Skip to content

20 Things You Do Differently Because You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

Things You Do Differently

“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 the 1990s 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.

Related: 25 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

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 overstimulation of their senses. Intermittent Solitude is very essential and grounding for HSPs and 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.

highly sensitive people (HSP)

Wondering if you’re an HSP, read on!

Here are 20 things you do differently because you are an HSP:

Things You Do Differently Person info

Being a HSP: In public

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 overstimulation 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 the slightest pain or suffering abound you, can move you to tears.

Related: 15 Ways To Care For A Highly Sensitive Person

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 hyperstimulation.

Most of the time 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 a Highly Sensitive Person, 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.

Your observation and intuition about people’s feelings are almost always on point.

Related: Are you an HSP? 10 Ways To Know If You Are Highly Sensitive

Being a HSP: In Solitude

HSP solitude

7. You have some particular morning or bedtime rituals.

You like to follow certain routines and rituals because they give you a sense of safety and comfort. You like certainty and familiarity and change can be quite stressful for you.

While subconsciously you know that change is inevitable and you cannot do much to control the outside people or circumstances, so you try to instill small daily rituals in your life to ground and anchor yourself.

8. You can get really worked up by strict deadlines.

Nobody likes to work under strict deadlines but for you, deadlines can make you really shaky and nervous. You like to be very detail-oriented and like to do a lot of research to finish tasks to perfection.

Any sort of time pressure can leave you with panic or anxiety attacks.

Related: 3 Steps To Heal Self Criticism As A Highly Sensitive Person

9. You can deeply be moved by art and beauty.

You have a knack for understanding and appreciating the subtlety of art and beauty. A piece of music, a painting, a good poem, or the hues of sunset can move you deeply and leave you feeling mesmerized.

You have a sense of wonder and curiosity due to your heightened senses and tend to be awed by the beauty surrounding you.

10. You have a rich and intense inner world.

You have a very deep imagination and a rich inner world. You never get bored in solitude as you have the depth and richness of your inner world to accompany you at all times.

11. You need plenty of sleep and alone time to recharge.

It is a no brainer that you would need plenty of sleep and alone time to recover from your overwhelming sensory exhaustion.

12. You have deep, strong emotions and you need alone time to process them.

If you really want to make the best use of your intuitive and empathetic nature, make sure that you always get plenty of sleep and downtime.

Related: If You Feel You Need Time Alone, You Need To Read This

13. You seek a higher meaning in everything you do.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person, you do not believe in the conventional lifestyle of paying your bills and dying.

You are not motivated by just the monetary rewards from work. Yes, money is important and you do want to lead a comfortable life. But your deep thinking and big picture perspective will not let you settle for something that will fetch you only money.

You will always look for work and relationships that will help you to find a higher meaning and purpose in life.

Being a HSP: In Relationships

14. You can easily get into a fight or flight response with the smallest of arguments.

A lot of HSPs tend to suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks. They already have a hyperactive nervous system and any small amount of stimulation can activate their fight and flight mode.

They usually avoid confrontation or any disagreements with their partner because it can trigger their anxiety or fight and flight mode in them.

15. When you fall in love, your emotions are really intense.

Since your sensory system is on overdrive, you feel all emotions very deeply. When you tend to fall in love, you tend to fall hard and heartbreaks can leave you devastated. Therefore, you tend to be very picky about your romantic partners and look for people who share your qualities of empathy and sensitivity.

HSPs are highly sensitive and can feel the pain and emotions of others, it goes without saying, they are all the more sensitive to their partner’s moods and emotions because they share an intimate bond with them.

If you’re an empath, who has not learned to set boundaries and the art of discriminating between your own feelings and feelings of others around you, you will have a hard time struggling with overwhelming emotions.

16. You swing between a strong desire to be alone and also be intimately attached.

People think empaths and HSPs can have the most wonderful relationships because they are sensitive to other people’s emotions and understand others so well.

But they don’t realize that relationships can get really overwhelming for empaths if they do not get alone time because their system can take only so much sensory stimulation. If you are an empath or an HSP, then look for a partner who understands and accepts your sensitive nature and also your need for plenty of alone time to recharge.

Related: Are You a Relationship Empath? – By Judith Orloff MD

Being a HSP: How your body works differently

17. You will always try to adjust the volume and colors on your TV.

You will always try to adjust the color and volume of your gadgets because even a little extra audiovisual stimulation can overwhelm you. People don’t get your obsession with adjusting the volume but a loud volume is not just annoying, it can be physically exhausting for you.

18. You are very sensitive to fragrances.

Since you have a hyperactive sensory system; you are very sensitive to all types of fragrances. You can use this knowledge to utilize calming fragrances like lavender to soothe your senses and stay away from strong fragrances that can exhaust you.

19. You are sensitive to caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants.

If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, you should try to limit your consumption of stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, spicy food and other prescription drugs.

20. Your body is sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar.

Have you noticed when you are hungry; you get really irritable and unfocused? It’s because you are really sensitive to fluctuations in your blood sugar level.

Related: 15 Things That Lead To Frequent Emotional Burnout in Empaths and Highly Sensitive People

Do you think being a highly sensitive person is a curse? Let us know in the comments section what your views are on being a highly sensitive person. 


Things You Do Differently Because You are A Highly Sensitive Person
Things You Do Differently pin sensitive
Things You Do Differently pin

3 thoughts on “20 Things You Do Differently Because You’re A Highly Sensitive Person”

  1. Avatar of Christina

    I see a lot of my path in the things you have described. I know that solitude is the cure-all for me. My husband laughs when his friends come over and my response is to go find a book and disengage. I have also found that empathy laden souls don’t hunt for problems we acknowledge too much for us to be nosey. Thank you for putting a voice to our plight.

Comments are closed.

nv-author-image

Shweta Advani

An HR consultant by profession, a slam poet and freelance writer.Avid reader,dancer and yoga enthusiast. When I am not reading or writing, I star gaze or take long walks in nature.View Author posts

Up Next

Overthinking Before Sleep? 8 Ways To Avoid Racing Thoughts At Night And Sleep Better

How to stop overthinking before sleep

Can’t sleep at night? Overthinking keeping you up? Racing thoughts at night can totally screw up your sleep schedule and lead to insomnia. If you are struggling with sleepless nights and wondering how to stop overthinking at night, then we are here to help.

When your mind is on a race track

It’s been a long, hard day. You are tired, exhausted and ready to hit the sack. As you lie in your bed and slide under your warm, cushy blanket, you can’t wait to fall asleep. The room is dark and the temperature is just right. You exhale deeply as you relax and that’s when it happens. 

BANG!

The starting pistol fires and your mind races through the track of rumination and painful mem

Up Next

10 Ways To Stop Ruminating

Ways To Stop Ruminating

Rumination if not reigned in at the right time can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health. That's why it's important to know when and how to stop ruminating, whenever things start to feel too overwhelming.

Key Points

The mind seeks an answer or meaning in any experience. Consequently, people try to think through an experience to better understand a problem.

The average brain generates 15,000 to 50,000 thoughts in a day, and most are negative.

Studies show that a 90-minute walk in nature or a single session of exercise can reduce symptoms of rumination.

One of the most plaguin

Up Next

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Life And Relationships

Ways You're Sabotaging Your Life And Relationships

Blaming others is easy when you aren't happy in life, but what if they're your actions? Here are 5 ways you may be sabotaging your life with certain behaviors.

Nobody really wants to know the small things that we do that sabotage our lives and relationships.

Why? Because it’s way easier to ignore them and watch Netflix, hoping that things will just fix themselves.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

If we want to live our best life, full of love and joy, and contentment, it is very important that we do things that help us in that goal, not sabotage us.

That way, if we know where are opportunities are for growth, we can look at them and make a plan to fix them.

Up Next

Feeling Hopeless? 5 Ways To Create Hope

feeling hopeless

Feeling hopeless sometimes is okay, however when this sense of hopelessness becomes a permanent part of you, where you find it hard to be even a little bit optimistic, that's when it becomes concerning. What causes hopelessness and what can you do to feel better?

When you feel hopeless, you have trouble getting out of bed. You think to yourself, “Why should I?” There’s nothing to look forward to. Today will be the same as yesterday. Yesterday was the same as the day before, the day before that, and the day before that, etc.

“Is it possible to die of sameness?” you wonder.

You check your phone — more bad news. The virus, the economy, the environment, politics, and the world is coming apart.

Why are you the

Up Next

How To Be More Likeable: 7 Psychology-Backed Ways To Become Attractive Instantly

psychology backed ways to be more likable

How can I be more likable without being too desperate? How can I be more charismatic so that others accept me openly? Well, psychology has your back. Here’s how to be more likeable. 

Likeability is a powerful trait

It’s like a superpower that can make your life easier and better. We all want to be liked! We can’t really help it. Being liked and respected by others, especially the people we care about, helps to boost our self-esteem & confidence and improves our mental & emotional health.

No wonder, we often think about how we can become more likable. Not just based on our appearance, but psychologically as well. There are certain psychological hacks and tricks that can make us more likeable to others, however,