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Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

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posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 08:52 PM
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HSP is a term coined by Dr. Elaine Aron, but they're also known as hypersensitive, ultra sensitive, hypervigilant and sensory-processing sensitive.

Dr. Aron says that some people (15-20% of the population) are born with a nervous system that is genetically different, designed to be sensitive to subtle things that most people overlook, that they're prone to deep reflection on inner experience, and therefore easily overwhelmed by outer events.

She also asserts that instead of treating hypersensitivity as a psychological or personality flaw, we should regard it as something that's normal and that it has both advantages and disadvantages.

Some statements you might agree with if you're an HSP:

You, your partner, or someone important to you have a heightened awareness of subtleties in your environment, whether it's sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell.

You can become stressed out and upset when overwhelmed and may find it necessary to get away, maybe into a darkened room, to seek solitude, relief and comfort.

You are very creative.

You are very conscientious, hard working, and meticulous, but may become uncomfortable and less efficient or productive when being watched or scrutinized.

You feel compelled to file and organize things and thoughts, also enjoy simplicity and may become overwhelmed or even immobilized by chaos, clutter, or stress.

You are very uncomfortable when feeling things are getting out of your control.

You get a sense of comfort and well being when around a lake, river, stream, the ocean, or even a fountain.

You may experience mood swings, sometimes occurring almost instantly and can also be affected by other people's moods, emotions and problems.

You have a deep, rich, inner life, are very spiritual, and may also have vivid dreams.

You are very intuitive and you feel that you can usually sense if someone isn't telling the truth or if something else is wrong.

You get concerned and think or worry about many things, and have also been told "you take things too personally."

You have had the experience of "cutting people out" of your life.

You were considered quiet, introverted, timid, or shy as a child.
(Taken from highlysensitivepeople.com)
You can also take a test here: hsperson.com


Personally, I was glad to find this. I always felt so different growing up and assumed there was just something wrong with me.
People do not generally approve of or value sensitivity and introversion, especially in western culture, where the "louder, faster, MORE!!" mentality is the ideal.
And if it has been difficult for me, I can't imagine how much harder it must be for all the sensitive men out there, constantly getting the message that they should be tough, thick-skinned, aggressive, etc.

So, what do you all think?
Is there something to this theory, or is it just a way to make messed up people feel special?




posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by Astrithr
 


This is me to a T. I never considered being genetically different. I thought it was just a set of personality traits. This is pretty interesting.


I wonder if this (the hyper-sensitive aspect, in terms of "senses) explains the few times I've seen ghosties no one else has.


[edit on 2-6-2009 by Heatburger]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:19 PM
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Well that's somewhat comforting, I didn't know such a disorder exists. I wonder if it's genetically passed on? I think my parents struggle with some of that. I definitely do, trying to be extroverted is something I've struggled with my whole life... same with both parents too. I guess that's why I seek a job in music, it's a job that uses emotional expression. Interesting article...



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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OMG! THAT IS ME! Holy frig..I had no clue..none at all.
"You, your partner, or someone important to you have a heightened awareness of subtleties in your environment, whether it's sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. - YES, I smell things far more than anyone else.

You can become stressed out and upset when overwhelmed and may find it necessary to get away, maybe into a darkened room, to seek solitude, relief and comfort.YES, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom...like right now.

You are very creative. YES-Writer

You are very conscientious, hard working, and meticulous, but may become uncomfortable and less efficient or productive when being watched or scrutinized.YES- I cannot stand being watched and I get confuzzled and unable to continue.

You feel compelled to file and organize things and thoughts, also enjoy simplicity and may become overwhelmed or even immobilized by chaos, clutter, or stress.YES- excessive clutter gives me panic attacks.

You are very uncomfortable when feeling things are getting out of your control.YES..I must be able to control situations.

You get a sense of comfort and well being when around a lake, river, stream, the ocean, or even a fountain.UNBELIEVABLY YES! I thought I was weird for having this trait.

You may experience mood swings, sometimes occurring almost instantly and can also be affected by other people's moods, emotions and problems.
YES-unfortunately.

You have a deep, rich, inner life, are very spiritual, and may also have vivid dreams.Not so much spiritual, but my dreams are VERY vivid

You are very intuitive and you feel that you can usually sense if someone isn't telling the truth or if something else is wrong. Definitely YES

You get concerned and think or worry about many things, and have also been told "you take things too personally." ME to a T.

You have had the experience of "cutting people out" of your life.
YES..If I feel that a relationship is toxic in any way..they are gone.

You were considered quiet, introverted, timid, or shy as a child. YES..I kept to myself and usually played alone.
An amazing, insightful thread. Thank you. Although, putting a label on me won't change who Iam..it at least makes me realize I'm not so different.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:26 PM
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I took the test and ticked all but 3 (reaction to caffeine, violent tv shows, reaction to hunger). I scored 23, and I think 14 was the threshold for being considered highly sensitive. I guess I'm a USP (ultra). Just last night my wife was commenting on my being overly sensitive...



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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Just did the test as well..too bad can't post it here..Iam also VERY sensitive to loud noise. Can't tolerate it at all...
Damn thought provoking thread...



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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I scored a 24. I don't know about the one about knowing how to change a situation to make people more comfortable but I do know how to make a situation more uncomfortable for people, which leads me to an insight.

This sensitivity can be used as a tool or weapon to lead unwary people into traps that you know exist but they don't.

The point being, any "gift" can be exploited for good or evil. Which is which? Well, that's a pretty gray area sometimes.

Hmmm...my mood may be a little black and sinister today.


I cannot really say that all loud noises are annoying. The sound of a open-piped, V-8 speedboat gets me going and I turn completely A-type behind the wheel. Other than that, I generally just want it quiet.

[edit on 6/2/2009 by EnlightenUp]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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Some of these traits are also signs of synesthesia along with blending of the senses. I have this disorder or gift as I like to think of it. Untill you smell purple you haven't lived.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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Wow, Its exactly me. I mean theres like one or two things I'm not, but a lot of it makes sense. Its pretty cool. I know a crap ton of people like that. Its nice to know there are more people like that in the world then just me. Amazing find. S&F.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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Just had to add another little something...I think it's hilarious the whole thing about being watched/scrutinized...this SERIOUSLY bothers me. Literally to the point that I can't function.

I was always given special permission in high school art classes to do busywork in class and work on the actual project at home in private. I seriously feel close to nervous breakdown if anyone watches me draw, or peeks over my sholder as I'm writing.

I was always the person sitting in the back of the class, but not because I didn't care to listen, but because I could get away from people watching me solve math problems, or diagram sentences, you know? Any kind of work, literally.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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I've always thought I was overly sensitive. Over the past few years I believe as a defense mechanism I've numbed my feelings and adjusted my habits. A death in the family does little in terms of affecting me emotionally. I purposely say things that lead people to sling insults in my direction so I know ahead of time what I will hear.

A side effect of my adjustments however, is being unable to detect sarcasm. I'm also way too trusting in people as a default. I let people invade my personal space like I have none.

The right music immediately alters my mood. My entire day might change if I listen to a certain couple songs in the correct order. I avoid doing anything that I believe will eventually lead towards my hurting someone, hence I let them know from the beginning that I am "a little off" in my social interactions.

I took this test and scored an 8, but I really don't put any stock into these tests. They just don't encompass the entirety of what or who I am.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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I always thought I was the most sensitive person on the planet... never quite fit in (hence the username lol) Heck, just posting on any forum rattles my nerves. *needs a hug*

Pretty much everything on that test applies to me. There is some comfort in seeing there are others... and that maybe it's not just me? The site is an interesting read. Thanks for the post.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:03 PM
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I scored a 25 on the test

I knew I was sensitive anyway ,but I'm to sensitive to go on about this



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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Well that's me in a nut shell. I scored 27.

Is this an indication of a mental disease? It isn't easy going through life with this type of disorder if that's what it is.

I feel like I've been misunderstood all my life and like I didn't fit anywhere.

How nice to have a name for what I am. I thought I was just totally insane.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:41 PM
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To me it seems more likely that 100% of humans are HSP's, but most are conditioned to ignore their sensitivity. The way some of the things on that list are worded it seems like their definition of a HSP is more about someone who is so sensitive that they don't have control over their sensitivity. I would consider that to be a 'flaw' similar to someone with less sensitivity and more control. So I guess what I'm saying is that I think the idea of 15-20% having a different nervous system is completely false, and that we all have the ability to awaken our sensitivity and have control over it.


Originally posted by Astrithr
And if it has been difficult for me, I can't imagine how much harder it must be for all the sensitive men out there, constantly getting the message that they should be tough, thick-skinned, aggressive, etc.


I could probably be considered a sensitive-type man (some ex-gf's might say overly sensitive..
), and yes it can be challenging to decide how to model my behavior in alpha-male-contest situations, but I don't let it affect myself as a whole. I am concerned with mental toughness, so I'm extremely thick-skinned when it comes to verbal attacks, but spend very little time worrying about physical toughness or aggression.

I would think that any man, or woman for that matter, who is a HSP should already be past the point of worrying about what others think of them. I've been considering learning a martial art, for example, but if I do I would be doing it for my own physical and mental health, not to be thought of as a tough guy.

[edit on 6/2/2009 by EverythingYouKnowIsWrong]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:58 PM
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I scored a 21. My husband I am sure thinks I am nuts, but I have told him more than once that loud noises literally hurt my skin. Maybe that does sound nuts, but its true. Also, I would like to know if any of you have this problem: There are certain people that when around me, drain me. What I mean is, after they leave I feel like I need to lay down, I have no energy left in me...please tell me some of you have this problem too!!



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 11:06 PM
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scored a 21. Didn't click on a few because it didn't specify what was "going on". Now if it is a party or something I get excited.. it depends on the atmosphere of what all is going on though. Too much stress or emotion is unnerving though. So I could have scored higher on that factor.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 11:10 PM
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I scored 26. The thing is, it would be nice to me if this were recognized and legitimized. I suffered a lot of torment in my life for being the way I was and if it is understood to be "normal", perhaps others won't need to go through the same thing.

But I will say that my experiences gave me a stronger will to understand why people do things they way they do, and why I was the way I was. For that reason, I wouldn't change a thing, personally.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 11:12 PM
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Now I wonder how many of you have water signs in the Rising, Moon, or Sun categories. Because that's the first thing I think of.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Greenize
 


I have the same issue with people leaving me feeling drained. I also have an issue being around certain people where I literally feel like my skin is crawling. For a long time I had trouble going to places like Wal-Mart. The sheer intensity of feeling was overwhelming.

Agoraphobia? Perhaps, although I didn't have a problem going out, just when being out meant being around large groups of people.

Meditation has helped me "contain" myself in a way that I don't find these experiences as disturbing.



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