I want to take a moment and talk about something close to my heart. I am a highly sensitive person. You may have no idea what this means. I understand that you may not have experienced someone like me. I’ve spent my entire life hearing that I am too sensitive. I’ve also heard things like maybe you should get a disability diagnosis. My favorite comment so far is maybe you can change.
So I am going to explain that being a highly sensitive person is not a type of disability. Elaine Aron the author of the book, “The Highly Sensitive Person”, who first labeled this personality type, says one in five people are highly sensitive. What this means is people like me pick up easily on subtle things that others may not. It also means our systems may easily be overwhelmed by those subtle things around us. Loud noises, smells, things others don’t even notice may affect us. We also pick up easily on other people’s emotions and moods, leading to us having strong empathetic and sympathetic skills. It can affect every aspect of our lives.
For at least thirty-five years, I have felt different. In the spring of 2014, I came across an article about being a highly sensitive person. As I read about myself it brought me to tears. I began to realize it wasn’t just me being different. There truly are others like me that understand how it feels to relate to the world. I cry easily, things you manage just fine, may overwhelm me. Smells, loud noises, and too much excitement can all be too much. It’s not that I am weak, or lazy or have a disability, I am just a bit more sensitive to the world than the average person. If you would like to learn more, or take the test, please visit hspperson.com