people seem to be born with nerves on the outside of their skin. These people
tend to be more sensitive than their parents, brothers and sisters, or the kids
in their class. They can’t get through a movie (even a comedy!) or a TV
commercial without shedding a few tears. The slightest bit of criticism causes
them real pain, and they are empathic to anyone around them.
are these people are told by everyone, “You’re too sensitive!” Well the truth
is, some people are more sensitive
than others. They are not only sensitive to emotions, but also to energy, sound,
light, and other physical stimulus. These people are, literally, called Highly
Sensitive People, or HSP for short.
Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?
the following characteristics ring true for you?
positive or negative, you experience emotions intensely, react strongly to
them, and cry easily.
very compassionate and generous
have always been a natural caretaker, seeking to offer comfort and help to
those who suffer. You also go out of your way to avoid offending anyone or
hurting their feelings.
sensitive to criticism
doesn’t feel constructive so much as it feels personal and painful. You are not
able to let it roll off your shoulders as others do, and therefore allow
criticism to keep you safe in your comfort zone.
feel different from everyone else and sometimes alone
always known, or had it pointed out to you, that you were somehow different
from everyone else. Because other people have told you that you need to
“toughen up,” you see your sensitivity as a weakness and often feel alone.
sensitive to external stimuli
no one else around you seems to notice that the buzz of the overhead lights is
driving you nuts! As is the sound of your coworkers chewing, the rough fabric
of your shirt and the smell of the extravagant flower arrangement.
overthink and worry
notice every detail and overthink what should be a simple decision, like where
to go for lunch. You also get stuck in the rehashing and what-if rut.
walk into a room and instantly get a “feel” for it. You know how people are
feeling. This is fine when the energy is positive, but when it’s negative…
often tired and overwhelmed
you deal with the emotions of yours and others, as well as so much stimulation
all day-every day, you easily become overwhelmed by all of it and feel as
though you need to sleep more.
What You Can Do
life as an HSP is not easy, but there are some things you can do:
your sensitivity as a positive, not a negative
yourself there is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone
negative people, places and situations
boundaries with people who take advantage of your compassion
to relax through exercise and meditation
yourself the same sympathy and kindness as you do others
at any time you find yourself feeling depressed or anxious because of your
sensitivity, it’s important that you seek the guidance of a therapist who can
help you manage your emotions.
you or a loved one are an HSP and would like to explore ways to deal with this, please
get in touch with me. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be
able to help.