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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 March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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