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Highly-Sensitive Kids Can Win an Oscar

Are you the parent of a shy child?

Have you thought of enrolling your offspring in an acting class, thinking that maybe it will help sweet Jane, or little Joey, come out of their shell?


Last year, I was performing on stage and audience member came up to me after the show.

“Wow, you were really crying in that scene. How can you cry  so easily?” he asked.

I said, “Crying is not hard for me. It’s the NOT crying that is the hardest of all.”

We both laughed, but it was a painful truth. I could cry several times a day if I let myself; there are plenty of reasons on an average day. My son could do something that makes me proud, and I cry. An elderly man is struggling to cross the street alone, and again, I cry. A stranger helps an elderly man cross the street, and I still cry. My friend wins a directing award, and I blubber. Her competition wins a directing award, and there I am, blubbering.

When growing up, all I could think of is how I felt emotion and how others were feeling emotion. I was a feeling machine. Of course, it was a blessing and a curse. I constantly wanted to cry because of a someone’s actions towards me, or others. If they said something hurtful, I was deeply affected. If they gave me a compliment, I blushed. There was no hope for me. Acting was the only thing I could do without looking crazy.

If you are “shy,” you are possibly introverted and might have some social anxiety, whereas a “sensitive” person is someone who perfectly fits the role of an actor. The sensitive person is usually extremely empathetic, is super aware of their emotions, as well as other’s emotions, and are drawn to sensory details.

Make sure you identify your child’s shyness correctly, and if they are in fact, sensitive, let’s not look to fix them. Instead, celebrate them for being empathetic. Encourage them to expose their feelings. Reward them, and tell them sensitivity is a gift. Put those babies in the spotlight so others can feel what they are feeling. And if we are all walking around crying because of it, then so be it. Happiness is highly overrated and perhaps narcissistic.

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