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Gift Ideas for the Highly Sensitive Person

A Gift Guide for the Quieter People in Your Life

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Oh, introverts! The quiet, introspective, commonly misunderstood people in our lives. While their taciturnity lends them to be the best listeners and excellent friends, it also means that their needs often go unmet.

But for those who love and honor their less vocal friends and may still want to give them a great gift. Well, never fret! Unlike your friends and family, we are not afraid to hurt your feels. So here is a list of all those things that they want, but won't tell you.

A Weighted Blanket

Photo via Pixabay

If there were Olympic medals given for snuggling, introverts and HSP would always bring home the gold, silver, bronze, and even titanium. However, as social interactions are generally draining for them, most would prefer to cuddle without the bother of, well, other people.

If you are the partner or loved one of an introvert, don't take this personally. Instead, break out your credit card and head to Amazon and place a weighted blanket into your cart.

What is a weighted blanket? Well, it is exactly what it seems. Usually made of cotton or bamboo microfiber, the gentle weight of the blanket increases the wearer's serotonin levels. This leads to decreased levels of anxiety and a deeper more restful night's sleep.

If this sounds good to you, you may just want to add another blanket just for you—then you and your introvert can snuggle up side by side!

Kindle Unlimited Subscription

Unsurprisingly, for a group of people who spend the majority of their time in their own heads, most introverts are avid readers. And while many are book purists, as ebooks are borderline blasphemous, no one can deny that they are the more practical option for avid readers.

For only $9.99 per month, you can give your introvert unlimited access to over one million titles and audiobooks. It is the perfect companion gift to the weighted blanket. So, if you want to be certain to always have your introvert by your side, sign them up for a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Airbnb Gift Card

Photo by Ian Keefe on Unsplash

Betcha didn't know that there was such a thing, did you? Well, there is. And while this is a perfectly suitable gift for anymore, it is perfect for the HSP or introvert in your life. Although they are often stereotyped as anti-social, the reality is that they are easily drained.

So, given adult responsibilities and the constant noise of everyday life, coming come to a house full of people—no matter how much they love them—can be taxing. This holiday season, why not treat them to some valuable time? (Alone.) Or at the very least in a house large enough for them to go into a room and not be disturbed.

Airbnb also boasts a host of off the grid and/or wifi-disabled homes. This way guests will be able to truly unplug and relax. You may even want to include a list of some homes that you think that they'd enjoy. It'll make it even easier for them to make a choice and book a trip.

The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Lany

Ask any introvert who was raised in the United States, and they will tell you the same story: They were often told that they were "too quiet," "too sensitive," or that they were constantly told that they "needed to speak up more."

This can lead many of them to associate a level of shame or self-consciousness towards their natural inclination to be more reticent. Unfortunately, many carry these feelings of inadequacy well into adulthood. If you love your introvert or HSP, one of the best things you can do for them is to show them there is nothing "wrong" with them. In fact, there are many advantages to being introverted.

How to do that? Well, don't worry the work has already been done for you. You can just purchase the book The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Lany. While there are many books on introversion, this one focuses on the benefits that having a rich inner life can provide to both the introvert and the larger society.

Purchasing it as a gift will show your introvert that you appreciate their unique gifts and it will demonstrate to them that they should, too!

Ban the phrase: "Why are you so quiet?"

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. That means that sometimes the best thing that you can do for your introvert won't require money. Instead, you'll need to tap into your emotional intelligence and employ a bit of common sense.

And in this case, that means not asking questions that don't have an answer. Or least, not one that you would want to hear. What do I mean? Well, let's consider the circumstances.

Now, let's say that you in a social setting and you come across a person who is not speaking and you decide that you want to change that. Any socially adept person knows that there are many ways to engage another in conversation.

You can give them a compliment, which is perhaps the strongest option; you can make a general statement, which will generally lead to mixed results; or you can ask them a question, which should be a fool-proof way to engage anyone in conversation. Unless you ask the wrong question.

What question is that? Well, unequivocally, the one question that no one should be asked ever in any language, under any circumstance is: Why are you so quiet?

Why? Well, let's look at the situation logically.

People are generally quiet when they feel as though they have nothing to contribute to a conversation. Thus, asking someone why they don't have anything to say is an exercise in futility. If they feel as though they don't have anything noteworthy to say, they probably don't have a ready-made answer as to why they feel as though they have nothing to say.

By asking this seemingly innocent though highly unintelligent question, you will have only succeeded in making your introvert feel self-conscious. Or you may have inadvertently pissed them off. If that is the case, you may not want them to respond to you as their answer may be less than polite.

The fact is why trying to point out some else's social ineptitude, by asking this question, you have succeeded only in exposing your own. If that is the case, before your next party or social interaction, you may want to pick up The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine. It will teach you other ways to engage with people in ways that will actually be fruitful.

A Listening Ear

Due to their more reserved nature, it is common for introverts to play second fiddle to their more extroverted friends. Many, in fact, can end up playing a de facto therapist to their friends—with most of the talking and engagement only going one way.

The result of this dynamic is that often the introvert will know far more about their extroverted friend than the reverse. So, when it comes to picking out a gift, many people can feel at a loss as to what to buy for their more reticent friend. 

If you find yourself in this position, don't panic. Just being aware of the lopsided dynamic in your friendship is a way to turn things around in the right direction. So do both of you a favor and set up a buddy date. And while you're out, ask them about themselves. Try your best to give up old habits and listen more. By no means, be mute, but instead, be attentive and try your best not to make the conversation about you. 

You will find that among ideas for a gift, you may gain further insight into your friends that you never knew before.   

Don't call them—ever.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

While there may be a few exceptions to this rule, in general, one thing is clear about introverts—they hate talking on the phone. Send them a thousand texts in a row, and they will think nothing of it. But if you call us—especially out of the blue, and expect to speak to them—you will be out of luck. While you ring, they will be staring at their phones in horror questioning the security of your place in their lives.

So, spare everyone involved and send a text instead. You'll be sparing everyone involved from a lot of grief.

Understand that they can be happy just the way they are.

In many parts of the world, quietness, and thoughtfulness are considered ideal traits. Unfortunately, for introverts living in the west, the United States is not one of those places. This is the land of the free and the home of the extroverts.

In nearly every facet of our lives, the socially engaged extroverts are considered superior to the more reticent introverts. As a result, many introverts are considered by larger society to be anti-social at best and strange at worst.

But the reality is that most introverts are just fine the way they are. And if they do have any issues, they most likely arise from being told or treated as though their introversion was a problem.

But happiness looks different on different people. Just because one is not swinging from the chandelier does not mean that they are unhappy.

So, instead of trying to change your introvert, let them be.

 So, do their world a favor and learn to understand the unique qualities they have to offer and how they are beneficial to the larger world around them. Because acceptance for anyone is truly the best gift of all.

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