Do you worry too much about how other people feel? Do you reflect on things more than everyone else does? Do you prefer less chaotic and quiet environments?
If all of the above sounds completely true to you, you are very likely to be a highly sensitive person. This personal trait was researched for the first time by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the 1990s is relatively common. Aron, who has written multiple books and studies on high sensitivity, developed a self-test to help you determine if you are a highly sensitive person.
In addition, Aron considers highly sensitive people as the “minority”, but in a positive way, because being highly sensitive brings a multitude of positive characteristics. Read on to take a look at the commonest traits shared by highly sensitive people.
They feel more deeply.
Highly sensitive people feel deeper than their less-sensitive pals. As Ted Zeff, Ph.D. say ‘they want to process things on a deeper level’. Zeff, the author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, adds that sensitive people are very intuitive, and go very deep in order to figure things out.
They’re more emotionally reactive.
Highly sensitive people react more in a situation. For example, they will feel more concern and have more empathy for a friend’s problems. They might also worry about how another person may be reacting when faced with a negative event.
They’re probably used to hearing “Don’t take things so personally”
Sensitivity can be perceived as a negative trait or as an asset, depending on the culture. In some of Zeff’s research, he states that highly sensitive men he had interviewed from North America were frequently or always teased, whereas highly sensitive men from other countries, such as India or Thailand, were rarely or never teased. Therefore, the culture plays an important role to a person.
They prefer to exercise solo.
Highly sensitive people tend to avoid team sports because they feel that everyone is watching their single move. In Zeff’s research, the majority of highly sensitive people he interviewed preferred individual sports, such as hiking, bicycling, or running. However, this is not a rule — of course; there are highly sensitive people who participate in group sports.
It takes way to longer for them to make decisions.
Highly sensitive people spot more easily many details and subtleties which make them difficulties in making decisions. Even if there is no “right” or “wrong” decision, highly sensitive people will still choose longer because they are measuring every possible outcome. Aron suggests how to deal with such situation: she says highly sensitive people should take as much time as they need. However, once they have come to the conclusion of what is the right or wrong decision to make in a certain situation; they will be quicker in making that “right” decision once again in the future.
And because of that, they are more upset if they make a “bad/wrong” decision.
You are familiar with the uncomfortable feeling you get after realizing that you’ve made a bad decision? Well, for highly sensitive people, that emotion is intensified since the emotional reactivity is way too higher.
They’re extremely detail-oriented.
Highly sensitive people first notice the new shoes that you’re wearing, the details in the rooms, or the weather changes.
Not all highly sensitive people are introverts.
According to Aron, 30 % of highly sensitive people are extroverts. Many times, highly sensitive people who are also extroverts were growing up in a close-knit community, no matter if it’s a small town, a single parent who worked as a rabbi or a minister, and therefore, they interact with a lot of people.
They work well in team environments.
Highly sensitive people are deep thinkers, which makes them valuable workers and team members. But, they may be well-suited for team position where they won’t need to have the final word or to make the final decision.
They’re more prone to depression or anxiety
If they have a lot of bad experiences, especially in their early life, they don’t feel secure at home or at school. Then, their nervous system is set to ‘anxious’. Parents of highly sensitive children have to understand that they are really amazing kids, but you can’t over-protect them and you can’t under-protect them, either.
Highly sensitive person gets annoyed more easily because of annoying sounds
Highly sensitive people are more sensitive to noises and chaos. It’s because they can be over-stimulated and overwhelmed more easily by too much activity.
Movies with violent content are the worst.
Highly sensitive people become over-stimulated more easily and they are too high in empathy, horror movies or violent movies are definitely not their cup of tea.
They cry more easily.
It’s very important for highly sensitive people not to be put in situations where they will feel embarrassed for crying easily. Simply, people and friends should understand and accept them that they cry easily and give them support for that form of expression. They need to understand that crying won’t be considered as something shameful.
They have above-average manners.
According to Aron, highly sensitive people are conscientious people. This leads to the fact that they’re more likely to exhibit good manners. Also, they tend to notice when someone else isn’t being conscientious. For example, highly sensitive people are more aware of where they put their cart at the grocery store, not because they’re afraid that somebody will steal something, but because they don’t want their cart to block another person’s way.
The criticism effects are especially amplified in highly sensitive people
Highly sensitive people react more intently to criticism than less sensitive people. When people will say something negative, the non-highly sensitive person will say that they are not affected, which is not the case with the highly sensitive persons, they will feel the criticism much more deeply.
Cubicles = good. Open-office plans = bad
Highly sensitive people prefer solo work environments, just as they prefer solo workouts. According to Jeff, the majority of highly sensitive people enjoy more when they are self-employed or when they are working from home because they can control their work environments. Zeff adds that highly sensitive people enjoy more when working in a cubicle, meaning that they have less noise and more privacy, instead of open office plan.