What Are Highly Sensitive People?

June 11, 2018

 

 

Are you a highly sensitive person? 

  • Do you get overwhelmed by sensory input, such as loud sounds, strong smells, scratchy fabrics, or bright lights? 

  • Are you aware of subtleties and details in your environment? 

  • Do the moods of others affect your own? 

  • Do you feel rattled by too many things happening at once, or by intense stimuli? 

  • When you were a child, did the grown-ups around you call you shy or sensitive?

 If you answered yes to some of these, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP.  (Go HERE http://hsperson.com/test/ to take a survey and find out).  HSPs notice things, as if their senses are turned up, such as tiny details in their environment.  And HSPs process this information deeply.  Roughly 20% of all humans, and other animals, are Highly Sensitive, and rather than a weakness nature has failed to evolve out of, this is a trait which may have been kept around as a protective factor for human survival.

An important note here is that highly sensitive is not the same as too sensitive.  No one accuses Spiderman of being too sensitive.  Rather, he is revered as a Superhero due to his turned up sensory awareness, illustrated by his catchphrase, “My Spidey sense is tingling”.  In real life, HSPs are often cast as different, or too sensitive in our often aggressive and less-than-sensitive society.  One may be accused of being too sensitive if they are offended by a post on Facebook, or by others who don’t understand that you do smell that, or are bothered by this fabric, because those others do not experience things in the same way as you do.  Even two highly sensitive people, sensitive in different ways, may not understand that each is highly sensitive, because just as a fingerprint is unique to an individual, so are their specific sensitivities.

If you do happen to be Highly Sensitive (remember, 1 out of 5 of us are!), there are ways you can help yourself thrive.  First is to understand what high sensitivity means and how it is a blessing in many ways.  Secondly, when challenges arise, and they almost certainly will, figuring out how to take care of and nurture yourself, will come in handy for as long as you remain on this planet.  For more information on being a Highly Sensitive Person, check out Dr. Aron’s website http://hsperson.com/ and look for future blogs on this subject, including “Parenting a Highly Sensitive Child”.  To speak with a therapist about your life experiences as an HSP or how to effectively parent a Highly Sensitive Child, call Coherence Associates today at 760-942-8663.

Connie Glenn, MS, IMF #87361

Clinical Intern

Are you a highly sensitive person? 

  • Do you get overwhelmed by sensory input, such as loud sounds, strong smells, scratchy fabrics, or bright lights? 

  • Are you aware of subtleties and details in your environment? 

  • Do the moods of others affect your own? 

  • Do you feel rattled by too many things happening at once, or by intense stimuli? 

  • When you were a child, did the grown-ups around you call you shy or sensitive?

 If you answered yes to some of these, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP.  (Go HERE http://hsperson.com/test/ to take a survey and find out).  HSPs notice things, as if their senses are turned up, such as tiny details in their environment.  And HSPs process this information deeply.  Roughly 20% of all humans, and other animals, are Highly Sensitive, and rather than a weakness nature has failed to evolve out of, this is a trait which may have been kept around as a protective factor for human survival.

An important note here is that highly sensitive is not the same as too sensitive.  No one accuses Spiderman of being too sensitive.  Rather, he is revered as a Superhero due to his turned up sensory awareness, illustrated by his catchphrase, “My Spidey sense is tingling”.  In real life, HSPs are often cast as different, or too sensitive in our often aggressive and less-than-sensitive society.  One may be accused of being too sensitive if they are offended by a post on Facebook, or by others who don’t understand that you do smell that, or are bothered by this fabric, because those others do not experience things in the same way as you do.  Even two highly sensitive people, sensitive in different ways, may not understand that each is highly sensitive, because just as a fingerprint is unique to an individual, so are their specific sensitivities.

If you do happen to be Highly Sensitive (remember, 1 out of 5 of us are!), there are ways you can help yourself thrive.  First is to understand what high sensitivity means and how it is a blessing in many ways.  Secondly, when challenges arise, and they almost certainly will, figuring out how to take care of and nurture yourself, will come in handy for as long as you remain on this planet.  For more information on being a Highly Sensitive Person, check out Dr. Aron’s website http://hsperson.com/ and look for future blogs on this subject, including “Parenting a Highly Sensitive Child”.  To speak with a therapist about your life experiences as an HSP or how to effectively parent a Highly Sensitive Child, call Coherence Associates today at 760-942-8663.

Connie Glenn, MS, IMF #87361

Clinical Intern

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