6 Tips For Being Around Hypersensitive People

August 18, 2016

Hypersensitive people are extremely intuitive. They feel everything more intensely, and pick up on emotions more quickly than other people. This extreme sensitivity often makes these people seem critical, given that the general impression they give is stronger than the majority of people.

Sounds, smells, or types of behavior found in other people can often be a trigger for hypersensitive people. Furthermore, because they are quite aware of this sensitivity, they are often uncomfortable and react as soon as they sense change. Many times, their reaction may seem exaggerated for other people. It is not uncommon to see a hypersensitive person become more sensitive, and struggle more, over time.

Often hypersensitive people are not understood, so they go through periods of difficult and anti-social feelings. People do not often understand the reasons of why hypersensitive people react the way they do. Others do not often consider their intensity appropriate. This can often make the situation worse and create an uncomfortable and unfriendly environment.

Respect: the key to interacting with hypersensitive people 

Becoming angry or excluding a person is not an appropriate reaction to not understanding the way another person behaves or lives their life. It is also not acceptable to make fun of someone for those reasons, or to do certain things to provoke their intense reactions or unusual behavior. Though this may seem entertaining to some people, it can make a hypersensitive person truly suffer and can have a huge impact on their self-esteem. Many hypersensitive people become shy and introverted because of this.

If you live with or spend a lot of time with a hypersensitive person, their reactions may be charged with negativity. Try asking them what it is that you do to provoke that reaction, and what you can do to help them to avoid these extreme reactions.

It is not that person’s fault that they are so sensitive. Their sensitivity is a condition and a reality. Just as we might feel pain if someone pinches us, or if we prick our fingers with a needle.

In any case, respecting the way in which hypersensitive people feel and perceive their environment is the key to interacting with them, building a healthy relationships, and fostering a friendly environment for everybody.

woman and butterflies hypersensitive

How to treat hypersensitive people

Applying this principle of respect is not always easy, especially when highly sensitive people are so used to not be treated fairly or respectfully. This means that they may be predisposed to becoming even more sensitive each time they are faced with a lack of understanding by the people with whom they coexist.

The following tips will help you with how to treat hypersensitive people. They will also help you learn how to take care of them and help them through events or situations that cause them to suffer, even if you do not understand or could not even imagine how they feel.

1. Speak softly and avoid loud noises 

It may seem obvious, but we are often not aware of the volume of our voice when talking, or the noise made by appliances or electronic devices around us, or the noise we make in general as we move about. Respecting others implies something as basic as controlling the intensity of sounds. 

When we make lots of noise and speak at high volume, we invade the personal space of others. We create a climate that is predisposed to negativity and abrupt reactions, a climate in which dialogue and empathy are no longer an option.

When loud noises bother us, we are not able to think clearly and our emotions start to dominate our rational mind. This happens to everyone, hypersensitive or not. The difference is that those who have extreme sensitivity react differently and show more signs of irritation or frustration even before the actual stimulant happens.

2. Don’t think of them as a complainer

If there is one thing that really bothers hypersensitive people, it is being accused of being a complainer. These people react just like you when something bothers them. The difference is, as already mentioned, they are able to perceive the thing that bothers them beforehand, and to a greater degree.

Don’t just the other person for their complaints, but rather think about what you can do to avoid irritating them or how you can create a calming environment.

3. Ask them to tell you what bothers them 

It can be hard to know what bothers and affects hypersensitive people. Try to be understanding and reach out  to help them. Ask them kindly to explain to you what bothers them. Furthermore, ask them what you can do to avoid these triggers if it isn’t immediately apparent.

A hypersensitive person also should know that they perceive the world differently than others, but it is important for them to know that you are thinking of them and do not want to cause them irritation. They will most likely realize that whatever you do that does bother them is not done with the intention of bothering them.

4. Respect their time and space 

Humans adapt to their environment. It is a fundamental rule of survival. However, we don’t all do it in the same way. Hypersensitive people also develop their own way of adapting to circumstances. Just like every other person, each individual develops their own unique way.

In any case, hypersensitive people develop their own way to adapt, and many of them do their best to live a normal life. However, they need their own time and space to do so. Their strategies may require a lot of concentration, separation from a group, or maintaining distance from a certain situation. By respecting this time and space that they need, it will be easier for everyone to adapt.

flowers and hands on face hypersensitive

5. Don’t instigate conversations about delicate topics

Topics like politics and religion are sensitive subjects. When a conversation begins involving one of these, it usually does not take long to turn into an argument.

Participating in conversations like these can be a very delicate situation for hypersensitive people. Therefore, it is best not to become entangled in this kind of interaction with hypersensitive people. It will end up affecting them more than it may affect other people.

It is important to keep in mind that hypersensitive people may also have their own set of sensitive subjects. This will depend on the individual. Therefore, it is important to figure out which subjects may be delicate ones, and learn to identify the signs that a conversation may be getting uncomfortable.

6. Watch the details 

Sensitive people are highly observant. By observing small details, they are able to make sense of the world. Details that may seem insignificant to everyone else may be very significant for a highly sensitive person. Watching and taking note of little details will allow you to empathize more with highly sensitive people. You will be able to show more understanding and help them feel better.