Why Am I So Sensitive? Signs Of A Highly Sensitive Person
Have you ever been told that you’re too emotional? How about that you always take things too personally? Although these are symptoms of being hypersensitive, it may show that you are actually highly sensitive. Hypersensitivity refers to being easily overwhelmed by your emotions. Typically mishandling them in the process.
On the other hand, according to Dr. Elaine Aron, high sensitivity or Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is an innate personality trait where individuals process stimuli in a highly systematic and extensive manner. High sensitivity occurs in about 15 to 20% of the US population. HSPs have been misunderstood and mislabeled for a long time. Therefore, if you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP), you were #bornthisway, and that makes it totally normal.
Signs That You Are A Highly Sensitive Person:
Thinking you may be a part of this population? Here are eight signs that you are a highly sensitive person:
- You’re “jumpy”.
Just imagine someone you trust is behind you without your knowledge. You turn around suddenly and see them, or you hear them say something out of the blue. Typically, your response is not a happy, “Hi there”, but rather, is a pain-stricken expression akin to an individual experiencing a heart attack. There’s no beating around the bush here. HSPs are easily startled from simpler things, such as an object moving in their peripheral vision or a quick, out of place noise. The possibilities for a fright are endless.
- You notice everything. Okay – almost everything.
You have an eye for detail. You’re probably awesome at spot-the-difference games and quickly notice spelling errors even in long documents. Sometimes, HSPs will focus on details, whether that is productive to do so or not. Of course, depending on the individual, this characteristic could either be helpful or a hindrance.
- Everyone thinks you’re introverted or shy.
This isn’t necessarily true though. According to Dr. Aron, approximately 30% of HSPs are extroverts. HSPs are often assumed to be introverts. hey tend to do a lot of assessing before acting, seriously observing their environment thoroughly before making a move. HSPs can typically be found alone, thinking to themselves about that silent battle that they alone just witnessed across the room.
- You think thoroughly and responsibly.
It may take you forever to make a conclusive decision. HSPs want to make the best decision possible with the information they are given. They are also quite conscientious and extremely aware of how any decisions they make may affect another person, group, or the environment around them. A consequence of being an HSP is that you’re more likely to suffer from anxiety, which can delay decision-making further and closer to the never-ending limit of never (delayed until it never happens if it’s an option).
- You can’t handle chaos.
Loud noises, confusion, and other intense stimuli greatly affect you. You might have a rough time sitting in traffic if multiple drivers are repeatedly blowing their horns, or when you’re in a room and everyone is speaking at the same time. You tend to, or wish you could, back away from intense and/or excessive stimuli as it overwhelms you. You’re easily stressed and retreat to spaces where you can find quiet and comfort if you feel bombarded. That may be the reason people often assume HSPs are introverts.
- Your emotions are deep and easily triggered.
HSPs are often chided for being easily triggered. You probably find yourself upset or sad at the “slightest” things or you’re way “too” excited at times. It doesn’t have to be an issue. In fact, I think it’s a superpower. You just process things on a deeper level and I think that’s great ☺.
- Others easily affect your mood.
You easily understand someone else’s experience due to your increased empathy. For instance, you might feel sad because someone else in your proximity looks sad. You’re excited when someone else is. Sometimes, it may not even be empathy. You are just highly receptive to the vibe others in your environment give off which may change how you feel yourself.
- You have a low pain tolerance.
So, if you’re reading this article and already think you’re an HSP, you’re probably having a that-explains-it moment. #same. Perhaps, you already did the test in a new tab. If so, welcome back! HSPs feel pain more intensely. So, you’re not being a “big baby”, you’re just a perfectly ”normal” highly sensitive person. (Given that you exhibited most of the points and have done the test afterward to confirm, of course ☺).
Finding The Good In Sensitivity
If you feel that some of your HSP characteristics are negatively affecting you, there are strategies that exist to help you fine-tune your weaknesses. These allow you to transform them into the superpowers that they are. A quick, but thorough, search of the interwebs will take you to a large number of different actionable resources dedicated to HSP and SPS.
Some of the coping strategies you will find may help you lower your stress levels. Others encourage you to incorporate more self-care practices into your daily routine. Of course, the biggest point is to always consider seeking help from a qualified mental health professional, especially if you perceive your symptoms or traits as debilitating.
So, tell me. Do you think you’re an HSP? You can use the characteristics above to better understand the extent to which you may be highly sensitive. Also, if you know anyone that might be an HSP, be sure to share this article with them ☺.
Continue to learn more about yourself and others!
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