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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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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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