How To Know If You’re A Highly Sensitive Person
HSP, or Highly Sensitive Person, is a term in psychology for people who have sensory-processing sensitivity. This isn’t a disorder; it’s a personality trait. Highly Sensitive People tend to be more emotionally sensitive and have stronger reactions to the world around them. Only about 15-20% of the population are considered highly sensitive, and they tend to excel in creativity and have rich relationships. Here are some telltale signs that you might be an HSP, or highly sensitive person.
You avoid group situations
Bright lights, loud noises, and over-stimulating social situations can all heighten anxiety in an HSP. Even though you enjoy spending time with your friends, you don't like the sensory overload that comes with it.
You hate scratchy and course fabrics
Have you always been sensitive to itchy clothes, or had specific preferences for texture? Do you feel intensely bothered by restrictive clothing like tights or skinny jeans? If it’s hard to ignore the discomfort from certain fabrics and cuts of clothing, you might be an HSP.
A rich, inner world
As a child, maybe you had an imaginary friend, or were especially prone to daydreaming. As an adult, you might enjoy highly introspective activities like crafting, reading, or writing.
You’re completely in awe of beauty
You're moved by eating a delicious meal, gazing upon a breathtaking piece of art, or smelling a luxurious scent. You feel completely dazzled by beautiful things in life, and find it tough to understand when others aren’t.
Change makes you extra nervous
You get the jitters when you're thrown into new situations. Change takes you far out of your comfort zone, and both new romantic partners and new jobs bring as much stress as they do happiness.
Think you're an HSP? Here's how to thrive!
Staying true to yourself and the people around you will help you get through the difficult moments. Always be honest with yourself and your support network.
- Counteract your overwhelming emotions with breathing or visualization exercises. Remember that this feeling is temporary and will pass with time.
- Show compassion towards yourself! HSPs can have an overly critical self-image. Remember to be kind—you're only human.
- Tell your loved ones and co-workers when you’re feeling overstimulated. Tell them that you need a moment to breathe and process your feelings.