11 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person: Coping with Sensitivity

11 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person Image

Are you a highly sensitive person? Are you over-sensitive to sensory input around you despite those near you seeming fine with it? If loud sounds, bright light, or even strong smells tick you off, these extreme emotional reactions to everyday life events mean you could be a highly sensitive person (HSP). Still, lots of myths circle the signs of a highly sensitive person (HSP). For example, people assume that if you are an introvert, then you must be an HSP. However, most introverts are HSPs, yet not all HSPs are introverts. Below is a list of the common myths against the unmistakable signs of a highly sensitive person.

The Myths

#1: Introverts are HSPs

Introverts need time alone to recharge and analyze situations. They have that favorite sport, hobby, or activity they run to when they feel out of energy. And, although introverts are comfortable with mobs, they thrive best in smaller groups. In contrast, HSPs will analyze the same situation whether in a crowd or alone, deeply.

#2: HSPs are Shy

Shyness is a form of fear or anxiety that tends to come out more if you are a HSP. It is a learned behavior where you get timid, uncomfortable, or apprehensive when in certain social situations. Consequently, many HSPs look shy.

#3: HSP is a Kind of Mental Illness

High sensitivity to other’s emotions may mean you are an empath or have a unique gift. In contrast, anyone with a mental disorder will struggle to express genuine empathy, spirituality, or a gift they have. Yet, communities that view HSP as a form of lunacy treat such persons as weaklings.

The True Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person

Highly sensitive person Image

Research by Dr. Elaine Aron, a clinical research psychologist, suggests that HSPs account for 15 to 20 percent of the world population.

Could you be one?

Knowing the signs of a highly sensitive person helps you rule out the myths and misconceptions about it. That way, you can develop better-coping habits to lead a productive lifestyle.

#1: You Have Deep Connections with Your Surroundings

Do you connect with music or art easily? Your interest in the needs and desires of others helps you form a deep connection with them through art and music. Likewise, as a good listener, you find a silver lining in the worst situations.

#2: HSPs Avoid Confrontations

As a sensitive person, confrontations seem too intense for you. In turn, you do all you can to tone down the tempers. Hence, many see you as the peacemaker.

#3: You Enjoy Power Naps, Work Breaks & Me Times

Like an empath, busy schedules bombard HSPs with too much emotional baggage. They value their me-times to take a break from the emotional burden.

#4: Inconsistencies Negatively Affect You

Do you find yourself irritable in a noisy commuter train, when eating spicy or smelly foods in a fast-food restaurant, or having to stay in a house with a leaking tap? A highly sensitive person will react to anything that seems off. Sadly, your friends and family could be with you and take no notice of such external stimuli.

#5: You Are Empathetic

Apart from connecting to external stimuli, HSP will internalize the emotions of others. For example, if you cry when watching a romantic or sad movie, you could be an HSP. See, like empaths, HSPs experience the feelings of others. They will be downcast, happy, anxious, or excited as per what they see in others. On the flip side, exposure to violent or traumatic scenes gets you moody.

#6: Your Dreams are Vivid

Do you wake up recalling all the fine details about your dreams, including how you felt? If so, you could be an HSP. Here, HSPs, tend to resolve their situations in their dreams. The dreams are visual messages about what HSPs are experiencing in their lives at the time.

#7: HSPs Have a Heightened Imagination

If you find yourself daydreaming too much, it is your heightened imagination at work.

#8: Highly sensitive persons struggle to adapt to new careers, homes, school, or significant lifestyle changes

The new setting drains highly sensitive people, to the point of getting sick or having a nervous breakdown. 

#9: You Have a Spiritual or Philosophical Orientation

If you can’t stand small talk or debates on material things, you could be a highly sensitive person.

#10: You Love Animals and Pets

HSPs love and connect with animals. They are the kind of people who will rescue any lost, sick, or distressed animal they meet.

#11: You Get Anxious or Depressed

Since they have a deep connection with others and their inner world, HSPs are more susceptible to anxiety and depression.

The Implication of Being a Highly Sensitive Person Today

Panic Attacks and Anxiety Image

Now, feeling edgy when visiting new places, meeting new people, or trying new recipes is not crazy, weird, or a sign of brokenness from a childhood traumatic experience. At least 20 percent of the world’s population feels exactly like you do.

And, this emotional intensity could indicate that indeed you have a hidden gift or talent you need to nurture.

Think of the greatest artists, innovators, leaders, healers, or visionary leaders you know.  So, if you suspect that you are a HSP, here are some tips to help you cope: –

Coping as a Highly Sensitive Person

Living as a highly sensitive person can be stressful because, each day, you face different scenarios that provoke your moods and drain you emotionally. Here are some ways to deal with or avoid stress: –

#1: Change your environment to suit your HSP personality (if possible)

Some people see you as a weakling or a treasure as per the stereotypes about HSPs there. Interacting with people that appreciate your uniqueness will help you thrive. 

#2: Follow your intuition

This sixth sense will help you avoid bad situations and consequently, you can discover your hidden talents.

#3: Avoid careers, hobbies, or entertainment that exposes you to violence, trauma, or pain
#4: Keep a dream journal

It will help you identify patterns in your emotions.

#5: Define your boundaries in relationships.
#6: Invest in yoga and mindful meditation
#7: Have you go-to soothing spot at home
#8: Practice a self-care routine


So, how many of the signs of a highly sensitive person do you have? If you are an HSP, accept your emotional intensity towards your environment. More so, turn it into a gift that benefits those in need.