10 subtle signs you’re what’s known as a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’

Have you been called ‘too sensitive’ far too often?

Have you been made fun of for crying at the end of a touching movie? Do you feel deeply moved by art in all of its forms? Chances are you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP) who loves deeply, values honesty, and truly appreciates the little things in life.

If you relate to the following signs, then you are definitely one of the few highly sensitive souls in this harsh, chaotic world.

1. You’re on a constant emotional roller coaster.

“Sometimes I think, I need a spare heart to feel all the things I feel.”
Sanober Khan

Highly sensitive people feel every single emotion, positive and negative, with every cell of their body. The heat of the moment consumes them. If you’re an HSP, then you perfectly know there is no in-between when it comes to feelings and emotions. When you are happy, everyone around you can sense the beaming vibes in the air. When you are sad, it feels like your whole being is aching. Sometimes, others may note you’re overreacting to a certain situation, but it’s just the way your fragile mind works. But how can you explain to a not-so-sensitive person that you’re so overwhelmed with emotions that you need a spare heart to feel all the things you feel?

2. You’re prone to anxiety and depression.

Oftentimes, you spend a lot of time and energy worrying about what other people may or may not think about you. Besides, jumping into conclusions is kind of your specialty. You repeat the last words you said to someone just to look through all of the possible ways these words may have affected that person’s opinion or feelings about you. You fictionize thousands of scenarios in your head of what may or may not happen and how you should have reacted in the first place. Sadly, all of this emotional chaos is not only overwhelming you, but also leading you to anxiety and even depression. That’s why it’s important for you to understand that in reality, things are almost never as bad as they seem.

3. You need more time to recharge.

For HSPs, having enough time to restore their energy and reconnect with themselves is vital. Otherwise, they don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. What they need is a little more time than usual to reflect and think through a certain situation that left them mindblown or deeply overwhelmed. And in most cases, they need to spend this extra time alone with their own thoughts. However, needing some time on their own doesn’t mean all HSPs are introverts. It simply means they genuinely cherish their alone time more than others.

4. You internalize criticism and conflict.

If you’re a highly sensitive person, then words have a deeper meaning to you than to most people. While compliments and other positive words can entirely change your whole mood, hearing criticism, or being involved in conflicts, gets painfully deep under your skin. This often leads to you being too hard on yourself and believing that everything is your fault, even when you had nothing to do with it. However, it can still be conquered. What you need to do is simply stop letting other people’s judgments define who you are. The only person who has the power to define your self-worth is you! Never forget that.

5. You fear change.

Usually, you prefer to have some defined order in your life. You have created a certain routine that helps you control your feelings, emotions, and life in general. This routine makes you feel like you have it all together and gives you a slight sense of comfort. On the other hand, change can shake you to your core. If things aren’t going to plan, you feel like you’re no longer in control, which rapidly intensifies your stress levels. The truth is you just need to accept that you need a little more time than others to adjust to change.

6. You cry. A lot.

That emotional roller coaster we mentioned before often makes your eyes water. Even something as trivial as watching ‘Titanic’ for the 17th time can leave you in tears. After all, these two had only each other. How can someone not be moved by their heart-tearing story? However, sad romantic movies are not the only thing that makes you cry. Your soul trembles to utter happiness, mesmerizing views, touching memories, and so much more. The best thing is that by crying your eyes out as often as you do, you realize the cathartic essence of this simple way of expressing your emotions.

7. You can’t just ‘let it go’.

Many times, when you are visibly deeply affected by something, the people around you will tell you: “Just let it go and move on.” While they might have nothing but good intentions while saying this, they usually have little to no idea what it’s like to be highly sensitive. No, you cannot let things go. Your soul isn’t capable of moving on as if nothing happened. So, your friends and family need to understand that a simple cliche phrase doesn’t have the power to calm your spirits and help you forgive and forget.

8. You’ve been called ‘too sensitive’ like it’s a bad habit.

Yes, you are highly sensitive. No, it is not a sin to feel deeply and catch vibes more easily than others. Sadly, being called ‘too sensitive’ often feels like your emotions have no value to others. It makes you feel like your sensitivity is a weakness, while it’s actually what makes you unique. It makes you kinder, more empathetic, more reflective, and even more self-aware. It makes you, well, YOU.

“I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation for the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness of other’s pain and my passion for it all.”
Caitlin Japa

9. You cannot stand insensitive people.

People who don’t take others’ feelings into account outrage you. You just cannot come into terms with the idea that someone can carelessly say whatever pops into their minds, even if their words or actions can hurt someone else’s feelings.

10. You’re deeply moved by beauty.

Being highly sensitive doesn’t end with being overwhelmed by emotions and feelings. It also means that your soul is so delicate that all forms of art and beauty deeply move you. Gazing at the night sky, listening to a stirring melody, staring at a marvelous piece of art, even tasting a delicious meal can have an incredibly intense impact on you. You appreciate every single detail and pick up on every tiny signal around you with an admirable tenderness. This is one of the greatest traits of highly sensitive people.

As a highly sensitive person living in a cold world, you may struggle more, but you also love more and cherish every little thing that makes life so bewildering.

Sensitivity is power, not a weakness. Embrace that.

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