The Highly Sensitive Person: Learning to Embrace the Trait

highly sensitive person, HSP

I have always wondered why I take things so personally. Sometimes it is as extreme as when I’m driving on the highway and a car comes whipping around me, I get my feelings hurt that they cut me off. I realize that may seem a bit crazy- for goodness sakes, I don’t even know the person, their situation, or anything! They could be rushing to the hospital, in labor, for all I know. But I am incredibly sensitive. Throughout the years, I have constantly heard, “Quit being so sensitive!” This statement only made the burden of my all encompassing conscientiousness worse- then, the thoughts would always come “What is wrong with me?! Why can’t I change?”

So when I recently came across Shannon Abel’s podcast on the Highly Sensitive Person, I had a complete light bulb moment. Everything just clicked in to place! I hurried over to Dr. Elaine Aron’s website to take the self test- scores of 14 and above can be considered a Highly Sensitive Person. Guess what my score was? A 26!!! While this trait has always seemed like such a negative one, in Shannon’s podcast she outlines many good features that go along with it. I love that I can embrace my creativeness, comfort in my own head, and detail oriented-ness. She also went in to some needs in order to thrive as a HSP. Some things I do, some I don’t- and I’m realizing that especially now as a mom, it is necessary for me to fill all of these needs so I can better fill my roles- so I have some homework to do! I’m also adding Dr. Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person, to my summer reading list.

I jotted down some notes during the podcast to share here on the blog- maybe it will explain a few things about myself to those of you that know me personally!

highly sensitive person

Highly Sensitive Person:

-usually introverted
-detail oriented
-tend to be people pleasers and perfectionists
-highly consciencious
-do “fun” differently (intimate purpose driven affairs, not busy happy hour type events)
-good at tasks like editing (notice small details)
-focus and concentrate deeply
-active imagination
-dislike idle chitchat, prefers deep meaningful conversations
-usually morning people
-enjoy time at home to decompress
-hears “Stop being so sensitive” often
-self reflect often and more regulary (journalling, blogging) but that also brings “You’re overanalyzing”
-can put up a wall due to being hurt in the past
-can seem arragant or cold due to not openly sharing
-find tranquility in nature, especially around water
-forsee trends in markets and needs due to intuition
-observant and very understanding making them good with kids and animals
-more susceptible to pain; bruises easily
-has artistic side

Needs in order to thrive:
-balance (between work, family, life)
-daily alone time
-clear communication
-time in nature
-embrace “lonliness”
-gain confidence by trying things slowly
-simplify, as less stuff creates less stimulation

1 in 5 Americans are highly sensitive, which means you are bound to rub shoulders with one or two on a daily basis. Are you HSP? Is someone in your family?

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