• Hali Kalju

Signs That You’re A Highly Sensitive Person

Do you ever feel the need to get away from crowds because you’re overwhelmed by the noise and the people? Does watching something violent or hearing about someone or an animal being harmed affect you on a deep level? Ever feel the need to hide away for a while because you feel physically and emotionally drained?

If that sounds like you, chances are you’re a highly sensitive person. And you’re not alone. 20% of the population are highly sensitive. That may leave you wondering what makes some people highly sensitive and others not.

Studies show that highly sensitive people are born that way.

The physiology of highly sensitive people

Highly sensitive people have a different genetic makeup than the rest of the population. That makes them more sensitive to the external environment as well as making them more attuned to the subtle energies that most of us miss. Also, highly sensitive people feel more deeply and experience this world at a more profound level because of the chemical makeup that differentiates them from others.

In addition, the brain of highly sensitive people reacts differently when examining and considering emotions of those close to them and of strangers.

So, highly sensitive people are naturally wired to be affected in a greater way to the things they experience. That hurtful comment that we laugh off stabs the highly sensitive person right in the heart. The sound of a siren can shriek painfully in the ears of those who are highly sensitive. The smell of the flowers that hangs in the morning air can be appreciated at a deeper level by highly sensitive people.

Signs that you are a Highly Sensitive Person

We know that highly sensitive people have a different physiological makeup than the rest of us. But how can we identify those who are highly sensitive and those who aren’t? Are there external indications that your friend, work colleague, boss, neighbour or YOU is highly sensitive?

The answer is "Yes" and here are the general characteristics of highly sensitive people:

You can’t stomach violence

Violence upsets everybody but for the highly sensitive person they can’t watch anything that is too scary or violent without being physically disturbed and sick. Nor do highly sensitive people enjoy hearing about acts of cruelty whether it’s to other people or to animals.

Time constraints upset you

When pressed for time or when they have too much to do in too little time, highly sensitive people majorly stress out. For students who suffer from high sensitivity they worry and get extremely nervous when sitting tests that have tight time limits.

You are frequently tired because you have taken in others feelings

By nature, highly sensitive people are more aware of the subtitles of the expressions and moods of the people and the energies of the environments around them. Like a sponge, they suck in the emotions and feelings of those that surround them and they end up feeling exhausted.

You need to be alone

Highly sensitive people usually isolate themselves such as going into a room to be alone from everyone and everything. Sometimes this can be mistaken as the highly sensitive person being an introvert but what is actually happening is that they just need to recharge themselves after absorbing the moods, feelings and emotions that they have been exposed to during the day.

You are sensitive to the material of your clothing

Though itchy material is annoying to anyone, highly sensitive people are more susceptible to the irritation. Also, tight clothing can annoy them more than it does to those who aren’t highly sensitive. So, highly sensitive people try to find clothes and fabrics that are comfortable for them to wear.

You think in depth about things

Highly sensitive people spend a lot of time thinking profoundly about things and situations. If they have a negative experience they replay it in their minds over and over again and find they become depressed.

You wonder about life

Highly sensitive people wonder about why they are here. What their purpose in life is and why things are the way they are. They seek answers to the meaning of life and the universe and because of this they can be perceived to be highly spiritual. Yet all they are doing is wondering about nature and existence at a deeper level.

You pick up on the subtleties of people and the environment

A highly sensitive person can walk into the room and immediately sense the emotion in the room. They can pick up on whether someone is lying or not by sensing the subtle change in tone of the speaker's voice. Also, highly sensitive people are able to read the tiniest change in facial expressions and body language that other people can miss. Because they are bombarded by the emotions and energies that surround them, especially when in crowded places, the highly sensitive person needs to withdraw and spend time alone to recover.

Change upsets you

Highly sensitive people love routine in their lives and jobs. Any change, no matter how minor, can deeply affect the highly sensitive person because they experience extremes of emotion. Good changes can cause the highly sensitive person to experience joy at an extreme level whereas negative changes has the highly sensitive person spiralling into sadness or fear.

You avoid fights

Arguments and conflict have a deep impact on the highly sensitive person. So much so that they will try anything they can to avoid confrontation or fights.

You appreciate the beauty in a deep way

A beautiful piece of music. The perfume of the flowers in your garden in the evening. The way the sun plays against the water. These are things that many ignore, yet to the highly sensitive person they are so moving and awe inspiring that they can’t understand why others can’t see the beauty that surround us.

Your inner world is vibrant and buzzing

The highly sensitive person can have a vivid imagination that allows them a refuge from the outside world. As a child maybe you had a lot of imaginary friends and you are fascinated by fantasy. The inner world you create is rich and exciting and it offers you an escape.

You are more sensitive to physical pain

We all have times when we have a headache, stomachache or any other ache or pain. Highly sensitive people feel this pain at a more acute level because of their physiology which causes them to be more sensitive to the pain.

You are startled easy

Highly sensitive people scare easy. A sudden, unexpected noise or a tap on the shoulder by someone when they aren’t expecting it can cause the highly sensitive person to jump in fright.

If any of these symptoms describe you then perhaps you could be a highly sensitive person.

However, if you are still uncertain or truly want to know if you are one of the 20% of the population that is highly sensitive you can take this survey designed by Elaine Aron who is one of the leading authorities on highly sensitive people:

Highly sensitive people just need us to understand

About a fifth of the population are highly sensitive. It’s not something they have chosen to be. It is something that they are. They are highly sensitive by design due to their unique genetics.

The fact that they are more sensitive to their surroundings and the people around them means that we need to understand that they are affected by the energies and emotions that bombard them each day. We have to treat them with empathy just as they do towards us.

This world is richer and more blessed because of highly sensitive people as they give us fresh insights into situations, circumstances and life thanks to their special ability to feel the subtle energies that others miss.

If you know someone who is highly sensitive, be thankful as you are blessed to be in contact with an amazing individual.

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