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Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 26, 2016 at 9:16 pm

To start this train in motion, here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Do you feel overwhelmed by loud noises, crowds, smells and bright lights?
  • Do you almost always put the needs and wants of others ahead of your own?
  • Are you an extremely harsh self-critic with a hint of perfectionism?
  • Are you highly affected by the moods of others, good or bad?
  • Have you always felt different than others and wondered what your deal was?

Okay, one more question…have you ever heard the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

Is HSP A Real Thing?

Drs. Arthur and Elaine Aron developed the psychological theory of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in the mid 90’s to explain and describe HSPs. It is now a recognized psychological term. Like anything, there are critics of the theory, but most professionals recognize it as an excellent term to describe the hypersensitive souls of the world. In 1997, Dr. Elaine Aron developed the Highly Sensitive Person scale as a tool to help assess whether someone is highly sensitive. According to the Dr. Elaine Aron, up to 20% of the population are varying degrees of highly sensitive and among those, 70% are largely introverted.

“You’re Way Too Sensitive, Just Get Over It!”

One of the curses of being highly sensitive is constantly feeling the tiny knife jabs of comments like “You get way too caught up on things”, “Why don’t you just get over it?”, “You overthink yourself crazy!” Yes, we realize that we overthink, but even though we sometimes get stuck on things, our capacity for deep thought also has its merits. However, it is tough when the slightest negative comment hits you like a sack of bricks when it wouldn’t faze the next person. HSPs have a difficult time moving on from hurtful comments or situations. Most people don’t understand the intricate, intensive and overwhelming HSP thought process. Our society unfortunately values the ‘suck it up’ system. It isn’t fashionable to over-feel.

HSP Men – An Even Harder Time

HSP men have even more difficulty in this area since being hypersensitive goes against the sexist cultural standard that men should ‘toughen up” and ‘soldier on’. Society is slightly more accepting of very sensitive women than of HSP men. This unfair stigma has to change. Even though there has been progress as gender roles are finally breaking down so people can just be people, society still has a long way to go.

Helpful Lifehacks For HSPs

Life can be exhausting when you are emotionally, physically and mentally hypersensitive. It is draining to be hung up on so many things that many others wouldn’t even spare a passing thought on. This is especially the case since most HSPs usually put their needs and care last. But there are ways to make quality of life much better and use being highly sensitive to your favour instead of to your detriment. So keep an eye out for our next post “Lifehacks For The Highly Sensitive” for essential tips on how to be your healthiest, happiest self as a highly sensitive person, as well as some resources to learn more about the topic.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll tune in later for HSP Part 2!

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One thought on “Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?

  1. If one out of ten of us are highly sensitive then what happens to all the sencitives in Mexico? I am “white” and have always had to live among Mexicans due to my lack of wealth, and am VERY sencitive. And suffer tremendously from their extremely loud and almost constant polka music, continually barking chewawas, pit bulls running loose and biting or killing my pets and sometimes friends and self, extreme littering and thick car exhaust, so much perfume on individuals that I am naushious most of my days and rarely can go for walks due to thick perfumes coming from their laundry facilities.
    Is sencitivity perhaps a cultural dynamic? I know Asians are more appreciative to sencitivity, but what happens to sencitives in Mexico?
    Most of my friends and neighbors are Mexican and their attitudes are not sencitive…their humor is almost always cruel and vengeful. I have NEVER seen a supposed sencitive among the culture that I have lived among for over 50 years.
    PS. I am not judging here….I understand how the USA intentionally went into Mexico to destroy their economy to out compete for food production, and create wage slaves, and I DO understand their anger, but I just dont see the sencitivity spreading among all cultures. I’ve also lived in black ghettos and find very little sencitivity there as well…( although I’ve seen some).
    Can any one explaine how this is possible that it runs through every culture? Maybe Mexican sencitives are many times less sensitive than myself, but still more sencitive than most Mexicans?
    If anyone reads this thanks.

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