What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person?

My birthday is in January and I will turn 25. I spent a quarter of a century, thinking there was something wrong with me. I have read about all mental illnesses, I always thought I suffer from depression or I am just a mistake of nature. Many people repeat the same phrases to me: “You should be less sensitive”, “It’s not healthy to be so emotional”, “Why do you care so much?”, “You are thinking too much”, “You should relax”, “Stop whining!”, “Toughen up” and so on. Some of those were said with good intentions, others not so much but there was definitely a pattern of people perceiving me as abnormally emotional.



Good news is there is nothing wrong with me

Turns out, 15-20% of the human (and not only) population of Earth is Highly Sensitive like me! Scientifically speaking we have Sensory processing sensitivity. This is a personality trait and not a disorder. People who are highly sensitive have both intensely emotional and physical reactions to our environment. I see it as a superpower with some major drawbacks, but of course, all superpowers come with a price. Research has shown that these reactions are actually because of different chemistry in the brains of HSPs—specifically, increased blood flow in the areas that process emotion, awareness, and empathy.


So HSPs are super strong empaths and deep thinkers. So yay for that. But here are some nays:

  • I feel anxiety from being in a crowded place.
  •  When something smells really strong, I get nauseous
  • If my jeans are too tight. I can’t breathe.
  • It hurts a lot if someone pats me as a friend.
  • I can’t watch gruesome movies. Not even mentioning seeing real-life events.
  • As much as I try to avoid conflict, I end up in the middle of it because I am so emotional.


On the Positive Side

HSP are extremely creative, very self-aware, have a deep understanding of people, have intuitive nurturing skills, have the ability to make really close friends. My boyfriend also makes fun of me of being like Baba Vanga, because I have predicted a lot of things. We enjoy ART and NATURE on a different level than most people.


Many Famous people are HSP

I think it’s important to mention that being an HSP doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. On the contrary. Albert Einstein, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Martin Luther King are all Highly Sensitive People. Although in some places, HSPs are misunderstood and looked down on, in some cultures they are considered gifted people. There is a hypothesis that HSPs have an important role in society as guides to the community because they can sense and to some extent predict the outcome of situations and warn others of upcoming disasters. Suitable careers for us can be graphic designers, business owners, non-profit professional and many others.


To identify if you are an HSP like me you have to answer a few simple questions:

  • Do bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby overwhelm you?
  • Are you confused, when you have to multitask in short periods of time?
  • Avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Feel the need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Is it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?


I felt better when I learned this for myself and I hope others will, too. Share in the comments your experience as an HSP or if you have someone close who is highly sensitive





  1. I cenrtainly do not consider myself a HSP, but the thing about me is that I seem to attract those people in my life and surround myself with them. Probably because I see so much potential and knowledge in them that ur relationship can benefit from.

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