“Why are you so vulnerable?”— I’ve grown up hearing this. Especially during my teenage years, my oversensitive, emotional, and thin-skinned nature gave me serious trouble because the smallest of things would affect me deeply. I felt I could never completely fit in anywhere without hiding/changing certain parts of me. On top of that, I was introverted and couldn’t open up easily to others. Thankfully, I grew past that ugly phase. But I wish someone would have told me back then that I’m not some weird person, rather I’m a highly sensitive introvert, like many others out there.
Highly sensitive people make up 15-20% of the population, and out of them, 70% are introverts– so that’s quite a large number of people who identify as highly sensitive introverts. I’m sure, growing up, many of you have felt that you are different, and life isn’t easy being you and that you have “weird sensitivities” and need to hide your authentic self from the world.
But the truth is that your uniqueness is your power.
Yes, living in a world where the extroverted personality is idealized, can be pretty challenging for a highly sensitive introvert. They are hypersensitive to all types of energies around them. But with the right boundaries and rules, you can protect your energy, find balance and lead the life you have envisioned for yourself.
The biology of the nervous system of a highly sensitive person is different, which is why they get overwhelmed by their environments so easily. They are oversensitive to every stimulus, so they naturally feel, think, and care deeply about the smallest of things.
Traits of highly sensitive introverts:
1. Loud noises, strong smells, itchy clothes and bright lights feel like an attack on their senses.
2. They feel the feelings of the people around them. Highly sensitive people absorb other people’s energy and emotions.
3. Less sleep can heighten their irritability. Daily interaction with the world around them is very exhausting, so they get more mentally strained than others and hence need more sleep.
4. A Highly sensitive person notices every tiny detail and gesture. Also, they over-analyze their interactions with other people.
5. Socializing and making small talk the way most people do isn’t their cup of tea.
6. Deeply affected by unkindness, cruelty and injustice of any kind.
7. Adjusting to changes is especially hard for them. They like to stick to their routine because anything new can cause them to feel stress and anxiety.
8. They are more sensitive to changes in blood sugar level, which means that not eating at proper intervals can make them more irritable to their environment.
Self-care is the thing right now- everyone is talking about it. For a highly sensitive introvert, the most important form of self-care is protecting their energy, and hence their peace of mind.
Being in the presence of negative energy can wreak havoc with your mood and overall wellbeing. So you must shield yourself from loud, rude, manipulative, mean, and self-serving environments.
Steps to follow to protect your energy
- Be aware when you’re picking up other people’s emotions.
- Practice not feeling their feelings, which is clearly a hard-earned skill for highly sensitive people.
- You need to be aware and intentional about the amount and kind of energy you allow in your life.
- Get into the habit of expressing negative feelings. Although a highly sensitive person hates conflict, suppressing emotions can be dangerous for your mental health.
- Don’t feel guilty about making your own welfare a priority. Work through the guilt that will inevitably hit you for not choosing to feel what others are feeling.
7 Rules To Protect Your Energy If You’re A Highly Sensitive Introvert
1. There’s no room in your life for people who aren’t nice
Being sensitive has both perks and downsides. Yes, we intuitively feel what other people are going though, without them having to explain anything. But we also pick up negatives vibes very quickly, and it can drastically alter our mood and perception. We can pick up the slightest hints of passive aggression, insult and talking down. We are introverted, so we don’t usually react, but we understand everything.
If you think it’s okay to judge and label me just because I’m not fitting in your world, then I better stay miles away from you. If all you do is gossip about others, then I better be alone than spend time in your company.
We aren’t rude, so we will always be polite to you when we meet. But we will create boundaries, for our own good. So you aren’t invited to our homes and we will also not be present at your events.
Negativity and unkindness is poison for highly sensitive introverts, so avoid such people.