HSP: Eight Signs You Are a Highly Sensitive Person 

When you’re HSP / highly sensitive person, you have a powerful experience of emotions and sensory details.

Being highly sensitive adds richness to your life. At the same time, it poses certain challenges. What are some of the signs that you have a high degree of sensitivity?

1) You get flooded with other people’s emotions

As a highly sensitive person, you easily pick up on other people’s feelings. More than that, you may experience those feelings rushing through you.

Even if you don’t understand the cause of the emotions, you feel the anger pouring off someone or get swept away by their sorrow or joy. Maybe you’re more sensitive to some emotions than to others.

For example, another person’s depressed mood may impact you more than their excitement or anger.

A positive side to this tendency is that it can help you empathize with people.

Your sensitivity to their emotions can become a basis for developing insights into them and their circumstances.

A drawback is when other people’s emotions become too distracting or overwhelming. You struggle to differentiate between your own feelings and other people’s feelings.

Other people’s emotions can also stir up excessive anxiety and tension in you.

2) Criticism is difficult for you to process

People with high levels of sensitivity tend to struggle with criticism. Even when it’s fair and expressed mildly, you have a tough time listening to it and evaluating it without intense discomfort.

Other people may advise you to shrug off your discomfort and focus on the practical steps necessary for improvement.

Instead, you’re prone to dwelling on the critical remarks and taking them personally. You easily absorb undercurrents of disappointment, anger, or mockery.

People with high sensitivity may skip challenging projects or refrain from learning new skills to avoid criticism.

Another possibility is that they become perfectionistic because they hope to make criticism impossible. However, perfection is unattainable, and learning and creating processes lead to mistakes.

Highly sensitive people need to work on evaluating criticism without perceiving it as a deep blow.

It’s important to reject all-or-nothing thinking, which involves seeing yourself as either free of flaws or full of them.

Determine whether there’s truth in the criticism and whether it’s constructive. Focus on the relevant details, and give yourself time to process them.

Remind yourself that painful feelings won’t last forever and that you can soothe yourself.

3) You’re incredibly attentive to details

A highly sensitive person tends to notice a lot of details. These include subtle and fleeting facial expressions, small noises, and a passing remark made in a conversation.

On the plus side, your attention to detail can be useful in various jobs, especially if you’re catching errors, noticing patterns, and solving problems. It’s also a potentially endearing trait.

People love it when you remember what they told you on previous occasions, such as their favorite movie or where they went on vacation.

In some cases, sensitivity to details may work against you. For example, the noise of someone quietly chewing can drive you up the wall.

Attention to detail may also feed perfectionistic tendencies. Even minor imperfections lead to delays in your work or prompt you to give up on a project out of frustration.

4) You need quiet time on your own

Even if you enjoy social events that have large crowds and lots of noise, you still need a quiet space of your own to retreat to regularly.

With high sensitivity, you need downtime in a space that doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of stimuli. Examples include a tidy bedroom or a bench in the corner of a backyard or garden.

Once you’re in a place that has little clutter or noise, you can feel yourself relaxing.

You’re better able to rest, reflect on your day, meditate, and enjoy other quiet activities, such as reading or working on an art project.

Sometimes, the need for a quiet place can become a strong tendency to isolate yourself.

You may feel an acute difference between your own world experience and how other people seem to handle overwhelming stimuli and emotions.

It’s important to find a balance in life that gives you time for yourself without cutting you off from other people and activities.

5) You’re prone to daydreaming a lot

Highly sensitive people tend to love the controlled environment of their minds. Elaborate stories, complex landscapes, and three-dimensional characters may fill your daydreams.

A highly developed inner world can inspire you to write, draw, sculpt, or express creativity in other ways.

Daydreams can also allow you to examine different scenarios and gain insight into how they might unfold in real life.

The downside is using your inner world for excessive escapism. Maybe your daydreams are dominating your waking hours too much.

Through daydreams, you may be avoiding the things you need to do to grow, heal, and work towards important goals.

6) You’re introspective and reflective

Being introspective is typical of people with high sensitivity.

They engage in extensive analyses of their lives, including their relationships, behavior, beliefs, and whether they find meaning and purpose in what they do.

They also enjoy thinking about connections between different concepts, people, and events. Their reflective nature means that they often aren’t satisfied with superficial explanations.

They like to investigate various topics more deeply and wrestle with questions that can’t easily be answered.

The benefits you enjoy from your reflective nature are numerous. You dedicate effort to complex topics. You can develop self-awareness and find ways to become wiser and more mature.

Your thoughts can lead to fascinating discussions and introduce people to new ways of looking at life.

At the same time, you must be careful that your thinking doesn’t turn into protracted rumination and brooding.

It can be easy for highly sensitive people to brood about something to the point where they’re caught up in their thoughts and neglecting to take necessary actions.

7) It can be difficult for you to make decisions

Your high levels of sensitivity can make it harder for you to settle on a decision. You’re acutely aware of the potential effects of your choices.

You pick up on all the details and the considerations that need to be made. You vividly imagine how people will react.

You can be mired in indecisiveness when there isn’t a correct choice.

A tendency to procrastinate may kick in, spurring you to push the decision away until the last minute or until you miss deadlines.

Being aware of the impact of your choices is a wonderful quality. It can lead to more thoughtful decisions. You just need to remain careful about being indecisive.

8) You’re easily moved

As a highly sensitive person, you may feel as if your emotions are frequently close to the surface. Music carries you away, and you’re deeply moved by what you read.

When watching a drama, you place a box of tissues nearby, and you dislike entertainment with graphic violence. Joyful events and sentimental moments bring tears to your eyes.

Sometimes, the strength of your emotions doesn’t show itself in obvious displays. Maybe you feel deeply while looking superficially calm.

Or maybe you respond to stress not with tears but by freezing up, overpowered by just how much you’re feeling.

As with all the traits common in people with high sensitivity, your tendency to be moved can have its upside and downside.

One drawback may be how you’re prone to displaying emotions publicly in a way that embarrasses you.

One of the benefits is that you can enjoy the sense of being deeply connected with the world. Your sensitivity means you aren’t numb to life’s variety, nuances, and pleasures.

Your emotions can make you feel deeply alive.

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