In this blog post I will share with you 7 common traits among highly sensitive people.
Today I came home earlier to run away (again) from dealing with an energy that I can only tolerate for a short while at the moment. This energy is a mix of anger, frustration, and an achy sense that I’m still the odd one out at the age of 29.
I reached out a friend when I arrived home and asked her “Why can’t we be like everyone else?”. There are these moments in which the blessing of sensitivity transforms itself into a really ugly and bad curse. Then all I know is that being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is too hard, too much, and too painful.
Being highly sensitive, we know what people feel, think, and intend without even knowing them. We can feel what others are going through, even if they are standing on the other side of the road and separated from us by a high fence. This happened to me last Saturday: I went to my office so I could record some YouTube videos. As usual, the building was empty. I suddenly started to feel very anxious for no reason. I realised then that the campus was getting crowded, full of students and families. Freshers were settling in and I could sense the anxiety and fear of students and their families. That’s why I was feeling overly anxious too.
The feeling got so intense that I could not record or do any work here on my blog. I packed my stuff, took a foot path to come back home, and spent a few hours working on my energy field until I felt like I was back to “normal”. This is why sometimes the blessing instantly becomes a curse. As you may guess this way of functioning can be very debilitating sometimes. We become overwhelmed and distressed not necessarily because something happens to us, but because it is our very own nature to be in tune with what and who is around us.
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I believe HSPs come to this “overwhelming stage” every once in a while because no one taught us how to manage our energy field. I still don’t know how to handle it sometimes and when that happens I think we feel really isolated, because the majority of people do not understand the way we perceive and sense reality, and therefore can not provide us with the right support.
For all this, I thought it would be helpful for me and others to write a little bit more about the traits of HSPs and explain them the best I can. If our differences make us feel weird, we might as well use them to empower us, so here are what I believe to be the seven most important traits of highly sensitive people.
1. We Are Aware of the Invisible
My favourite book, “The Little Prince”, has a passage which says “what is essential is invisible to the eye” and HSPs feel this to be very true. We can tell whenever there is something going wrong with someone because somehow we assimilate, even though unconsciously, certain signs and details that give us a lot of information about others.
2. We Can Read People
We can indeed read people because of what I explained in the previous point – the fact that we are aware of subtle forms of expression allows us to know what other people feel and even think. I believe this has simply to do with our awareness and I also think that anyone can become highly sensitive as long as there is some kind of training of one’s own level of awareness. That’s why people who start meditating or doing yoga often find themselves more sensitive and aware after some practise.
3. We Are Affected by Other People’s Mood
The fact that we have access to subtler forms of information makes us very sensitive to other people’s states and moods. More often than not we do not control this and I believe that the more we, as a society, learn and accept the way HSPs function, the more we can advance in terms of understanding and finding effective ways to use this ability on demand.
4. We Spend a Lot of Time in Our Heads
Most of us are born-observers and we use or learn to use telepathy a lot. There is a giant, complex and unique world inside each HSPs’ head and that’s why we get lost so often. If there is too much stimulation, we also struggle to stop our thoughts and “hypothesis” test in our minds. This is when we need to get out of our mind and get into our body.
5. Loud Noises, Strong Smells and Tastes are a Big No
I was never able to deal with perfumes, something that most women adore. I also always run away from drugstores and any supermarket’s detergent section. Abrupt noises also annoy me a lot and make my ears and head hurt. I think I’m not so affected by strong tastes, but that’s probably because I use food all the time. I’m very sensitive nonetheless to spices and I can have a hard time with even “mild” flavours.
6. The Experience of Being Hungry and Uncomfortable is Magnified
This is so true… the only time that either being hungry or uncomfortable do not bother me much is when I’m doing something I love such as writing this blog post. Right now, I’m hungry, but my wish to write is bigger than the discomfort of starvation. In most cases, however, whenever I’m hungry or uncomfortable I don’t seem to be able to tolerate it. If the problem is being hungry, I easily become “angry”. If the problem is being uncomfortable, the experience in itself becomes very painful and more often than not bruises or aches do follow it.
7. We Feel a Deep Urge For Being Creative
Our thoughts and feelings run so wildly that using creativity is often our favourite way to manage or balance our energy. From creative writing to painting, dancing, or any other form of creative expression, we do enjoy the feeling of expansion that such activities provide us. It is also a way for us to get “out” of our head and be more in our body.