What it means to be a “too sensitive” person (and how to make the most of it)

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Are you moved by the beauty of music, have extreme empathy towards animals, cry during touching commercials, hate loud noises, easily frightened or overwhelmed, and need a lot of time to be alone and quiet?

If so, you could be very sensitive people, also called HSP (High Sensitive Person). Elaine Aron, who has a PhD in in-depth clinical psychology, discovered the characteristics of HSPs and wrote the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, where he claims that about the 15-20 percent of the world population.

HSPs are often called “too sensitive” or have been told that their increased sensitivity is a weakness.

But is not so. First of all because once a person realizes that he is an HSP, he will be able to understand himself on a much deeper level. He will see his sensitivity, his intuition and his conscience as a strength and a gift, and will feel happier and more confident.

Furthermore, in a society that rewards competition, shamelessness, self-confidence bordering on arrogance, hypersensitive people easily fall into trap of feeling inadequate, and they commit all their energy to indulge others and adapt to their expectations. This behavior can also be changed by rethinking your priorities with a little healthy selfishness and putting your own well-being first.

How to recognize an HSP

The traits of the highly sensitive people were first identified since Dr. Aron, a pioneer in research for high sensitivity, which has identified four main categories of elements that characterize HSPs:

1. Processing depth: Hypersensitive people think deeply, need more time to transitions and reflect on decisions, and have good intuition.

2. Over-stimulation: With the ability to notice every little detail and feel all the sensations so deeply, HSPs often feel stressed by this overexposure. To capture and strike them are multiple elements – which often escape others – such as particular sounds, strong lights, fabrics and disorder. To process all this information and stimuli, HSPs often need time to be alone in a quiet space.

3. Empathy / Emotional Reactivity: Human beings have neuronal receptors that allow them to understand body language, facial expressions and emotions. HSPs have more of these neurons, which leads them to more intense feelings of empathy towards people and animals. This is why HSPs are often influenced by the moods of others. They feel everything more deeply.

4. Sensitivity to subtleties: HSPs notice small details and non-verbal cues that others often don’t care about.

Are you an HSP?

Do you want to find out if you are a hypersensitive person? Dr. Aron has fine-tuned this self-assessment test. If you answer “true” to more than fourteen questions, you most likely are.

In the gallery above some useful tips to make the most of your hypersensitivity and consider it no longer a weakness, but a super power!

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