Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?

Have you ever been called "too sensitive"? Do you get overwhelmed by crowds, noise, bright lights, excessive talking? Have people accused you of being "unsociable"? If so, you may be, like me, one of the 20% of the population who have the personality trait now known as "highly sensitive personality". Never heard of it? Well read on.

All my life I have been labeled "shy", "timid", "too sensitive". As a child, I cried the first time I saw my shadow. I cried when I saw the dead chickens in the meat case at the market. My mother recognized I was clearly different but treated me as if this trait was something negative. I felt shamed by the fact that I cried easily. I would tear up when I saw someone's car on fire. I would imagine how I would feel if it were happening to me. Other people would ask me why I was crying with a disdainful look. As a result, I learned to ignore and suppress my feelings. When I felt uncomfortable, I would just put up with it, instead of speaking up and this caused me tremendous emotional pain. Until one day....

I saw a magazine with this title "Are You a Highly Sensitive Person or Do You know One?" I couldn't believe it. The title jumped right out at me and I said "That's me. That 's me!" As I read the article, the description resonated with me. I said "I'm not the only one." There was a counselor in town who specialized in this area. My son jumped on it and said "We're going to see her." Bless his heart.

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) are misunderstood by the world. There is now enough solid scientific research and studies that show this personality trait exists in both men and women. Things bother us that others brush off. "Oh, get a thicker skin," is easier said than done for us. We feel things so much more intensely than the rest of the world. We get overwhelmed by all the stimuli coming at us when the rest of the world thrives on stimuli. One time I was out with a guy I was dating and we entered a packed restaurant. As there were no seats, he suggested we sit at the bar, with the televisions and lights blaring. "How about if we sit outside?" I suggested and thankfully we found a table out in a quieter area.

HSPs have a nervous system that is more receptive to external input. We also process things at a deeper level which explains why many of us suffer from things like migraine. Migraine is a threshold condition that signals our bodies and brains are on overload. But all is not lost. HSP's have many valuable qualities as well such as being extremely intuitive, creative, and caring. We also feel love and joy much more deeply as well. We have to take the good with the bad, as my mom would always say.

I'm writing this post to extend awareness of this personality trait. It is not a psychology neurosis as some would assume. For more information about this type of personality check out this website. If you or someone you know is sensitive, do yourself and them a favor and learn more.

If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please click on the google +1 icon, leave a comment, or enter your email address in the box provided. I'll send you my short guide entitled "7 Steps to Finding Your Spiritual Path. Until next time, keep looking up!