The Special Challenge Of The Outsider

To be an outsider is not an easy task. It is a special role that has great potential for personal transformation.

Who Is The Outsider?

The outsider is the person who departs their existing cultural home for a new unknown destination.

People do not become outsiders accidentally. It is a path that is deliberately chosen because it is necessary, important and valuable:

  • stage of life – the transition from adolescence to adulthood is one
  • issues within the culture that makes life their untenable
  • life changes like divorce that cause a person to leave a social system.
  • the search for the soul’s purpose

The outsider is the person who brings a fresh perspective to others, a new way of proceeding, valuing, or synthesizing information.

The outsider’s journey is the beginning of the process of transformation. It starts with an awareness that something is not right or that something needs to change. According to the book, Dharma Types by Simon Tony Chokoisky:

Anything that requires radical re-thinking, leaps of imagination, and creative synthesis of many elements is the Outsider’s purview. Ruled by the Space Element, there is no ‘where’ Outsiders cannot travel, just as there is no experience they cannot have. From the highest of the high to the lowest of the low, Outsiders trek the terrains of the wild and the inner spaces of the soul,reaching to depths and heights that no one else dares to follow. Laws and morals hold little power to obstruct their need for experience, and Outsiders are most creative in their interpretation of social strictures. As a result, they can just as easily fall into depravity, as soar to the heights of purity: such is the razor’s edge that defines the Outsider’s path. However, just as it is easy to fall off track, it is also simple for Outsiders to get back on, for they are never far removed from Redemption, though it may not seem that way to them. Examples of criminals-turned-saints abound in sacred literature, illustrating the Outsider’s roller-coaster journey from truth to error… and back again.

What Simon Chokoisky is talking about is that outsiders rethink the rules and what is considered conventional thinking. They are questioners and seekers of truth and in doing so can investigate anything and make many mistakes. Being an outsider carries the pitfalls of openness.

The HSP Difference

Highly sensitive people are marginalized just because of their difference and because they are in the minority. Does that make them outsiders in spirit? Are we the adventurous outsider that Simon Chokoisky talks about?

HSPs in some ways are reluctant adventurers. Our nervous systems take in everything and we cannot escape that. Our sensitivity also means that we cannot escape consequences. It causes us usually to be cautious and conscientious because when you take in everything you cannot be in denial.

When you take in and process everything around you develop the ability to look at the world from multiple perspectives. Highly sensitive people are very much outsiders in that they are the integrators and synthesizers of the human race reworking and reweaving the human story into one that seems more authentic to them. The range afforded the highly sensitive person is offset by the values that come from having an empathetic nature. Thank goodness! It will cause us to reweave the human experience into one that is healthier and more compassionate.

We humans are creative people. However, creativity is not always constructive. HSPs have the chance to make creativity something positive by applying their empathetic values to the open experience of the outsider in a way that serves us all well.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program using cultural and personal development frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers The Magic Of Joy program for quantum healing and the Emerging Sensitive Community focused on living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is a Certified Theta Healer and certified in Spiral Dynamics. She is an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Polly Wallydoodlealltheday on February 21, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    I’m an outsider on the childless women not by choice site where I found this. I can’t share with the other women the abuse I’ve endured my whole life from a horrible mother that to this day (though thankfully I finally learned a couple years ago to limit contact to email) tells me what a worthless piece of garbage I am for being childless, for being single, for not marrying a rich person like my sister who can give my mother the status and trappings she values over me. The people on the site often lament having to listen to their family friends and colleagues talking about their children, whilst they talk about their loving mothers or sisters or other family. It is just as painful to me to hear about what I would give anything to have as it is to them to hear about what they wanted – children. But I could never mention it. They don’t want to have to limit talking about what’s important to them. Why do I have to be the outsider in so many ways – no mother no father no siblings who care if I’m alive, no partner, no children, and currently no job as I aged out of my profession. It’s hard.

    • Maria Hill on February 21, 2022 at 7:59 pm

      I understand Polly, because I have the outsider experience also. There is only one path relly under these circumstances and that is to find something that you want to put your time and energy into – something that you care about. I am finding that the people who seek to do that are the ones right now who are happy. The world is changing and status may not be as important as some think in the near future as we grapple with all of the environmental issues. Maybe there are some outsiders like you that you could help. I hope this helps.