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20 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person Even If You Don’t Feel You Are (But That’s Fine!)

20 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person Even If You Don’t Feel You Are (But That’s Fine!)

Everyone knows you just can’t stop taking things so personal. They know you always worry about how others feel and can easily guess others emotional state. You wish you got a dollar each time you were called too emotional or told that you are overreacting.

There’s nothing wrong with being highly sensitive, yet you have your own highs and lows, not everyone would understand.  Here are twenty of them!

1.You literary feel everything

Sometimes you think your emotions are practically palpable – anything can trigger them: from a passage in the book, to a cheesy scene in the movie or a few lines of the song you’ve overheard playing from someone’s car. These small things may mean nothing for someone else, but for you they can mean a thousand feelings at a time. Some days it gets just too overwhelming.

2. You have an ability to scan the vibe

When entering the room, joining a conversation or just coming into contact with another person, you can always feel or guess the mood of the conversation that was taking place. You can easily predict someone else reactions to certain comments and even change subjects in advance if you know that the conversation’s heading towards an emotional disaster.  People often call you are a master communicator.

3. You can always tell when something wrong

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According to this research, 20% of the population can react particularly strongly to other person’s emotional circumstances. “No, I’m fine” little lies won’t pass with you as you can always accurately feel when something gone wrong with your close one. “Your pain is my pain” has literal meaning for you as you often experience really strong empathy.

 4. You easily pick up on the subtle

Your close friends joke you can read thoughts as you often answer their questions before they even asked them. You easily sense and spot lies or tell when people are trying to hide something from you. A career in law or police might be a great option for you.

 5. You are a good storyteller

As you feel all the feelings so vividly, you can convey them into powerful words and tell captivating, mind-boggling stories about the slightest daily occurrences. Your recent clash with a careless drives, his car accident lawyer and yours turns into a multi-layer story of raw emotions, active confrontation and final miraculous victory, turned into a divine, emotional narration worth to be written down.

 6. You are incredibly polite

When you say it “was a pleasure”you genuinely mean it. You always notice other people’s manners and never forget to say “thank you” and “please” when it should be. Deep down inside, however, you know that you are just afraid of offending someone’s feelings by being rude or not polite enough. You will stay extraordinary polite until you are 100% comfortable around that person (and often even afterwards).

 7. You are easily moved by art

You think you have experienced Stendhal syndrome at least once in your life. Art captivates you. Aesthetical beauty, creativity and basically any forms of artistic expression resonate strongly with you and make your heart pumping. You never ask questions like: “What the author wanted to say with this?” as you can precisely feel the message encoded.

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 8. You love doing things solo

You are absolutely fine being alone without feeling lonely. There are a lot of activities you prefer to do solo like working out as team sports often make you feel as if each of your move is watched and judged; work at home alone (or have personal space at work) as large open space workplaces make you feel wary and less productive; traveling solo isn’t a problem for you too – you can always sense the attitude towards you and the environment around you to stay out of the harms way.

 9. Your intuition is mystical

You tend to listen to your guts as they rarely let you down. You often have this weird feeling of what’s going on in between the lines and what’s the best way for you to act even if you have no apparent reasoning for it.

10. You are often called a people pleaser

And even though you don’t like this fact, you did admit to yourself a while ago that you can’t stand criticism. So you try your best to please everyone around and do an extra mile, even if that’s against your own interests. Sometimes, you become so accommodating that you become anxious that people would think you are too annoying and then you try to go out of their way to make sure, they don’t think so. Some days you feel exhausted and look for ways of how you could tolerate criticism.

11. You have problems saying “no”

All your friend know that when they need a favor, you can always be counted on, whether it is moving a piano or walking with their dog in heavy rain; you would have huge problems saying no to them.  The truth is, it’s easier for you to do something you don’t really want or like, rather then offending someone’s feeling by refusing to do so.

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12. You fall in love hard and fast

As Psychologist Elaine Aron wrote in her book, when highly sensitive people fall in love, they often feel tremendous ecstasy, and often just too quickly, but they, as well, feel anxiety, overstimulation and difficulty processing their intense emotions.  This emotional blast and overstimulation, unfortunately, often make intimacy more difficult for us. Also, as we fall in love so quickly and desperately, the risk of heartbreak and unmet expectations is above average. We tend to show our emotions to hard and fast, expecting the others do same.

 13. You have powerful imagination


Your dreams are vivid and full of bright emotional details and you can easily zone off into magical realms within your mind pretty much any time. When someone tells you an emotional story, you can easily imagine all the thoughts and feelings on the subject and live through them.

Having huge imagination certainly makes you creative, but on the other hand, makes you worth in taking decisions. You always try to imagine all possible scenarios and play them over and over again considering how you would feel in each outcome.

14. You often cry (and it’s okay)

Obviously, all the emotions you feel need some outbursts and tears are just one of them. You cry when you are happy, you cry when you are sad, you cry because you are alive and human. You shouldn’t be ashamed of that!

15. You have lower pain tolerance

You feel pain more intensively than other people do. That’s why you hate various medical procedures, yet at the same time you need them as you just can’t ignore some nasty headache or muscle pain and shrug it off like most people do.

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16. You don’t like scary movies

Or books, or spooky areas at night and certain carnival attractions. Your imagination is just to vivid and you can easily picture yourself in the violent situation you see or spin off a possible bad scenario. Friends may tease you, but you don’t want particularly terrifying things to be buried in your brains for life and pop up any time you walk alone at night at an empty street.

17. You can’t stand loud or irritating noises

If most people would just feel irritated, you become outraged if you hear a particularly intimidating or loud sound for just too long. You have a burning urge to stop it or get away as far as possible.  However, it’s good to know a few ways how you can deal with the extreme noise factor.

18. You hate bright lights as well

You always give preference to dimly lit corners at the restaurant and love candlelit dinners. Extreme light is often just too much for you to handle, that’s why you never liked camping overnight when someone’s suddenly beaming with a torch straight into your face.

19. You are more prone to anxiety and depression


As Doctor Aron noted “”If you’ve had a fair number of bad experiences, especially early in life, so you don’t feel safe in the world or you don’t feel secure at home or … at school, your nervous system is set to ‘anxious.” When your feelings are so strong, you need to keep them under control and don’t let them dig into your personality.

20. You are probably not the only highly sensitive person in your family

“Sensitivity is an inherited trait,” says Dr Aron. You are not alone in your emotional woes and you can always come to another family member who totally gets you and shares the same joys and problems!

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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