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19 Things Highly Sensitive People Do Differently

19 Things Highly Sensitive People Do Differently
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I’m what you would call a highly sensitive person. I cry at the drop of a hat and I can’t even watch movies that focus on animals “in case they get upset at some point.” Don’t even get me started if the animal dies; I’ll go into a meltdown for about a week. Maybe that’s more about me being a Crazy Person than sensitive.

When it comes to being sensitive, it isn’t all bad. There are even some significant benefits. You have to take the bad with the good, and either way it becomes obvious that there are a lot of things that highly sensitive people do differently.

1. They Feel More Deeply

This is simple and self-explanatory. They simply feel things more deeply than some other people.

2. They Cry Easier

The downside to the above is that they’re also more likely to cry easily.

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3. They React With Their Emotions

Someone who feels deeply and cries easily is naturally also more likely to think with their emotions. Even those who are incredibly capable of utilising logic and reasoning may have an initial instinct to go with how they feel.

4. It Can Take Longer For Them to Make Decisions

Those who are acutely aware of the way they make choices may take longer to eventually come to a decision. This is most likely due to the above; they’re weighing up their emotions with logic.

5. They Can Get Upset Over a Poor or Wrong Decisions

Because highly sensitive people tend to be intuitive (more on that later), they can get incredibly upset if they make a bad decision or poor choice. As people who feel things more deeply, this is hardly surprising.

6. They Are More Prone to Anxiety and Depression

One of the biggest downsides to being highly sensitive is the higher likelihood of having a predisposition for anxiety and depression. Although these can also be hereditary, feeling things deeper and stronger than others means that these illnesses are all the more likely to occur. If you feel like you’re suffering from either, make sure you talk to someone and seek professional advice.

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7. They Can Be More Detail Orientated

Highly sensitive people are generally quite aware of their surroundings and thus notice fine details.

8. They’re People Magnets

People tend to be drawn to those who are sensitive, as they tend to have a kind of draw power, whether they wish to or not.

9. They’re Listening Magnets

People also tend to want to talk to highly sensitive people about their problems. Perhaps its the aforementioned intuition or the fact that they are so in tune with how people feel.

10. They’re Advice Dispensary Magnets

Listening tends to go hand in hand with advice. Again, highly sensitive people are so in tune with others, observant and empathetic that they’re the perfect people to offer life advice.

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11. Animals are Drawn to Them

Animals also seems to be drawn to sensitive people. They can sense love and empathy and are thus drawn to the people who care deeply about all creatures; they will love and look after them better than anyone else.

12. They’re More Intuitive

As previously mentioned, highly sensitive people seem to have a predisposition for intuitiveness. Particularly if they’re aware of it; they can sense when something is awry with someone and can see problems coming in relationships before anyone else can. The slightest look or seemingly unimportant comment can enable them to predict the outcome of a situation.

13. They Can Read People

Being more intuitive means that highly sensitive people can also read people far easier than most. This means that it’s difficult to lie to them because they’ll see right through it. This skill can also be quite handy during poker.

14. They Can Sense and Feel the Pain of Others

Because of their intuitiveness, empathy and attention to details, they can also feel the pain of others. Not literally of course, but they care deeply when someone (especially if they’re close to them) is hurt or upset. If a sensitive person ever says “I know how you feel”, they probably truly do.

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15. They Love Passionately

Highly sensitive people will love with every fiber of their beings. Whether it’s familial or friend related emotions, they will love those closest to them for life. When it comes to romance, they will love profoundly. particularly when it comes to their chosen life partner. The downside to this is that they take loss particularly hard.

16. They Can Also Hate Passionately

It isn’t all sweet-smelling roses though. Although it’s an ugly word, highly sensitive people also have the ability to hate, or at least dislike passionately, too. If you hurt, offend or betray one of these people they will feel it deeply and are not likely to forget, even if they do eventually forgive.

17. The Problems in the World Profoundly Affect Them

Highly sensitive people will be more likely to take note of the problems in the world and take them to heart. They will truly worry and care about world issues and may even go so far as to get involved in organisations or protests in order to help.

18. They’re More Spiritual

This doesn’t necessarily mean that sensitive people are likely to be more religious; quite the contrary. Instead of following mainstream religions, highly sensitive people tend to be spiritual in terms of their relationship with themselves, those around them and the world. It’s more this reason that these kinds of sensitive people will lean more towards Buddhism or Wicca if they choose to follow a particular religion.

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19. They’re in Tune With Their Bodies

Sensitive people tend to listen to their bodies more and are aware if something is wrong or off balance. It’s for this reason that many sensitive people turn towards spiritual exercises such as yoga and tai chi as they get older; these pursuits teach them how to be even more in tune with their bodies, as well as how to keep them fit and healthy. These kinds of sensitive people are also more likely to abide by a ‘clean eating’ lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: Sensitive via allthingshealing.com

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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