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How I Figured Out I’m an HSP

Have you spent your whole life haunted by a nagging feeling that you were different? It was this feeling that drove me to figuring out that I’m an #HSP. 

I would have never discovered this trait if it wasn’t for the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle. In this phenomenal book, Glennon tells the story of her sensitive daughter. It was this story of sensitivity that sent me into a Googling spiral on my living room floor.

“Jobs for sensitive people” I typed.

And amidst the articles recommending that you hide yourself inside and be a graphic designer for the rest of your life, there was a single article about something called Highly Sensitive People. 

HSP stands for Highly Sensitive Person and is a topic heavily discussed by the psychologist and author Elaine N. Aron

Psychology Today says high sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. Which sounds all negative, but the HSP trait is neutral with its own strengths and weaknesses. It does not mean you are weak or broken or that something is wrong with you.

Highly Sensitive People possess the Highly Sensitive processing trait that can be summarized by a variety of characteristics including: 

  • Being extremely intuitive and aware of small details and changes in your environment. 
  • Being frequently overwhelmed due to the ability to notice small details constantly.
  • Having a deep inner life.
  • Needing to withdraw and find relief in solitude often. 
  • Making it a high priority to avoid upsetting and uncomfortable situations as often as possible. 
  • Being introverted or labeled as introverted. 
  • Having trouble letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Getting really worked up and about situations in life that are unjust or unfair. 
  • Being able to pick up on social cues and body language that others miss. 
  • Frequently worrying about what others think about you due to your ability to pick up on their unintentional social cues. 

It’s important to note that not all HSPs express their trait the same or have all of the same personalities. If you think you may the Highly Sensitive trait, you can take a test here.

Whether, you’re an HSP, the parent of an HSP, or in a relationship with an HSP – I hope you find comfort, empowerment, and the tools you need to accept this trait and develop ways to truly thrive in life.

The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.” – Glennon Doyle, Untamed