Lately I have read and heard about something called “The highly sensitive person”. I can relate to this kind of personality and I want to share some information about it.
In her national bestseller, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, author Elaine Aron defines a distinct personality trait that affects as many as one out of every five people. According to Dr. Aron’s definition, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment. Additionally, she says, the success of The Highly Sensitive Person is cause for celebration:
“We’ve done it ourselves. And not surprisingly, since we are 15 to 20 percent of the population – that’s fifty million in the United States. Highly sensitive people are real, we exist, and we’ve proven it. That alone is something to celebrate.”
Elaine Aron has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a thriving psychotherapy practice. She is the first therapist to tell HSPs how to identify their trait and make the most of it in everyday situations. Highly Sensitive People have an uncommonly sensitive nervous system – a normal occurrence.
- – Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
- – Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- – Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
- – Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
- – Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- – Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
- – Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
- – When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?
Many HSP’s tend to think there is something wrong with them. In an article by Margarita Tartakovsky, she mention a boy named Zeff who “recalled feeling shame for his sensitivity in a society that associates masculinity with being tough and stoic. Today, the idea of masculinity has largely remained the same in our culture with a few added pressures on both genders. Our world is a fast-paced one, filled with even bigger crowds, louder noises and shorter deadlines. Even the pressure to constantly stay plugged in with social media, email and texting can be tough on someone who requires regular peace and quiet.”
But there are ways you can cope with being an HSP person, says Margarita Tartakovsky (Psych Central).
For example: Set a bedtime and morning routine. Identify your triggers. Investigate stressors and solutions. Remember your gifts, gentle exercise and take mini retreats. 10 tips for highly sensitive people – You can also do a self-test