Why it’s an asset if you are naturally more sensitive (a.k.a HSP)

Hoggy heartHere is a confession: I not only work with naturally more sensitive people, I love them.

Here is a paradox: ask a bunch of people what they think about being sensitive (I have) and you’ll hear concerns, not celebration.

You know the kind of judgements that come up perhaps, that sensitives are weak, lazy or somewhat… broken.


But in the world of “the bigger and brighter, the better”, this is as unsurprising as it is sad.

We really need to debunk some unfair beliefs about sensitivity and shed light on its gifts.

Here I go then.

You may be naturally more sensitive if…

But first, let’s remind ourselves what the research conducted by doctor Elaine Aron has revealed about the natural trait of heightened sensitivity.

It’s present in about 20% of the human and animal population.

It’s not a matter of opinion or choice. Rather, it’s a fact reflected in a different biology of the nervous system.

The research into sensitivity is relatively new (since the 90’s) and the cultural bias against it has a long history.THIS IS a perspective I have, not a fact 🙂

The main features of naturally higher sensitivity have been summarised with an acronym DOES:

D = depth of processing (of life and its stimuli)
O = overstimulation (thus the importance of down time)
E = emotional intensity
S = sensory sensitivity

Notice how in themselves, these aspects are neutral, not positive or negative, unless you contrast them with what’s considered desirable or “normal” in the society.

It’s a blessing

When talking to people about sensitivity and after I’ve heard worries about it, I sometimes prod deeper. Would they give it up completely if they had a chance?

I’ve heard that human appreciation is highest when we’re thinking of something we haven’t got or when we’re about to lose what we have.

Well, perhaps it’s true because considering a prospect of not being sensitive anymore, people begin to reclaim the blessing they’ve been given.

It’s not easy to be more sensitive than the norm yet those I’ve asked wouldn’t give it up if they could. Would you?

What’s loveable about it (and you)

So without further teasing, let me whisper my love.

Take it in, dear Friend, against those moments when you doubt yourself in the prevailing winds and judge who you are the way some might because of not getting you.

But I think I do and I love you.

 I especially love your depth.

Having a conversation with you, learning or exploring things with you is rich, expansive and inspiring.

You won’t waste your time on cliches and the illusory strength of one sided views.

You’ll consider a situation deeply so you are as close to the truth as possible before taking action. Thank you!

 I love the fact that you simply cannot sustain the rat race.

Our planet is in dire straits from the paradox of “stronger” people being able to withstand exploitative life styles.

Not you.

You must include rest, meditative practice and “being” alongside any “doing” in order to function in your day.

There’s inherent wisdom in that. And our planet needs the by-products of needing to care for overstimulation. We need more considered perspectives. We need brand new insights. We need creative solutions to care for the life and resources we’ve been given.

 I love it that you care and feel for those in pain. 

Where would we be if you didn’t? Long gone, I think.

And people may still disappear from this planet if your care and wisdom is not heard from more. Just a gentle nudge, dear Friend.

I love your empathy and will go to you, above others, the more so the more my pain is deep, lonely and ashamed.

 Finally, I love it that you’re a creature alive to its senses.

I know that it can be hard for you sometimes, for example when you find certain types of touch unbearable. Or when you feel starved for touch living in the culture that has so much fear about closeness.

Still, you are aware of skin, scents, sounds and colour so deeply. So beautifully.

I appreciate that you can create nurturing environments and heart-warming gifts, crafts and art as a result.

I’m so happy to know that you exist, my dear extra sensitive human, and I hope this public expression of my appreciation of who you are touches you today.