11 Tell Tale Signs That You Are a Highly Sensitive Person

In this article, we are going to talk about the tell-tale signs that you are a highly sensitive person.

Do people often criticize you for being too sensitive? Do you consider yourself a deep thinker?

If sudden loud noise startles you and you love being alone, you could be a highly sensitive person (HSP).

According to Dr. Ted Zeff, author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, this group has an overly sensitive neurological system.

In addition, they have specific brain regions that operate with greater intensity.

Highly sensitive people use the language of feelings. Sometimes your senses can be so intimate that they can throw you off balance. 

HSP is a personality trait that comes with its benefits and drawbacks. 

So how do you know whether you are an HSP? Here are the 11 telltale signs that you are a highly sensitive person.

  1. Your Emotions Run High
  2. You Have Excessive Empathic Tendencies
  3. You Seek Meaning and Purpose in Life
  4. You are Creative
  5. You are Slower in Making Decisions
  6. You Suffer from Low Self-esteem
  7. You Prefer Solitude
  8. You Can’t Function Without Sleep
  9. You have encountered Relationship Problems
  10. You Live by Instincts
  11. You love Nature

1. Your Emotions Run High

Highly sensitive people experience intense emotions, be they positive or negative. They are fast to shed tears of joy, relief, and gratitude. They also laugh as quickly as they cry. 

Do you tend to react more readily to other people’s emotions? Sometimes you connect to other people’s feelings more than they do. 

Highly sensitive people are their own worst judges. If they do something they purport to be wrong, they suffer from deep shame much longer than others. 

If you are a highly sensitive person, you may tend to think of drastic changes. Mostly these thoughts tend to occur when you are on an emotional high.  

You may think of leaving a job in frustration or marrying a newfound love. 

But you always think things through after these emotional episodes. You rarely make impulsive decisions.

HSP also internalizes emotions. You recall events from your memories vividly.

You also experience the same depth of emotions as you had when the event was taking place.

For instance, a person could remember how he was bullied as a child in school. 

He will recall who bullied them, who protected him and how the other children reacted. 

He remembers that teacher who told him to man up. And he feels the deep sense of helplessness and pain that follows. 

These traumatizing experiences never leave your mind. Sometimes you may tend to hide away from them by disassociating.

2. You Have Excessive Empathic Tendencies

Can you sense the insecurities and pain around a person and feel like it’s your own? 

Highly sensitive people have an acute ability to sense other people’s feelings and emotions.

This high emotional intelligence makes them stand out in conflict resolution.

HSP can tell a person’s mood before engaging with them. This ability enhances their communication skills. 

But sometimes, an HSP can slip into being people a pleaser. You know other people’s needs. And because of your high level of empathy, you crave to meet them before your own needs. 

You still come to other people’s aid even if your energy is depleted. HSP want to do the best for their families, friends, and strangers.

Highly sensitive people find it hard to say no to others. If you are a boss, you constantly finish your subordinate’s assignments. You feel bad that he must struggle to get something done.

Besides, HSPs are good listeners. You are always available when others want to offload their frustrations. 

And because you are aware of the turmoil others are going through, you are not quick to judge. 

3. You Seek Meaning and Purpose in Life

Intrinsic factors rather than external ones drive highly sensitive people. They are more concerned about finding enjoyment in work than the money and prestige it offers. 

You will find a person living a lucrative job to offer voluntary services. If you ask them why they will tell you social work is a calling. 

HSP are also natural healers. So, comforting people come naturally to an HSP since they tend to feel more at home in careers that serve Nature or humanity.

They also seek meaning and purpose in the relationships they pursue. They want to be around people who have a focus on life. 

And they will go out of their way to help them achieve their goals.

4. You are Creative 

Another trait of highly sensitive people is that they express emotions through art. Do you share your feelings through poetry, drawings, and singing? 

If you are HSP, get an urge to create when anxious, depressed, or happy.

Your creativity also makes you good problem-solvers. You can look at any challenge in more than one dimension. 

This skill makes you a good team member. People depend on you while making complex decisions. They trust you to get solutions to challenging problems. 

5. You are Slower in Making Decisions

If you are an HSP, you always take time to make decisions. You find yourself thinking about how your choices affect other aspects of your life. And you analyze every possible result. 

HSP processes a lot of internalized information before making a decision. They deliberate about other peoples’ opinions and perspectives. 

As a result, they make better decisions for everyone involved. 

Some people can make spontaneous and healthy decisions. But highly sensitive people struggle in that area. They tend to engage emotions more when under pressure. 

Every decision, whether small or big, carries a lot of importance in the highly sensitive person’s mind. 

So, when making spontaneous decisions, they experience flooding. The brain goes on overdrive. It becomes challenging to focus on a specific situation. 

The high volume of information in their minds may lead to analysis paralysis. When in this situation, their brains tend to shut down. 

When pushed to these levels, they panic and can’t seem to think about anything.

If you are highly sensitive, take time before making a decision. If under pressure, request time to deliberate before announcing the decision. 

Any decision that you make in haste can lead to regret. 

6. You Suffer from Low Self-esteem

Do you often suffer from low self-esteem?

 Do you always find it hard to accept compliments? Most HSP suffers from low esteem. They find it hard to take compliments. 

One of the reasons for this is that they experience all the feelings from the heart. So, most of the time, they focus on others forgetting themselves. 

Their sharp antennas pick up disturbance signals from other people. HSPs do not have boundaries, so their energies merge with those of the surroundings.

As they grow accustomed to the merging energies, they begin feeling unsure of who they are. Their senses develop wounds that emerge in the form of low confidence. 

 Also, highly sensitive people get frustrated because they can’t get out of their peculiar world. Others expect HSP to see things through the same eye, but they can’t. 

So, they try to stay hidden. They unconsciously try to be as inconspicuous as possible in the human world. 

7. You Prefer Solitude 

Solitude is essential for HSP. You always avoid crowds and noisy places as they overload your sensitivity levels. 

You can find a highly sensitive person leaving a party to go for long drives and be alone. This solitude helps them deal with themselves. Being alone allows HSP to reorient their hearts and minds. 

But other people interpret this trait as being antisocial and unpredictable. Others may call you undependable.

It is no wonder that most highly sensitive people are also introverts. They prefer engaging in smaller groups as opposed to large crowds. 

Are you married or living with a partner but prefer sleeping alone? Most highly sensitive people experience the same need for their own space. 

But sometimes, they suppress this desire to avoid misunderstandings with their partner.

If you prefer solitude, try to create alone time in your schedule. If you feel exhausted during the day, catch a nap. 

You can try speaking to the people close to you about your Nature. This open-mindedness will help them understand you when you make unpopular decisions.

Related Reading – How Do I Deal With Being A Male Empath

8. You Can’t Function Without Sleep

Sleep is a necessity for all human beings and animals. But for you, it is more than a necessity. It is the magic pill.

HSP gets exhausted and overwhelmed easily. So, they need more sleep than others. Sleep helps restore their minds and prepares them for another episode of overstimulation.

Most HSP function best in the early mornings after a good night’s sleep.

But sometimes, highly sensitive people are unable to sleep. Whenever they are overstimulated or stressed, their bodies produce cortisol. 

This hormone keeps them on high alert until the stimuli are gone. 

It will help if you reduce external stimuli before bed helps. You could avoid technology and have silence for about an hour before bed. 

Setting time and postponing pending chores also helps your body to get the rest it demands. Meditation before sleep can also help you settle more quickly. 

9. You have encountered Relationship Problems 

According to Elaine. N Aron, the author of Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person, most HSP can’t find a person they like enough to be in a long-term relationship. 

Elaine says “In an ongoing relationship HSP frequently are or feel they are, being taken advantage of. “

They are wanderers by Nature, so they quickly get bored by relationships. HSP also fear that no one will like them enough and those they want will not accept them. 

Do you feel trapped when in an ongoing relationship? Highly sensitive people often crave time alone, even in loving relationships.

Some people say that you do not react well to criticism. Others may refer to you as a perfectionist. While this may be true, the reason behind it is your highly sensitive nature. 

10. You Live by Instincts

Have you ever walked into a room and sensed that something was amiss? Does your gut feeling tell you when a friend is not okay, even before they open up to you?

Some HSP can even pinpoint the exact kind of pain that someone is going through. You sense anger and fear in people. And you can smell danger.

Highly sensitive people can also predict the outcome of an action before it happens. 

Some HSPs have the gift of inner hearing. They can hear a clear voice directing them on what to do. Others follow their instincts.

Some people find you creepy because of your ability to feel things. 

Others view your instincts like a light that illuminates their path. They know that your predictions come true and can trust your advice. 

11. You love Nature 

Do you have the “awe” feeling when you come in touch with Nature? 

You tend to feel small when admiring the natural world. Sometimes you close your eyes and get lost in the now as you experience the after-rain smell. 

Highly sensitive people connect with Nature to improve their well-being. They appreciate mother nature as it provides calmness and healing to their inner beings.

They see themselves as a minor part of a bigger universe.  One of the reasons they appreciate Nature is because it speaks to them.

They can tell when an angry storm is about to set in. They feel the calmness of the sea and know when it’s safe to stay near the beach. 

And they hurt when Nature hurts. They feel pain when they see a power saw cutting down and a tree. They are more likely to collect containers around the seashore before an animal gets caught.  

Highly sensitive people are prone to be pro-environmentalist. Because of their sensitive Nature, they may not go to the street to protest. But they take subconscious decisions to preserve Nature. 

They love explaining the benefits of Nature as seen through their eyes.

Signs That You Are a Highly Sensitive Person: Final Thoughts

You now know the 11 telltale signs that you are a highly sensitive person. If you tick most of the boxes, you can use your personality as a gift to humanity. 

You have taken the most crucial step in your life. Identifying with who you are. The universe needs people like you.

You may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the feelings around you. Sometimes your ability to understand people’s thoughts may feel intrusive. But focusing on the larger goal will keep you going. 

Featured Image by Keenan Constance

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