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Activity Forums General Discussion Orchids & Dandelions

  • Orchids & Dandelions

    Posted by John on 05/23/2023 at 10:37 am

    “Orchids and dandelions” is a metaphorical framework that describes different types of individuals based on their sensitivity or susceptibility to environmental influences. This concept is derived from the field of developmental psychology and builds upon the idea of differential susceptibility.

    In this framework, individuals are categorized as either “orchids” or “dandelions”:

    1. Orchids: Orchids are individuals who are highly sensitive and susceptible to environmental influences. They require specific and nurturing conditions to thrive. Just like orchid flowers that require precise care and conditions to blossom, these individuals are more reactive and responsive to both positive and negative experiences. In supportive and enriching environments, they can flourish and achieve positive outcomes. However, they may struggle and be more negatively affected in adverse or challenging environments.

    2. Dandelions: Dandelions, in contrast, represent individuals who are more resilient and less sensitive to environmental influences. Similar to how dandelions can grow and thrive in various conditions, these individuals tend to be less reactive and more adaptable to different environments. They are generally less affected by both positive and negative experiences and can maintain relatively stable functioning regardless of the circumstances.

    The “orchid and dandelion” framework provides a way to understand the individual differences in sensitivity and reactivity to environmental factors. It suggests that some individuals require more specific support and environmental conditions to thrive, while others are more resilient and less influenced by the surrounding context.

    Linda replied 4 months, 1 week ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Debbie

    05/23/2023 at 10:45 am

    I love this and see myself as an Orchid. Made me smile for today I purchased card to frame …”In a world full of roses, be a sunflower”.

  • John

    05/23/2023 at 1:28 pm

    I’m definitely an Orchid. I saw an HSP post somewhere else where someone described themselves thusly: “I feel like an overbred tomato that gives excellent fruit but is extremely high maintenance.”

    I thought that was hilarious and totally related. Part of the challenge of all this work is to create space in society for the orchids – because we have so much to offer when well cared for.

  • Trudy

    03/01/2024 at 12:48 pm

    I am an Orchid.

  • Georgia

    03/07/2024 at 5:15 pm


  • Linda

    03/12/2024 at 1:15 pm

    It’s so great to see Trudy and Georgia responding to this posting! I noticed it was a posting from last year originally. It is heartening that it is still speaking to people now also.

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