28 Jul Highly Sensitive Person Superpowers or Kryptonite
Is the world sometimes too much? Do you crave alone time after time spent in crowds? Do you feel more vulnerable when you are around certain types of energies?
If you’ve heard the label, HSP or Highly Sensitive Person or Empath lately and wonder if that fits you, here’s what it can mean from a girl who gets it. How does it affect your day-today? Like categorizing anything, it’s all about what you do with the knowledge.
An HSP can be someone who has what I call some extra sensitive superpowers. There is also overlap with the definition of empath or someone who is highly feeling and intuitive.
Do any of these resonate with you or someone you know?
- You are sensitive to extra visual and auditory stimulation. Blaring screens and loud noises – especially for prolonged periods of time make you cringe.
- In fact, interacting with multiple electronic devices for a prolonged period without rest aggravates your sensitivity. For example, your body temperature or energy level feels out of whack. Friends that identify with this may even get headaches as a result of stimulation tied to too much screen staring.
- Working in an ‘open space’ environment is distracting. An enclosed room or cubicles that have a partial walls are much more enjoyable to work within.
- When making a decision you may take longer than someone who is not a HSP. You put thought into it and weigh the decision carefully. You may also care more about a negative outcome or making the ‘wrong’ decision as HSPs may take emotions to a more intense level.
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures aren’t usually your favorite climates. Since being highly sensitive is often reported to lend internally, to temperature regulation and to the skin.
- You have the ‘superpower’ of being able to tell what others are feeling intuitively, sometimes with subtle clues from others. Merely being in another’s presence you pick up on the how someone is thinking or feeling.
- You may have a harsh inner critic. Sometimes you come down on yourself too hard and it takes a while to let a comment go or brush off feelings that may be easier for the less sensitive.
- Viewing violence such as a horror movie can be the worst for the highly sensitive. Heck, I have a hard time watching the news when there is one awful incident after another. Being extra empathetic makes it difficult to process violence, suspense, and turmoil because your body is actually physically and chemically responding to these things more than someone who is not as easily affected.
Have you been called a sensitive soul or as a child were you asked to not take things so seriously or personally? Were you often called shy or afraid of the spotlight?
Growing up as a highly sensitive child and into adulthood I resonate with many of these things and also know that what always seemed like good intuition or trusting my gut, has come to my aid in countless situations. From being able to set the right tone in a meeting after taking a silent room census to crossing the street to get away from danger when others were oblivious. To me identifying with the Highly Sensitive Person commonalities has always been about the positives of being extra aware.
Dr. Elaine Aron is among the pioneers on HSP research. You can find more on her research here.
In addition to knowing Highly Sensitive Person from an adult perspective, these traits show up in children, too. There are flags when a child is completely overwhelmed because of being tired versus when the overwhelm seems like something ‘extra’ or part of who he or she is.
Over the next month, I’ll dig more deeply into the life of an empath. In our next article, we’ll examine ways to deal with being or knowing a Highly Sensitive Person and Empath.