Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else? Do you find yourself worrying about how other people feel? Do you prefer quieter, less chaotic environments?
If the above sound true to you, you may be highly sensitive. The personality trait — which was first researched by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the early 1990s — is relatively common, with as many as one in five people possessing it.
1. They feel more deeply. One of the hallmark characteristics of highly sensitive people is the ability to feel more deeply than their less-sensitive peers. “They like to process things on a deep level,” Ted Zeff, Ph.D., author of “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide” and other books on highly sensitive people, tells HuffPost. “They’re very intuitive, and go very deep inside to try to figure things out.”
2. They’re more emotionally reactive. People who are highly sensitive will react more in a situation. For instance, they will have more empathy and feel more concern for a friend’s problems, according to Aron. They may also have more concern about how another person may be reacting in the face of a negative event.
3. They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?” Depending on the culture, sensitivity can be perceived as an asset or a negative trait, Zeff explains. In some of his own research, Zeff says that highly sensitive men he interviewed from other countries — such as Thailand and India — were rarely or never teased, while highly sensitive men he interviewed from North America were frequently or always teased. “So a lot of it is very cultural — the same person who is told, ‘Oh, you’re too sensitive,’ in certain cultures, it’s considered an asset,” he says.
4. They prefer to exercise solo. Highly sensitive people may tend to avoid team sports, where there’s a sense that everyone is watching their every move, Zeff says. In his research, the majority of highly sensitive people he interviewed preferred individual sports, like bicycling, running and hiking, to group sports. However, this is not a blanket rule — there are some highly sensitive people who may have had parents who provided an understanding and supportive environment that would make it easier for them to participate in group sports, Zeff says.
5. It takes longer for them to make decisions. Highly sensitive people are more aware of subtleties and details that could make decisions harder to make, Aron says. Even if there is no “right” or “wrong” decision — for example, it’s impossible to choose a “wrong” flavor of ice cream — highly sensitive people will still tend to take longer to choose because they are weighing every possible outcome. One exception: Once a highly sensitive person has come to the conclusion of what is the right decision to make and what is the wrong decision to make in a certain situation, he or she will be quick to make that “right” decision again in the future.
6. And on that note, they are more upset if they make a “bad” or “wrong” decision. You know that uncomfortable feeling you get after you realize you’ve made a bad decision? For highly sensitive people, “that emotion is amplified because the emotional reactivity is higher,” Aron explains.
7. They’re extremely detail-oriented. Highly sensitive people are the first ones to notice the details in a room, the new shoes that you’re wearing, or a change in weather.
8. Not all highly sensitive people are introverts. In fact, about 30 percent of highly sensitive people are extroverts, according to Aron. She explains that many times, highly sensitive people who are also extroverts grew up in a close-knit community — whether it be a cul-de-sac, small town, or with a parent who worked as a minister or rabbi — and thus would interact with a lot of people. From an article by Amanda L. Chan on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html?fb_action_ids=10104139268245175&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=&action_type_map=[%22og.likes%22]&action_ref_map=
I’m a romantic, and we romantics are
more sensitive to the way people feel.
We love more, and we hurt more.
When we’re hurt, we hurt for a long time.