What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person?
Highly sensitive people have a trait called sensory-processing sensitivity, or SPS. This trait was discovered and defined by clinical psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD, who first started studying individuals who seemed to be more sensitive to certain things in their environment. Sensory-processing sensitivity causes individuals to notice subtle differences in the world around them more than people without this trait. Highly sensitive people might be especially upset by loud sounds or bright lights in their environment (like ambulances, for example), may avoid watching violent TV shows and movies, or crave alone time during busy, hectic days in order to not feel totally frazzled. In general, highly sensitive people may be easily overwhelmed, especially when exposed to intense stimuli, according to Aron. Not sure if you’re a HSP? Take Aron’s highly sensitive person test on her website.
Being sensitive isn’t a bad thing
Highly sensitive people are often incredibly in tune with their environment. They often notice subtleties in tastes, art, music or smells, according to The Highly Sensitive Person. Additionally, sensitive people are often empathetic since they are more aware of the feelings of the people around them, according to Psychology Today. These are 10 signs you have incredible empathy.