I am a HSP

{ Wednesday, August 10, 2011 }
I am a Highly Sensitive Person. 

It was Dr. Elaine Aron who first came up with the term. She says 20% of all people are born with a highly sensitive nervous system. This means that those people are more easily overwhelmed by noise, light and smells. Furthermore, on a more positive note, those people are also emphatic, highly intuitive, creative, notice more subtleties and have a rich and complex inner life. If you want to find out if you are one too, you can take the test here.
I also read Dr. Elaine's book "The Highly Sensitive Person", and what a relief it was to finally put a name on all the experiences I went through. 

How do I notice I'm highly sensitive?

  • I startle very easily, if I hear an unexpected noise. Most of the time I seem to be the only one from among my friends or the people I'm with at the time who has such a strong reaction to the sound.
  • I have very low tolerance for loud noise or music. My nerves get shattered by a passing ambulance or police car. 
  • I very easily notice when someone is upset, or if the mood of a person changes. Also when a little child seems to do something potentially harmful for him or herself, I'm also one of the first to notice.
  • After an outing, I feel very drained and tired, and need to be alone and rest
  • I need alone time to recharge my batteries
  • I can really appreciate beautiful music, and sometimes feel the energy of the music in my body (don't know if that makes sense)
  • I'm very sensitive to hunger and pain
  • I hate watching violent movies or tv-shows and always close my eyes when violence comes up on TV. Also, I hate embarrassing moments for characters and will even fast forward when I'm watching a DVD to when that moment has passed
  • I am easily stressed and when I need to do something in front of others, I will always do it less well than when I'm alone
  • When I'm overstimulated I get angry easily
  • I find it hard to be happy when I notice someone else is upset, and the mood of others effect me greatly
  • I'm introverted and shy
  • I'm allergic to milk 
  • If I drink one cup of coffee after 6pm I will not sleep the whole night
  • I'm emphatic and very concerned with others
I decided to make this post because there might be others out there who are like that and who are unaware that this trait has a name, and requires special care. There is a lot of info out there about HSPs, thank God :) If you haven't already, I sincerely suggest that you read Dr. Elaine's book, because it will feel like a homecoming!


Almost a Muslimah said...

omg that's me!! hello there a fellow HSP :)
clearly there are some advantages but on the other hand I oftentimes wish I had a thicker skin and not become affected as much as I do.

we need to use our strengths to the benefit of everyone :) great post hun! xx

Etong said...

woahh. thanks for sharing.

Safiyah said...

@ Almost: we have so much in common that I was already thinking you might be a HSP too :) I often wish that too, that I had thicker skin, but what can we do? This world is almost anti-HSP with it's loud noises, constant competing and busy schedules. I do think that HSPs have a lot to offer to the world, not in the least compassion and creativity, and a way to do things differently. Thanks for commenting, sweetie :)

@ Etong: you are very welcome :)

Ʋƨɐɠɪ ❤ said...

O: SO INTERESTING! I wonder if I am? I know a friend who is also feeling emotions of the movie he watches and he can't watch horror films. Hmmmm~ :D

Aiman said...

OK! i can relate myself to most of the stuff. I never ever got into giggles when someone had an awkward fall in school during my childhood years and i always thought of all others(giggling) as in-sensitive.

Although there are some things like an ambulance passing by and shattering my nerves, That doesn't happen to me. But i knw what you are talking about , i feel numb and my nerves totally shatter if i hear very loud voice of human nature in anger or distress.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaeyikkum sister.
Your HSP is common in each and every individual / person of their age of around 20’s all over the world except some (such as milk and coffee stuff) exceptionals.
I am 40+ now was in same category when I was at your age...these HSP stuff disappeared when I grow big or matured enough to handle certain situation which is now I think was a normal at 20+ age.

So sister, don’t worry..these things are new to any teenager and takes time to adjust to those problems when you get experienced time and again and by having some balance to handle (it comes naturally) the situations, which you have mentioned in this post.

Allah Kareem, and may he protect you from thinking negatively about these normal things as a big problem.
Think positively by feeding your SCM (subconscious mind) that what you are thinking about HSP is normal with most of the teenagers whether girls or boys…say it to yourself for several times whenever you feel you are in a grip of HSP……and it is a fact that your HSP is got into a more problematic situation if you feed (added) some un natural thoughts of negative to the real problems.

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