As a highly sensitive person, I can tell you that highly sensitive people have a lot of strengths, such as psychic ability and compassion. But one of our weaknesses is often standing up for ourselves. Doreen Virtue, known for creating her beautiful Oracle Cards, has a name for highly sensitive people. She calls us Earth Angels.
Because highly sensitive people, or Earth Angels, are so focused on how others are feeling, we often put others’ needs before our own to our own detriment. We may give and give and give and give, thinking we’re helping those that we love. However, in reality, those that we love may not appreciate all that we do and we may find ourselves suffering from the pain of toxic relationships and boundaries that have been crossed over and over again. When we continue to engage in such patterns we end up becoming frustrated and we may eventually blow up at our loved ones, which can then lead to irreparable harm to our relationships.
In some instances, we’re better off with certain people out of our lives, yet as Earth Angels are so focused on the needs of others, we may be afraid to say ‘no’ or to hurt the feelings of those who we’d be better off separating from. So we continue to stay in relationships that do us harm and we continue to be unhappy, stifled and in a state of yearning for the fulfilling and rewarding relationships that we crave.
Relationship challenges of Earth Angels and HSPs
While it may seem like highly sensitive people and Earth Angels are doomed to be used as doormats, that’s really not the case, according to Doreen Virtue. She teaches that anyone can learn to say ‘no’ and overcome their fear of disappointing others including authority figures.
According to Doreen, Earth Angels worry that if they become assertive, their loved ones will be mad at them and leave them. Yet healthy relationships are about give and take. Now to be clear, some people may get mad and leave if you go from being their doormat to becoming assertive. But those are the kinds of toxic relationships that we can do without. And also, by allowing some relationships to naturally end, we make room for new relationships that are more in vibration to the new more assertive energy that we are putting out.
Doreen shares this advice and more in her book Assertiveness for Earth Angels. She explains why Earth Angels often have a harder time saying ‘no’ to people and maintaining healthy boundaries. Often painful experiences in the past, such as abandonment, have caused Earth Angels to cling to relationships that are literally making them sick. The advice Doreen gives in the book is specifically geared toward Earth Angels and highly sensitive people. She understands that your average extrovert is equipped differently to handle boundary issues. As Earth Angels, we’re unique and need to approach the challenge from our strengths. She also stresses the importance of identifying our toxic relationships and improving our relationship with ourselves so that we can then attract relationships that are as giving to us as we are to them.
While relationships can be more difficult for Earth Angels and highly sensitive people, they don’t have to be an obstacle that you can’t overcome. We all have the power to minimize our weaknesses and maximize our strengths. All we must do is decide. To learn more the book, click here.