What are the ways in which you differ from other highly sensitive people?

8 Replies
  • Elis

    Hi all,

    I'm happy to be here. I have been in the reddit community of HSP for quite some time and have found some differences in how the community is represented. I gave the HSP test and scored 21/24, or similar. According to the scale, I was an HSP, but looking at the conversations in the Reddit community, I was not sure if it resonated with my experiences. 

    I have high empathy towards others, but I don't feel bad about myself for being sensitive. I see a lot of comments of hate/anger towards being an HSP. I think there is a broad spectrum of people who are HSP. I might be wrong, but I'd like to see what others think.


  • Abhinav  Bhardwaj
    Abhinav Bhardwaj

    I think Highly Sensitive Person is an extensive-term. We can be sensitive to emotions(feel), but not to other sensory inputs like sound, smell, or touch. I am sensitive to the "feel" and experience emotional sensitivity, both positive and negative. I think nurture plays a vital role in raising an HSP kid, and results of that can be seen on different HSP personalities. Unfortunately, some of us have experienced trauma and adverse childhood and hence relate to being HSP as the cause of suffering, which is understandable. HSP's thrive when the environment they are in is conducive to their personality. We have added a new forum category, "Sensory Processing Sensitivity," to discuss different sensory sensitivities like sound, touch, and smell. I think we still are very early in exploring this dimension of sensitivity.

  • vickie

    Hi Elis! I too found KindlyWired via Reddit. I haven't posted much - but then I tend to go in spurts between blathering on and going completely Radio Silent.

    I consider myself incredibly lucky in that I first found out about HSP shortly after Dr. Aron released her book and did some lectures in a couple cities. I attended the talk before I had even completed reading the book. One of the first things I recall her saying is that HSPs aren't broken, we don't need to change or be repaired. Being more comfortable with our circumstances is often only a matter of learning ways to work with our trait rather than fighting it. Like you, I don't feel bad about being HSP. Yes, some situations are difficult but that could be said for pretty much any person out there.
    My HSP traits tend to change a bit from day to day. For example some days I can walk into a noisy crowded room and need to leave immediately. Other days I can hang around for a bit and even enjoy the reason I'm there.
    I agree the spectrum is broad. I think the test is somewhat intentionally not specific simply because we all vary so much in what our sensitivities are and how intense each one is.

    • Elis

      vickie Thanks, Vickie, for that. Yes, We are not broken. I'm happy that someone else also thinks that way. Thank you so much. I agree, some situations or events are hard, and can cause us stress and overwhelm. But, accepting our trait is the first step towards improving our life. I like to focus on the positives - the joy of recognizing the small things (subtle changes), empathy and compassion for others, and kindness that I have to offer others. But, due to a broader spectrum, it's impossible to categorize all in one.

  • Christiana

    I'm glad you don't feel bad about being sensitive; that's great! I'm still getting over feeling bad about being sensitive. I know it's because my family was so negative & shamed me for being so sensitive; actually they still do.

    There's a few ways I feel I differ. I'm a High Sensation Seeking sensitive. I like a lot of thrills. I like intense experiences sometimes. I'm not shy; I'll walk up to anyone, anywhere & talk to them. However I am very introverted (which I think most HSP's are) so I get drained very quickly. If I have an event (like the goat hike in my profile pic) I have to have down time 1-2 days before and after the event. Stimulation, and being around most people drain me very quickly, just having 2 book clubs two days in a row over zoom is enough to make me cranky.
    On the 'big five' personality scale I'm super open. I feel like the majority like routine, or known things like eating the same thing at a restaurant, or spending time with the same people. I open to knew foods, experiences, cities, people, etc and actively seek them out. I rarely order the same thing twice.

    • Elis

      Christiana Hello Christiana, I'm sorry your family didn't understand your sensitivity.

      It's good to see how we differ on different spectrums of sensitivity. I'm not shy either, but do get super tired after a social event.
      Haha, yeah me too. Hikes are tiring, and I need plenty of time to recover. I think you have an "explorer" side to you, which I think is amazing. It opens up different and diverse life experiences for us.

    • Christiana

      Hi Elis, thanks, I started limiting my contact with my family & it's a lot better for me.

      Yeah I think I am a bit of an explorer. Yeah, it does.

  • Karan

    I am sensitive to other beings, and do get involved in an emotional rollercoaster from time to time. I practice Stoicism for mental strength. I've found the practice to be very useful. I call it Sensitive Heart and Strong Mind. I think Abhi had mentioned this somewhere as well.

    "The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can't"

  • Omnia

    I think the biggest difference between me and other highly sensitive people is that I am too rational. Is this normal?

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