“Highly-sensitive people are real, we exist, and we have proven it. That alone is something to celebrate.“ – Elaine N. Aron
I chose to write about being an HSP, because me myself am one. I think there are still some misunderstandings about the term so I just wanted to share some facts and my own experiences to clarify.
A highly sensitive person is someone whose brain processes all information very deeply, including emotions, thoughts, and sensory input. This makes them more physically sensitive and emotionally sensitive than other people. High sensitivity is considered a normal, healthy personality trait, although one that — like all personality traits — comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. Researchers refer to this trait as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), environmental sensitivity, and differential susceptibility.
HSPs are often negatively described as “too sensitive.” But being an HSP isn’t a bad thing. Like any personality trait, it comes with challenges, but also many strengths. For example, highly sensitive people tend to excel at creativity, empathy, and the ability to notice things that others miss or make connections that others do not see. The tradeoff for these gifts is that the sensitive mind can become overworked easily, which makes HSPs prone to becoming overstimulated or emotionally overloaded.
Based on these traits, you might recognize a friend, coworker, or even your partner or yourself as being a highly sensitive person.