing they own was dirty.
I share this story to highlight. The rest of the story is that they dropped to their knees and prayed for help. They didn’t have any family. They were new. They were brand new students to the university that we were attending. They didn’t know how to access help. I share this. I wish that I had more stories like this. I wish that this kind of of thing happen to me every day. I share it only to highlight how positive intuitive abilities can be. When I tap into my intuition, I’m just standing up a little bit taller into a stream of information that I’ve really come to believe in really strongly after experiences like these in my life. I imagine how much better we could serve each other if we just stood a little taller and tap into those information streams more often. So thin slicing research in Gladwell’s book Blink.
Ambady and Rosenthal, some researchers did a study with teachers and students, where teachers were evaluated by students with tiny amounts of interactions and also in other situations with long detailed interactions. The outcomes were about the same. Students who spent just seconds or a minute with a teacher judge that teacher about the same as if they spent days with them. So it turns out that when we view thin slices of behavior, we make judgments and we tend to be right in a matter of seconds with very little data.
We pick up on behavior like eye contact, fidgeting, stiff posture, smiling, looking downward at the floor. Various people in these different studies on thin slicing who are exposed to just tiny amounts of human behavior reacted and judged people the same as if they spent hours with them.
In other, researchers can tell from really brief comments by a judge what he expects to happen in the outcome of the case. In social interactions, we often have very limited data about another person. The overall conclusion is that it’s in these research studies that it’s absolutely uncanny how well we perceive the truth in a matter of seconds. It always makes me laugh when people say, “Don’t judge,” because we need our judgment. The story of the mother, a friend of mine who grabbed her kids, dragged them down the street and threw them in the car only to find out later that they were in mortal danger. These are things that we wouldn’t want to be without. These are source of information that are really important.
Another study, there were people in speed-dating situations that it turns out women are very good at speed dating. They’re very good at detecting character traits in men. Men are less good at it. People can detect sexual orientation in just 10 seconds of looking at silent video. They’re really quite accurate. 70% of the time, they are accurate at detecting whether someone is heterosexual or gay. Actual gay people have better I guess we call it gaydar in the common vernacular. Gay people have better gaydar than heterosexuals, which makes sense, right? People pick up on pathological personality disorders in 30 seconds of silent videotaped behavior.
So intuition matters. Energetics are worth studying. We’re thinking about worth-knowing what are owned and the abilities are and worth-developing these qualities. Even if you didn’t get high or very high in one of the categories, you can develop these states of being or these talents by getting quiet and noticing maybe sources of information that you’ve been maybe oblivious to in the past.
Firemen, policemen have to make split-second decisions. They have to go with their gut feeling. They get criticized for making wrong decisions. Entire books have been written, breaking down an incident where police made the wrong decisions. We use our intuition when we don’t have any other information available, don’t we? We try to avoid prejudice or snapped judgments while at the same time honoring our intuition.
So what it’s like to be a highly-sensitive person in the western world where we value stoicism? Emotionalism is seen as a weakness or a liability in a lot of different work and personal settings. I told you my friend Megan’s reaction was, “I took the test three times hoping not to be a highly-sensitive person,” but she was all three times. One small study by the founder Heather Dominick of a group called highly-sensitive entrepreneurs said that the one thing she found that her highly-sensitive entrepreneurs all had in common was that they wished they weren’t highly-sensitive people. I’ve been conducting interviews with highly-sensitive people. I’ve been finding that they all have been told in many ways that their sensitivity isn’t okay. I, myself, if I’m truthful have been less than tolerant especially early on with my two youngest children at times.
I don’t know if you know the story of how greensmoothiegirl.com came to be. We put the site up a little over 10 years ago when we went on the reality TV show called Wife Swap. We were on Season 5. I had gone into it and then back out of it because the contract that ABC and Disney gave me was not protective of my children. All the rights went to ABC and Disney and I refuse to go on the show.
The reason is that the issues that I went to the mat for to protect my two youngest children from where that both of them had an issue that I didn’t want to be shown on national television. Even though at the time I didn’t know what a highly-sensitive person was 12 years ago and even though I’m not a highly-sensitive person, I do not rate on that quiz. I am high-intuitive and high-empath. I knew what my children needed. I told the show, “No.” I am not going to be on the show because they wouldn’t change the contract. They said, “We’re ABC. We have never changed this contract.” I said, “That’s fine, but I’m not going to be on the show until you protect my children from a couple of issues that I wanted to make sure did not get shown in the editing of the show.”
So my two oldest kids Kate and Emma, they were fine. They were resilient kids. They weren’t particularly emotional. They rarely cried as babies and children. Then the two youngest came along and they cried about everything. By the way, we’ve got a boy and a girl in both categories. The highly-sensitive people and those who aren’t. So I just want to point that there are plenty of highly-sensitive boys and men and we are harder on highly-sensitive boys and men.
Intuition is real. If all this is feeling really woo woo to you, let’s talk about some mechanistic or some scientific ways that we might explain gut sense or intuition. First of all, there’s the Vegas nerve that connects the gut, most of the major organs including the heart and the brain. That Vegas nerve may be the reason why we actually describe feeling something in our gut. We know something in our gut. You hear references to that all the time.
Another factor in traditional biology that may help explain gut sense is that when dopamine squirts in a situation where there is danger for instance. It squirts and ends up in the gut, so you actually feel something in your lower abdomen.
So make sure you take the quiz. Again, it can be found out greensmoothiegirl.com/vibequiz. When you take it, we give you a special page where I did a video with some thoughts about what to do with each one of these energetic gifts. What you need to know some of this will be really validating for you and maybe you have words now and a concept to understand if you’re in one of these categories. The idea is to own your intuition. Lean into it. Find ways to talk about what you know that people can accept. I gave some suggestions in the video for intuitives so they know how to bring up these impressions that come to them so that people don’t think you’re crazy.
Own your emphatic traits, too. Check in with yourself on what’s yours to resolve and what’s not yours to resolve. Give it back to people peacefully while also not stuffing your innate compassion. It’s a good thing. If you’re an energy healer, we talked about how to find an outlet for it. The world needs you if you’re an energy healer. Highly-sensitive people, make sure you find containers for your energy is that sometimes spillover.
So highly-sensitive people and intuitives, empaths, energy healers, just remember what Peter Parker’s uncle said, “With much power comes responsibility.” I do believe that highly-sensitive people and the other categories you have a lot of power if you find ways to channel it that worked for you in your private and then your work roles.
So I hope you enjoyed the quiz. Please feel free to share it to people in your life that you’d like to explore this with. So enlightening to have my own four children take it. You’re going to learn some things that are really interesting about the people in your life that I think will be hopeful for you. So get your results, watch the video of each one that you rank for. When you do, you’ll be invited as a Your High-Vibration Life follower here on the podcast to get a very special vibe accelerator video masterclass. So if you want to go straight there if you want to look at that special offer, it’s at greensmoothiegirl.com/vibeaccelerator.
Thanks for being here. I love reading your reviews on iTunes. It also helps my show reach more people. I hope you have an amazing week and I’ll see you here next week on Your High-Vibration Life.