The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
I wonder what the word ‘sensitive’ means to you? Are YOU sensitive or do you know
someone who is? Are we all sensitive to some degree?
Do you think being thought of as ‘Sensitive’ is a compliment or does it raise negative
thoughts, words and images for you? Take some time to think how this might feel for
you and what it brings up.
Many of us have different sensitivities but science and research tells us that just 20%
of us are Highly Sensitive People (HSP). Chances are that if you are not HSP yourself,
you may know someone who is. This blog may help to bring a wider understanding
either to yourself or to someone in your life on this subject.
In explanation an HSP has super increased sensitivity to many things.
Before we go any further, you may like to do this test (https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test) by Elaine N Aron©, which will give you an indication of where
you are on the scale of sensitivity. The higher you score, the higher your sensitivity is.
It would be impossible to cover the entire subject of HS in one blog, so breaking it
down into parts, I will start with ‘How you might experience being an HSP.’
Let’s take a look at your five senses....
How might these impact on you?
Now think of some or all as being super charged! Is that Scary? Exciting? Interesting?
HSPs can feel some, but not necessarily all of these senses in a huge and inflated way. This can be perceived or felt in various ways. For instance you may see colours and objects, or life as a whole in super technicolour. Exciting vibrant radiating colours that fill your life with creativity and make your brain sing, or they could be sensed as over bright, in your face and stimulating in ways that may cause you to withdraw.
Taking your auditory senses, this could mean that listening to music could be a blissful and exciting experience where you just want to lie down with your headphones at maximum volume and shut out the rest of the world so you can experience the full glory of its resonance, or instead the baby crying in the Supermarket that hardly anyone else can hear, drives you hands on ears, racing straight out the way you came in. It can be a double edged sword.
You can walk around a garden breathing in the wonderful scents from herbs and flowers, or meander through a forest noting the deep smell of pine and wood, picking up aromas that others never notice and finding pure joy in this. Conversely you could go into a room packed with people and you have to leave because of the overwhelm of soap, perfume and aftershave that is horribly cloying and chokes you, yet no one else is even aware.
Your tastebuds can excite and thrill or your reaction can be so strong that you favour bland foods.
And your sense of touch. Different textiles can feel wonderful, the sensation of stroking a cat, or the feel of yours or another’s skin. Does wool aggravate and feel super scratchy? These sensations come with different reactions.
Put all of these together, and imagine that the sensations may be in any permutation. They may be entirely positive, entirely negative or a mixture of both. Then imagine going to a concert in a huge stadium with thousands of people, all your senses are on full alert and at maximum volume. How might this feel for you?
You may identify with some or all of this and wonder how to make ‘sense’(!) of what it might mean for you and how it might impact your life, or indeed how it already impacts.
If you would like to discover more about YOU and being Highly Sensitive, then why not get in touch (all the ways are shown on my website accantocounselling.com) Sharing with another person can sometimes make all the difference.
Next time ........How Do Others View Your Sensitivity?