All excerpts are from You’re Not Too Much, all rights reserved, copyright 2016, Leela Sinha

“Pacing yourself is NOT an intensive trait, so you need to make it happen in an intensive friendly way. Let yourself run, full-out. Let yourself get tired. Get exhausted, even. But stop before you’re totally depleted. Leave 10% or 15% in the tank. But ACT like you’re totally depleted. Don’t convince yourself that since you’re not utterly flattened it would be ok to do laundry and build a chicken coop before bed. IT IS NOT. 10 or 15 percent IS totally depleted. Give yourself the full restorative treatment, and you’ll be on your feet the next day. It makes a HUGE difference. Burning that extra 10 percent costs you days of function.”

on emotional transparency, intensive style: “Less trust and less connection allows people to feel like they don’t have to do anything challenging, but it also keeps people feeling alone, feeling disconnected, feeling vulnerable. Feeling connected is vulnerable; being connected is even more vulnerable. Telling the truth about yourself is a challenge in our culture because we do it so seldom with one another and we only do it in certain contexts.”

“If somebody stands up and shouts at the top of their lungs in a business meeting right now, nobody listens unless it’s the CEO. That needs to not be true.

If somebody burst into tears in a business meeting right now ,people stop listening to them and that needs to not be true.

We derive our sense of cultural superiority, which is very misplaced, from the fact that we can control our emotions and hide them more frequently and more effectively that a lot of people around us. We decided that that’s a better way to be, but it’s not always a better way to be.

It comes out of conflict and war and mistrust. If we are in conflict, if we are at war ,if we do not trust the person we’re talking to, then it becomes important for us to hide what we feel because knowing what we truly feel means that they have a piece of information that they can use against us. But the minute we decide we’re all here to serve the best interest of everyone involved, showing what you feel becomes an asset. ”

intensives, race, culture, innovation: “…cultures that are more accepting of intensive qualities need to be encouraged, supported, and brought to the fore. This is, of course, about living our ideals. But this is also about our health as a living culture. Expansive qualities are good for keeping things steady. We need those. But intensive qualities are where evolution is born, and we as the human race need to continue to evolve.

Intensiveness is where the off-the-wall, outlandish, impossible ideas come from. Intensiveness is where things happen that never should have been possible under the old rules. Intensiveness is where rules get broken and limits get surpassed, and one day someone figures out they have wings and the whole animal kingdom is changed forever.

Intensiveness is the skinny branches and the bleeding edge and it is not for everyone, but it is where we change to accommodate the world we live in. It is where the strange and wonderful world of imagination meets reality; it is where our giant brains come in handy, because we can think of things we have never seen.

Intensiveness is the space of innovation.

And the cultures that most nurture, support, and encourage that need to be given the space to lead that process.

The only reason white men dominate the innovation space in the US is that they are the ones who have hundreds of years of privilege behind them that allows them to retain some intensive qualities in an expansive system.”


content: major depression and what to do about it

” Your brain is powerful, and that power can save your life. Or it can kill you.

I will also say this: often part or all of our depression comes from trying to make ourselves too small. I alluded to that at the beginning of this chapter, and I could write a whole book on that alone–squishing yourself into a “normal” (expansive) mold when you’re an intensive is potentially fatal, and I’m not exaggerating. If you are in an environment where you’re forever being told that you’re too much, too big, too loud, too wild, too whatever, your brain chemistry is getting changed, your brain structure is getting changed, you’re getting beaten down and the result can be devastating. Don’t blow it off. don’t tell yourself to get used to it or get over it. GET OUT.


You think you can do it. You think you can handle it. You think it will be okay. You are wrong. You are killing yourself, starting by causing diseased structures in your brain that lead to problematic thinking and feeling patterns. Those patterns over time will destroy you.


And yes, I’m shouting. Because I’ve been through it, and I’ve watched loved ones go through it. And it is horrifying. From the outside it looks like someone torturing themselves to death because it makes someone else happy.

Only if they love you, it doesn’t make them happy, because they know on some level how miserable you are.

From the inside, you think you’re doing the best thing, using your intensity to moderate your intensity. It’ll be okay, you think. I’ll just stab myself a little. I’ll just pull the trigger a little.

Take the gun away from your head.
Sheath the dagger and the sword.
Put down the weapons and walk away.
You do not deserve to die.
Much less by your own hand.

You need to be yourself in order to be mentally healthy. You need to be as big, as bold, as wild, as loving, as connected, as real as you are wired to be. You need room to move. You need a place for all the vast brilliance of you.”

[on intensives and sex] “If you’re an intensive, you can’t afford to settle.

Because the power you carry, the force, the joy, needs a place to land and focus. And if you can’t find a partner who can offer that (and return the favor), then your power and energy get dissipated instead of focused, and nothing happens. You need a focuser, not a diffuser, which means you need a particular kind of power across the table from you.”

“If you want to take someone on as a project, put down the temptation and back away slowly. If you love someone so much you’re ready and willing to help them learn, that’s awesome. If you just want a great partner and lover, for god’s sake don’t choose someone who isn’t one. You may be so used to bad lovers you don’t know other good ones exist.

they do.

Go find one.”

“To begin with, if we care, as intensives we want the best. We want the best so much that we tend to go overboard. We tend to upsell ourselves. We tend to buy the best, the most, the best-reviewed…if we care at all. if we don’t care, we’ll get whatever. But when we do care, watch out, because we will spend three times as much as we intended to, in order to get the thing that works best. Also, we will often replace things that have the wrong feeling or energy even if they still work. This will drive everyone around us nuts; the best solution is to make enough money that no one else worries about what you’re spending or to be completely solo. If you have something you associate with a past relationship that went sour, you will remember that. The best thing is to start over from scratch with a new thing that has no association. This goes for tableware, appliances, everything…even if it’s “perfectly good”