Do you find yourself soaking up the energy and emotions of others, to the point you sometimes feel quite exhausted? Or maybe others tell you that you are ‘too sensitive’?
Highly sensitive people are generally deep thinkers, and have a busy, internal processor going on in their heads which doesn’t switch off very often.
US clinical psychologist Dr Elaine Aron coined the phrase “HSP (highly sensitive person) in the nineties, and notes other traits that highly sensitive people appear to share, including:
- overwhelm from loud, sudden noises; bright lights or coarse fabrics
- very sensitive to pain
- particularly sensitive to caffeine
- deeply moved by the arts and music,
to name but a few.
Highly sensitive, in a relationship
As highly sensitive people often have high standards for themselves, they often tend to reflect this on to their significant others.
These hard-to-reach expectations can often cause heartache, as the sensitive individual can struggle to understand that just because their partner processes or handles things differently, it doesn’t mean they don’t care.
These sensitive individuals can often feel let down quite easily, as they think about how they would never treat someone like that.
This ‘sponge-like’ capacity has both good and bad qualities:
The good bits
These individuals make excellent friends, love a deep and meaningful discussion and are usually a genuine bunch. They may anticipate your needs at times before you do.
They make great listeners and generally show high levels of empathy.
The not-so-good bits
They can be more prone to low mood, worrying and burn out as they care deeply and give their all to most situations.
They can be quite affected by and impacted by their environment, and become depleted – be it at work or in a relationship.
They take things quite personally, and can struggle with critical feedback.
- Highly sensitive people need to pay attention to their own self care, so that they don’t become quickly disappointed by others who may not pick up on their needs.
- Developing better personal boundaries can be beneficial.
- Manage it and accept it, or learn ways to do this by seeing a therapist.
If any of the above resonates, don’t hesitate to get in touch!