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http://www.sensitiveliving.com/
A highly sensitive person can be described as someone that is overwhelmed by the senses. Having a nervous system that absorbs and processes ten times more information than the average person's leaves an HSP exhausted after a "normal" day of activity. Not only are they overwhelmed by their physical senses such as sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, but can be exhausted by their emotions as well. They tend to absorb the feelings and energies of others, which can be taxing on the mind.

It has been estimated that 15-20% of the population or 50 million people are highly sensitive. Among this population, there is a scale of sensitivity levels since some people are slightly sensitive while others are extremely sensitive.

Unfortunately in our society (specifically the U.S.), outgoing, bold, extraverted personalities are rewarded while sensitive personalities are treated as a flaw that can be overcome. Highly sensitive people have been around forever, but they have been mislabeled as shy, timid, inhibited, or introverted. Although some highly sensitive people do have some of these traits, not all of them do. In fact many highly sensitive people are extraverted (30%) and outgoing. An HSP may be seen as shy or inhibited, when they are actually just taking time to absorb their surroundings and consider all of the possibilities in a situation. Once they have processed this information thoroughly, they are quite comfortable responding with confidence and precise actions and words. Another explanation is that they just might be trying to avoid the stress of over arousal in a particular situation.

Your friends and family who love you have probably always told you to "not be so sensitive," as if sensitivity were a flaw. Well, sensitivity is not a flaw. Highly sensitive people tend to be extraordinarily creative and productive workers. In relationships, they are usually attentive and thoughtful partners with acute listening skills and compassionate hearts. Most are also intellectually gifted individuals. According to Dr. Elaine N. Aron, pioneer in the sensitive personality type, "HSPs could contribute much more to society if they received the right kind of attention."

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?

Questions to Find Out:

Do you get overwhelmed by stimuli such as lights, noises, and smells?
Do other people's moods and emotions deeply affect you?
Are you easily startled?
Do you become uneasy when someone is watching you complete a task?
Do you become tired easily after a "normal" day of activity?
Are you aware of other things in your environment that most other people are not aware of?
Do you become agitated or anxious when you have a lot of tasks to do and not enough time to complete all of them?
Do you avoid disturbing or violent movies, books, or T.V. shows?
Do you feel the need to escape and retreat when there is too much going on around you?
Are you deeply interested in the arts or music?
Do you dislike changes in your life?
Do you enjoy delicate tastes, scents, sounds, soft fabrics, or beautiful works of art?
Have you always been labeled as shy or sensitive by other people?
Are you overly conscientious?
Do you seem to be more sensitive to pain than other people?
Are you sensitive to certain foods such as foods containing caffeine, sugar or alcohol?
Do you become unpleasant when you are hungry?
Do you easily sense the energies of places or situations?
Are you easily touched by others' experience, stories of kindness, and courage?
Are you attracted to the deeper things such as spirituality, self-development and philosophy?
Do you need time alone?
Are your feelings easily bruised?
Do you have a vivid imagination?
**

If you answered "yes" to the majority or all of the questions listed above, you are most likely a highly sensitive person. If you answered yes to only a few of the questions listed above, you may still be considered a highly sensitive person.

I am a Highly Sensitive Person :)

~Christine
 

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I believe i am.
 

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alot of these apply to me to. Though one thing I learned is that I can take the majority of traits from almost any personality disorder and fit them in with me somehow so its hard to tell.
 

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I think there is a lot of truth to this. It also fits with my belief that a big part of SAD is fear of bad feelings like rejection, embarrassment etc. So if one is highly sensitive it's not a stretch to see how easy it would be to become fearful and try to avoid painful feelings.
 

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Some of the above applies to me, but a lot of it doesn't fit.
I don't think i have this personality type (although i might have some traits of it), but it suits some of my other family members to a tee.
 

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My theory on this is that the problem isn't being too strongly connected to the rest of the world, especially what other people think and feel, but not being connected enough to what you think and feel. I think its like a stereo where you have all these balance knobs and stuff. Its not that you need to turn down the knob on the rest of the world, you just need to turn up the knob on you until things are in balance. Easier said than done.
 

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After being able to answer many of those questions with a "Hell, yeah" I guess I am a Highly Sensitive Person! lol
 

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Wow! Most of that describes me perfectly.
 

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i think most of us on the site can describe themselves as highly sensitive but we have to think of it another way too, maybe we're over-sensitive to our surroundings because we spend a lot of time alone and we are just not use to all the crowds, noise etc. over time if we keep going out there, maybe we will be able to tolerate higher levels of interaction, noise, crowds. if we say now yes we are just born a sensitive person that will give us an excuse not to expose ourselves to the things that make us uncomfortable.... and people with SAD have a tendency to think they are different or special and i don't think that's healthy.
 
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