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25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people can often be seen as weak, but that’s not the case. More often than not, they are stronger than the average human being, and have the capability of letting their protective walls down when building personal and professional relationships. Developing a relationship with someone who is highly sensitive can help you become more in touch with your own feelings  as well as help you see life’s messages that you may be missing. It may take patience to understand the inner thoughts of a highly sensitive person however you should feel honored that they are choosing you to be a part of their life.

1. They think with their heart

They follow their heart’s desire with ease when it comes to thinking ideas through. However, this can become a problem when they leap off the deep end without considering the logistics of a situation.  

2. They talk everything out

They need to express their thoughts and feelings freely about everything, in order to feel heard and appreciated. Ironically, highly sensitive people can sometimes have a hard time listening to advice from others due to their sensitivity to words, and can often be offended if the wrong words are used during conversation.

3. They don’t rush through life

They know how to enjoy life’s moments by taking their time with everything they do. The pressure they may sometimes feel from others to hurry along, only adds stress on the relationship at hand, and not the trust that they require. Highly sensitive people enjoy taking in the scenery, and strive to keep stress to a minimum.  

4. They appreciate time alone

With being so sensitive, it’s important for highly sensitive people to have time alone to decompress. Its amazing how quickly they can absorb any and all negative energy from the people in which surround them.  

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5. They strive to only do good

They truly want to do great things in this world and put their whole hearts into whatever it is that they are doing. However, they are easily discouraged when the great things they are working on don’t shape up as they had envisioned. Such as an unappreciated homemade gift, and/or gestures.  

6. They pay attention to details

They can sometimes over think details to a point of driving everyone around them mad, but their observations usually payoff greatly. They naturally pay attention to the body language and emotions of everyone and everything around them. From nature, to animals, and people, they can predict something is not on point before it’s even been revealed. Such as someone lying about something, a sickness someone may be carrying, a pregnancy, a job promotion, or even a natural disaster!  

7. They can give great advice

People who are highly sensitive are great at analyzing situations and offering up the best advice. They love feeling needed and can struggle when that great advise that they had given is not put to good use.  

8. They display a tough exterior

Sensitive people tend to display a strong exterior with a stiff upper lip, and can be unknowingly mad at you for months. They may be hurt by something extremely small that you did or said, and will sometimes hold onto it to instead of expressing it, to avoid jeopardizing the chance of hurting you back. They recognize that it’s something they need to work on because of their high sensitivity, not something for you to deal with.  

9. They know their worth

Sensitive people know when they are not being valued, and have the strength to walk away from any toxic situation. Others may not understand their reasoning looking at the whole picture, but the build up of bad habits in any given relationship will have them naturally walking away in search for greener pastures.  

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10. They are well mannered and polite

You can pretty much always expect a highly sensitive person to be aware of their surrounds by showcasing their expert manners. In return, they expect the same politeness and well-mannered behaviors from others, and may see you as rude if you don’t.  

11. They are passionate

Whether it’s with their family, their friends, their love interest, or even their career, passion never falls short in their day-to-day lives. Sometimes if the energy is not reciprocated back to them, they can be become hard on the people they are putting so much energy into. With their passionate personalities on the line, they thrive on appreciation from others.

12. They are spiritual

They believe in karma and how everything happens for a reason. They believe that the universe works in a particular way to always make full circle. They like to live a life in harmony, even though they tend to struggle to find it internally. Highly sensitive people are likely to try activities such as meditation and yoga, at least once in their life, in search for that higher connection with their body and mind.  

13. They have strong intuitions

They usually know something is going to happen before hand. Sometimes this may initially come across as if they are accusing or blaming, when in fact they just want to express and advise others of what they are feel may happen, and soon.  

14. They trust their body

When making big life decisions like signing a legal binding contract, their body may alarm them that something is not right. To some this may seem frustrating, but they have learned from experience to trust their body when something doesn’t feel right.

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15. They are empathic towards others

They can always put the shoe on the other foot, and understand what it must be like for someone else to go through certain struggles in life. This habit really plays a role when there’s an argument at hand, because it doesn’t take highly sensitive people long to see their self inside of someone else’s problem and instantly want to help or lend a hand. However, they sense too often that people do not replicate this emotion, which can sometimes reactive their initial anger.

16. They are compassionate towards others

They can truly hold concern for other people when they see others in a difficult situation. A highly sensitive person doesn’t need to know the person in harms way on a personal level, but can instantly feel compassion for the child who just fell off their bike, the shop owner who was just robbed, or even the character from a movie who just had their heart broken.  

17. They put others before themselves

They sometimes get so wrapped up in the needs of other people, they can forget about their self. However, it’s a hard pill for them to swallow when they feel unappreciated for their effort and time. Not that they only help others for recognition, but a simple, “Thank you” will keep a highly sensitive person pleased.  

18. They read people well

Within moments of meeting someone for the first time, they can gather a very accurate story of who a person really is. As time unravels, a highly sensitive person can surprise people with fun facts, which the person didn’t even realize about their self.  

19. They love animals

They have a special bond with animals in whereby animals trust them completely. Not only do highly sensitive people appreciate the mutual respect that animals give without conditions, they are also sensitive to the needs and wants of each and every animal, and make a point to pay extra attention to all forms of communication they animal may or may not be giving.  

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20. They ask a lot of questions

In order to make sense of the world, they ask a lot of questions. Sometimes these questions can get them in trouble when they get too political or emotionally deep, but the questions they ask always leave us thinking in a positive light.  

21. They make very calculated decisions

Highly sensitive people naturally think with their hearts, they make decisions based on the details of their emotions. They usually ask them-selves many internal questions like, “Why do I feel this way?”. Their decision-making is almost as calculated as a game of chest, and everything needs to have a reason and purpose before the next move is made.  

22. They gain satisfaction with decision-making

They love knowing that their strategic planning paid off in the end, which it usually does. However when it doesn’t, they can be extremely hard on themselves with self-doubt.  

23. They are problem solvers

They may be highly sensitive but they are not ones for thinking linearly. They hold many emotions, and this drives their many ways of thinking out solutions to their problems. Highly sensitive people like to map out all possibilities in order to solve each problem as best, as they know how and then execute!  

24. They stand up for what they feel is right

When they have a thought, a vision, an idea, or a feeling, they will voice it, even if they may be standing alone. However, they can sometimes feel as if they are too different from the rest of the world and become disheartened at times, when they see how insensitive some people can really be.  

25. They can admit when they are wrong

Highly sensitive people know how important it is to be recognized for the things that they do correctly. Therefore, it’s easy for them to admit their mistakes and give credit to others who deserve it by saying, “I’m sorry, you are right.”

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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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