21 thoughts on “Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?

  • May 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I do not cry (boo hoo) very much. I drop heavy teardrops during a conversation in which I am being criticized. I am not a perfectionist. I just believe I can do things better than I do. I cannot hold things inside. I have a great therapist. I talk, she listens. If she didn’t keep me to 45 min. I would talk all day. I talk to myself all day. If I didn’t have clients talking to me (I’m a therapist too) I would be talking with a colleague. I cannot stop talking! I can tell on friends faces I am talking too much. As a professional, I am professional. I keep the client focused on the work they choose to do. I have boundaries that move in and out as necessary. I practice as if I have only one client and that is the one in front of me. So, why am I so sensitive in my personal life. Why do I need to talk so much, too much?

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    • May 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      Sounds just like me !!!

      Reply
  • May 9, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Do you think it’s possible to “re-wire” an HSP to be less sensitive. While there is nothing wrong with HSP’s, perhaps many people could benefit personally and professionally from being less sensitive.

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    • May 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

      It’s an interesting question, Chris. The bit I know about neuroscience and regulating and rewiring our nervous systems is fascinating. But I don’t really have enough expertise to give you a solid answer.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I have all of these , was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder which has similar symptoms

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    • May 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Bevy. Issues with affect regulation are definitely part of BPD. Just so others are aware, most HSP do not have BPD. BPD involves a number of symptoms not seen in HSP.
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

      Reply
  • May 10, 2016 at 10:17 am

    EVERYTHING in this article is EXACTLY who I am. I knew I was very sensitive, but I didn’t know it was a type of condition (HSP). I guess I should have known considering how much this affects my life.

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    • May 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

      It’s just the way you’re nervous system is wired. I’m the same way! You’d probably get a lot out of Elaine Aron’s book.

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  • May 11, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    This is me and I hate being this way. I over analyze things, can’t keep jobs because of it. Just quit a job 3 weeks ago that I had for over 4 years and dreading finding another because I know all this baloney will come back. I’m an introvert and nobody but nobody will accept me as I am! Just sick of it.

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    • May 12, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Ah, so sorry you’re having such a rough go of it. It’s really hard to feel different and like you don’t fit in anywhere. It really hurts at the core of who we are. I wish I had an answer, but I hope it helps just a bit to know you’re not the only one. Best wishes to you.

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    • May 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Azannie, I often think of this as we have a super power, almost. We can sense what other people feel and we need to learn to use this to benefit others and ourselves. I admit this takes decades but it’s not a deficiency it’s a bonus. I did find I need to keep this a secret from almost everyone. Admittedly this is a bummer, but it’s necessary for our own well being. I hope this helps.

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      • May 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm

        That’s an amazing way to look at it, John! Thank you for sharing.

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  • May 12, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you for this.
    I am all that you describe but in addition , I suffer a great deal because of the way we humans treat animals in factory farms. And circuses. I cannot bear to think of it. It seems worse now I’m older,over 70.
    I know that it’s WRONG just plain wrong to treat living creatures as we do. It’s not the fact that we kill and eat animals : it’s the obscene,enormous number of animals we abuse . Unbelievable cruelty.
    I give money to various animal welfare organizations & have done some fostering;so I’m not sitting back doing nothing.
    I hope this doesn’t sound too extreme,but I really do feel as sensitive as this !

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    • May 13, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I completely get it. Thanks for bringing this up. Anything about a child or animal being hurt is very painful to me too. I really have to limit my exposure to news stories etc. about this. Thank you so much for adding to the comments.

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  • May 14, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Wow. I have heard this my whole life!!! “You’re too sensitive, you just can’t handle being teased, get a tougher skin”-etc. I have always felt less than and not good enough. I feel everything so intensely,physically and emotionally. It’s really too much

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  • May 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I’m also a HSP and I have known it over 30 years. I noticed 1 of the suggestions to help us is we need alone time. I don’t disagree. However, in the last 15 years due to my age, health, and family tragedies, I am alone constantly. I can go 1 month with no one to speak to. This is so unpleasant that I go in stores and often end up speaking to people who overly stimulate my negative empathy. I then need to escape these feelings which I don’t know how to do alone.

    So I’m wondering if you have advice for too much of being alone?

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    • May 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Hi John!
      Going a whole month without speaking to anyone is pretty extreme, in my opinion. Do you connect with people online? I think that can be a helpful option for some. Or I wonder if there’s someplace quiet with some human contact, but not so much stimulation (a library or park or quiet coffee shop?). I’m not sure…. I’d suggest experimenting if you can since you know that what you’re doing now doesn’t work well.
      Thank you so much for reading John. I wish you the best!

      Reply
      • May 17, 2016 at 4:00 am

        Hi Sharon,

        Thanks for replying. Even though I’m only 63 I have several spinal issues. In the past 3 yrs I’ve gotten worse and I’m losing my ability to walk more than a few short blocks. To make matters worse I can no longer afford a car. So going anywhere is a problem.

        Up until 6 yrs ago I had several online friends. One by one they found other things to do. However, this article holds some hope. I always knew there had to be other people like me but prior to the Internet finding them was impossible. I would like to email jennef because as I’ve become older I have also become sensitive to the plight of abused animals.

        You might be interested to know that 35 yrs ago I too was training to be a psychotherapist. But again due to a family tragedy I never completed my MS degree. I always knew I could use this power to help others. Many people used to think I could read their minds, but the fact is we can’t read minds but we can read emotions. I always found I can do this best with people I care about. It also helps if they aren’t trying to trick me. One thing I’m very adept at is knowing when a person is lying. I just feel it, somehow. As you might imagine, this ability caused me the most problems.

        I think you will be very successful as a therapist. You will also find as you get older you’ll learn to use our ability ever better.

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      • May 17, 2016 at 9:58 am

        Thanks, John! That’s very nice of you. 🙂
        take care,
        Sharon

        Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Almost everything in the article are u a highly sensitive person, fits me perfectly w/2-3 exceptions.
    I love movies w/action,car chases, explosions,destruction,natural disaster ones.I love loud music Rock N Roll!! Bright lights don’t bother me unless I’ve a headache. Now scratchy clothes & tags will drive me 2 distraction.I found that out as a child.
    Sensing others emotions;I can & do sometimes know that i am & that’s why I prefer books,cats,music than most humans. I do feel others emotions strongly if I have an emotional bond 2 that person but I only just learned this.Sigh.In this instance I feel what he does when we’re txting or together.
    I’ve wondered if it’s cause he unlocked the place I’d buried those emotions in teens after death of 4 close family members all by age 13 or if it’s due 2 my feelings 4 him. As teen being told ur overreacting 2 something,that ur emotions r over the top,4 the offense or situation ur reacting 2.
    As an adult i’m aware I’ve instinctively sensed what’s going on around me mostly my entire life.
    So I try 2 avoid people I find extremely irritating & aggrevating & those who create drama 4 fun.
    U know the ones who purposely aggrievate u just 2 get u 2 react. I need to get away for whatever reason I just disappear alone with my books & music.Growing up I had a loving home & family who loved me 4 me.They taught me the old fashion values,respect other people’s personal space & property,do unto others…,if nothing nice 2 say say nothing,I was allowed 2 explore my world but watched over by my great mom & disaplined when needed by same,wasn’t often but then I was a curious but cautious soul.
    But others aren’t as lucky they get damaged cause they’re 2 sensitive 2 their world without the self-knowledge or self awareness 2 help them cope.I knew how I suspected cause I’m an old soul,it’s the only explaination that made sense 2 me of how I could’ve known how 2 protect myself.Plus benefits of watching intelligent tv shows not mindless garbage tv.
    I’ve always craved knowledge.
    I dispise injustice to people I care 4, it drives me nuts.
    I can be nice or mean U stroke my fur wrong u get claws.Treat me & mine properly,I play nice. I’m usually quiet I watch & listen, observing those around me. Introverted, yes a little
    I can also be extroverted but only with the right people.
    I’m an introverted/extrovert I just learned something new.
    Hunh,who knew there was an explaination of why I am this way.
    I simply attributed my personality quirks 2 being Pisces.
    These r just my flaws but as I like most of my flaws,I don’t have an issue with it.
    Ur article was great,I found it quite informative thank u it explains some of my quirks.
    Cool.I love knowledge.

    Reply
 

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