Do you struggle with people-pleasing and over-giving in your friendships and relationships? In this article, you’ll discover 4 tips to create healthy friendships & relationships as an HSP.

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), it is crucial to focus on developing healthy friendships and relationships. Surrounding yourself with the right people is one of the key factors to thriving as an HSP.

However, highly sensitive people oftentimes tend to struggle with this. Due to their tendency to be people-pleasers, over-givers, and ‘fixers’, HSPs regularly find themselves in unhealthy connections. As a result, this leaves them drained and exhausted. Can you relate?

It is possible to change this and start attracting better friendships and relationships into your life. But how do you create healthy connections? And how can you maintain healthy friendships and relationships as an HSP? 

During the Empath Summit, HSP expert and psychotherapist Julie Bjelland shared valuable tips that will help you to develop and maintain friendships and relationships that are good for you as a highly sensitive person.

In this article, you’ll discover four key takeaways from her talk.

#1 Healthy Friendships & Relationships As An HSP Begin With Self-Love

As mentioned, highly sensitive people oftentimes find themselves giving, fixing, and people-pleasing too much. HSPs are highly conscientious beings and often consider the feelings and needs of others before thinking about themselves. 

One of the downsides to this characteristic is that many of us assume that everyone functions like this. However, one should keep in mind that only 20% of the world population are highly sensitive people. Our focus on the needs of our loved ones is intensified because our brains take in more information compared to the brains of non-HSPs.

As a result, we find ourselves in relationships where we give over and over again, and the friend or partner does not return the favor to the same extent. Consequently, disbalances in the relationship occur and the highly sensitive person starts feeling dissatisfied with the relationship. 

Therefore, Julie Bjelland stated that it is crucial to work on your relationship with yourself first in order to have healthy friendships and relationships as an HSP. Working on understanding yourself and learning your needs can help you to communicate them with others and accept love and help from others more easily.

If you want to learn how to start your journey towards more self-love as an HSP, have a look at this self-love guide for empaths and HSP’s.

#2 How To Shift Your Mindset To Pay Attention To Your Inner Child’s Needs

A big part of self-love is understanding what you need to feel happy and at peace. Many highly sensitive people are more aware of what others need than being aware of their own needs as an individual. They have never learned how to pay attention to what their inner child needs.

However, when it comes to your relationships and friendships, you need to learn about what your needs are in order to communicate them with others.

Therefore, learning to shift your mindset towards listening to your inner child’s needs, can help you to create more healthy friendships and relationships as an HSP.

You may wonder, what mindset ships we’re talking about. For instance, Julie Bjelland recommends the following two mindset shifts:

  • Understand that it is not selfish to focus on self-love. You are allowed to take space in this world and putting yourself first is the first step towards more self-love.
  • Learn that not understanding and communicating your needs does more harm to your relationships than it does good.

In the end, it is crucial to start discovering what you truly need to thrive in life and in your relationships. Journaling can help you to start this self-discovery journey to connect with your inner child’s needs.

#3 Why Communicating Your Needs Is The Key To Healthy Friendships

Once you have developed the awareness of your own needs, it is crucial to start communicating them with the people in your life.

As 80% of the population are less aware of the needs of others compared to highly sensitive people, this is the key to healthy friendships and relationships as an HSP. 

After all, we cannot assume that our loved ones know exactly what we need, as their brains are wired differently compared to the brain of a highly sensitive person.

Communicating what you need from your friends can help you to create more clarity and peace in your relationships. 

When doing so, it is important to do this from a space of peace and calm, rather than doing it from a reactive space. If we’re feeling reactive while expressing our needs, this can create defensiveness in the person we’re talking to. Consequently, they’ll be less receptive to what we’re telling them. Therefore, try to express your needs when you’re both feeling calm.

#4 How Healthy Boundaries Contribute To Better Relationships

Have you communicated what you need from your friend or loved and are your needs still not met? Then it may be time to put healthy boundaries in place. 

While it is part of the HSP’s nature to continue to give, over-giving in a relationship is not healthy. Ultimately, a lack of boundaries creates resentment. Moreover, a lack of boundaries results in our own needs being unmet. When our needs are unmet, we start feeling depleted. 

Healthy relationships consist of a healthy give-and-take balance. It is our job to start putting healthy boundaries in place to create this balance. 

Naturally, you may experience a fear of abandonment when putting those boundaries in place. The truth is, that some relationships will withstand this test, while others will break when you communicate your boundaries.

Your loved ones may not be used to you setting boundaries. Consequently, it is natural that you might feel some resistance at first. However, once you’ve taken that hurdle and put those boundaries in place, you’ll be left with more healthy friendships and relationships where your needs are met.

More Tips On How To Create Healthy Friendships and Relationships as an HSP?

Do you want to receive more in-depth information about developing healthy friendships and relationships as an HSP? In this episode, you can listen to more valuable advice from Julie Bjelland on how to achieve this:

Do you want to discover more valuable knowledge for HSPs and empaths? Make sure to head over to Empath Magic’s Youtube-channel to watch all the talks from the Empath Summit.

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