Do you hate hearing, “you’re just too sensitive?” Well, maybe you are more sensitive than the average person, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing and you are not alone. It is estimated that roughly 15 to 20 percent of the population fit in to the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) category. In fact, scientists now believe there is a gene behind this trait.
What does it mean to be highly sensitive? The HSP is generally defined as someone with “acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli.” So, really sensitive to everything inside and out.
Being highly sensitive can make many “normal” life situations feel awkward and uncomfortable at times. However, there are some real perks to0, so make sure you read the whole post!
Signs You May Be a Highly Sensitive Person
If you are curious whether you may be part of the population that is highly sensitive, here are 10 signs to look for:
- You are quick to feel negative emotions, such as sadness and anxiety.
- You often feel physical symptoms with your emotions, such as headaches and muscle tension.
- You become overwhelmed with sensory stimuli such as sound, light and smells.
- The energy of the crowd easily overwhelms you and you feel tired after social outings.
- You become very emotional over the injustices of the world. (For example, you cry or become angry at the thought of children or animals being harmed).
- You often worry what others think of you.
- You often take things personally.
- You have a hard time letting things go and receiving critical feedback.
- You’re often tempted to avoid most social situations and prefer to stay home alone.
- You startle easily to loud noises.
Benefits of Being a Highly Sensitive Person
As I mentioned earlier, while being a HSP can cause you to feel awkward or overwhelmed at times, there are some definite perks to being highly sensitive. For starters, you are someone who can enjoy subtle sensory detail that a majority of the population misses. You’ll notice subtle shades of color and texture and feel immense pleasure at the complexities of your sensory experience with food and art.
You’re also someone people like being around because you are aware of others’ feelings, needs, and emotions. This natural empathy, makes HSPs make great teachers, managers, and leaders.
HSPs are also incredibly creative. Many artists, musicians, and famous actors are highly sensitive people who have gifted the world with their talent and insight into what it means to be human.
As you can see, if you can cope with the difficult aspects of being a highly sensitive person, you can reap some pretty great rewards.
If you or someone you love suspects they are a HSP and would like to explore treatment options to manage the challenges, please contact me to set up a consultation.