What It's Like Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

*This article contains personal experiences that not everyone relates to and does not speak for the whole HSP community*

I remember when I first heard the term “Highly Sensitive Person.” I immediately thought: “that’s not me” because I hadn’t considered myself an “overly sensitive person.” I suppose I was connecting that with negative connotations of sensitivity and being emotional… but that’s an article for another time.

Since doing self-reflecting, I feel that I’ve always been rather sentimental and melancholic. I thought being sensitive was bad and irrational, so I saw it as a fault–and, perhaps, that is why I was connecting the term “HSP” with feeling emotional. While being a “Highly Sensitive Person” does involve emotions, it has many physiological aspects. 

 

YOU ARE MORE AWARE

As an HSP, your senses are typically heightened compared to a person who might not identify with this. Usually, HSPs are sensitive when it comes to smells, sounds, and lights. An HSP is most likely going to steer clear of the candle section at Target. They might also cringe at the thought of going to a concert (on the contrary, I enjoy concerts very, very much) or watching a movie in a loud, over-crowded movie theater.

 

YOU ARE VERY EMPATHETIC 

You have the ability to understand the way a person feels, even if you can’t relate to it. Sometimes you are SO empathetic, you can actually feel the emotions of others.

Being empathetic comes with being intuitive. You often find yourself paying closer attention to what others are feeling.

 

YOU ARE MOVED DEEPLY BY ART AND AESTHETICS 

Since you feel things very deeply, you also have a huge appreciation for art. It moves you. Sometimes I find myself crying over certain aesthetics because they describe some emotions better than words.

 

YOU EXPERIENCE BURNOUT 

I’m not saying every HSP is an introvert (because that’s not true) but many are very introverted. I experience burnout when I’m around people for a long period of time. Usually going out, running errands, or doing something socially draws in more stimulation and, ultimately, causes more exhaustion. 

After experiencing burnout, you might find yourself taking a really long nap or searching for a place to rest. It’s important to notice when you feel burnout and do something about it without feeling guilty. If you take care of yourself first, you will feel SO much better.

 

Once I started learning more about being a Highly Sensitive Person (and being an INFJ), I felt more comfortable with myself. I let the people around me know how I am and why I feel the way I do, and it helps me from getting overstimulated. It helps you not feel guilty for feeling the way that you do.

 

You deserve a rich life. 

xx Kenzie