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Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?
HSPs have a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity
I remember when I first came across the term “Highly Sensitive Person” and I laughed. Yeah, duh I’m sensitive. I cry constantly. Little did I know it’s an actual thing that affects a small percentage of the population. And once I did more research, I felt a sigh of relief. I’m not crazy. I’m just an HSP.
According to Psychology Today, Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP, is a term coined by psychologist Elaine Aron. “According to Aron’s theory, HSPs are a subset of the population who are high in a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity, or SPS. Those with high levels of SPS display increased emotional sensitivity, stronger reactivity to both external and internal stimuli—pain, hunger, light, and noise—and a complex inner life.”
Overall, about 15 to 20 percent of the population are thought to be highly sensitive.
Some pros and cons: HSPs are thought to be more disturbed than others by violence, tension, or feelings of being overwhelmed. For this reason, we tend to try and avoid situations that include those types of things. On the more positive end of the trait, high sensitivity is thought to be linked to higher levels of creativity, richer personal relationships, and a greater appreciation for beauty.
Here are some signs that you’re an HSP:
You’re often exhausted because you tend to absorb other people’s feelings.
Time pressure really rattles you.
You tend to withdraw often.
You think deeply.
Sudden, loud noises rattle you.
You’re often misunderstood.
Change is not your favorite thing.
Conflict and criticism are your kryptonite.
You’re deeply affected by beauty (I literally cry when I watch a sunset).
If those resonated, chances are you’re an HSP. If you want more information, Highly Sensitive Refuge has been great on providing insight on life as an HSP.
I used to think my extreme sensitive was a curse. I tried to harden it for years, but now I realize it’s my greatest blessing and superpower. My extreme sensitivity is what helps me with my healing services, it helps me with my intuition, it helps me process information at a depth many don’t, it keeps me safe. Most importantly, it sets me apart. And although I used to wish that I could just blend into the crowd, now I see that I was always meant to stand out.
Your sensitivity is a gift. Please don’t waste it.