I have always been a sensitive person. Growing up I didn’t understand why I was, or how to be less… I even let people make me feel bad because of how sensitive I was. They made me think I was wrong. Or should just get over it.
Here’s the thing, being a “Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP) is a real thing. It’s not wrong. It’s not bad. It just is.. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s a personality trait, just like being an extrovert or introvert.
Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?
- Depth Processing- HSP’s need more time to process information. Therefore, it takes them longer to make decisions.
- Sensitive to Subtleties/Sensory Stimuli- HSP’s are more sensitive to subtleties and/or lots of noise. Their sensory processing goes deep.
- Overstimulation- HSP’s pick up on every little signal around them, which causes them to become overstimulated more easily. This applies to sounds as well.
- Emotional Responsiveness- HSP’s have more mirror neurons in their brain, which causes them to be more empathic towards others.
How to Thrive As An HSP
- Learn how to recognize your emotions. Remember that distressing feelings, like anxiety, sadness, and feeling overwhelmed will be temporary.
- Manage stress by exercising regularly, sleeping well, and confiding in trusted friends or a therapist about your difficulties.
- Let friends, co-workers, and family members know that you become over-stimulated in loud environments. And let them know how you’ll cope in these situations, “I get overwhelmed by bright lights, if I step outside for a few minutes, don’t worry.”
- Begin a self-compassion practice, directing kindness and gratitude toward yourself instead of self-criticism.
If You’re Not An HSP:
Here are 3 things HSP people want you to know:
- We feel things deeply but may hide our emotions from others because we’ve learned to retreat.
- We may appear uncomfortable in group situations, like work meetings or parties because there’s too much stimulation, like loud noises. This doesn’t mean that we don’t value relationships.
- When starting new relationships, like friendships or romantic partnerships, we may seek out reassurance because we’re hypersensitive to any perceived signs of rejection.
I hope this helps you in some way. I know that it sure helped me understand myself and others better. It helped me to know how to do life better and how to tell others what I needed. Honestly, I wish I would have learned this a long time ago (instead of in my 30's).
I would love to know if you or someone you know is an HSP and your thoughts around the whole thing. Share with us below.