Here are eight signs that you may be a highly-sensitive person (HSP):
1. Your mood is easily affected by others.
Due to high empathic skills, you can easily understand and feel what someone else is experiencing or has experienced, whether or not you are closely acquainted with them. For instance, you might feel sad because someone else in your proximity looks sad. Perhaps when someone is hyped up, you feel just as excited as they are. Sometimes, it may not even be empathy. You are just highly receptive to the vibe others in your environment give off which may change how you feel yourself.
2. You notice everything. Ok, almost everything.
You have an eye for detail. You’re probably awesome at spot-the-difference games and quickly notice spelling errors even in long documents. Sometimes, HSPs will focus on details whether it is productive to do so or not. Of course, depending on the individual, this characteristic could either be helpful or a hindrance.
3. You can’t handle chaos.
Loud noises, confusion and other intense stimuli greatly affect you. You might have a rough time sitting in traffic if multiple drivers are repeatedly blowing their horns, or when you’re in a room and everyone is speaking at the same time. You tend to, or wish you could, back away from intense and/or excessive stimuli as it overwhelms you. You’re easily stressed and will try to retreat to space where you can find quiet and comfort, if you feel bombarded. That may be the reason people often assume HSPs are introverted.
4. Everyone thinks you’re introverted or shy.
This isn’t necessarily true though. According to Dr. Aron, approximately 30% of HSPs are extroverts. HSPs are usually assumed to be introverts, as they tend to do a lot of assessing before acting, seriously observing their environment thoroughly before making a move. Because of this constant introspection, however, HSPs can normally be found alone, thinking to themselves about that silent battle that they alone just witnessed across the room.
5. You’re “jumpy”.
Just imagine someone you trust is behind you without your knowledge. You turn around suddenly and see them, or you hear them say something out of the blue. Typically, your response is not a happy,“Hi there”, but rather, is a pain-stricken expression akin to an individual experiencing a heart attack. There’s no beating around the bush here, HSPs can get easily startled from simpler things, such as an object moving in their peripheral vision or past their face to a quick, out of place noise. The possibilities for fright are endless.
6. You think thoroughly and responsibly.
It may take you forever or never to make a conclusive decision. HSPs are receptive to more stimuli and just want to make the best decision possible with the abundance of information they are given. They are also quite conscientious and extremely aware of how any decisions they make may affect another person, group, or the environment around them. A consequence of being a HSP is that you’re more likely to suffer from anxiety, which can delay decision-making further and closer to the never-ending limit of never (delayed until it never happens if it’s an option).
7. You have a low pain tolerance.
So, if you’re reading this article and already think you’re a HSP, you’re probably having a that-explains-it moment. #same. Perhaps, you already did the test in a new tab. If so, welcome back! Since, HSPs are highly attuned to stimuli and pain is stimuli then it is safe to say that they feel pain more intensely. So, you’re not being a “big baby”, you’re just a perfectly ”normal” highly-sensitive person (given that you exhibited most of the points and have done the test afterward to confirm, of course).
8. Your emotions are deep and easily triggered.
So, this is a good example of a characteristic that people normally put HSPs down for. You probably find yourself upset or sad at the “slightest” things or you’re way “too” excited at times. It doesn’t have to be an issue. In fact, I think it’s a superpower. You just process things on a deeper level and I think that’s great.
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