The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: How Your Relationships Can Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

Elaine N. Aron, Author Broadway Books $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0335-6
In her 1996 bestseller, The Highly Sensitive Person, Aron defined ""HSPs"" as people who ""pick up on subtleties, reflect deeply and therefore are easily overwhelmed."" A self-professed HSP, Aron identifies the cause of this ""innate temperament"" as a ""strong pause-to-check system"" involving the neurotransmitter serotonin. The result, she explains, is ""a major, normal, inherited difference in how the entire nervous system functions [and affects] every aspect of life"" for 15% to 20% of the population. Aron also identifies inherited traits of ""HSSs"" or ""high sensation seekers,"" whose love for change and bold risk-taking are spurred by the neurotransmitter dopamine. (Somewhat confusingly, Aron claims that it is possible for one person to be an HSP and an HSS simultaneously, or a non-HSP and a non-HSS, or any combination thereof.) Self-tests help readers assess themselves and their partners in both areas. Based on her research as a psychotherapist, hundreds of personal interviews with individuals and couples, and some recent controlled studies done by others, Aron describes the various possible ""personality combinations,"" reasons for their attraction to one another and potential areas of conflict. Aron offers a fresh way of perceiving the diversity and complexity of human personality that will help readers better understand themselves, their partners and the dynamics of interaction. Agent, Betsy Amster. 4-city tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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