Sensitive and Strong: A Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them

Sensitive and Strong: A Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them

Sensitive and Strong: A Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them

Sensitive and Strong: A Guide for Highly Sensitive Persons and Those Who Love Them


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Embrace the Unique Way God Designed You

Perhaps you’re bothered by bright lights or you struggle to tune out background noise. Maybe you’re quick to notice the details others miss or you need more time to process events.  You may feel emotions deeply and hear, “You’re just too sensitive.”

But what if you learned you’re not “too sensitive”? What if your sensitivity is part of your design and comes with corresponding strengths?

One in five people are HSPs—Highly Sensitive Persons—with the genetic trait of sensory sensitivity. As an HSP, you are not fragile or frail. You can be a strong friend in relationships, strong partner in business, and strong member of your community.

Sensitive and Strong is your guide to navigating the HSP journey of exploration and growth. It will help you…

  • discover you’re different, not defective
  • understand your genetic disposition to an over-abundance of stimuli
  • see how your sensitivities correlate to key strengths
  • respond to stressful situations with confidence and calm
  • harness your strengths to serve others

Release the worry that you’re “too high maintenance” or just plain “too much” and embrace the many ways you can be both sensitive and strong.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736969239
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,083,588
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Denise J. Hughes is the author of Deeper Waters and the General Editor of the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible. She writes for the First 5 app by Proverbs 31 Ministries, speaks at conferences, and leads a weekly Bible study for women at her church. Denise lives with her husband and three kids in Southern California. Connect with her at and on Instagram @denisejhughes.

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the coleader of Sensitive and Strong: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection; the cohost, with Amy Carroll, of Grit ’n’ Grace—the Podcast; the founder of Write Beside You communicator coaching; and the coauthor, with Kathi Lipp, of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard and Overwhelmed. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.She and her college sweetheart, Daniel, have been married for more than three decades and live on the central California coast.

Table of Contents

Foreword Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD 11

The Tale of Two HSPs: It Really Is a Thing 15

Part 1 Looking In

1 The First Step in the Journey: Taking the HSP Quiz 25

2 The Five Factors of Sensitivity: Appreciating What It Means to Be an HSP 35

3 The Five Fallacies of Sensitivity: Understanding What It Does Not Mean to Be an HSP 45

4 The Way HSPs Are Wired: Exploring the Science Behind the Reality 53

5 The Upside and the Downside: Identifying the Effects of Various Stimuli 59

6 The Potential Pitfall for HSPs: Recognizing Learned Helplessness 69

7 The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy HSPs: Cultivating a Growth Mindset 77

8 The Good News about HSPs: Choosing to Thrive 85

Part 2 Looking Up

9 The Trouble with Bubble Baths: Seeing Jesus as the True Source of Strength 95

10 The Struggle with Stressful Situations: Countering the Chaos with Confidence and Calm 105

11 The Problem with Pretending: Using Your Voice to Set Appropriate Boundaries 113

12 The Turmoil in Tender Hearts: Responding to Criticism with a Teachable Spirit 123

13 The Enigma of Emotions: Moving Forward When Blindsided by All the Feels 133

14 The Exhaustion of High-Energy Events: Creating a Space for Rest and Renewal 143

15 The Weariness of Worship: Enjoying Both Community and Solitude in Liturgy 151

16 The Complexity of Caring: Embracing Empathy Without Buckling Under the Sorrow 157

Part 3 Looking Out

17 The Gift of Self-Forgetfulness: Breaking Free from Hyper Self-Awareness 167

18 The Gift of Time: Saying Yes to Less So You Can Give More 173

19 The Gift of Service: Finding Your Place in a Hurting World 181

20 The Gift of Listening: Becoming the Best Kind of Friend 187

21 The Gift of Hospitality: Serving Others in the Simplest Ways 195

22 The Gift of Creativity: Blessing Others with Your God-Given Talents 203

23 The Gift of Influence: Leveraging Your Unique Strengths for Leadership 209

Epilogue 219

Notes 223

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This book is, quite simply, brilliant. With fascinating research, vivid storytelling, and refreshing honesty, Cheri Gregory and Denise Hughes have written a book that could truly be life-changing. Their insights were both informative and surprising. And readers will love the spot-on reminders that God absolutely knew what He was doing when He created sensitive and strong people. If you have ever been called ‘sensitive,’ and if you’ve ever felt defective because of it, this empowering book is a must read.”
Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of It’s All Under Control and The Happiness Dare

“Denise and Cheri’s passion to help women discover the surprising strengths of their tender hearts, combined with personal stories they share, matched with actionable ideas, give women a voice and courage to flourish. Tender hearts will be lifted, strengthened, and freed.”
Bonnie Gray, author of Whispers of Rest

“I’m thrilled to finally have a biblically grounded book I can give someone who is an HSP or who loves an HSP, confident that they’ll find solid information, practical guidance, and a new sense of freedom and acceptance as they no-doubtedly inhale this amazing resource.”
Kathi Lipp, bestselling author and speaker

“As an HSP I appreciate that Denise and Cheri go beyond biology and address every part of who we are—psychological, emotional, social, and most of all, spiritual. It's powerful to know God made HSPs intentionally and with a purpose.”
Holley Gerth, counselor, life coach, and bestselling author of You're Already Amazing

“If you are an HSP, this book is a must-read. Not only will it help you feel less alone, but it will also give you practical tools, suggestions, and encouragement to thrive as a highly sensitive person.”
Crystal Paine, New York Times bestselling author, founder of, and host of The Crystal Paine Show

Sensitive and Strong is a gem of a resource for those of us who God wired as highly sensitive. Reading Cheri and Denise’s honest stories and gentle wisdom feels like sitting with two empathetic mentors and realizing, finally, women who get it and are setting examples that I want to follow. This is a book that I plan to keep within reach for its practical tools and godly perspective on living as a healthy HSP.”
Jeanette Hanscome, author of Suddenly Single Mom

Sensitive and Strong is a must-read for mentors for two reasons. First, since one in five people are Highly Sensitive People (HSP), every mentor must know how to help an HSP choose to thrive instead of retreating into their HSP characteristics. Second, the most effective mentors are HSPs who have learned to ‘look in, look up, and look out.’ As a fellow HSP and mentor, this book is a transformational handbook specifically for HSPs who want to cultivate a growth mindset, recognize their superpower(s), and serve God with their inherent gifting.”
Chris Moss, author, speaker, and founder of Mentor Prep Academy

“In a culture where sensitivity is synonymous with weakness, Sensitive and Strong is the battle cry of the deep feeler. The empathy and honest revelation within these pages allowed me to discover the strength in my own reactivity and embrace my natural wiring as a gift from God. Cheri and Denise will help you to shed shame, deconstruct the myths of high sensitivity, and celebrate your super power.”
Jennifer Bryant,

“Cheri and Denise lead us to what’s truly essential for our HSP lives. Sensitive and Strong is more than a prescription for self-care, although that’s one element. Instead, it’s a holistic plan to make our lives matter by reaching out to others with our unique wiring.”
Amy Carroll, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and writer, author of Breaking Up with Perfect and Exhale

You are too sensitive. For so many highly sensitive women those words are an accusation that has plagued them their whole lives. I am one of them. In Sensitive and Strong, Denise and Cheri gently guide the reader from accepting the beauty of how God uniquely created them to demonstrating how this sensitivity can be used as a super power for God and for good. What a beautiful gift.”
Jenn Buell, TED Talk presenter and blogger at

“Whether you rejoice in your highly sensitive status or reject it, Denise and Cheri understand! They share science that shows how God created you and offer practical advice so you can live your life glorifying God and loving others, while honoring who you are.”
Kendra Burrows, college instructor and blogger

“Even if you do not consider yourself an HSP, chances are you have an HSP in your life. This book will open your eyes to what they see and your heart to what they experience. It might even help you understand areas in your life where you have heightened senses as well. Cheri and Denise provide tools to help you understand yourself and live how God designed you.”
Cheri Fletcher, writer and speaker

“Denise Hughes and Cheri Gregory offer grace in an art form as they tenderly articulate what I, as an HSP, feel but have struggled to put into words. They vulnerably share their experiences and expertise, helping HSPs embrace their strengths, giving them courage to embrace who they are, and showing them compassion. Sensitive and Strong is an incredibly insightful book of empathy—for HSPs as well as those who love us.”
Andrea Stunz. writer and speaker

“As a novelist, I love stories. Denise and Cheri share so many personal stories of their own experiences that I felt as if we were sitting down to a much-needed girls chat together over a hot cuppa. Saturated with Scripture and chock-full of resources, lists, and even a chart or two (be still my heart!), Sensitive and Strong bestows a blessing on the highly reactive Christian. You will be validated, refreshed, and encouraged, not only to accept the way God designed you but also to apply those strengths to your own ministry.”
Meghan Carver, author of inspirational romantic suspense and mysteries

“In this impactful and easy-to-read book, Cheri and Denise take you on a heart-felt and informative journey of acceptance and intentionality. Their deep understanding of Highly Sensitive Persons combined with science, Scripture, and practical application makes this book the perfect guide for anyone seeking a sense of belonging.”
Shantell Brightman, online business owner

“Denise and Cheri, through experience, wisdom, science, and Scripture, have significantly helped to quiet my heart and mind for God’s purpose.  Knowing that I am highly receptive to multiple stimuli and giving the tools to increase my response time is so very powerful. This book empowers the reader to not only educate their own heart but also the minds of others around them by looking in, looking up, and looking out.”
Sarah Marie Sonoda, massage therapist and health educator

“If you grew up hearing ‘you’re too sensitive,’ you’ll find kindred spirits in Cheri Gregory and Denise Hughes. Sensitive and Strong provides an eye-opening catalyst for recognizing whether or not you are an HSP. But it doesn’t leave you with that label: Cheri and Denise help you replace natural negative reactions with intentional healthy choices, providing memorable examples and simple biblical suggestions for when you feel overwhelmed.”
Gretchen Louise, founder of Kindred Grace

“This book spoke to me. It gave me courage to be me. And it gave me a battleplan.”
Alicia Farage

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