If you’re reading this, you are most likely a Highly Sensitive Person.
Many, however, who are probably not HSP, read the title of this post, rolled their eyes and opted to read something else. They are tired of hearing about us. They can’t relate. They aren’t wired to relate. They’ve come to believe that HSPs are an inconvenience or that we are high-maintenance. We’re too sensitive, take everything personally, and get overwhelmed easily. They may not realize that they have HSPs in their lives who serve very important roles.
HSPs are the folks you turn to when you need real human contact.
We aren’t better. We aren’t special. We aren’t handicapped. We are simply wired differently.
We’re the ones who pick up the clue that something is out of sorts with you, so we rearrange our schedule and suggest going out for drinks so you can vent to an understanding, listening shoulder.
An HSP will be the one to point out the warm colors in a sunset, the smell of pumpkin spice on that first crisp fall morning, the way the crackling fire reflects in your eyes, and the sound of crunchy leaves falling on the driveway before the wind sweeps them away. We’ll notice the extra dash of allspice in your favorite chili recipe. We’ll be the first to compliment you on your new boots.
We notice things. Sometimes we’ll mention it, but many times we won’t, because we’re sensitive to the fact that you may want to go unnoticed.
We’re the ones who remember birthdays, but don’t always send a card because we don’t want you to feel bad for not remembering our birthday.
We are the friend that is sincerely happy for you when you get the promotion at work, or the house deal comes through. We are also the friend who genuinely grieves for you at the passing of your grandfather or the end of that rocky relationship.
An HSP doesn’t have an agenda. They aren’t sensitive as a way to get to you, get something from you, or put something over on you. An HSP is sensitive down to his core. He is wired to relate, to feel, to sense and to fully experience what it is to be human – the good and the bad.
It isn’t easy feeling everything that we feel. Many times we feel for those who can’t feel at all. Often, we process what others cannot process.
We don’t go around looking for individuals who need help processing their feelings. It just happens. Our receptors pick up the feelings that aren’t being processed, and we take on those neglected feelings. We absorb unfelt feelings like unwitting sponges, often not realizing that those feelings aren’t ours to begin with.
Unlike what many might think, we aren’t fragile, delicate flowers that bruise easily. On the contrary, we’re strong because we’ve had to learn to navigate this relatively unfeeling, insensitive world, while taking on the additional feelings of some of those around us.
It’s true that we can only take so much before we retreat. We hesitate to tell you when you’ve hurt our feelings, because we don’t want to hurt your feelings by doing so. We don’t want to shy away from helping you with your burdens, even at the expense of our own health, because we truly believe we were put here to help. We usually won’t tell you when your insensitivity hurts, or your sarcasm leaves scars, that would risk hurting you in return. Not all of us are comfortable with this heightened sensitivity, and we don’t want you to think that we are weak.
We can be sarcastic – we’re not stupid – but we’ll feel bad for saying something that may have hurt your feelings. We can feel bad about that for days.
We will, however, back away – sometimes for good – if we see that you are careless with our feelings. Our sensitive receptors allow us to navigate this world, and once those are dulled or abused, we are left exposed and without the very skill that helps us survive. (Think of a bat without her sonar.)
You need HSPs in your life to remind you what it is to deeply feel all that our senses allow us to feel. An HSP reminds you to smell the nutmeg in a warm slice of apple pie; see the first tinge of yellow on the leaves at the close of summer; hear the geese as they group up over the river; feel the nubby nap of the tan corduroys that have been waiting for the start of the cooler weather; and taste the hops in a cold beer at the noisy tailgate party before the first football game of the season.