8 Signs You Are a Highly Sensitive Person
Aggiornato il: 12 lug 2020
It is estimated that the highly sensitive people make up around 20% of the worldwide population, men and women in equal measure.
High sensitivity is not a defect or disease, but simply a trait like hair colour, left-handedness or having freckles. Most of the population analyse information using mainly the left-brain hemisphere, while highly sensitive people mainly use the right hemisphere.
That is why highly sensitive people are interested in other topics, thinking differently, and dealing meticulously with the information they collect. This requires an extra effort to process all the information and often adds a degree of difficulty in decision-making.
Each highly sensitive person has different degrees of sensitivity and with the personal path and experiences develop multifaceted characteristics.
However, there are common traits for highly sensitive people.
Here some of them:
Overthinking. As their extremely detailed mental analysis gets them a much wider number of data to be processed, they need a greater reflection upon what happens and surrounds them. This constant overthinking, if not guided, complicates or blocks a healthy process of analysis. It can, then, lead to difficulties in decision-making, low self-esteem, eating or sleeping disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, difficulties in personal and professional relationships etc.
The sensitivity of the 5 senses. Their senses are often stronger, and they perceive subtle nuances that escape others. They can, therefore, feel disturbed by sounds that are too loud, strong flavours or smells, artificial lights.
Feeling odd or different. Having their way of processing information, they certainly have their vision of what happens around them and so a different reaction. Depending on education, culture and the family environment, since childhood, they often receive comments such as: "You are too sensitive!", "You think too much" or "How can you think like that?” or “How could you think about it?" etc. This increases the sense of diversity and inadequacy and in some cases can make them feel misunderstood, alone, and null.
Deep emotions. They get overwhelmed in front of a movie or an emotional situation (romantic, painful, stressful). They tend to have "easy tears" or feel easily overwhelmed by what they live internally.
Strong sense of honesty, justice, and extremely high standards. An overly sensitive friend, colleague or employee is invaluable because you can always count on his sense of justice and honesty as well as their self-imposed high standards. However, they demand the same from the people around; so, when the expectations are disregarded, they live a deep disillusionment, loss of esteem, misunderstanding.
Empathy. They can tune into the emotions of people around them, even if they are strangers, and perceive how those people feel. However, if they do not learn to remain grounded and listen to themselves, they can get confused and cannot tell the difference between their emotions and those of others.
The need for regular silence or some time in solitude to recharge, especially after spending time in groups or with difficult or negative people. Their sensitivity leads them to "quickly load up too much data", silence and loneliness are often their quickest way of "cleaning up what doesn't belong to them," like a computer clearing the contents of the cache or trash.
Being available to help others, often forgetting one's well-being. Their empathetic ability as well as their emotional experiences lead them to put themselves in the other's shoes and to try so hard to avoid hurting other people. They tend to help anyone who may need their physical help, emotional support or listening, often failing to set their boundaries or clarify their needs or desires in the professional and personal spheres.
An example at work: They often tend to offer their help to colleagues in difficulty to the point of regularly overworking.
An example in personal life: Sometimes sensitive girls struggle to make clear that they are not involved in someone who is courting them; girls believe they have been clear but the need to be kind and not cause pain, leads them to send contradictory signals and find themselves pursued by in love guys who think they have a chance.
These are just some of the common signs of sensitive people. Several books speak extensively of the various facets of highly sensitive people and there are also several psycho tests that can help to identify it. The psycho test from Elaine N. Aron in her most famous book "Highly Sensitive People" is still one of the best and most exhaustive, although she says: "no psychological test is accurate".
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