Highly Sensitive Person – Defined
To describe those people who are more in-tune to paranormal events a term was created – “highly sensitive person” or HSP. According to some researchers, those that are HSP have a biological difference that allows their nervous system to process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly than the average person. Yes, it can also be hereditary. It is estimated that approximately 15-20% of humans have nervous systems that can be described as HSP. Normally I say that 86% of all stats are made up, but several prominent researchers have the same findings, so I am 78.6% sure the figure is 95% accurate.
Because those that are HSP processes information to a much greater extent, they are typically more creative, more intuitive, and are more detailed-oriented. Unfortunately, it also means they can tend to burnout quicker because of the over-stimulation.
The “Typical” HSP
As most of you know by this website, I hate the word “typical” because each and every one of us is different and not everyone shows the same characteristics. Even ghosts and spirits and all paranormal events are atypical as each is unique. But so many want to know what “typical” means. So, here are some traits that are shared by many HSP-afflicted people:
- Social Anxiety Problems
- Tends to be Introverted
Yes, these are behavioral traits of people. We’re not saying that everyone who is HSP is shy, and likes to be by themselves. But as you will see, these issues that some categorize as “negative” qualities have valid reasons, and should not be considered negative. In fact, HSP’s are ideal workers because they are detail-oriented, more creative, think outside of the box, and loyal. However they work best when it is quiet and no drama is nearby – they also perform better with minimal supervision or oversight. Because they tend to be less social, they are often overlooked as they generally do not like to call attention to themselves.
As for the gender of HSP’s, it is typically 50% female and 50% male, so no gender holds a monopoly or advantage in numbers.
Other traits of those with HSP’s include the following common traits. (Remember, everyone is different and some may display all, some or none of the traits below):
- Passionate about all aspects of their life: Emotions run deep with passion and intensity.
- They are typically caring and easily impacted or distracted by the emotions of others. This distraction often causes them to overlook their needs.
- Heightened perceptive skills: Someone who is HSP is highly aware of stimuli that many are not such as energy, mood, light, noise, odors, texture, and temperature.
- Heightened sensitivity to paranormal phenomenon. Those that are HSP can be empathic (feeling the emotions of a spirit) or a bit psychic. Their heightened senses allow them to experience all the slight nuances involved in genuine paranormal events.
- Very spiritual person. Partly because of their increase in paranormal exposure, they are often more religious or spiritual and get frustrated with people’s obsessions with small and mundane matters.
- Person is considered shy because they have a lower tolerance of stimuli than others since they process at a higher level.
- They see themselves as different because they respond differently to stimuli than others – and others will often point that out in a negative light.
- Highly conscientious and thorough in their work, their hobbies, all facets of their life. However, their best work comes in an environment that is quiet, free of drama, uninterrupted, private, with little or no pressure or oversight.
- Highly creative and imaginative and loves beauty, art, music, scenery, etc.
- Anything that is unclean or out-of-alignment causes discomfort.
- Quiet time is needed to feel replenished from overstimulation. The majority of HSP’s are introverted.
- Have a tendency to be (or have been in the past) in bad relationships. Since HSPs can pick up other’s perceptions or energies, they may mistake other’s feelings for them as their own feelings for the other person.
So Why Do HSP People Keep to Themselves?
Remember, that everyone is different, there are social-butterflies amongst people with HSP, but there is a clear majority who are introverted. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – in fact; there are numerous theories as to why they keep to themselves.
Because of their increased ability to process information through their senses, they can easily be overwhelmed. They are more in-tune to other’s energy of happiness, excitement, stress, sadness, anger, etc. They are also more sensitive to light, sound, and smell. Many do not understand that some things that others enjoy are not pleasurable to HSPs because they can be overwhelmed by sensory overload. A “perfect” day at a noisy mall, followed by a noisy bar, and a noisy movie is pure Hell to those whose senses pick up a lot more stimuli.
These scenarios which are pleasurable to many are not enjoyable to those that are HSP because they can sense other’s energy and this overpowering of other’s emotions can become a bit burdensome. This increase in other’s energy can quickly cause fatigue. Most are not aware of this condition and think that something is wrong with them. They just need to learn how to handle their ability.
HSPs and ESP
Too many acronyms? Sorry. Since people the HSP pick up more stimuli with their senses, they are apt to show some form of extra-sensory perception. This is the result of their increased awareness and their ability to process more information than the average person. Many with this ability are not aware of it, and tend to shut it out. They think that there may be something wrong with them and it may concern them slightly.
One also needs to get past the image of sensitives as being the fortune-tellers and all the negative imagery associated with years of scams. Quite simply put, sensitives are more intuitive about energy and their senses are more receptive to things that most cannot notice. Sensitives are aware of auras, are more intuitive, can feel other’s emotions, are more aware of spirits, and are more open to paranormal activity. Put away your thoughts of someone with a crystal ball – those days are over! Being sensitive does not mean you are psychic.
Challenges to HSP’s
Besides being overwhelmed with everyone’s energy, one of the biggest challenges people with HSP face is hearing from those without it how different they are. They have been labeled with such terms as “shy”, “socially-retarded”, “hermits”, “cranky bastards”, etc. They can sense people’s frustration with them which does not help matters any. If you know someone like this, be supportive, they didn’t ask for this trait – it was one that was given to them. They need their space to recharge and most of all they need support. What they don’t need is someone complaining about their difference.
How to Cope
I often tell people that being sensitive is both a blessing and not-so-much (I avoid the term “curse”). The first step is to realize that being unique is just okay. Other’s may not relate or understand what you are going through – that’s not your problem. In fact, you were born with abilities that are good – and not negative. Instead of feeling victimized, learn to accept it and learn how to use it effectively and how not to be overwhelmed.
One issue to consider is that you are sensitive to others’ energies. You tend to take on their feelings and tend to lose yours. Learn to separate the two and when you are overwhelmed, take a break, and refresh yourself. Never forget your needs, your wants, and your feelings. Quite often when you are in a good mood, others bring you down. You feel depressed after talking to someone. They either stole your positive vibes unintentionally (energy vampire) or you took their energy. Either way, protect yourself. Surround yourself with a protected white light that does not allow negative energy in and it also prevents your positive energy out.
People that are HSP do not like to be around large groups of people or even small groups (if they are strangers). This is because unknown or large amounts of energy can be uncomfortable. Many can feel claustrophobic and can experience a panic attack. Again, utilizing protection techniques, you can remain calm and not feel overwhelmed.
If you want to help others, it is important to not become overwhelmed with other’s problems and emotions. Remember who you are and your emotions. It’s human nature to be compassionate, but don’t do so at a level that will negatively impact your health. Know your limits and learn when others are impacting your own energy.
Because you are sensitive and can pick up others’ energies, you can also pick up their fears without your knowledge. To combat this, you must learn how to handle or confront your fears.