Do you feel emotions strongly? Do you often feel misunderstood?

Do you seem to be aware of subtleties around you?

Maybe you are the 15- 20% of people who are highly sensitive people…

Wikipedia states “People with an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotion stimuli have a personality trait termed highly sensitive person (HSP)”. The term was coined by psychologists Elaine and Arthur Aron in the mid 1990’s. Although it is not a disorder a highly sensitive person experiences the world differently to others.

Human sensitivity varies:  in her research for her book, The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron discovered that about 20% of people were ‘extremely’ or ‘quite a bit’ sensitive, 27% were ‘moderately’ sensitive, 8% were ‘not’ sensitive and a whopping 42% were ‘not at all’ sensitive.

This does pose a potential problem for a person in the ‘extremely’, ‘quite a bit’ or ‘moderately’ sensitive groups as they are going to come across many people in the ‘not’ or ‘not at all’ sensitive groups to whom they experience life differently.

If you are a HSP then it is important to acknowledge, appreciate and accept that you are. Don’t put up with being told by a non-HSP that you that you’re too sensitive, that you need to change or that you’re making an issue out of nothing.

Sensitive people need to make connections with people and are usually unfulfilled if there is a lack of meaningful interaction. However, sensitive people will often work hard to create connection and intimacy in relationships, only ready to walk away when, after a lot of trying, nothing more than a simple surface-level can be achieved.

Non-HSPs are often drawn to HSP’s and many find a deeper, more meaningful and fulfilling relationship than they have experienced before but this does rely on the non-HSP  having an open mind and the desire to understand.

Conflict is a difficult area for many people not just HSP’s but sensitive people often feel extra anxious with conflict. Confrontation may be avoided by a sensitive person as they want to avoid hurting someone as they are very sensitive to other’s feeling, not just their own. This can be quite difficult in itself as Aron says “Sensitive people are naturally expressive”, “we can’t help but show our feelings, whether it’s fear, anger or joy”. It can take time for a non-HSP to understand but someone who loves you will hopefully, make the effort to do so. Being sensitive is a gift to be nurtured and valued.

The intuitive mind

A sensitive person has heightened sensitivity of their entire nervous system and their levels of arousal to stimulation of all kinds is heightened: noise (many HSP’s are deeply moved by music), light, smell, touch, the beauty of nature, being overloaded with tasks, responsibility or continuous company. The latter can result in feeling overwhelmed and create a real need for some alone or quiet time where they can ‘empty their heads’ of some thoughts, stimulation and ‘sense overload’ and reset to a more peaceful state.

Maybe you recognise some of the traits of a HSP in yourself or your child or your partner or friend ….if you do, you can visit Elaine Aron’s website, click here, where there are free tests and much more information.

So often, knowledge leads to understanding ….and understanding is a great way to build connections and show love.

If you would like to learn more about working with me and life coaching, please get in touch or visit my website

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