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7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

7 Things You Didn’t Know That Would Hurt Highly Sensitive People Deeply

Do you tear up at those super sad SPCA animal rescue commercials? Are your feelings often hurt when your friends tease you? Do you brood over it for days? Are you able to sense sadness in those around you and quickly pick up on the moods of others? Do you deeply empathize with others?

If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, you may be a highly sensitive person.

Highly sensitive people (HSP) are all around us. Between 15 and 20 percent of the population have the innate trait of extreme sensitivity. It is not a disorder or a disability. But it is misunderstood.

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About 70 percent of all highly sensitive people are introverts. Both introverts and HSPs reflect deeply, like meaningful conversations, and need lots of down time, which is not surprising. But the other 30 percent of HSP’s who are extroverted are the most misunderstood. Most people equate introversion and extroversion with sociability. But these two traits only account for someone’s tolerance level in having a large circle of friends and enjoyment in meeting strangers and socializing in large groups. Introversion and extroversion have very little to do with heightened sensitivity. High sensitivity lies deeper. It is an inherent trait.

Characteristics of Highly Sensitive People

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    Highly Sensitive people:

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    • Are easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or loud sirens.
    • Feel stressed when they have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time.
    • Avoid violent movies and TV shows.
    • Withdraw during busy days. They may escape and go to bed or hide in a dark room or some other place where they can have privacy and relief from the situation.
    • Take great pains in arranging their life to avoid, or at least minimize, stressful situations
    • Love aesthetic beauty. They notice and enjoy things like delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, and works of art
    • Have a rich and complex inner thought life.
    • Were seen as sensitive and shy as children.
    • Have a low thresh hold for pain.
    • Crave deep and meaningful relationships.
    • Cry frequently.

    Understanding is the number one key in dealing with highly sensitive people. Know that the best way to love a HSP is by supporting them. Avoid shaming them because of their sensitivity. Validate their feelings and let them know it is OK to feel the way that they do.

    Here are 7 things that deeply hurt highly sensitive people

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      1. Withholding your emotions and being dishonest about how you really feel

      HSP’s can pick up on how you feel, and lying about your feelings only makes things worse. Openness, honesty, and transparency are key when dealing with a sensitive individual. They detest people who play emotional games.

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      2. Refusing to give them space and alone time

      HSP’s need to decompress–frequently. Know that they simply need time to process and recharge after dealing with society. This is not meant to hurt or alienate you. They are not retreating or avoiding you, but rather, replenishing their energy stores.

      3. Disregarding their heightened sensitivity and emotions

      They have a keen sense and deep insight into the emotional world. They can literally feel other people’s pain. They wear their heart on their sleeve. They have a deep, complex personality and long to be loved and accepted as they are. They understand that they can be difficult to deal with.

      4. Criticizing them

      This is one of the worst things you can do to highly sensitive people. They experience your words in a deep and very personal way. Criticism penetrates their heart and seeps into their soul. They are natural people pleasers and have a tendency to engage in self deprecating behaviors to win the acceptance and approval of others.

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      5. Withholding or limiting love and affection

      HSP’s crave love and affection. It is the fuel that energizes their very being. The highly sensitive are prone to depression and feel heightened levels of anxiety. Physical touch helps to reduce anxiety and depression, which they feel on a much deeper level.

      6. Trying to change them

      Trying to change the sensitivity level of the super sensitive is an exercise in futility. It just will not happen. Your efforts to alter them will be sensed and then internalized. They will feel unloved and rejected.

      7. Not Encouraging them to get out of a rut

      Highly sensitive people are paradoxical in that they love spontaneity and are very adventurous but yet are hesitant to try new things. They can easily slip into the habit of staying home too often and become reclusive. Encourage them to get out of the house. Challenge them to get involved in things they love.

      Photo Credit: Shy Child from Sukanto Debnath on Flickr

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      Denise Hill

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      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

      Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

      Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

      The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

      If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

      The Need for Change

      Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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      We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

      Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

      This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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        Signs It’s Time to Redefine

        “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

        So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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        In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

        “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

        The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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        When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

        Aronld in Predator

          Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

          And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

          Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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