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8 Reasons Being Highly Sensitive Is A Gift In Disguise

8 Reasons Being Highly Sensitive Is A Gift In Disguise

If you are a highly sensitive person, you may well have grown up equating this distinctly human quality to weakness. After all, such feelings can make us vulnerable to the robust demands of professional and personal existences, while there is also an external view that sensitivity is a negative emotional trait.

This way of thinking does not take into account the benefits of being a highly sensitive individual or the unique gifts that it bestows. In fact, highly sensitive people have a positive range of attributes that can enrich their lives, while also adding value to their friends and loved ones around them.

8 Gifts that Highly Sensitive People Possess

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of these unique gifts and explore the reasons why being highly sensitive can be a blessing in disguise:

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1. Highly sensitive people are in-tune with the feelings of others

Some would describe highly sensitive people as being empathetic, but their gifts extend far beyond this. In fact, they are able to identify the feelings of others and those around them, either through their expression, body language or the words that they use when communicating. Highly sensitive people can also determine tone, meaning that they are able to tell when others are sad or experiencing a negative emotion regardless of what they are talking about. Aligned with their superior listening skills, this makes them incredibly warm and approachable people.

2. Highly sensitive people have gratitude for the simple blessings in their lives

Sensitivity to others also extends to the world around us, making certain individuals acutely aware of the pain and suffering that exists in society. As a result of this, highly sensitive people are able to view the world with a superior sense of perspective, making them grateful for the small blessings that others may take for granted. From the warmth of their children’s smiles to spending time with loved ones, these blessings trigger immense feelings of joy in those with high levels of sensitivity and make their lives fulfilling.

3. Highly sensitive people are excellent parents

On a similar note, those of a highly sensitive nature also make for attentive and patient parents. After all, babies and toddlers can be particularly demanding, meaning that parents must display huge levels of selflessness in order to provide adequate care. As highly sensitive people are in touch with the needs of those around them and inclined to give their time to help others, they make for committed parents who ensure that their children are listened to, understood and given the best possible care. As children are the ultimate blessing in life, people with high sensitivity tend to be extremely appreciative of the gift of parenthood.

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4. Highly sensitive people never shy away from loss

For those who consider high levels of sensitivity as a weakness, it would be reasonable to assume that such a personality type would struggle to cope in the face of loss or tragedy. The opposite is actually true, however, whether you are sensitive and dealing with a personal loss or helping a friend to cope with tragedy in their own lives. As highly sensitive individuals are undefended and open to the nature of loss, they are less likely to shy away from this and more capable of remaining strong in the face of true sadness.

5. Highly sensitive people are extremely creative

Creativity is a huge gift, and one that can change the world around us for the better. It is also something that highly sensitive people have in abundance, at least according to psychologist Elaine Aron. She estimates that roughly 20% of the world’s popular are highly sensitive, with 70% of these heavily introverted. This trait is one of the key drivers of creativity, meaning that those of an acutely sensitive nature have a considerable capability for conceiving and acting on abstract thoughts.

6. Highly sensitive people can make more informed decisions

If you were talking to a psychologist, they would tell you that highly sensitive individuals have a far greater awareness of nuances in meaning. In laymen terms, this means that their attentiveness to detail makes them able to process large amounts of information in a thoughtful manner, leading to greater caution and more informed decision making. Because of such thought patterns and the fact that highly sensitive individuals are aware of all potential outcomes, they also make for excellent leaders.

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7. Highly sensitive people are great conversationalists

Highly sensitive people also make for great conversationalists, but not necessarily in the way that you might think. While they are certainly skilled listeners and capable of identifying with other’s feelings, their keen sense of the world around them ensures that they are highly engaged with topical issues and talking points. In short, their unique relationship with the world makes them feel as though they belong to the narratives that they share, meaning that they are rarely lost for words and often stimulated by meaningful conversations.

8. Highly sensitive people have greater sensory perception

On a final note, certain studies have revealed that highly sensitive people tend to benefit from greater levels of sensory perception. This is a true gift and a wonderful virtue, and one which can enrich our everyday lives considerably. It enables us to more easily identify subtle nuances of texture in clothing and materials, as well as fragrances, colours and the beats that underpin our favourite tunes. Such a gift creates superior visual and interactive experiences, while also allowing us to take greater joy in life’s simple pleasures.

Hopefully, understanding these traits will help you to appreciate the true value of being highly sensitive the many benefits that it offers in everyday life.

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Featured photo credit: Evan Kirby via stocksnap.io

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

Reference

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