High sensitivity

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

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Let’s see, if you are a Highly Sensitive Person! Do you feel deeply and tend to be overwhelmed with your emotions a lot? Did you ever walk in a room full of people and felt strange and didn’t know why? Do you need me-time a lot?

If you can answer any of these questions with yes, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person.

Facts about Highly Sensitive People

Before we jump into the characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person – Here are six intriguing facts about HSP I selected for you.

  • Dr. Elaine Aron began researching high sensitivity in 1991 and continues to do research on it now.
  • The trait’s scientific name is Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS).
  • She wrote six self-help books about HSP.
  • It’s found in 15 to 20% of the population.
  • This is not a disorder.
  • The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) operate a little differently than others’.

Characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person

A Highly Sensitive Person holds a wide variety of characteristics. However, high sensitivity most commonly appears through these four motifs:

Depth of Processing

Highly Sensitive People require more time to process information. Accordingly, it takes them longer to make decisions.

Overstimulation

Highly sensitive People pick up on every tiny signal around them, which causes them to become overstimulated more easily.

Emotional responsiveness/Empathy

Highly Sensitive People have more mirror neurons in their brains, which causes them to be more empathic towards others.

Sensitive to subtleties/Sensory stimuli

Highly sensitive people are more aware of subtle details. Their sensory processing goes deep. Hence, they notice things others don’t.

32 Signs you are a Highly Sensitive Person

I collected 32 indications that might apply to you if you are a Highly Sensitive Person.

Note, that you don’t have to identify with every single sign I mentioned though!

For instance, I, as a Highly Sensitive Person strongly identify with almost every one of the traits mentioned below. Yet there are a few I can’t see myself in as much. Sign number 21 for example:

I am bothered very easily and worry about so many things but it takes a bit more for me to be annoyed. Also, I’m not entirely sure about 15, the built-in lie detector thing. I try to not surround myself with people who lie to me though.

Simply know, that every Highly Sensitive Person is unique, just as every other soul is too.

Furthermore, I wanted to mention that this is not meant to diagnose or exclude the diagnosis of any condition!

The list

  • You can feel other people’s feelings.
  • You get tired quickly.
  • You have sharpened senses.
  • You have a sixth sense.
  • The moods of others impact you.
  • You feel the need to back down often.
  • You have a low tolerance for discomfort.
  • You have a low tolerance for witnessing the discomfort of others.
  • You avoid negative pictures.
  • You’re an excellent listener.
  • Other people tell you you’re too sensitive.
  • You are easily overwhelmed.
  • You pick up on things that other people don’t.
  • Everything has a specific “feel” to it.
  • You have a built-in lie detector test.
  • You have loads of ideas.
  • Crowds can feel overwhelming.
  • You often feel exhausted.
  • You are easily startled.
  • You know how to encourage others to feel more comfortable.
  • You are easily bothered or annoyed.
  • You regularly prefer to do things alone.
  • You have a remarkably tough time dealing with criticism.
  • As a kid you were shy.
  • You’re deeply moved by beauty.
  • Conflict is your poison.
  • You are sensitive to stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.
  • Your inner world is alive and present.
  • Your pain tolerance is less.
  • You seek answers to the big questions in life.
  • Time pressure really rattles you.
  • You absolutely hate violence and cruelty of any kind.

If you are interested in my experience of being highly sensitive, please hit the like button to let me know! I would love to talk more about this topic with you guys! 🙂

Also, if these signs are the case for you, there is an excellent test on Dr. Elaine Aron’s website you can do for free.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and wish you all the best! 🙂

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9 Comments

  • Stephanie

    Wow! I’m INCREDIBLY sensitive and so much of this relates to me. I think the connection between sensory processing issues and being a highly sensitive person is so interesting. I’ve realized lately there are certain times when I have to roll my car window up, turn off a light, or shut off music because it feels like sensory overload for a minute. I always pick up on other people’s feelings as well!

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    • shedigsdeeper

      Hi Stephanie 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! What you described here relates so much to me… Some people are listening to music all the time, while I love some quiet moments during my day. I easily get headaches when I’m exposed to too many sounds. I also hate driving by night because of the harsh lighting on the streets.

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  • Taylor

    I am a very practical logical mother of a highly sensitive daughter. I wish I know about the different personalities. This understanding will go a long way in enriching relationships. It is never too late. Thank you for sharing.

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    • shedigsdeeper

      Hey Taylor! 🙂
      May I ask how old your daughter is?
      You are absolutely right! Understanding is key when it comes to relationships… Knowing why someone acts in a certain way makes it so much easier to react to particular situations.
      Wish you all the best!

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  • Jessica Collazo

    I’m sure I’m a highly sensitive person. But, I have a strong character. And is hard and so overwhelming when I see Injustice. And sometimes I feel guilty Because I have to put up this wall to protect my feelings and Myself.

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  • Nilakshi

    I can totally relate. I always carry other people’s emotions and people get drawn to me to discuss their problems. It feels good to help but sometimes it gets very overwhelming. It gives a feeling of blessing and sometimes a not-so-great kinda blessing. Also, I know it when someone is lying. Love the article. You are amazing.
    Stay safe. 💗

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  • Anonymous

    I’m so happy I found this! I actually did my college essay on this topic and am extremely fascinated by it and happy somebody else knows about this too! As a highly sensitive person myself I relate to this so much, like hitting almost everything on the list relate.

    I’m so seneistive to sound and other people’s emotions/vibes I can just break down in tears when it’s too overwhelming.

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