In this week’s episode on The Sensitive CEO Show, we have a special guest, Randy Grasser, joining us to shed light on a fascinating topic – High Responsiveness Training. Whether you identify as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or not, this discussion will provide valuable insights into the world of high responsiveness and its impact on personal and professional growth.
Randy Grasser’s expertise and unique perspective will provide valuable knowledge and practical advice that can help you unlock your own potential for high responsiveness. Get ready to embrace your sensitivity and discover how it can become your greatest asset in both your personal and professional life.
Randy is a Professional Life Coach, Adventurer, Author and a Highly Responsive Man.
💝 Key Takeaways
- What the term High Responsiveness means for both HSPs and non-HSPs.
- Why there is a need for High Responsiveness.
- Many of the benefits to being Highly Responsive, not just for HSPs but also for others.
🔗 Where You Can Find Randy
- Email Address: HSP@thelivingadventurer.com
- Website: http://www.thelivingadventurer.com
- Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/HSPAdventure
- YouTube: https://youtube.com/@HSP-TLA
🌹 Rose’s Resources
📖 (Imperfect) Transcript
We use Descript to provide this transcript which isn’t always perfect but wonderful all the same. (affiliate link 😃)
Rose: Hey, it’s Rose and welcome to another episode of the Sensitive CEO Show. And in this week’s episode, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Randy Grasser. Randy is a professional life coach, adventurer, author, and a highly responsive man. Welcome, Randy. Awesome to talk with you today.
Randy: Thank you, Rose. It’s such a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk with you, and your audience. Thank you.
Rose: Oh, you’re welcome. And I would love to know, I’m sure the audience would love to know too, a little bit more about what high responsiveness is and what this means for not just HSPs, but for everybody.
Randy: Well, you know, Rose, that’s a really good question, and I get to ask that quite often nowadays.
And I think, you know, the first thing that I see, high responsiveness about, or is, is the fact that, a lot of people, and my myself included, have been called highly sensitive our whole lives, and we’ve over the last, I guess, 20 years since, Elaine Aaron came out with her book and her title for it, high sensitivity. We’re starting to accept that term more and more, you know, highly sensitive person. There’s still a big group out there though, however, that mistreats or misunderstands it. And I, the men that I deal with and, and I primarily deal with men, cause I’m a man, when I say to them, highly sensitive, I can see it in their facial expressions and in their eyes, this glass shattering internal feeling.
And so it sparked something in me to say, you know, like, listen, we, we need to, we need to do something about this. We need to change this. What does it mean to be highly sensitive and highly sensitive? It’s not about emotions. It’s not about, you know, that emotional side of us. It’s about our, our nervous system and our sensitivity to the world.
And so if we can break the two of those apart, we’re gonna take high sensitivity and emotional being and separate the two. And I’m gonna focus on the high sensitivity and, and the challenge that we have with an untrained high sensitivity is that it attaches itself very quickly to the emotional being, and this is what we call a reaction.
So the input or the data that we receive from our environment, being a very high stimulus, more so than 80% of the population, possibly even more of that. You know, instantly triggers these emotional reactions and what we need to put into place. There is some sort of system that allows that sensitivity to go through a process that converts it into responsiveness.
So we’re not reacting, we’re responding. And so this is what we’re working on right now is developing a program that guides people through that process. And in 15 years I’ve been working on, you know, studying human behavior, traveling around the world, 50 different countries, you know, in the jungles of Cambodia to Madagascar.
Learning about cultures and belief structures and why do people do what they do? And, everywhere I went, I ran into highly sensitive people, but it was the cultural difference of acceptance and, and how they reacted. Now, there are some cultures out there, they’re high sensitive. They wear it on their sleeves like it is.
They don’t hide it. It is like it’s right out there. So what we would like to do is we would like to focus on a step-by-step process. Cause we’ve been told you need to develop thicker skin. You know, you’re too sensitive. We’ve been told over the years a lot of things about what we should do or who we should be, but we’ve never been taught how to do that.
That’s the missing piece. Okay. You know, grow a thicker skin. Okay. How, how do I do that? And so that’s what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to create a very effective program that teaches highly sensitive people how to develop their emotional management and I mean the management part, right? And, you know, talk about business and, and your audience is people who are entrepreneurs who are trying to start businesses and you don’t control your employees.
You manage your employees. Right. And, that’s effective business. Well, we don’t control our emotions. We should manage our emotions. So that’s what it’s, it’s all about when you start looking at a business profile and you’re saying, well, for managing people, managing them effectively and they’re being productive.
Then why wouldn’t we do that internally? Why wouldn’t we manage our resources, which are our, our senses, our sensitivity? And, and manage ’em to a point where we have a positive outcome and that’s a response. So high responsiveness is, basically using our internal resources to come up with appropriate responses to our surrounding environment.
Rose: I love that and I believe that there’s such a need for that as well. So I love that you’re on this journey to develop this program. It sounds amazing. Can you share some of the tools that we have within us already?
Randy: Oh my goodness. I, yeah, I can, I, I think that any highly sensitive person already is aware of their tools to some degree.
What I, I think is, is that they don’t know how to master their tools. And so, you know, when we boil down to the biological level and when we’re talking about the science of, of who we’re, and we look at our nervous system and how sensitive our nervous system might be, I often refer to it as, and, and this might be somewhat out of the ballpark for some people, but we have, a voltmeter.
Which measures electricity. And so if you take that voltmeter and you go up to an electrical outlet and you stick it in there, it’ll tell you how many volts that it’s got. and that’s 80% of the population. But then there’s an oscilloscope. And if we take an oscilloscope, which is a much finer tuned instrument, and we plug it into that same outlet, it’s not only gonna show us our voltage, it’s gonna show us our voltage on multiple levels through the sign wave that it’s creating.
It’s gonna pick up far more detail, and that’s one of the tools that we as highly sensitive people have is we have this nervous system that picks up sensitivity more of the environment. And that is our biggest tool. And we all know that as highly sensitive people, we can feel things that we can’t explain.
So now the 7 trillion nerves that we have in our body, can’t be wrong. And so this environmental stimulus that’s coming in, these messages that are coming into us are truly that they’re messages and they’re connected to other senses. We have five of them. Hey, get some common sense will you, Okay. What are the common senses?
Common senses are sight, smell, taste, hearing. Not everybody has those, right? We have to appreciate that. Not everybody has those, but feeling is the fifth not touch feeling. And so we, we superficial it by saying, you know, oh, it touches the fifth, fifth sense. No, it’s not. It’s a feeling, and it goes much deeper than just superficial.
It goes right into the core of our body. And I believe I was having a conversation with somebody the other day and, and we were talking about energy transmission and how some people are like, oh, that’s just voodoo, mumble jumble, whatever. And I said to him, you know, I said, our understanding of energy transmission is like the caveman back in the early days when they discovered fire and they saw it.
They, they were, some of them were scared of it, and some of them were curious about it, and, and others were brave enough to go over there and try to touch it, and they got burned. They got hurt, but others actually learned to master it. And I said, that’s where we are as human beings with this energy transmission thing.
I said, it’s ironic that we can, like you and I are doing right now, I mean, you’re in Australia and I’m in Mexico, and yet here we are seeing each other, talking to each other. In real time. How? Through energy transmission. So is it such a far step to think that we as people and our 7 trillion nerves can’t pick up energy sources or energy transmission?
No, it’s not a far reach to think that we can’t prove it because we don’t have the instruments to prove it yet, but, there is a possibility that that does exist, so it’s highly sensitive people. We can pick up those energy transmissions from other people. You walk into a room, I feel good about this room, or I don’t feel so good about this room.
Something is not right.
Rose: That’s so common. I know I didn’t used to understand what that was all about when I was growing up and even, you know, in the last 50 years or so. but when I discovered the HSP trait, it just made so much sense that, oh, okay, that’s why I’m picking up. And I guess that’s part of the empathy as well.
Being an empath is picking up other people’s emotions and, you know, why does this room feel so tense and or why does this just feel amazing and happy, and I guess it’s, it’s being in those places that make you feel good and avoiding the ones that make you feel really terrible.
Randy: So there’s an interesting topic, rose, right there is because, you know, certainly, you know, from a man’s perspective, we don’t always have that luxury, right?
Like we often are faced in work situations where, you know, we have to endure those uncomfortable situations and, and try to muster our way through. You know, our entire bodies are screaming at ’em. Our, our serv, our nervous systems are screaming at us. You know, get outta here, get outta here. You know, I got a family to feed.
I gotta, I gotta stick this out. And, you know, this is my job. And, and, we, you know, we don’t always have that luxury. So the idea of developing skills, from the tools that you already have. You, you’ve already got the tools within you, so let’s develop those tools into how do you wield that sword properly in order to, and maybe the sword is a bad analogy, but how do you wield that tool properly to build relationships effectively in those negative environments as highly sensitive people?
And I think that’s the key for many people is they avoid, they run away, they hide from the difficult situations. When, and simply because they don’t have the skills, they’ve got the tools, they just don’t have the skills on how to wield that tool.
Rose: How can you, or how does your program, or how will your program help to hone the skills that, or hone the tools and then give people the skills that they need to be highly responsive.
Randy: Right. So really good question, and thank you for that. as you know that the program is in development and so our expected launch date is April of next year. And so we’ve formed as you’ve been invited to join the mastermind group And the program itself, let me, let me just give a little bit of history.
Is is that it’s modelled after, after a little bit after, a youth custody program that I ran back in the nineties. And, that was me taking 10 young offenders, male and female ages 13 to 18 into the wilderness of Canada for what was called behavioural modification. So these are young offenders who did not wanna be there.
They were court ordered to be there. They hated me like you would not believe, and they threw rocks at me and at me. My job was to get them to change their behaviour. We had a 76% success rate, meaning that 76% of the kids never re-offended after the program. And, so I’m taking the essence of that program and saying, okay, how can we help highly sensitive people that want to do this, which is a milestone for me and converted into something productive.
So first of all, you cannot do something like that under a one person guidance. Right. You need a mastermind group of people that have similar or shared interests in developing such a program. And so our mastermind group is basically, you know, a group of people that are coming together and throwing ideas on the table and experiences and everything else.
And out of that is born a pathway to a program. And it starts with the blocks. And so what we’ve got so far is a 10 step program, and we’re modelling it after we’re adding a bunch of other programs that I’ve been involved in. So martial arts, the Dale Carnegie Leadership Program, the Cessna Flying School program, the Six Sigma program, Toastmasters program.
So there’s a lot of programs that we’re integrating. The highly responsive training program’s using the martial arts graduation system. A sort of recognition of success. So we start off as a white belt and you work up to a yellow belt and then an orange belt and a green belt, so forth, so on all the way up to a black belt.
So if you hold a black belt in high responsiveness, you got a master brand. and that’s what, that’s sort of the stage thing. Now, each stage, from white belt to orange belt, Is a gradual progressional step on understanding highly sensitiveness and, and, you know, looking at Aaron’s research and, and other people that researched the, what it is to be highly sensitive.
But it’s more than that. It’s also understanding your own personal health, like how are you taking care of yourself, because that is a direct connection to our sensitivity. And I’m not just talking about mental health, I’m talking about physical health. And so a lot of people need that guidance. They need that assistance to, to understand what is, what do I do as a highly sensitive person?
How do I take care of myself? And it might be different than, a lesser sensitive person. Like we, we have differences in our metabolisms, in our ability. Energy drinks, as an example. Stop drinking energy drinks, right? And, but I need them to keep going. They’re killing you, not just on a chemical basis, but on a nervous system basis.
And here’s why. And so educating the people through, we have lesson plans that they go through. We have videos that they watch and, and contribute to. We also have what’s called a guiding system. And it’s a unique system that we’ve developed and it, it’s sort of a two-sided benefit. So a person that has graduated from an orange belt into a green belt, as a green belt, you now have the skills to assist the white belts.
And so part of your training, if you wanna get goods at something Rose, teach it.
Rose: . Yeah, that’s so true.
Randy: Yeah. Right. And so what we do is we take the green belts and say, okay, in order for you to graduate from a green belt to a blue belt, you need to teach the white belts, only the white belts, what you’ve learned so far.
So they’re four steps ahead of them in the training program. And now keep in mind the green belt has somebody four steps ahead of them that’s guiding them. And so it’s really people helping people along the way in this process. And so, you know, if a green belt runs into a struggle with a white belt saying, well, I don’t understand how to do this, and a green belt struggles, he reaches up to the, the, the red belt that’s guiding them and says, how do I do this?
How do I tell my white belt to do this? So we’ve got this tiered system that assists each other, and then the ultimate people that everybody reaches up to is the mastermind group. The ones that built the program, the ones that designed the program and said, this is the intent. This is what we’re trying to achieve.
And with all programs, they have to remain somewhat flexible. Learning curves have to be gone through them. And it’s like a business, you know, you don’t start a business without a business plan, but that business plan has to be flexible. Yeah. To address the current environment to which you’re experiencing and what your customers are telling you.
And, so the same thing goes with this, this program. So yeah, it’s kinda, I hope that answers that question for you.
Rose: Yeah, it does. I love how it’s community driven in many ways, which I think is such a key aspect about working with highly sensitive people and or high responsive people, high responsiveness, which I both.
Randy: You know, the term is, is, is however you wanna, you wanna label it. And a label. Label. But how do you feel about it? Right. Yeah. I, I if you, if you’re comfortable with the term, highly sensitive, great. Awesome. You know, be proud of that. Be proud to wear that term and that label. if that label doesn’t suit you, okay, well call yourself an avocado.
You know, like I, you know, whatever suits you to address and. I’ve talked to a bunch of executives in corporations and they’re very interested in this because there’s a lot of attrition that’s going on in employees. The fact of emotional challenges and what’s happening is they’re losing employees for two reasons.
Primarily there’s a bunch of them, but there’s two reasons. One is, is that, you know, the, the, the workplace is overwhelming to the employee and they’re bottling up all these emotions and they dunno how to deal with them. And, and I’m not just talking about highly sensitive people, I’m talking about people, and then all of a sudden the employee has an eruption of nerves and emotions, and they’re embarrassed and they quit as an embarrassment.
And then you have also the, the, the employee that can’t manage their emotions properly and has a lack of emotional control and it disrupts everybody else. And then they’re let go because of that. And it costs the corporations, the companies, a lot of money to change out employee time. We’ve put a lot of training in you and now, and so this is a valuable resource for them.
In the fact that, you know, hang on a second. We train you guys how to use Excel. We train you how to use Microsoft Word. You know, we train you how to do this stuff. Why not? Let’s train you on how to handle your emotional states better, right? And, and so I think that’s an emerging field that is gonna be needed, especially after the pandemic.
And, and a lot of people are lost and, and, you know, they’ve been isolated and, and they’re going through a lot of stuff right now. We recognize that.
Rose: Yeah, there’s a lot going on right now, in different aspects of the world, which is exciting in many ways. I believe. I can feel, I can feel a lot of goodness coming out of what’s going on right now.
As can I? Yeah, good. I’m, I’m really curious, Randy, you mentioned earlier that some of the cultures that you visited on your incredible travels, some of them wore the high sensitivity on their sleeves. Can you share which cultures and why do you think that is?
Randy: Okay, so the one that is most predominant to me, is Iraqis.
When I was in Iraq, so, you know, I spent six years in Iraq and, you know, wonderful, wonderful people, absolutely amazing people and part of the amazement of these people is the fact that they wore their emotions literally outside their bodies. Like this is, they had no emotional control and nor did they need any emotional control.
Hey, if I’m upset, I’m upset. If I’m happy, I’m happy. And they just, they allowed their emotions to be, you know, expressed in every way possible. And we as Westerners, we see that as, you know, savage or you know, like, oh, you get control or whatever. And the reality is, we bottle up our emotions and I talk to a lot of men and I’m like, you know, you dam up.
That’s what I call it, the damning of emotions. And, and when we dam up these emotions inside of us, that force behind that dam building more.
And I don’t care how engineered that dam is, there’s going to be a breaking point. And often what happens is when somebody says something and completely outta context, that could be that one drop of water that breaks that dam and all that bottled emotion then comes up and people stand back and go, where’s this coming from?
And, and, and it’s because we hold it in us. They don’t. They don’t hold up just like, Hey man, this is great. And, and, and, and they live great lives, you know, I’ll be bad. The environment that they’re living in is not so great, but from a peaceful internal point of view, they, they don’t, they don’t bottle up these emotions like we, now, don’t get me wrong, I, I, I think that there could be some room for emotional management in that, you know, sometimes we have to be a little bit.
You know, civil. But, you know, there’s a happy balance between bottling up or damning up all these emotions internally and then just letting them wildly express, you know, without concern or how they’re affecting anybody around us. And, and that’s, that’s the highly responsiveness training.
It’s the management of your emotions connected to the sensitivity of your body.
Rose: And I think another thing about bottling up emotions or damning them up can cause illness in the body because it’s festering somewhere in the body. So that’s yeah. I think it’s such a big thing that people are.
They probably understand internally, but they don’t understand how to, how to fix it and how to be more open and let the emotions out. And even, you know, it could be personal such as journaling. You don’t have to let emotions out in front of another person, but you could journal or, I’ve heard some great ones.
You can throw plates in the backyard, you know, sort of away from people just to get those emotions out. There’s lots of ways you can get rid of that pent up anger or whatever it is inside.
Randy: Absolutely. And you know the studies that I’ve done, the research that I’ve done is, and again, I’m gonna more specifically talk about men.
You take men in, in construction as an example, and, and, the guys, the labourers, the ones that are actually, you know, picking up the hammers and the shovels and the, the physical ones that are out in the field. They’re the ones that, you know, when you’re out in the workforce, they’re that happy go lucky and Oh yeah, it’s all good.
Yeah, it’s all good. It’s the management. That is all tense and they’re all bottled up and they’re all stressed up and everything else because there’s no release for them. And they say board and they argue with each other and they confront each other, but there’s no physical release for them. You know, some of them go to a gym and they try to, you know, work out those emotions through the gym, through that physical exercise.
And, but is that enough? Right. No, it’s not enough. And so, yeah, there has to be ways of emotional release. But I also, when, when I talk about this dam, I mean, if we can install floodgates into that dam and allow those floodgates to manage the pressure, okay, hang on, hold on, hold on. Don’t say that.
Don’t say that. Okay. Now you can let it go. Right? And, and this is what we’re trying to express, is that there is a management system that can be installed that controls the levels to an appropriate level given the environment you’re currently in.
Rose: Yeah, I love the analogy of the floodgates. I can visualise that. Perfect. Well, I’ve loved our conversation today. There’s probably so much more I can ask you. but before we wrap up, I have one question that I ask all of my guests. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Randy: There’s a few things that I do. And I, you know, I, I know this is a podcast and, and, and so people can’t see me, but, I have tattoos and, and so my tattoos represent something very deeply meaningful to me.
And, you know, the one side of my tattoo is what I call the dragon, and the other side of my tattoo is the angelic side. And so when I get overwhelmed, frustrated or whatever, I look at that tattoo and I focus on it, and I say, that’s what you need to have right now. You need to have the angelic side. You need to possess that control, but in a soft way.
Or the dragon needs to come out right now. You need to defend yourself. You need to protect yourself. And so sometimes when we get overwhelmed, it’s not about backing off into the corner, doing that angelic, cowering you know, person. It means learning how, learning the skills to stand up appropriately and effectively to defend what’s right.
And as HSPs, we often don’t want to get into confrontation, and therefore we, run away. And I don’t mean physically run away, but we back down and we carry down and, and, that’s just not always the right thing or the most appropriate thing to do. So that’s what I do, is I, I remind myself through these tattoos that, what do I need to call upon right now?
You know, the softer side of me. That, that softer, angelic side. Or do I need to call upon the dragon right now and, and say, listen, hang on a second, right? You’re being a little bit, you know, outta line and we need to straighten this out, you know? But let’s do it on an appropriate level.
Enter the angelic side. Right. Dragon comes out, settles things down, okay. Put ’em back in the cage. And now let’s talk about this as beings.
Rose: I love that. Love that. And it goes with you everywhere because they’re tattoos, so they’re always with you. That’s brilliant. Well, yeah, it’s been so lovely talking to you and so fascinating hearing about the program for April next year.
And I’ll be popping your links in the show notes where people can find you to learn more. But is there, is there anywhere specific. That you would like people to reach you if they have questions and wanna know more?
Randy: Yeah, so I have an email address that, that people can use and it’s, hsp at the living adventure com.
And, I also have a Facebook site that they can go to and it’s, again, just look up the Living Adventure. And I also just started a YouTube channel and, and that’s the Living Adventure as well.
Rose: Fantastic. Well, I’ll pop all of those links into the show notes so people can reach out to you.
Thank you again, Randy. Always lovely catching up with you.
Randy: Yes, it’s a pleasure, rose. Nice to see you again and thank you very much for having me on the show.