I’ve always considered myself emotional. If someone makes an offhand comment to me, three hours later I’m probably still analyzing what they meant by it. I can definitely use my powers of sensitivity for good and not evil (I listen well and give good advice) but it also can be a problem.
Fairly recently, I was crying on the phone to my mom because someone I had tried to confide in hadn’t been as understanding as I had hoped. After we hung up, I got an e-mail from her in my inbox. This was the article she wanted me to look at.
It describes what’s known as the highly sensitive personality type.
As soon as I began reading it I was like, “Hey what’s up hello, this is totally me.”
Lightbulb moment: Not only am I sensitive, I’m highly sensitive. Next level sensitive, if you will. If you can relate to this, you may be an HSP too. Some of the traits HSPs exhibit include:
Needing time to think and analyze before generating ideas. I used to hate huge brainstorming meetings at my old job because I can’t just come up with an idea on the spot.
Assessing what’s going on for a few minutes when you enter a room instead of jumping directly into a conversation.
The ability to understand on a deeper level when someone you care about is feeling upset/angry/excited, even if they don’t verbalize this to you.
Feeling more affected by violent TV shows or sad movies.
Absorbing other people’s emotions. If someone else is sad, you are too, but to an extreme extent.
The list goes on and on.
The article provides a lot of helpful ideas for turning down this sensitivity just a tad, making life more manageable for us highly sensitive types. You keep the good parts of it (empathy, for example) but mitigate the not-so-great aspects.
I had no idea that being a highly sensitive person was a thing, but I’ve talked to a few psychologists who explain that it truly is about the way your brain is wired. Being an HSP impacts the way you interact with the world in a big way. Recognizing that you’re an HSP and learning how to adjust accordingly can be extremely helpful, particularly if you’re finding that hurt feelings are happening too often.
I had no idea this existed until my mom clued me in, so I wanted to pass along the information in case I’ve got any HSP readers who may benefit.