Do other people’s moods affect you? Do you get stressed when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time? Do loud noises and strong smells bother you? Then you might be a highly sensitive person.
About twenty percent of people have a nervous system that makes them especially in tune with what’s happening around them. I’m one of the twenty percent—and it’s likely that you or someone you love is too.
When you’re asked, “Why are you so sensitive?” or told to toughen up it can seem like being an HSP is a struggle. But I believe it’s actually a superpower.
7 Amazing Strengths of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
1) Relationships – HSPs make great friends, parents and partners. We’re aware of what’s going on in the hearts, minds and lives of those we care about most (sometimes even more than they are). We’re attentive and responsive to the needs of others.
2) Empathy – HSPs actually feel the emotions of others. This is beyond sympathy, which is more like pity. Because of this we’re gifted at making people feel truly heard and less alone.
3) Consideration – HSPs are highly in tune to how their actions impact others. We’re not going to be the ones cutting others off in traffic, talking loudly on our phones in a quiet coffee shop or having too many items in the express lane at the grocery store.
4) Intuition – HSP nervous systems are constantly taking in tons of information. Because of this we often “just know” things in ways that are hard to explain. When we’re making decisions this adds a deeper layer that can give us unusual discernment.
5) Courage – HSPs are tender and tough. Having a soft heart in a hard world is courage not weakness. Kindness is an act of bravery. Engaging with the emotions of others takes guts. Never, ever let someone tell you that being sensitive is being weak.
6) Living Fully – HSPs don’t go through life half asleep. We’re not phoning it in or doing the minimum. We’re engaged with the people around us, the places we’re in and the purpose we’ve been put on earth to complete.
7) Resilience – HSPs are deeply affected by everything from news headlines to heartbreaking news about a close friend. Keeping our hearts open is a battle because it would be so much easier and less exhausting to close ourselves off from everything. We get knocked down and keep getting back up. We’re not weak; we’re warriors.
- If you want to know whether or not you or someone you love is an HSP, search for “Highly Sensitive Person Quiz” and take it online.
- If you love, lead or share life with HSPs, will you remind us of our strengths today, especially if you haven’t understood them before? Your encouragement matters more to us than you know.
- If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, keep being who you are. Our cynical, bitter world needs you now more than ever. You are here for such a time as this.
- Take time to work through the gift I send everyone who joins my (free) courageous community — 15 Minutes to Your Mission Statement: 4 Exercises to Help You Discover Your Personal Strengths and Direction
“Now that I’ve quit trying to be like everyone else, I’m enjoying new-found freedoms that have brought me contentment, peace, and unexpected joy.” – Cheri Gregory, HSP and founder of the site Sensitive and Strong (a great resource!)
Your sensitivity isn’t a struggle, it’s a superpower.
p.s. If you liked this post you’ll love Episode 16 of More than Small Talk: Strong Women, Soft Hearts (available now on KLRC.com or your favorite podcast app.)