I don’t often look to Facebook for articles, but an article popped up in my news feed that caught my attention. The Huffington Post, albeit a questionable news source thanks to their recent obsession with celebrities, does have some great bloggers including Amanda Chan. Most of her writings are centered on food issues or neurological effects, things that interest me quite a bit. Entitled “16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People,” her thoughtful article really shed some light on certain traits commonly found in highly sensitive people, some of which I’d never noticed before.
So just what the heck is hypersensitivity anyway? As the word itself implies, it’s an intense sensitivity to your environment and can translate into your mental state. People that are hypersensitive or highly sensitive find themselves to be more emotional, have stronger reactions to smells and sounds, and to take things harder. While it’s not commonly known or discussed, hypersensitivity is one of the most common personality traits. 1 in 5 possess it!
Highly sensitive people are often mistaken for being introverts. There is a huge difference between sensitivity and introversion. Now that introverts are starting to gain some attention and are beginning to be treated the way that they’ve wanted for decades, the new shift will likely be to understand the highly sensitive. Think you might be? Take the test here : http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm Go on, take it! Then come back and join me for the rest of this post. I’ll be here
All done? How did you do? I scored at 21, 7 more than the provided standard for probable high sensitivity. Certainly not as high as I thought it would be, but this is a self-assessment after all. Being hyper-sensitive, or “highly sensitive” as Ms. Chan puts it, puts a strain not only on your daily life, but can have serious effects on relationships and work. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hyper-sensitive. Having a “super sensitive day” or SSD as I often refer to them, can really throw everything off balance. I’ve found over the years that I’m also increasingly sensitive to smells and loud noises. Being conscious of this, I tend to avoid concerts, incredibly loud situations and people that are notorious for wearing too much perfume or too little deodorant. Those of you that have known me for a while have almost certainly heard me say that my big nose is sensitive. I’ve also been told not to beat myself up over things or not to take events so personally. It’s incredibly hard to make someone understand that I just can’t. It’s just how I am. But by educating others, the world gets a little bit better. Maybe one person will think twice before leaving the house without deodorant… please. (Please wear deodorant )
While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, there are a number of greatly positive aspects to being highly sensitive. We’re extremely detail oriented. I’m usually one of the first people to notice a new hair cut, something most people don’t even notice. It’s a great boost to your relationship with someone when they see you’ve paid attention to them and noticed such an overlooked aspect of their appearance. This ability to be so in tune with details makes us great in teams! As deep thinkers and great workers, we’re a great asset to any team. Often praised and highly valued for the strong presence brought into the group, this can also be a great boost in self esteem for the highly sensitive person. It doesn’t hurt that they’re typically incredibly courteous and polite. Being sensitive means that annoying things are escalated into incredibly annoying things for the highly sensitive person, so partaking in those types of activities isn’t common practice. Keep in mind that if something is annoying you, it’s almost certainly annoying a highly sensitive person to an exponential degree.
So let’s band together and make the world a bit better. Be conscious of your actions. And if you’re hypersensitive too, know that you’re not alone! It’s incredibly common and nothing to feel the slightest bit strange about. As always, I’m here to talk if you want more information or just to get something off your chest. I would also like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve used this blog as a diving board straight into the vast pool of my personal experiences and the feedback has been priceless. If I even connect with one person then I’ve been incredibly successful and the support of you, my dear readers, is something that I hope to continue to pay forward.
I strongly suggest you read Amanda Chan’s article, which can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html It’s an illuminating read and I’m certain you won’t regret it! Even if just to skim some of the bold print!