Four Gifts of Highly Sensitive People (HSP)
When we see ourselves as belonging to a minority against the greater majority, our first reaction is to feel disadvantaged and afraid. Why do I perceive things in a different way? Why do I suffer more than everyone else? Why do I find comfort in my own solitude? Why do I observe and feel things that others tend to overlook? But being part of that 20% of the population that recognizes themselves as highly sensitive people (HSP) is not a disadvantage, nor does it label you as “different.” It is very possible that throughout your life, and especially during your childhood, you were very conscious of that emotional distance and how sometimes you had the feeling that you lived in a sort of bubble of solitude and estrangement.
High sensitivity is a gift, a tool that allows you to dig deeper and better empathize with things. Few people are able to get to this vital learning point.
It was Elaine N. Aron who, in the early 90s, dug beneath the surface of the introverted personality type and described in detail the features highly sensitive people — thoughtful, empathetic, and at the same time emotionally responsive.
If you identify with these features that doctor Aron left us in her book “The Highly Sensitive Person,” it is important that you also understand that high sensitivity is not a reason to feel estranged or different. On the contrary, you should feel lucky for possessing these four gifts.
1. Emotional insight
Even at a young age, a highly sensitive child is going to perceive aspects of their day-to-day life that will give them a mixture of anguish, contradiction, and fascinating curiosity. Their eyes will capture details that even adults do not take into account.
That grimace of frustration in their teachers, the expression of worry in their mother — they will be able to pick out things that other children do not see, and that will teach them from a young age that life is difficult and contradictory at times. They will see the world through a child’s eyes opened early to the world of emotions without yet knowing what governs them, what makes them pulsate, or what sharpens adult suffering.
Emotional insight is a high-powered weapon. It brings us closer to people so that we may understand them, but at the same time, it also makes us more vulnerable to pain.
Sensitivity is like a light that shines brightly, while at the same time making us more vulnerable to the behavior of others, to the white lies, the letdowns, the irony… You get so hung up on everything! they will often say to you, You are so sensitive! others will comment.
And so it is, but you are who you are. A gift demands a high responsibility, your knowledge of emotions also demands that you know how to protect yourself. How to take care of yourself.
2. Valuing solitude
Highly sensitive people find a certain pleasure in their time alone. They seek out corners in their desire to finish their homework or practice their hobbies. They are creative people who enjoy music, reading, and other artistic activities. And although this doesn’t take away their enjoyment of being in the company of others, it is in solitude that they find the most satisfaction.
Highly sensitive people don’t fear being alone. These are the moments when they can connect on the most intimate level with themselves, with their thoughts, free from attachments, bondage, and the stares of others.
3. Living from the heart
High sensitivity is living from the heart. No one experiences love more intensely, no one takes greater delight in the little daily gestures, in friendship, in affection…
And we aren’t just talking about emotional relationships. Friendship, daily affection, or the simple act of seeing the beauty of a painting, a landscape, or a melody — these experiences become deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of highly sensitive people.
4. Inner growth
There is no cure for high sensitivity. You come into the world with it, this peculiarity, this gift that can already be seen in a young child. It brings with it questions, intuition, perfectionist tendencies, pain tolerance, irritation around bright lights or strong smells, emotional vulnerability…
It’s not easy living with this gift. However, once we recognize what it is and what it adds to our lives, the moment will arrive when we can learn to deal with many of these details. You must not let yourself be flooded with negative emotions.
You must also learn that others march to a different beat, that they don’t have your emotional threshold. That they won’t experience certain things with the same intensity, yet this does not mean, for example, that they love you less. Respect them, understand them. Understand yourself.
Once you have discovered your own being and your faculties, find your equilibrium and nurture your personal growth. You are unique and you live from the heart. Go in peace, go in safety, and be happy.