Are You an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)?

Does this scenario ring a bell for you…

“I’ve always been highly sensitive, and as a creative and inventive person, this is usually considered a very good thing.

Except when non-sensitive types always made fun of my sensitivity~cracking jokes at my expense, or finding fault with everything about me, and then accusing me of being “overly sensitive” or “touchy” or “having no sense of humor” when I didn’t laugh. I actually have a very good sense of humor and an ability to laugh at myself, but I am also highly sensitive.”

Some HSPs pick up on other people’s energy and have a hard time shaking it off. Others become easily over-stimulated and find being in the world very overwhelming. A number of HSPs constantly feel like the world is against them and being true to themselves feels like an uphill battle. Still others had the blessing of realizing they are HSPs, and have found ways that help them function better while taking advantage of their amazing sensitivity.

If this rings a bell with you, you might be an HSP. The good news for HSPs is that they are usually very creative and often find it easy to think outside the box. The world needs you!

Elaine N. Aron, PhD. wrote the first real self-help book for HSPs: The Highly Sensitive Person. Her website, hsperson.com, is a treasure trove of information to help HSPs find a better way to experience life while appreciating their gifts. On her site, it says…

Elaine Aron has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a thriving psychotherapy practice. She is the first therapist to tell HSPs how to identify their trait and make the most of it in everyday situations. Highly Sensitive People have an uncommonly sensitive nervous system – a normal occurrence, according to Aron. About 15 to 20 percent of the population have this trait. It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long, bombarded by sights and sounds until you are exhausted.” An HSP herself, Aron reassures other Highly Sensitives that they are quite normal. Their trait is not a flaw or a syndrome, nor is it a reason to brag. It is an asset they can learn to use and protect.

If you suspect you might be an HSP, you can try the self-test on Aron’s website.

There are many great online and offline resources for HSPs. If you haven’t already listened to my October 2009 Co=Creation Cafe Call with Jenna Avery discussing how HSPs can embrace their sensitivity and find their authentic calling, you can listen to it or download it here.

Are you an HSP? Share below in comments what has helped you embrace your sensitivity

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9 thoughts on “Are You an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)?

  1. Were you thinking of me when you posted this? ;o) Where do you think I scored on Jenna’s test? ;o) Thank you.

    It is almost like we are the same person. All those words you used, are the ones I’ve been hearing about me all my life. Consientious, feeling overwhelmed, not liking surprises, hearing what’s wrong with you, told I’m too touchy, and I have that do it once so I don’t have to waste time doing it over attitude too.

    And I am so different in how I approach my work with clients. It works for me, but also my clients benefit. I don’t fit in the mainstream mold. And I don’t care. I only care that I offer something of value while honoring who I really am.

    This really spoke to me, as many of your offerings so often do. Thank you very much. You’re a gem. ♥

    • Jacqueline, the test is Elaine Aaron’s – but Jenna Avery is the gal I interviewed for Co=Creation Cafe. So glad this resonated for you and you found it very helpful!

      Many blessings,
      Nancy

  2. I have just recently been diving into the way that my high sensitivity impacts my life and my view of myself and working on healing and accepting my different needs! Really important stuff!

    • Indeed, Kellie, it is important. There are great resources out there, and of course, you are the EXPERT when it comes to what works best for *you* (as we all are our own best experts)!

      Many blessings,
      Nancy

  3. Oh my, I’m a HSP, too! I discovered about it a while ago, and someone recommended this exact book. Now that you’re recommending it, too, I must definitely get a copy!

    I took the test, too. I checked almost all of them. Being sensitive must not be something bad (at all), it’s just another point of view… Although, yeah, you must protect your heart/feelings because it’s a treasure of yours, & we shouldn’t let the outside ruin what’s inside of us…

    Balance, balance!

    • Hi, Brigitte – great to see you commenting here on my blog! I remember you were part of the discussion on GVU about HSPs. Elaine Aron’s book is the first, and a classic on the subject – she even has a book about HSPs in Love!

      Ms. Aron mentions that being an HSP is neither good nor bad, just something to be aware of as we navigate life. As for balance, I think every HSP gets to discover what they need to create that balance …a lot of quiet time or time in nature, whatever it is, we’re the ones to provide it for ourselves.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      Many blessings,
      Nancy

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