Life as a HSP: 25 Wonderful Aspects of Highly Sensitive People
Highly Sensitive People Matter, Too
It is hard being highly sensitive in a world that has yet to fully understand us. We are often ridiculed and teased for displaying behaviors that represent weakness and lack of confidence in the world of non-sensitive people.
Add to this the mounting problems that humanity is faced with on a daily basis, both socially and economically, and it is easy to see why we might struggle somewhat to adapt to this overwhelmingly intense existence.
We Are Blessed With Many Unique Attributes
In spite of the above, I am thankful I was born this way because there are numerous attributes with which each of us are blessed.
Sure, there are certain aspects of life that we often struggle with, such as public speaking, socializing or performing while under scrutiny, but that's not to say we are unable to do these things. We just have to work harder at it. However, as you are about to see, we people do have a purpose and are sensitive for a reason, not just some random fluke of nature.
The HSP Gift
As an HSP (highly sensitive person), I'm pretty confident those of us who know and understand this trait are aware of Dr. Elaine N. Aron, the HSP who enabled the rest of us to finally understand why we are so different.
Understandably, as a psychologist (which is a perfect career for an HSP), she was curious about her unusually high level of sensitivity to her environment, and so embarked upon a journey to find answers.
The day I was perusing the self-help section in my local bookshop and came across The Highly Sensitive Person, by Dr. Aron, my life finally began to make sense. I was an HSP. Chosen through natural selection to be one of the 15-20% that makes up the HSP population, a selection that occurs in every species! We are:
- And so much more...
25 Reasons Why Highly Sensitive People Rock!
1. We Are Able to Sense Emotion in Others
This ability is extremely useful as we are able to help those who are in emotional pain, even when they are attempting to hide their real feelings. On many an occasion I have asked someone, "Are you alright? Is something bothering you?" and they have replied in surprise, "Well... yes. How did you know?"
This means that highly sensitive people make gifted psychologists, counselors and teachers although at first it can be overwhelming due to the bombardment of emotions. Perseverance is another HSP trait, thankfully!
2. Great Parents
As a result of our heightened sense of feeling and emotion, we are in tune with other people's feelings on a much deeper level than most are. This makes us great parents who are able to sense the needs of our children and understand babies when they are in distress.
Babies can sense this in highly sensitive people and consequently are at ease around us, also in part due to our gentle, loving nature.
3. We Experience Incredibly Powerful Love
While in love, there isn't a person alive that does not at once become charged with vital energy that enthuses them with vigor and the power to conquer any obstacle. But when it comes to highly sensitive people, love is incredibly, even stronger.
We experience this sudden rush of energy, yes, but the strength of the feeling involved and all those wonderful little reactions the body goes through are multiplied tenfold! The recipient of this love will be overjoyed at the raw power they are being loved with and the highly sensitive lover will be in heaven.
4. Creativity Abounds
HSPs are extremely creative and sometimes the ideas that pour forth from us are met with surprise because they are so unique and unorthodox.
This is why many of us become artists, teachers and writers. Our creativity knows no bounds!
5. Powerful Intuition
A highly sensitive person's unusually powerful sense of intuition means we literally have six senses rather than the usual five, and this is what makes this trait one of my favorites.
There have been many times when my intuition has saved me from making the wrong decision. It is as if we are able to "feel" our way through life, listening to the signals from our unusually powerful gut instincts that guide us as we go. If nurtured and used correctly, i.e., listened to and not ignored, it can become a powerful gift.
*Isn't it interesting that "gut instinct" refers to the area of the stomach where the central nervous system is—another brain if you will—a brain that feels!
6. A Heightened Sense of Pleasure
We also experience tremble-inducing amounts of pleasure which makes for some amazingly powerful highs throughout life.
Some HSPs become "pleasure junkies" and actively seek out pleasure-giving activities due to the intensity of the feelings they receive while doing something they enjoy. Love-making is out of this world!
7. Super Powerful Senses
Highly sensitive people also have extremely acute senses which, although sometimes overwhelming, can be advantageous in certain careers and positions such as teaching and any career associated with art.
Compassion and kindness are two words that are synonymous with HSPs, obviously due to our ability to feel and sense what others may feel or be feeling as a consequence of an action taken. We make great counselors and can sit and listen to others talk of their problems for hours if need be.
*Of course, we do need to recharge more often than others.
HSPs are also known to be hardworking and dedicated to our jobs almost to the point of perfectionism which makes us a great addition to any workforce.
The minds of highly sensitive people are incredibly imaginative and are able to produce extremely vivid and colorful imagery.
This is due to the fact that we can process information more thoroughly, as well as arouse the deep and meaningful feelings required to color each image with a touch of reality.
11. Aware of the Subtleties in Our Surroundings
We can walk into a room and instantly notice the myriad of subtleties contained within, such as the moods of the people in the room, the lighting, smells, crooked pictures on the wall etc.
Yes, of course other people notice these things too, but because we are almost always in fight or flight mode, our senses are always alert and scanning the surrounding area.
12. Able to Predict the Future
We are also gifted at piecing together the future from just a few fragments of evidence. This is an ability that should be utilized more by companies as a well-trained HSP is able to accurately predict the outcome of decisions concerning an area that they are familiar with, especially when in regard to human behavior.
13. Able to Detect Lies
If we were not so easily overwhelmed, we would make excellent detectives, not only because we are highly aware of our surroundings but also because we are able to detect lies.
Highly sensitive people are so in tune with life's rhythm that they are able to detect slight changes in the atmosphere and also notice erratic or suspicious behavior in others. Lie to an HSP at your own peril! :)
A highly sensitive person is also very unlikely to harm others or take any action that will cause distress to others.
This is because it is in our nature to carefully and thoughtfully analyze each situation before acting. We know the consequences of our actions before taking them due to our ability to piece together the future.
15. Faster Reflexes
Highly sensitive people also possess incredibly quick reflexes which compliment an already fantastic array of abilities, making us incredibly quick off the mark when it comes to running, walking or anything else that requires a fast start.
At school I was always the fastest runner off the mark. I remember seeing the surprise on the faces of my P.E. teacher and the other supposedly fastest runners in school when I beat them all in my first race against them. Priceless. Not to mention the amount of times I saved point blank shots as a goalkeeper! Thank you very much HSP trait!
16. Process Information More Thoroughly
According to studies done by Dr. Aron on highly sensitive people, our brains process information more thoroughly which is probably why we are able to answer questions before they are asked, or predict the future. A wonderful ability!
*This may make us seem slower to others because we take longer to process but we are by no means less intelligent; far from it!
17. Have an Uncanny Ability to Communicate With Animals
Animals respond to us differently than to non-sensitive people because they perhaps sense our stronger sensibility and compassionate nature.
Cats and dogs are especially susceptible to our charms and behave differently towards us.
18. Can Feel Weather, and Even Predict It
Another useful ability is weather prediction. It's short-term, but prediction nonetheless. The atmosphere changes slightly just before a weather pattern change, and we pick up on it as long as we aren't in a state of overwhelm or stress.
19. Able to Interpret What Is Happening With Non-Speaking Life (Plants, Etc.)
An HSP can also understand non-speaking entities such as animals and even plants which is why many of us love being outdoors in natural areas with few people. In the vicinity of nature we are in close proximity to plants, trees, animals and are able to "feel" the ebb and flow of life.
It can be a highly pleasurable experience to just, for example, lie in a flowery meadow basking in the sun and watching the life all around . . . even the blades of grass swaying in the breeze. Bliss!
Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?
20. Rich Inner Lives
We often retreat into ourselves during those times when we are feeling overwhelmed by over-stimulation. This gives us a chance to be with ourselves spiritually and mentally.
In doing so we are able to know ourselves on a much deeper and meaningful level. Activities such as watching T.V., partying, and going to concerts are usually off-limits to us, leaving lots of time for meditation and contemplation which comes naturally to HSPs.
21. Possess an Enhanced Ability to Recall Dreams
Quite often, highly sensitive people are able to recall dreams. This is due to our brain's ability to process information more thoroughly.
22. Highly Vivid and Emotional Dreams
Another reason we find it easy to recall their dreams is because our dreams are often very life-like and detailed and so are easier to remember due to their sheer complexity.
23. Able to Recall Events and Memories in Vivid Detail
When recalling past events and memories, we are able to almost recreate identically the exact state of mind as well as the main senses stimulated at the actual time of the memory.
This is another of my favorite gifts and is the reason I often daydream despite the fact that I am 32 years old.
24. Love Being Close to Water Such as the Sea, Rivers, and Waterfalls
When we are near the sea or any other natural form of water, we experience feelings of bliss and contentedness.
This must be because of our gentle and passive nature, although we are still capable of showing the other face of water, the raw, unstoppable, powerful force, when pushed too far.
25. Don't Need Stimulants Because We Are Already Highly Alert!
Since we are continuously in fight or flight mode, we have no need of stimulants most of the time, in fact stimulants do more harm than good.
We are already aroused enough as it is without the kick up the backside that coffee gives!
This guide is without a doubt, every highly sensitive person's bible. The book that changed my life.
It's Great to Be a HSP!
So you see. It really is great to be highly sensitive. I listed 25 things but I'm sure there are many many more positive things about being an HSP.
Too many to list!
Thanks for reading!
Peace and blessings to you. :)
Are you highly sensitive? If so, are you happy to be that way?
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Richard J ONeill