I found out about this 2 or 3 years ago and was like WOW...that is me! Most of the traits anyways. I love bloody horror movies, so that trait doesn't pertain to me. LOL. I am VERY sensitive to light, sound and smell. I like the lights out at night when I'm watching TV. I HATE a lot of smells and can not STAND it when I smell ciggerette smoke, most foods cooking- meats, eggs, any sea food, anything w/ onions in it. I can tell when that guy 5 apartments down from me lights up! I hate being in the sun when it's really hot and start to panic (like I did in Arizona (during Scarlet's Walk tour at Rite-Aid with Gary- sorry Gary). I cried the first time I went to Vegas with my Dad. He asked me why I was crying and I told him that I was pretty sure my flesh would melt off my bones. He reasurred me that that would not happen. I always have to find a shade tree. I HATE noise and for some reason wanna go outside and yell and beat up the idiots that run those leaf-blowers. Trucks, a lot of traffic, the beeping of a truck when it is backing up drives me fucking nuts. When I'm on my computer I NEED it to be totally quiet so that I can concentrate. I feel like taking a sledgeHammer to alarm clocks (bet you do too). I just hate it bright and loud and smelly! It makes me come undone. Seriously. My close frineds know how I am with clutter and my love for organizing things. SHUT UP DANNY and LISA!!! Things have to be just so. The only thing I love loud is - MY MUSIC!!! The list goes on... and altho. I have loads and loads of friends, I prefer being alone.
Not always, but you know what I'm saying.
Attributes and Characteristics of Being Highly Sensitive
Emotionally, Highly Sensitive People (HSP) are mainly seen as shy, introverted and socially inhibited (or can be socially extroverted). They are often acutely aware of other's emotions. Sensitive people learn early in life to mask their wonderful attributes of sensitivity, intuition and creativity.
Physically, HSPs may have low tolerance to noise, glaring lights, strong odors, clutter and/or chaos. They tend to have more body awareness of themselves and know instinctually when the environment they are in is not working for them.
Socially, introverted HSP may feel like misfits. They actually enjoy their own company and are totally comfortable being alone. Both introverted and socially extroverted HSP often find they need time alone to recover after social interactions.
Psychologically, HSPs compensate for their sensitivity by either protecting themselves by being alone too much, or, by trying to be 'normal' or sociable which then over-stimulates them into stress.
Work and career is particularly challenging for HSPs. They are often overlooked for promotions even though they are usually the most conscientious employees. They are excellent project oriented employees because they are responsible and thorough in their work.
Relationships can be difficult. In relationships they may be confronted with their unresolved personal issues. They can however, offer their partner the gifts of their intuitive insights.
Culturally, HSPs do not fit the tough, stoic and outgoing ideals of modern society and what is portrayed in the entertainment media.
Childhood wounds have a more devastating effect on HSPs. It is important for them to heal their past hurts because they cannot just forget them and go on in denial.
Spiritually, sensitive people have a greater capacity for inner searching. This is one of their greatest blessings.
Nutritionally, HSPs may need more simplicity in their diet. They may be vitally aware of the effects of food on the health of their body and their emotional stability.
Being Sensitive -- in an Insensitive World
All your life you thought something was wrong with you. You were uncomfortable around noise. No one understood your need to be alone. You seem to know things without being told. The good news is that you are not dysfunctional. You are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). You are not the only one; you share this trait with a small minority of the population who are referred to as shy or timid.
HSPs respond strongly to external stimuli, and become exhausted from taking in and processing these stimuli. They are born with a nervous system that may see, hear, smell or feel more than others. As adults, they may also think, reflect or notice more than others. The processing is largely unconscious or body-conscious. HSPs grow up feeling flawed, especially when loud music, crowds of people, or simply a busy day stresses them. At such times, they need quiet time alone to recover.
Problems can begin in childhood if their sensitivities are not recognized. They can experience deep trauma, even in the womb if they were not wanted. Highly sensitive babies are more peaceful when alone. Certain people terrify them; toy mobiles upset them, rocking irritates them, and changes in weather make them restless. They may be colicky, and their digestive systems may not tolerate food that is too hot or too cold. If the needs of the baby are ignored the child becomes insecure.
Sensitive babies are also very creative and aware. They may walk early or smile a lot. As infants and toddlers they may experience sensory overload from the newness of things. When old enough, they spend time alone to regain their balance and energy.
A good link:
Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
(from the website)- http://www.hsperson.com/
Its goal is to introduce you to the trait of high sensitivity--although the four books I have written and the newsletter described here will all be more thorough introductions. To begin, however, do take the self-test. (If you want to answer the questions that determine if your child is highly sensitive, click on the Highly Sensitive Child.) In a sense, the test defines the trait better than anything else.
If you find you are a highly sensitive person, or your child is, then you need to be aware of the following points:
This trait is normal--it is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and indeed the same percentage seems to be present in all higher animals.
Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener (although they may be). But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.
Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.
This trait is not something new I discovered--it has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited.
The reason for these negative misnomers and general lack of research on the subject is that in this culture being tough and outgoing is the preferred or ideal personality--not high sensitivity. (Therefore in the past the research focus has been on sensitivity's potential negative impact on sociability and boldness, not the phenomenon itself or its purpose.) This cultural bias affects HSPs as much as their trait affects them, as I am sure you realize. Even those who loved you probably told you, "don't be so sensitive," making you feel abnormal when in fact you could do nothing about it and it is not abnormal at all.
The book The Highly Sensitive Person is a general introduction to the topic. It has now sold well over 300,000 in thirty-five printings, including in French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Greek.
The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook can be used alone, without the first book, although its chapters parallel those in the first book. Its purpose is to help HSPs integrate their understanding of their trait into their lives. I have found that HSPs need to spend time reframing their past, getting used to how to think and talk about themselves, and planning for a life based on a deeper understanding of their basic nervous system. The Workbook is designed for that. At the request of many, it also has a long section on how to run a discussion group for HSPs. The Workbook was previewed by HSPs who volunteered to give me feedback and as a result is very user friendly, yet I think deep and thought-provoking.
In May 2000 The Highly Sensitive Person in Love was published, a blend of my lifelong research interest in close relationships and in HSPs. My research for this book indicates that the role of temperament and temperament differences is an important, sorely neglected topic in relationship counseling and also sex education.
Some couples who have read this book have told me that it has literally saved their relationships, particularly the advice on how to view and deal with differences in how they think and act, what they like to do, and what irritates them about the other.
The newest book is The Highly Sensitive Child. I wrote this book because so many adults were telling me that their childhoods were excruciatingly difficult, even when their parents had the best intentions, because no one knew how to raise them. Parents and teachers told them there were "too sensitive" or "too shy" or "too intense." My hope is to spare some children unnecessary suffering because HSCs have a tremendous amount to offer the world. But they do need special handling.
There are also opportunities to glean smaller bits of "sensitive wisdom" from my newsletter, Comfort Zone. After many years of publishing on paper (1996-2004), it was time to stop the costly paper version of it. Now all new articles will be posted online. We are calling this new feature Comfort Zone ONLINE. Over the years, the newsletter has become the center of a very special HSP community, so, we hope this new means of communication will allow many more people to see what had only been available by subscription in the paper version of Comfort Zone, as everything at the website will be FREE. No paper, postage, printing, or subscriptions. Please join our mailing list by following the link at the bottom of any page on this website. I will write a new article and post it here once every three months: February, May, August and November. As soon as new content is available, everyone who has joined our mailing list will receive an email notice. Over time an online archive will build up.
Back issues of the paper Comfort Zone issues, deeply discounted from the subscription price, are available for purchase through our online store while supplies last. For sample articles and a comprehensive list of the articles in back issues, click the button above.
There is also a 90-minute audio tape by me called Appreciating the Trait of High Sensitivity, which reviews the basic ideas and answers a number of questions from a lively audience.
Who knows, you might have this too?