The Highly Sensitive Person
I am a Highly Sensitive Person. Dr. Elaine Aron, to the best of my research, coined the phrase that I would later understand to be my primary characteristic. The term is not important, however, because another term I picked up was *multisensory* and I am equally sure there are other terms describing the same sort of person.
As a result of knowing this to be an integral make-up of who I am, I have now designated a Highly Sensitive Person category all to its own making as I imagine I shall have many things to say on this matter of HSP. What I deal with, how I deal with it, and how I am with it on a day to day basis. In sharing with you, I would hope to be of some help to those of you who find yourselves HSP.
I can get quite verbose so let me be as brief on the matter as I can be in offering a description of the HSP to those who may be currently suffering without understanding why. I will first point out the characteristics I suffered through as a child into adulthood that I noticed others not having problems with and then I will reference some characteristics I have compiled from the internet media.
What is a Highly Sensitive Person?
Could You Be Among the Blessed?
As a matter of practical understanding I will also have to add that my sensitivity, I believe, is what fueled my alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, codependency, and self-injury in all of my forms even into today. I believe it to be my primary root function only after extensively researching, reading, and studying all sorts of theories, authors, doctors, recovery-related material and spiritual undertakings. Not to say all HSP’s harm themselves as I believe our social unit has a lot to do with it, but that it may be a symptom. Not that all alcoholics, codependents or SI’s are HSP either, as I know some pretty controlling people who aren’t sensitive and seem to almost need every stimulation the world has to offer.
With that said, here is my own personal list, culminated from my own experience and other friends who are not your *usual* human functioning in the world:
Needing about 5 hours alone time to every 2 hours spent out in “the world.”
Emotionally drained or exhausted when a friend becomes troubled.
Inability to express to my satisfaction to another person how I’m feeling.
Wondering how other people could *take everything in stride.*
Introspective. Deeply reflective.
Easy feelings of something is about to happen though no indicators.
Feeling another person’s energy.
Very sensitive to electricity, energy, vibrations.
Absorbing others’ moods, feelings, energy.
Trouble with relating myself to others.
Intensely troubled and sensitive to others’ suffering.
Used alcohol or other inappropriate means to deaden the feelings.
Spiritually wrestling almost since a small child.
Feeling very different and wondering always what was the secret I was missing.
Also, speaking of spirituality, a higher crown chakra awareness rather than root could be another quality of HSPness I would attribute another characteristic to. Sometimes to the point my head is in the clouds and all matters spiritual while concrete reality and factual logic have no meaning. It had been quite a detriment in day to day life but for when I joined A.A. and engaged The Four Agreements did it seem to flourish in helpfulness.
Characteristics of the Highly Sensitive Person
Dr. Ginger Blume in “Understanding the Highly Sensitive Person” has the following list:
- easily tired
- have states of depression
- feel panic/anxiety when there is no clear danger
- labeled as too “sensitive” or “thin skinned” or “emotional”
- overwhelmed by being “out in the world”
- overly attentive to what is going on around them
- feel an urge to hide in a quiet, sometimes dark, room to escape over stimulation
- often cancel or don’t even make plans with others
- highly affected by other people’s moods
- highly allergic to foods and environmental conditions
- exceptionally intuitive and artistic
- overly sensitive to noise and light?
Another article entitled “Empaths and Telepaths” suggest the following characteristics:
Are you extremely sensitive to the emotions and thoughts of others, often confusing the emotions of others with their own?
Are you like an emotional sponge, soaking up the emotions of others, absorbing and dissipating the energy and problems of others, even at a distance.
Do you tend to puts others at ease, allowing them to share their inner most feelings? Do you find yourself helping others, even casual strangers, understand the world and themselves better?
Periodically, do you need to take time out, where you can be alone to meditate, recharge and experience your own mind without the interference of others?
Have you known about your unique sensitivity since childhood? Have you struggled with a burden-of-perceptions that others did not share.
Do you sometimes use food, sex, drugs or solitude as a means of coping with you [sic] empathic or telepathic nature?
Do you have to use masked personality to protect yourself from others, only sharing your true perceptions with those you trust most?
Do you have the ability to facilitate the process of rapid growth in those around you?
Only a person who knows s/he is sensitive will understand on a kindred level what these characteristics feel like. If you have ever considered yourself a pragmatist, a realist, or even practical minded, it’s doubtful you would consider yourself HSP unless you’re also Borderline Personality Disordered. Now, if you’ve had an “A-Ha” moment and have just realized you do have a?term that validates you are not a weirdo, a wacko, a misfit, or even “crazy” rest assured you are not alone.
In my experience, people have a hard time understanding HSP’s. We’re a hard people to understand or reach. We know bullshit when we feel it and even more than that, we tend to not function well within the world of bullshit. So what does an HSP, in a world full of ego and facade’s, do with her/his self?
How the Highly Sensitive Person Prospers
To start with, we realize we are not alone. I think, for me, this was the singlemost comforting thought. “I am no longer alone. There are others like me.” Then, in understanding now who we are, we no longer even try to fit in, to become what we have thought all along we should be. We will no longer wonder what is wrong with us because we now know nothing. Now we know we’re a unique minority and we just do things differently. We will now give ourselves permission to embrace this.
To start with, we realize we are not alone. I think, for me, this was singlemost comforting thought. Then, in understanding now who we are, we no longer even try to fit in, to become what we have thought all along we be. We will no longer wonder what is wrong with us because we now know nothing. Now we know we’re a unique minority and we just do things differently. We will now give ourselves permission to embrace this.To start with, we realize we are not alone. I think, for me, this was single most comforting thought. Then, in understanding now who we are, we no longer even try to fit in, to become what we have thought all along we be. We will no longer wonder what is wrong with us because we now know nothing. Now we know we’re a unique minority and we just do things differently. We will now give ourselves permission to embrace this.
We will be gentle with ourselves. We will give ourselves the alone time we need. We will learn how to detach from situations that may not harm an ordinary person but would harm us. We will understand ourselves to possess the gift of intuition and higher spiritual awareness.
We will use this gift to help ourselves as well as others. We will give ourselves permission to be sad for no obvious reason and we will learn it’s okay to not know why because the truth will be revealed when we’re ready. We will bond and share ourselves with others and will learn to trust ourselves when we’re not to share too much with others. We will learn, finally, to appreciate ourselves fully for what we are rather than what we’re not.
In depth Highly Sensitive Person Introduction
Last Edit: May 08, 2008
If you’re on Stumble, I invite you to join the Highly Sensitive Person’s forum I founded, where you can interchange anything “living as a Sensitive” with a membership exceeding?[current count] 250 others. If you’re not a member of Stumble, I invite you to join. [It’s free, as well as the HSP Forum.]