As a highly sensitive person, I can sense your mood from a mile away. Don’t try to hide it. You’re not fooling me ― Tracy M. Kusmierz
Have people labeled you as a great listener?
Do random strangers turn up to you for advice?
Are you able to catch up on subtle signs that most people would miss? Do you have a high level of self awareness and can also read people without them uttering a word?
If any of these resonate with you, then you might be a Highly Sensitive person (HSP) .
The terms Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) or Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) were originally founded in 1990’s by research psychologist Elaine Aron ,who stated that it is an inherent trait in people with highly sensitive nervous systems that helps them to better deal with the world by being more observant before acting.
Research shows that HSPs actually undergo increased blood flow in the areas of the brain that process emotion, awareness and empathy. In Fact, most of the HSPs are often empaths who have an innate ability to feel other people’s emotions, feelings and needs.
They also have very rich inner worlds due to their heightened sensitivity and keen observation skills. They can very easily be awed by the beauty of a sunset or a fragrance of a flower.
Because of their hyperactive nervous system and heightened senses, they need a lot of alone time to recharge from the over stimulation of their senses. Intermittent Solitude is very essential and grounding for HSPs and a non negotiable if they want to function at their optimum capacity.
Knowing that you are an HSP and how your system operates can really help you to make the best use of your gifts of empathy and sensitivity.
Wondering if you’re an HSP, read on!
Here are 20 ways how being an HSP you behave differently:
1. You tend to shut down in loud or over crowded places
Since you have a hyperactive sensory system, you tend to get overwhelmed in crowded or loud places.
You occasionally shut down or zone out mentally to escape the over stimulation of your senses or you try to leave such places physically as soon as possible.
2. You avoid news or media about suffering or abuse
You avoid consuming content about any sort of suffering, injustice or abuse.
3. You are very compassionate and kind
You are so sensitive to even the pain and suffering of others that you can start to feel their suffering as your own. You are so big on compassion and empathy that slightest pain or suffering abound you, can move you to tears.
4. You get anxious during conflicts or disagreements
Being an HSP, you tend to avoid conflicts or even minor disagreements because they can really overwhelm you. You can get really stressed and anxious if someone raises their voice at you.
In relationships also, the mood and feelings of your significant other can make you physically unwell and can affect your sleep or eating cycles.
You can even get nervous and uncomfortable watching two strangers fight because you are very sensitive and tend to absorb other people’s emotions and energy.
5. Even a normal day at work can get really exhausting
What is normal for some people can turn really exhausting for you due to your heightened senses.
A normal day at work, being stuck in traffic or a visit to a crowded shopping mall can exhaust your senses due to hyper stimulation.
Most of the times you squeeze in a couple of minutes of silence for yourself during the day or you head straight to your bedroom when you return home to recharge yourself.
6. You are extremely observant of people and surroundings
Being an HSP, you are extremely observant of people and surroundings. You will tend to notice a change in someone’s tone when they are angry or a twinkle in someone’s eyes when they are happy or stress in someone’s life by their frown before anyone else can.