If you are reading this and you suspect you are a Highly Sensitive Person, then the first thing I want to reassure you of is this: your sensitivity is a gift.
Growing up is rarely easy for the Highly Sensitive Person. It is only comparatively recently that this special type of individual has been acknowledged and even more recently, there has been a broader attempt to understand the unique qualities of such sensitive souls.
Highly Sensitive People are characterised by picking up on more stimuli around them and within them. They inherited a specific set of genes that led to them having a highly attuned nervous system.
They feel more, see more and tend to understand things at a deeper level. They process information more thoroughly than others. They are easily touched by the sufferings and tragedies that others go through and can be moved to hours of tears due to a sad story on the news.
Highly Sensitive People have been incorrectly labelled as “weak” by some. But this is not the case. It takes a great deal of strength to survive as a highly sensitive person in a world as harsh as this one. This quote by Anthon St. Maarten sums it up perfectly:
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
To be highly sensitive means to be compassionate, soulful and empathetic. Indeed, many Highly Sensitive People are Empaths, though not all Empaths are Highly Sensitive People.
Highly Sensitive People & Society
If you are highly sensitive, then others may have said to you, “Stop being so sensitive!” or “You think too deeply” or “Pull yourself together!” one too many times.
But this reaction is a sign of the times we live in. As much as we have advanced and progressed throughout the ages in a scientific and technological level, there are still aspects of humanity that we remain primitive on – one is understanding the extraordinary depth of sensitivity and the great blessings it can bring to this world.
But because we live in a world that still does not understand this quality, sensitivity is often shunned by society or dismissed in ways that can be very hurtful to Highly Sensitive People.
As a result, Highly Sensitive People can struggle with coming to terms with who they are, always feeling like they never truly fit in anywhere. They may seek escapist routes to help them numb their sensitivity, like substance abuse or some form of addiction.
Changing the way one perceives and feels about their high sensitivity is key to unlocking the great gifts it possesses.
Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person
If you’re still not sure if you or someone you care for is a highly sensitive person, check out the common traits they all share in common. This can also help you spot Highly Sensitive People in general.
HSPs have extremely high empathy. Many can feel the emotions of others as if they are their own. They are able to empathise with other peoples’ suffering and pain and often feel a strong need to stop this pain or take it on themselves.
As an HSP, you are someone who values your alone time. In fact, it is essential to you. Spending too much time among others or in crowded or noise environments can result in an overflow of stimuli and send the HSP into a frenzy. You may feel an intense urge to just “get away from it all” sometimes. Alone time, especially among nature, helps to regenerate you and recharge your batteries.
Original and Creative Thinker
HSP individuals have very high creativity and often feel most at home inside their heads. As a child, you may have preferred to spend time alone with your imagination rather than playing with other kids. You likely have specific talents in art, writing, music, sculpting or any other artistic endeavor.
HSP people are very perceptive. They can sense how a person is feeling, no matter what image they show on the outside. They can sense the way public mood is going and can also sense danger around the corner. This is part of their highly attuned stimuli – it’s quite similar to animals in this sense. They can pick up on another’s true character quite easily and see beyond a façade.
Struggles with Negative Criticism
The high sensitivity of HSPs means that they find it very difficult to deal with negative feedback, more so than others. This means that sometimes they may go out of their way to avoid it, which can lead to a mind state of perfectionism. This can be tough for them to deal with and the HSP has to learn that though they are different, they are still human, and to be human means to be imperfect.
Feel Things Deeply
The Highly Sensitive Person feels things at a much deeper level than others. When they love, they love with a depth that goes beyond any human explanation. When they feel pain, it is not mere pain, but extreme agony. Their ability to feel at a deep level is what enables them to care at a deep level. As such, many are compassionate and proactive, often dedicating their time and energy to tackle the suffering of others.
Feeling a Strong Camaraderie with Animals
Highly Sensitive People feel very close to animals and with nature. They identify with animals and feel comfortable and soothed by their presence. They often feel a deep connection with animals and some can even communicate with them.
For the HSP, time pressure can lead to feelings of intense anxiety. If there is too much to do but not enough time to do it, it can result in an array of negative and troublesome emotions. This is due to high sensitivity to stimulation. So if you are even five minutes late, it can swell anxiety within.
Deep Curiosity about Life & Beyond
HSPs are people who think outside the box. They often find themselves asking questions about life and what happens after life, how we got here, why we are here, and a host of other deep questions. Many take an interest in astrology, the occult and philosophy which helps them probe even further.
Perhaps one of the most identifying traits of the HSP is their compassion. HSPs hate to see others in pain and suffering and they will do what is in their power and capacity to help those in pain. They will often go above and beyond to help others.
Embrace the Sensitivity Within…
We are all sensitive to some degree but the HSP takes it to a whole other level.
Until the Highly Sensitive Person accepts who they are and acknowledges that their sensitive nature is a true blessing in this world, they will never realise the extent of their potential.
Just because society does not understand something or just because society says something is wrong, it doesn’t mean it is true. If you believe in yourself, if you believe in who you are and you embrace yourself in all your authenticity and sensitivity, then that is what matters.
To be highly sensitive is to have heart. It means you care. It means you love deeply. It means you are an honourable, kind person who genuinely cares about others.
That is what this world needs, more than anything.
So never doubt how valuable you are to this world and to others. We need you.
♡ Iberia Tor