Since I posted the personality types topic yesterday, I wanted to add information today about HSP’s, otherwise known as highly sensitive people.
Do you relate to any of these?
You’re always subtly aware of a path of ‘escape’. While a large empty space like an indoor arena can be discomfiting, a large crowded space makes you uneasy. You park your car where you can leave easily, and sit where you can leave quickly and relatively unnoticed.
You’ve been in the large, crowded with people space, and suddenly you had to leave and get outside in the quiet air to feel you could fully breathe.
You have the ability to ‘read’ people. You’re an empath and/or highly intuitive.
You’re drawn to water, and find it to be one of the most soothing and therapeutic things.
You avoid watching violent shows because you get emotionally and physically distressed.
You’re easily and deeply moved by beautiful art and music.
You startle easily.
You respond to lower doses of medication than most people.
You have a rich inner life.
You take longer than other people to make decisions, weighing every aspect of it.
You’re more upset than other people seem to be if you feel you made a bad or wrong decision.
You feel criticism deeply, and examine it within.
You NEED alone time to recharge.
Wikipedia describes HSP’s as “having the innate trait of high sensory processing sensitivity”. When people hear the term ‘highly sensitive person’ for the first time, they tend to think of someone who gets their feelings hurt easily, but that’s not it. If all the information that your senses perceive (light, color, sound, texture etc.) was factored in, you then add in emotional energy, and each person has a sort of filter that perceives and takes it all in. A highly sensitive person lets in an inordinate amount of energy and information compared to most people.
This means that HSP’s can get sensory overload, so it’s logical to see why being with a group or crowd of people would be draining and depleting. It’s like having a thin, porous filter to keep out excess sensory information, compared to the average filter that’s thicker, denser, and more protective.
Basically, it’s all about sensory processing. You can be shy and not be an HSP, and many HSP’s are not shy at all. It’s a relatively new field of study with evidence mounting that it’s an innate biological (possibly genetic) factor, and present in about one out of five people in general.
With everything else, there appears to be a spectrum of variation for HSP’s. There’s no one size fits all, but there are commonalities.
If you think of information as noise that you’re hearing, the HSP’s volume is turned up higher. It’s easy to become overaroused, overstimulated, and overwhelmed.
When it comes to an abusive relationship, if you’re getting mixed messages, a person saying something but really meaning something else, it’s taxing and depleting to a system that’s taking in the extra and subtle nuances in communication.
Here is a beautiful quote by Pearl S. Buck:
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him… a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.”
Can you see the terrible collision and enmeshed ramifications when a covertly abusive man partners with a woman who deeply understands, feels, thinks, and loves?