WELLNESS
04/27/2016 12:06 pm ET Updated Sep 15, 2017

10 Insightful Reads Every Highly Sensitive Person Will Understand

All of the feels, all the time.

Do you consider yourself to be highly sensitive? If so, you’re not alone. Below, we gathered 10 stories surrounding highly sensitive people, ranging from blog posts to expert advice. 

 

From tears to cheers, if you’re a highly sensitive person you have a lot of feelings you express on a regular basis. And in a culture in which emotions are sometimes seen as “weak,” expressing them can often feel like a liability rather than an asset. The personality trait of being a highly sensitive person, which affects both men and women, can play a large role in daily interactions — and that’s actually really good news. If you’re feeling a little low about your emotional nature, here are a few reasons to instead celebrate your sensitivity.

Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else? Do you find yourself worrying about how other people feel? Do you prefer quieter, less chaotic environments? If the above sound true to you, you may be highly sensitive. Read on for some of the commonalities shared by highly sensitive people.

LaraBelova via Getty Images

When I was in kindergarten, a boy in my class tossed my favorite book over our elementary school fence. I remember crying profusely, not because I was sad to see it go, but because I was so furious that he was such a bully. It was probably one of the first times I expressed my sensitivity to my peers — a rollercoaster I still continue to ride each day. Many of my friends lovingly tease me about my emotional reactivity, but it’s certainly not like I can control it. Some people are just more sensitive than others, and that’s not always a bad thing. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your highly sensitive loved ones.

Highly sensitive people have been labeled a lot of ways in the past, like fragile, over-emotional and intense. But there’s more to a highly sensitive person than just excess crying and a whole ton of feelings. Those with an empathetic personality are actually biologically wired to behave the way that they do. As a result, they also have an entirely different approach to to their physical environment — and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here are just a few ways highly sensitive people interact differently with the world around them than their “thick-skinned” counterparts.

In a culture that favors the powerful, sensitivity can be seen as a deficiency. Sensitive people can be perceived as delicate, quiet and aloof, but that doesn’t mean sensitivity is a negative trait. Being a highly sensitive individual may be more useful than the common wisdom would have us believe, according to researcher and psychologist Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. In fact, as Aron explains, there are numerous misconceptions about people who, as she describes, “just feel more deeply.” Here are 11 things you probably thought wrong about highly sensitive people.

HSPs take in sensory information in a very easy and evolved way. Noises, smells, and visual details that non-HSPs would likely ignore are easily noticed and processed by HSPs. While I would classify myself as a moderate HSP, there are certain triggers I now recognize that amplify my sensitivity, and lack of sleep is one of them. Having stayed up late to play cards the night before factored into my reaction at the party the next day. Here are eight survival strategies for HSPs.

Sensitive individuals sometimes get a bad reputation for wearing their emotions on their sleeves. However, there’s more to the personality type than just a bucket full of tears. Being a highly sensitive person also means having higher levels of intuition and empathy. Nearly 20 percent of people have the trait, according to experts. Like most personality characteristics, knowledge of a highly sensitive person’s quirks makes them easier to understand ― and that includes their eccentricities and dislikes. Some modes of behavior and personal preferences just don’t sit well with them. Here are a few things that just don’t make sense to a sensitive person

Experts say the highly sensitive trait affects about 20 percent of the population. And just like any other personality trait, “highly sensitive” is merely a label that further informs how a person interacts with the world. And there’s nothing wrong with it ― in fact, experts say extra sensitivity brings a lot of great qualities to the table, such as better leadership and more empathy. We rounded up some funny tweets that ― perhaps hyperbolically ― capture the everyday plight of what it’s like to be a super sensitive person. 

People pleasers thrive off making other people happy. Is it admirable? Yes. Healthy? Not necessarily. It’s one thing to value bringing joy to others, but those with the behavior type may end up taking it too far. But here’s the truth for all the “yes” men and women out there: It’s more than okay to say no to that invitation from your friend’s cousin or that last-minute project at work that’s really not your responsibility. So while it may feel uncomfortable to politely decline someone’s offer or request, you’re really doing yourself a favor in the long run. That said, people pleasers can’t entirely help their can-do mentality. 

annebaek via Getty Images

Let’s be honest: relationships are complex, no matter what kind of personality you have. And some truths are universal, like fighting is never fun. Romantic gestures are usually appreciated. Communication is definitely valued. Compromise isn’t always easy. But a lot of these nuances are only heightened if you’re of a more sensitive nature.

 

For more reading lists like this one, sign up for our Lifestyle email!

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS