11 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

11 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

Has anyone ever told you that you’re sensitive or shy?  Do you have busy days and, by the end of the day, find yourself totally wiped out to the point that all you want to do is rest?

Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is a very normal trait.  The trait, which is traditionally referred to as sensory processing sensitivity, is found in somewhere between 15-20% of the population.  Which, with those statistics, makes being an HSP totally normal.

However, those with High Sensitivity are not found in the majority of the population.  As a result, many HSPs can feel alone, unusual, and as if there are few people that can relate to their sensitivity.

Fortunately, realizing and accepting that you are a Highly Sensitive Person can be the first step in receiving validation and self-acceptance for these natural traits of yours.

Are you curious to see if you are a Highly Sensitive Person? Here are 11 signs that you may be one:

#1 – You effortlessly pick up on other people’s emotions 

Someone walks into a room and you get the sense that they’re stressed, happy, upset, angry, worried, or whatever before you even talk to them.

#2 – You’re conscientious

You’re very in-tune with other people’s feelings and inner experiences so you want to act in a way that you perceive to be right for the environment.

#3 – You’re easily overwhelmed by sensory input

Loud noises, sirens, bright lights, strong flavors, coarse fabrics, strong smells, and chemicals bother you more than other people. 

#4 – You avoid watching violent movies or TV shows

You avoid watching violent action or horror films or TV shows because it can be too overwhelming for you.

#5 – You have a complex and rich inner life

You may not necessarily consider yourself to be an introvert, but you do have a complex and rich inner life.

#6 – When you were a child, others saw you as sensitive or shy

You were commonly labeled as “shy” or “sensitive” by parents, teachers, and peers.

#7 – You have a lower tolerance for pain than most people

While others may have a headache or feel sick and still be able to go to work, for you the pain is so much that you feel you have no choice but to stay home and rest.

#8 – You notice subtle change in your environment

For instance, you may a smell or sound that nobody else notices.  You may also notice that the food at a restaurant is not very fresh, while others may not notice at all.  You may also be able to sense when a person is on the verge of crying even though you’re not even looking at them or see them crying.

#9 – On busy days, you need your time to withdraw

Being constantly on the go doesn’t work well for you.  If you have a lot to do in one day, it is easy for you to get rattled. When you’re busy you need time to withdraw from the world so you can recharge and help re-balance your nervous system.

#10 – You tend to be particularly sensitive to caffeine

Having a strong cup of coffee or even tea can leave you feeling overwhelmed or unable to sleep later that evening.

#11 – You’re bothered by harsh criticism more so than most people

You’re more easily hurt when someone is critical of you than most people are.

Though you may not like some aspects of this trait, there are many strengths to being a Highly Sensitive Person. This may include greater awareness of what is going on in one’s environment, greater awareness of what is happening with others, greater ability to understand and discuss deep philosophical questions, etc. etc.

Additionally, from a mental health standpoint, being a Highly Sensitive Person can make you more susceptible to experiencing trauma, depression or anxiety symptoms due to traumatic life events than others. In fact, somewhere around 50 to 60% of those who go to therapy tend to be Highly Sensitive People.

However, the positive thing is that HSPs are also more resilient in their ability to heal from such issues than those who are not HSPs due to their depth of processing. So being a Highly Sensitive Person is definitely a gift and a trait worth embracing.

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