High sensitivity


I am—happily—a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). HSPs experience high measures of sensory processing sensitivity. In academic terms: HSPs exhibit a significant extension of typical neural capacities.



The following characteristics are typical of HSPs.

  • High level of operation and performance
  • High measure of sensory processing sensitivity
  • Different neural activity to average, or norm
  • First identified formally in mid-1990s, by Drs. Elaine & Arthur Aron
  • Identified informally by psychologist Carl Jung
  • Represent 15-20% of the population
  • Do not exhibit a disorder: HS is a physiological trait—and a gift!


The following traits are typical of HSPs.

  • Conscientiousdetermined, committed, passionate, hardworking
  • Faithfulloyal, trustworthy, considerate, cooperative, collaborative
  • Caringcompassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, cautious, unselfish, gentle
  • Articulateaccurate, polite, precise, semantic, subtle, sophisticated
  • Intelligenteducated, informed, knowledgeable, resourceful, witty, wise
  • Imaginativevisionary, intuitive, spiritual, reflective, harmonious

HSPs are frequently:

  • Highly intelligent
  • Highly aware of subtleties in their environment
  • Good parents and spouses
  • Over-stimulated by excess demands and noise (of all kinds).


Dr Elaine Aron and other’s observe that HSPs are considerably under-valued and under-utilised in western cultural contexts. By contrast, they are highly-valued and appreciated in significant non-western cultures, such as China, for example. This disparity is particularly relevant in the case of male HSPs.


Advantages of highly sensitive people include their being:

  • Good advisors
  • Excellent at staying on task
  • A source of situational insights overlooked by non-HSPs
  • Excellent educators, consultants, mentors and spiritual directors
  • Highly responsive to others, stabilising cooperative relationships and trust.

Some of these traits are reflected in what people have said about me and, or my work

Understand more

Pause for thought: High sensitivity has been discovered in 100+ species!