Are you highly sensitive?

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    Sep 05, 2008 4:30 AM GMT
    I recently went to a therapist to get some understanding as to why i have such a restless mind. I seem to analyze everything, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. She informed me that I am a hightly sensitive person. I have included some info below on the trait:

    * This trait is normal--it is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and indeed the same percentage seems to be present in all higher animals.
    * Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener (although they may be). But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.
    * Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.
    * This trait is not something newly discovered--it has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited.
    * The reason for these negative misnomers and general lack of research on the subject is that in this culture being tough and outgoing is the preferred or ideal personality--not high sensitivity. (Therefore in the past the research focus has been on sensitivity's potential negative impact on sociability and boldness, not the phenomenon itself or its purpose.) This cultural bias affects HSPs as much as their trait affects them, as I am sure you realize. Even those who loved you probably told you, "don't be so sensitive," making you feel abnormal when in fact you could do nothing about it and it is not abnormal at all.

    I was just wondering if any of you are highly sensitive? I hope this information can also possibly help confused people like myself find answers. Have a good one.

    Jason
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    Sep 05, 2008 4:53 AM GMT
    sixth-sense-venn-diagram3.gif
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    Sep 05, 2008 6:48 AM GMT
    Well, I'm very ticklish, does that count?

    Last guy I made out with took it bad, tho. I think he thought I was laughing at him. =/
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    Sep 05, 2008 10:40 AM GMT
    I'm hypersensitive when it comes to sound and tactile stimulation. I'm the first one (and usually only) to cover my ears when an ambulance goes by with it's siren on. Sometimes I have to sleep on the floor because the sleek feel of the blankets makes my skin itch and I feel (for some odd reason) better with my body against the rough carpet. Or maybe I'm a dog.
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    Sep 05, 2008 1:18 PM GMT
    Well, when you say sensitive, do you mean anxious? Like a possible anxiety disorder? If so, I'm with you on that one. But that's why I kinda developed an "I don't care" attitude towards a lot of stuff that used to bother me since focusing on it too much led me to depression and worse.
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    Sep 05, 2008 1:43 PM GMT
    I'm definitely an overanalyzing fool, and i have areas that are sensative, but i've worked hard on that. I'm still working on the overthinking crap, haven't had much success with it yet.
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    Sep 05, 2008 2:04 PM GMT

    I'm very sensitive. It caused me alot of grief growing up and into adulthood. Finally, a psychologist friend asked me if I'd ever used that sensitivity in other ways. He told me it was a great gift; a set of muscles in a way, that I could train to become a powerful and moving force in the world. I rolled my eyes. I mean puleeeese. By now I was completely confused.

    He said, 'You're very sensitive in a self-oriented way, but have you applied that sensitivity to others?" He went on,
    "Doug, imagine the people around you have this same thing. Even if they don't, applying your senses to their unhappinesses or trials in life or difficulties communicating could make you appear telepathic. There are studies out there about this and what we call intuition and 6th sense."

    My head spun for the rest of the day.
    It changed my life, and hopefully (Bill says totally) to the benefit of others.
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    Sep 05, 2008 2:22 PM GMT
    Simply put, NOPE!!! Not at all!
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    Sep 05, 2008 2:42 PM GMT
    My partner and I have had this discussion about my sensitivity. He does not think I am sensitive because my feelings are not easily hurt. I respond that I am sensitive because I can sense things about people and the environment I am in, that others miss. Just because I don't read things into what others say and get upset does not mean I am not sensitive, it means I am trying to give the person the benefit of the doubt.

    When I was growing up I fitted the description the therapist provided you almost to a tee. I bordered on being a hermit at times when I was a kid and teenager because being around people was so stressful and overwhelming at times. Couple that with a family life that was at times "interesting and challenging" made me into the person I am today, for better and worse.
  • glad2be07

    Posts: 29

    Sep 05, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    Hi spacinjasin -

    Oh my yes - that describes me. (It doesn't describe ALL of me, but it gets those parts right.)

    There's a book, The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, that offers strategies for surviving in a not-so-sensitive world, something we especially need when we're feeling overwhelmed.

    http://www.hsperson.com/pages/hsp.htm

    The positive side for me is that I'm an artist, and the sensitivity is fuel for my work. I'm a good listener, and I empathize easily with other people's feelings. The down side is feeling overwhelmed by adverse situations, being overly analytical about my mistakes, and as a result, having a generalized insecurity that I have to constantly work against.

    The important thing is to do what you've done - recognize it as an integral part of who you are - not as a weakness, as society usually treats it. Having people around you who value your sensitivity as a gift is a good way to counter the negativity.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic! On RealJock - who'da thunk it!
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    Jun 18, 2010 7:28 AM GMT
    I'm a pretty sensitive person and massages usually make cringe a little... But I still love them! Even a foot rub can be enjoyable for a minute, although my feet are really sensitive! icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 18, 2010 7:34 AM GMT
    I used to be very sensitive, but being jaded a few times brought it down to a normal lull. I still have the ability, but seldom get worked up over stuff anymore. Now I just say "fuck it" and move on.
  • Iluros

    Posts: 559

    Jun 18, 2010 7:36 AM GMT
    Hooray for necroing threads. icon_biggrin.gif

    I'm definitely highly sensitive. Especially when I was younger. I've calmed down an awful lot as I've gotten older but it's still there.
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    Jun 18, 2010 7:55 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    I'm very sensitive. It caused me alot of grief growing up and into adulthood. Finally, a psychologist friend asked me if I'd ever used that sensitivity in other ways. He told me it was a great gift; a set of muscles in a way, that I could train to become a powerful and moving force in the world. I rolled my eyes. I mean puleeeese. By now I was completely confused.

    He said, 'You're very sensitive in a self-oriented way, but have you applied that sensitivity to others?" He went on,
    "Doug, imagine the people around you have this same thing. Even if they don't, applying your senses to their unhappinesses or trials in life or difficulties communicating could make you appear telepathic. There are studies out there about this and what we call intuition and 6th sense."

    My head spun for the rest of the day.
    It changed my life, and hopefully (Bill says totally) to the benefit of others.


    OK so this was said in 2008 but ... I totally agree.

    Those burnened with hyper-sensitivity in childhood/adolescence/young adulthood develop tremendous intuition as they mature, and learn how to apply their understanding of emotions to the outer world.

    It's the key to "emotional intelligence": deal with the self-awareness and learn how to manage your own emotions, then use your gift to understand and impact upon the emotions of others.

    And, yes, every school report I ever had had the word "sensitive" in there (especially from English teachers who all adored me - nobody else even tried to come first in English exams when I was in the class; and every time an "anonymous" essay was read out by the teacher to demonstrate "what good is", all eyes turned to me).
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    Jun 18, 2010 2:34 PM GMT
    For Brit_bloke and Adam81...we are Homo Empathicus; and a huge thanks to Sedative!




    This can also be (but not touched on very much in this vid) how we can experience the joys and good feelings of others. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug
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    Jun 18, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    Right now, yes.

    I'm looking down the barrel of unemployment and am really scared. Every job I have applied for in the last year has turned me down. Courteous queries about how the job search is going are making me have apoplexy. Even people doing their best to cheer me up by telling me "It's their loss" have no idea how much it's making me spin out faster... not their fault, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt to hear it. And the worst is that every discussion I have with people about a rather sensitive turns into an argument with people who have a 100% right to their opinion because I am taking their responses way too personally... just look at how southbeach1500 and I are going at it over BP's/Obama's responsibility over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico! I'm getting to the point where I just wanna have a fight rather than argue a point anymore, it would seem... I've called him a pig about six times already, and it ain't even noon where I am!

    Highly sensitive? Jesus, I feel like there is absolutely no coating on the wires right now! Everything is getting under my increasingly thinner skin right now.

    Sorry I turned this into a rant, guys. I'm just really frightened and really discouraged.
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    Jun 18, 2010 2:50 PM GMT

    *Gives SAHEM a GIANT squeezy hug*

    Stay the course, my friend. And avoid SB. That's like bathing in Drano.

    -Doug
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:17 PM GMT
    Yes. I was diagnosed HSP in 2007. It changed my life. I finally understood why my childhood was so difficult. I felt different for many years (besides the gay thing),and couldn't piece it all together. I went to a counselor to guide me on a new career path. After a few personality tests, she asked me what my home was like, who my heros were and do I like parties. icon_eek.gificon_confused.gif
    I said: Filled with books and quiet...Charles Dickens and Francis of Assisi (HSPs BTW)...I hate parties.

    She went, "okeeeey," which concerned me...icon_confused.gif

    She recommended reading The Introvert Advantage, by Marti Laney, and The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron. The second book was a revelation. It clarified every question and doubt I had about myself. HSP is a temperament and NOT a sign of a personality disorder. The shyness and introverted nature are not bad. My counselor later told me she could tell I was HSP when I spoke. icon_neutral.gif

    I learned to channel my sensitivity. Brit bloke spoke of intuition, and I have it. I can pick up on small cues given off by people It has saved me from so many bad situations. I learned very valuable lessons when I did not trust my gut. It convinced me of the value of my intuition and my own judgement. I've been labelled a peacemaker, fair and internally strong.

    My sensitivity fuels my art. I sit back and watch people. I learn by observing from a distance. I listen to others and care for their wellbeing. I feel others pain...as silly as that sounds.

    But I'm prone to depression tho. That sucks. It makes me hyper analytical too. It can get out of hand sometimes.

    Wow! This thread is cool! Thanks for reviving it!
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:20 PM GMT
    "But I'm prone to depression tho. That sucks."

    I found that this empathy/sensitivity muscle can also be used to charge yourself up with others' happinesses. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug

    As well, texting with some of the guys here like n8698u, or reading some of the other guys' posts gives an interesting sensation, like touching someone somewhere, not physical, but where it counts. Some part of me just lifts up and floats along. Sometimes soars!

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    Jun 18, 2010 3:28 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidRight now, yes.

    I'm looking down the barrel of unemployment and am really scared. Every job I have applied for in the last year has turned me down. Courteous queries about how the job search is going are making me have apoplexy. Even people doing their best to cheer me up by telling me "It's their loss" have no idea how much it's making me spin out faster... not their fault, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt to hear it. And the worst is that every discussion I have with people about a rather sensitive turns into an argument with people who have a 100% right to their opinion because I am taking their responses way too personally... just look at how southbeach1500 and I are going at it over BP's/Obama's responsibility over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico! I'm getting to the point where I just wanna have a fight rather than argue a point anymore, it would seem... I've called him a pig about six times already, and it ain't even noon where I am!

    Highly sensitive? Jesus, I feel like there is absolutely no coating on the wires right now! Everything is getting under my increasingly thinner skin right now.

    Sorry I turned this into a rant, guys. I'm just really frightened and really discouraged.


    SAHEM, I'm in the same boat. Unemployed since August and temping occasionally. I'm very discouraged and anxious. Even if I weren't HSP, I would be extremely stressed. Sign of the times.
    I hate my friends asking if I have found a job yet. I'm worried they are judging me or pitying me. Ugh. That's the worst.

    Don't forget you're made of tough stuff. You have made it this far. You are getting better every day. You are awesome!
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:37 PM GMT
    Good Lord, they have a name and pill for everything now, get over it.
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:40 PM GMT
    meninlove said"But I'm prone to depression tho. That sucks."

    I found that this empathy/sensitivity muscle can also be used to charge yourself up with others' happinesses. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug

    As well, texting with some of the guys here like n8698u, or reading some of the other guys' posts gives an interesting sensation, like touching someone somewhere, not physical, but where it counts. Some part of me just lifts up and floats along. Sometimes soars!



    Thank you Doug.

    It's true. I'm very sensitive to others emotions. Happiness works wonders. I'm just as sensitive to the sadness. I've improved filtering it out as best I can, but I have to do yoga to squeeze out the negative. Oof!!!
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    Jun 18, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    Bowie saidGood Lord, they have a name and pill for everything now, get over it.


    With study comes understanding.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 18, 2010 3:44 PM GMT
    I was far more sensitive when I was a kid. If someone looked at me in an odd way, I thought my clothing was wrong or something was off (when you are a teenager, everything can be a mess). What a difference growing up makes! These days I can still be sensitive, but not about things about self perception by others. I'm pretty comfortable.