A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone with a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity. In simpler terms, an HSP is someone who is easily overstimulated, reacts strongly to criticism, and lives a very rich inner life. As many as 1 in 5 people is highly sensitive.
Being an HSP can be stressful and require individuals to plan in advance to avoid being overwhelmed. But there is good news. HSPs have been found to have a higher capacity for empathy. They also deeply appreciate beauty and demonstrate enhanced levels of creativity, awareness of others’ moods, and the ability to process sensory information. You might even call them superpowers.
Signs That You Are a Highly Sensitive Person
- Sensory awareness: It’s not that HSPs notice sensory input while others don’t. They notice it sooner and more intensely. This increases the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed.
- Empathy: HSPs pick up on subtle social cues and can thus intuit another person’s mood more quickly. They are also more intensely impacted by the moods of others.
- Pain threshold: Being more sensitive to pain is not uncommon for HSPs.
- Introverted personality: HSPs are emotionally sensitive and require plenty of alone time to recover from such overstimulation.
But let’s bring it back to the aforementioned superpowers. Despite sounding like being highly sensitive is bad luck, this personality trait comes with plenty of upsides. Let’s explore a few!
The Powers of a Highly Sensitive Person
1. Big Hearts
HSPs cry easily — even when it’s not them who is experiencing the pain. They feel, notice, and appreciate. A sunset can move them to tears. They’re great listeners and they have a magical ability to put themselves in your shoes to see the world — as best they can — from your perspective. This power helps you create and sustain deep and meaningful relationships.
2. Timeliness and Reliability
No one likes to be let down. It can feel disrespectful when others are late or they forget a promise they made to you. HSPs know this all too well. Hence, they go the extra mile to be sensitive to the needs of others.
I mentioned a “very rich inner life” above. HSPs spend more time than most inside their own heads. This enhances their imagination, creativity, and ability to innovate.
4. Great Hugs!
And cuddles and hand-holding and pats on the back and more. HSPs are hypersensitive to touch. This, of course, has its downsides — particularly someplace like a crowded train or bus. But it also grants them superpowers when it comes to offering physical affection of any kind.
HSPs remember details whether they want to or not. This gift comes in handy at work, school, or any situation that requires focus and concentration. People will come to count on your skills at taking in and retaining data and information.
Despite your knack for acquiring knowledge, as an HSP, you also rely on a strong intuition. Some call it a “gut feeling” or a “sixth sense,” but you simply experience a deeper kind of knowing.
Since you can sense what others are feeling, you may often play the role of conduit between people. You help them connect and stay connected. In addition, the knowledge you obtain about the people in your life positions you to get the best gift-giver ever!
If you are an HSP, you are also the kind of person who ponders the deeper meanings of life. It could be connected to religion but it doesn’t have to be.
Being a Highly Sensitive Person is a gift but is not without its challenges. If you need to talk about what you’re feeling, I’m here for you.