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.
- Conscientious—determined, committed, passionate, hardworking
- Faithful—loyal, trustworthy, considerate, cooperative, collaborative
- Caring—compassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, cautious, unselfish, gentle
- Articulate—accurate, polite, precise, semantic, subtle, sophisticated
- Intelligent—educated, informed, knowledgeable, resourceful, witty, wise
- Imaginative—visionary, 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.
- Website of Dr. Elaine Aron: hsperson.com
- Find out if you are an HSP: take the test
- Highly Sensitive Person — Wikipedia
- The challenges of being a HS and Male
- 25 traits of Highly Sensitive People
- Highly Sensitive People in the Workplace
Pause for thought: High sensitivity has been discovered in 100+ species!