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What Psychologists Say About Highly Sensitive Persons 

By: Rana Rayhan

What Psychologists Say About Highly Sensitive Persons

Let's know about what psychologists say about the power of highly sensitive persons sensitivity. “Oh you are just too sensitive!” “Don’t be sensitive about it!” “You are taking it personally!” All of these phrases run like accusations and imply sensitivity is a bad thing! People usually render the term ‘sensitive’ negative labels like fragile or over-emotional. How many times have you heard someone “accused” of being sensitive? Have you yourself been accused of it and forced to deny it? It seems our tough world is frowning upon sensitivity. However, if they really knew better, sensitivity happens to be a good thing, especially nowadays. Our series of articles will make proper introductions for these rare treasures.

Highly sensitive persons are rare diamonds that present in a world of maturity “as they call it.” Maturity is also a term misused in the present time. Let me illustrate the two terms definition; nowadays versus what they actually mean.
Maturity (Nowadays) – better described as “Oh come on, get over it!”
Sensitive (Nowadays) – People are too old to have a reaction of a child on situations that are minor and are not personal  or people get easily offended by others acts.

Gladly, these are the wrong definitions. Psychologists now have put the right ones that all of us should know about which are the following:
Maturity (the right definition) –Becoming fully grown or developed.
Sensitive (the right definition) -  Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses or responsive to external conditions or stimulation; having sensation.

Highly sensitive persons. What psychologists say about them?

Another powerful and to the point description of sensitive people is this one:
Sensitive people, or empaths identify deeply with the emotions and vibrations of other beings, both human and non-human. They can instantly read a person upon meeting them, and have an innate intuition about others.
That means they are fully aware of how they use their neural system to digest everything surrounding them; let that be verbal and nonverbal actions and reactions (eye contact, gestures and even people’s attitude towards others and situations).  Did you also know that there is a higher level of sensitivity? People who embrace it are called ‘Highly sensitive people’.
In her national bestseller, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, author Elaine Aron defines a distinct personality trait that affects as many as one out of every five people. According to Dr. Aron’s definition, the highly sensitive person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment for example like : bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens and many other.

Follow us on part 2 of this series ‘The rare treasures of life’ titling “The Highly Sensitive Ones”.
Now let me address a frequently asked question: Is that a bad thing?
The answer lies in the following quote by the
Being a highly sensitive person is a way of life. It’s a way of embracing instead of blocking out the world. When you’re sensitive you don’t have the “luxury” of avoiding the things that matter. You are by nature, compassionate. Your sensitivity is your vitality, your flexibility, your engagement, your passion and your inspiration. Fear is inviting you to be brave. Anger is showing you your healthy limits. Grief is showing you what needs letting go. Everyone has at least a little, at least the potential of sensitivity inside. Don’t let anyone put you down when they don’t like the way their own sensitivity is reflected in you. Learn as much about your sensitivity as you can. It is beautiful gift that deserves honing and compassion. 
That being said let me elaborate why I insisted on calling them “The rare treasures of life”: thanks to Power of Positivity, now we can easily see them.

1.     They are sensitive to other people’s feelings – They know how it feels to be upset or troubled over something, so they are very careful to others' feelings. They don’t want you to go through the pain they have experienced, so they try their very best not to hurt you or make you feel bad. Moreover, if it happened that you are in a bad status, the highly sensitive ones would feel the obligation to lend you a helping hand with their experience to overcome your sadness, distress, grief and any other possible unpleasant experience. They are the ones with high emotional intelligence in a world that has become careless of the feelings of others.   Read also: The 40 Rules of Love: A novel of Rumi

2.     They have an intrinsic desire to communicate a more positive world – Given point #1, they would do anything to divert from negative speeches or small talks that don’t send the vibes of love, peace, understanding…etc. All in attempt to leave a good feeling among the group. They might even lead conversations to shift towards you and what you love, where do you like to go, what movies you like to watch and try to find mutual grounds between you and them; all in the sake of leaving you and them happy with the company and looking forward to more of the positive conversations. 

3.     They see everyone as equal, no matter their race, size, ethnicity, etc. - They see past the worldly labels we place on everything, and know that the spirit of love transcends all physical boundaries. They see a janitor, successful businessman, scientist, mother of five, and everyone else in the same light. At the end, we all go back to the same source, so sensitive people know that our titles or occupations here on Earth don’t mean much in terms of our character. Sensitive people seek out the similarities in people rather than their differences, and don’t judge anyone for how they live their life, how they appear outwardly, or what opinions they may have.

4.     They listen more than they talk. -Many sensitive people don’t really enjoy talking about themselves, and would rather listen to others speak about their lives. Sensitive people usually have a quiet, introverted nature, and don’t like to take the spotlight. People often come up to them at random to share their life story, and sensitive people don’t really get surprised when this happens to them. Others can just sense their compassionate, kind nature, and feel comfortable opening up to them. Because of this, psychologists say they do best when listening to others and giving short pieces of advice rather than talking too much.

5.     They also go within frequently to regain balance after taking on the energies of everyone around them, and naturally have a quieter nature due to this. -Sensitive people listen to gut instincts. Sensitive people are ruled by emotions, not thoughts, and listen to their gut instincts when making important decisions. While they do tend to overthink quite a bit, their thoughts usually center around how they feel, or how they think others may feel. They often act on impulse, and are seen by others as sporadic, even irresponsible at times. They may feel misunderstood and isolated since their friends and family usually can’t relate to their deep understanding of the spiritual world, but they never stray from their true nature.

6.     They put themselves in other people’s shoes. -They enjoy living life through other people’s eyes, wanting to understand as many people as possible. They may even try out a totally different life to really appreciate what others have been through, and to connect with people on an even deeper plane. As they say, to really know someone, you have to walk a mile in their shoes, and sensitive people may take that literally. Read also: How to let go of judgement about others?

7.     They spend a lot of time in solitude to recharge and reconnect. -Highly sensitive persons might be seen as loners or outcasts living on the fringes of society, but they know that in order to cleanse themselves of the energies they take on from others, they must recharge often. Psychologists describe them as they truly enjoy spending time in nature, and while they have infinite love for other beings, they can best express that if they take the time to decompress. They also have a knack for creativity, and use their time alone to further develop their imagination. They might live in the clouds, but sensitive people make the world a more beautiful place through their originality and sensitivity to all creatures. Read also: How to Love Yourself Again?

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.”

― Shannon L. Alder

Highly sensitive persons are those who are aware and feel of the real treasures of life 

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  1. Sensitivity is vital to begin writing a comforting condolence note.


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