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I Would Like To Clear Up A Few Things About Sensitive People

This is my personal interpretation of an HSP!

A) It's not only about having one's feelings hurt easily. I know many people that are easily hurt but are not sensitive. People who are truly sensitive care about other's feelings as much as they do their own. They generally try to choose their words carefully as to not offend or hurt others.
B) Things affect them more deeply. Yes, they feel very deeply and as such, past emotional hurts linger longer. And they tend to take things both more personally and seriously. Not only the hurts that are inflicted on them, but also those that are imposed on others.  They are affected by the world's afflictions and the afflictions of those around them.  Their heart feels the pain of others.
C) They are more complex. They see many different layers to situations. They frequently are not as black and white as others. They see many sides to a situation and tend to be less judgmental. And yes, they frequently tend to see things that others don't.  It's almost like they have x-ray vision and see right to the heart of things.  
D) They are less superficial. In fact, many cannot stand superficiality. They see through the superficial bling that many others don't. Many won't just date a guy because he's cute and has a nice car. They usually look for deeper qualities.  It's not that they don't like material things.    It's just that they don't believe it's the be all end all and they frequently look deep into the hearts and soul of people.
E) Most love beauty.  They see it in poetry, art, children, nature, etc.  And sometimes even in material things that are truly exquisite.  
F) Sensitivity is both positive and negative. They see the bad in things that others don't but they also see the good in things that others don't. They are touched by the smile of a baby, a cute puppy, a sunny day and beautiful art. They see things in vivid colour. It makes their day when they can help a vulnerable person and put a smile on someone's face. They are moved by nature and poetry.  In fact, they can be moved by so many things.  When they look at things they may see things that others don't - both good and bad.
G) And lastly many HSP's are very soulful and spiritual.  They frequently take longer to process things.  They need time to process every nuance and to look at things from every perspective.  They are not made for this fast pace world.  They are healers and frequently very wise and soulful and look for deep connections and thus in this superficial, fast paced world can leave them feeling lonely and isolated.

In short being a sensitive person is both a blessing and a curse. I don't mean to be arrogant, but in a way, I've always felt that we are more emotionally intelligent.
lagatta lagatta 41-45, F 58 Responses Aug 9, 2011

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This is my first post on this site. This is actually my first attempt to connect with HSPs b/c I didn't know what it was until recently when my husband sent me an article on it saying, "This is you." :)
It is quite an overwhelming experience to discover all of these people who can relate to my experience - to find out one is not alone.
Anyway, the thing I wanted to comment on was being able to see beneath the surface. I'm also an INFJ on the MyersBriggs stuff and I read once where someone cleverly stated: "INFJs: they know what hearts in the lies of men." (not just what lies in the hearts of men) I think maybe HSPs often have this ability. I don't think it's supernatural, but I think it is just that we have a temperament with causes us to pick up subtleties almost subconsciously. And here's one more thing I want to say about it: almost every time that I've had this kind of insight, but then I checked myself and doubted myself about it, I've ended up being right after all.

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Well spelled out Lagatta. I totally agree on everything you said. This is an eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing. I totally agree with you.

Gosh , your summing up of an HSP is absolutely spot on.
I should say I have only just discovered this site and only recently concluded that I am HSP myself.
Your comments really strike a chord with me , particularly with regard to seeing , where others only look , and not belonging in this fast paced world.
I do feel that if the majority of people were like us , then the world would be a far far better place.
Perhaps we should be arrogant enough to believe that HSPs are highly advanced human beings ! Imagine if human beings evolved over time to have HSP characteristics. What a fantastic world that would be.
Maybe we are the world's last hope ?
With kindest regards

That is me 100%, and i have asked myself many times if its a blessing or curse. I truly believe i don't fit in this world.

Does taking anti depressant making you more sociable ??

No I don't think anti-depressants make you more social per se, but if you are suffering from depression than it will certainly make a difference in your desire to socialize. I wish you all the best.

I'd say, more "acutely" emotionally intelligent, if you see what I mean. Your desc<x>ription, otherwise, speaks for me too... very nicely written, thank you!

Well I grew up in a very dysfunctional family/society where there was little to no emotional intelligence so I think that's where I'm getting that from. As a child I was the peace maker, the negotiator, "the wise one" of the family. Perhaps if I was raised in a more functional environment I wouldn't have felt that way. My story was a very personal reflection of my observations.

Wow, same here
I was always in between fighting adults and felt so bad and tried to be a peacemaker also, AND it ends up happening in every job I have ever had AND with all my friends.

It's funny how that works! Same here. I'm still play the peacemaker.

very true

I'm all for "begining to see my trait in a positive way" but let's not make ourselves superior beings. We do see things that other people don't, and those things are sometimes real and sometimes not. Ex: we sometimes see the pain that people are trying to hide, and we sometimes see the pain that we want to see in them only as a result of our own projection (no matter how strong it feels). HSP can be emotionally intelligent and emotionally crippled just as non HSP can be. In fact I suspect that HSP not being able to cope with all the inner and outer stimulation can become a "Highly Agressive Person" if things go very wrong. Saying that this trait leads to apstract constructions like "loving beauty, being nonsuperficial, or being touched by a puppy" is in my opinion inacurate. For example being able so go deeper in things makes me realise that "loving beauty" can easily be "being superficial", and chosing words to not hurt people can mean lying and hurting them in the long run. We come in all shapes and sizes for all I know and this trait is not the only thing defining us. "Looking at someone's soul" can be a very deep understanding of that person's situation or just a strong fantasy.
I don't mean to attack, I just believe that feeling superior won't help us any more then feeling weak and inferior did.

I don't feel superior. This is my own personal take on sensitivity. Thanks for stopping by.

I didn't get any sense of superiority from anything I read

I agree with you and the beautiful soul of Lagatta. You are both right. We do project and get it wrong sometimes. We must always be open to what the real truth is about a person or situation.

Most everyone likes puppies and such, but perhaps we feel the joy more deeply?

I was trying to explain this to someone recently and wished I could have told them to read your story!

You can share it if you like! :)

That is a very well thought out and insightful post. Thank you.

I think you hit all your points correctly - it's a blessing and a curse to me.

Right on. You have summed it up well.

True! I have actually read these characteristics in the book 'Highly Sensitive people' and they seem to accurately match me.

So true. HSP are often not shallow, superficial, and materialistic, and they are often compassionate, empathetic, tolerant, accepting, non-judgmental, open minded people who want to trust people. They are often positive and optimistic, but when they get hurt they often suffer much harder, and longer, than non-HSPs do.

So true we do suffer for longer when we get hurt but I'm working on toughening up. I'm trying to retain the positive side to my sensitivity while toning down the negative.

This made me tear up. *grin*

me too

Glad it touched you!

I love this side of you, Lagatta :) You have a kind heart and it shows. You captured everything beautifully.

Thank you Rubies! :)

I have a question... what if some of the things you said are somewhat true about me or not true at all... At the same time, some of the things you said are EXTREMELY true about me. I took a "self-test" and i think i am but... yeah something like that
(I'm a 17 year old young man just trying to understand the way I am)

Being sensitive is on a continuum meaning you can be on the HSP Spectrum without having all the attributes. I wrote it according to my own personal experiences with it. I wish you the best in your journey of self-discovery.

I also think we are each unique. HSP's can get overstimulated easily, but personally I found I have a high capacity of tolerance for visual/colorful things. In that one area I have a greater tolerance than even many non-HSP's

Hallelujah to all of that!! Yes, its great at last to know who I am and to see there are other people who are the same and that I am not some kind of "freak"

thank you for writing this. I've recently been diagnosed as a HSP and this helps me understand who I am, in a way.

Ya, it's hard being an HSP sometimes but I'm getting better at it.

That's me you're describing, I've always thought of myself as a weak person, for being this way, but you put it so lovely, maybe I'm not weak after all, so thankyou :)

No you are not weak at all. Being sensitive can be a strength.

Brilliant article. Totally describes me to a tee.

Sometimes I hate being sensitive because it can hurt but at other times when I'm feeling more positive, I realize that it's a great gift to be able to enjoy so much in life and feel so deeply.

I know what you mean. It feels good to be able to connect with people on such a deep level. But it hurts like hell when those connections bring about negative emotions. When its good its good, but when its bad boy is it bad.

Great post!

You did a VERY lovely and extremely accurate got it exactly right...I wish I had your writing skills. The way you described what life is like for us has rendered me speechless...BRAVO!

Aww...thank you!

thank you :)

Your welcome!

Thank You for Sharing and Clearing this up..... I hope you don't mind but I need to share your explanation with others. Waiting for your ....OK. This so explains me. thank you again!! ((hugs))

Sure...who do you plan on sharing it with?

Thank You... to just a couple of friends I would like to email it to... so they have a better understanding of me.

Oh certainly. Go ahead. I'm flattered that you are using my words to help your friends better understand u.

You said soulful, I would call it spirituality. Spirituality means many things. Just to name one, being aware of your immediate surroundings, there's so many more.<br />
So when somebody calls me sensitive, I take it as a compliment and a very good compliment at that. We also can be sensitve physically and even that's a great thing to have such as a warm summer breeze blow against your skin. Only one exception, the negative side of it, someone sensitive with an anger problem that can't control their emotions and resort to physical abuse which to me brings out the animalistic ugly demeaning nature of a human of the worse kind. When a person resorts to physical abuse and such violence, to me it's like be a stray dog on the street.

I actually think sensitive people are less prone to violence. Yes, we may get hurt easily but in my opinion most sensitive people are gentle, compassionate souls that don't like to hurt others. At times, I can get so hurt that I explode but I never, ever get violent and I always feel bad for my emotional outbursts and follow up not only with an apology but also with a heart to heart.

Yes! I agree completely that we are more alert to the world around us, but not in the same way that, say, an eagle or a tiger is. Here's how I have been thinking of it recently: We detect weakness and pain like a predator, but instead of pouncing and killing, we want to nurture and protect. We do not feel the need to control an environment but to support it, and this often leads to a natural tendency towards deliberation and quietness as opposed to lightning-quick reflexes. We do have the heightened senses of a predator, though, to the point that things like flowers are not pretty but HOLY MONKEY THAT'S BEAUTIFUL and unwanted interactions are not annoying but IN YOUR FREAKING FACE. We perceive but do not get involved in battles of alpha dominance or cleverness because our brains are too busy taking in sensory information and maintaining a concern for the well-being of everyone around us. We are happy to work for meaning over society's definition of "success", which is nothing more than a synonym for winning the competition of life.

Yes, and maybe if corporations and government were run by sensitive people the world we live in would be a better place.

Wow thank you for posting that, simply beautiful. It also brought tears to my eyes.

Aww....thanks for such a sweet comment!

I actually read your statement and it brought a tear to my eye as i am like that and the vunerablility of letting people into your life and being that way and especially the point about helping others and the superficial thing xxx yes i guess i am like a onion many levels to me things that make me annoyed that i get enmotional over that other maybe would just laugh as ...or show no emotion <br />
TRhe cry of a baby .. watching a old couple holding hands .. and the fact that even thou i am 40 i love to woo a women

Wooing a woman is a good thing! No shame in that! In fact, it's a common occurranc in Europe. Chivalry is still alive there.

thankyou hun xxx