Demystifying the Highly Sensitive Person
If a colleague or new friend confided in you that he or she was a "Highly Sensitive Person", what would that mean to you? She wears her heart on her sleeve... He takes every opinion and situation personally... She has low emotional intelligence... He is so vulnerable...She can't handle honesty... He is a doormat!
These are but a few incorrect impressions people get when they hear that someone is a Highly Sensitive Person (or as often abbreviated, HSP). Our social models have built-in certain assumptions about people; what we can and should be able to expect from them. These assumptions are rarely addressed, resulting in the consequence that many people are living miserable lives because they are trying to relate based on an incorrect, assumptive social foundation. Many of these people struggling with this phenomenon are highly sensitive.
Hyper-sensitivity is an innate trait found in mammals, including humans. 20% of the population is highly sensitive, and I would guess that in today's digital and competitive age, there are more who do not know it. Learning that you have the highly sensitive trait opens a door to freedom because within the realization, these people figure out why they have always felt 'different' and they can finally work with that to optimize their lives and purpose.
You might be a Highly Sensitive Person if you experience the following:
- Other people's moods and feelings easily affect you.
- You are super conscientious and/or meticulous with perfectionist tendencies.
- You are uncomfortable and/or easily startled by loud noises or bright lights.
- You find yourself needing frequent alone time to recover from over-stimulating or busy situations.
- You experience anxiety or stress when you have many things to do in a short period of time.
Sound familiar? Don't panic. There is nothing wrong with you! There are foggy mysteries about HSP's that I will clear up right now with a game of True or False. Ok, so, let the games begin!
Mystery #1 TRUE/FALSE? Being highly sensitive is a mental health condition. FALSE. Without being fully informed, it is easy to mistake the highly sensitive person as a sufferer of some bizarre mental condition, but this is untrue. Although HSP's can be more susceptible to depression or generalized anxiety, being an HSP does not mean you have a mental disorder.
Mystery #2 TRUE/FALSE? Being a highly sensitive person just means you are excessively shy. FALSE. 30% of the total number of highly sensitive people are actually extroverted. Although this is a small minority, it shows that not all HSP's are introverts (including myself).Mystery #3 TRUE/FALSE? Being highly sensitive prevents you from attaining professional success. FALSE. HSP's who have a good understanding of their unique trait are able to use it to perform better in the workplace. “It’s not a handicap in relationships or at work,” says Dr. Elaine Aaron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person. “Sensitive people can use their observations to their advantage. They know how to bring ideas up without being ridiculed or scorned.”
Being an HSP in business is like having an eagle eye observant team-member with the dedication of a loyal Doberman and the subtle skills of an inquisitive cat.
After digesting this information you may realize the possibility that you might be a Highly Sensitive Person. Embrace this moment because it is freeing. You can optimize this trait to work in your favor. You are a part of a large community that is expanding more and more everyday. If this article reminded you of a loved one, friend or colleague, share it with them! It might give them that AHA! moment and they will be forever grateful to you for it. Trust me.
Know of anyone who might appreciate this honey? Please spread it around. Be that friend to give another friend a Eureka moment. Happy Bee-Hiving!
Dr. Elaine Aaron, The Highly Sensitive Person, international Best Selling
The Highly Sensitive Person Official website, http://hsperson.com/