Seven Strengths of Highly Sensitive People

High sensitivity endows a person with multiple strengths. One of them is the capacity for self-care. In fact, they know how to connect with themselves as well as others. Furthermore, they know how to find relief in a world full of noise.
Seven Strengths of Highly Sensitive People
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Highly sensitive people possess very specific personalities. Nowadays, we have tools, studies, and research works to help us identify and understand this psychological trait. In fact, we know that these kinds of people are empathetic and reflective. In addition, there are many stimuli that prove stressful and even painful for them.

Highly sensitive people, like everyone else, have their weak and their strong points. However, despite the fact that the topic of high sensitivity has become increasingly popular since Elaine N. Aron published her book The Highly  Sensitive Person in 1996, there are still some incorrect ideas around today that tend to be taken for granted.

For example, highly sensitive people aren’t necessarily introverts. Furthermore, it isn’t solely a female personality trait, it’s also common in men. Nor is their sensitivity synonymous with fragility. Indeed, in many cases, they harbor strengths of which they’re often not even aware.

“They hear almost every sound, they notice every movement, and they process the expression on each person’s face. And that means that simply walking through a public space can be an assault on their senses…”.

-Andre Solo-

boy before the sea symbolizing the strengths of highly sensitive people

The strengths of highly sensitive people

A psychological strength defines a virtue, a talent, and a particular ability to face difficulties. This dimension has nothing to do with physical resistance. Furthermore, it defines various elements of a personality. Aspects that enrich and give each person their own image.

It should be noted that character strengths were defined by psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman in 2004. In their research work, they managed to create the famous Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Today, this work acts as a reference point for understanding human potential.

It’s extremely interesting to learn that highly sensitive people have their own characteristics. Let’s find out what they are.

1. Authenticity, what you see is what you get

One of the strengths of highly sensitive people is their authenticity. In fact, they don’t know how to pretend and certainly wouldn’t ever consider lying as an option.  However, not only are they incapable of resorting to deception, but they’re also unable to invest their time, effort, and will in any practices that don’t fit in with their values.

This makes it difficult for them to maintain jobs that aren’t in tune with their principles, interests, or personal codes. If they ever do find themselves in such jobs, they usually suffer stress, anxiety, and feel mentally overwhelmed.

2. Perspective: emotional and social intelligence

Perspective falls within the category of what Seligman and Peterson defined as cognitive strengths. It consists of a mental approach oriented to human connection and understanding. Highly sensitive people are skilled personalities who are in tune with the social and emotional realities of others.

Not only does their empathy define them, but they’re also characterized by understanding the needs of others as well as having a real concern over any kind of injustice. They have a very broad approach (perspective). This makes it easier for them to, in effect, get outside of of themselves and make contact with their surroundings.

These people may feel affected by the realities of others from an emotional point of view. They’re also highlighted by a cognitive aspect, this being their concern, interest, and their need to reflect and understand the human being.

3. Strengths of highly sensitive people: caring and self-care

One of the strengths of highly sensitive people is caring and self-care. According to a study carried out at the University of Melbourne, they possess highly valuable skills in these dimensions:

  • They’re people who develop valuable attitudes throughout their lives. They enjoy solitude, connection with nature, and contemplative practices. These areas favor their internal well-being. In fact, these dynamics allow them to regulate their emotions and find balance in a world they often find so full of chaos.
  • They practice compassion and self-compassion. This defines their ability to find vital meanings and purposes with which to move forward. Furthermore, they transmit positivity and hope, facets that are key to helping others, acting as guides, and offering their valuable support.

4. Reflection, the need to understand the why of things

Highly sensitive people tend to understand their place in the world. This might take them a long time to achieve, with a lot of disagreement and battles along the way, some of which they’ll win and some they’ll lose. However, most of them end up with an understanding of how they are and how they can function in everyday life and in their relationships with others.

They achieve this thanks to their valuable capacity for reflection and introspection. It means they’re always able to understand the why of things.

5. Creativity, the genius of emotional sensitivity

This is one of the strengths of highly sensitive people that they themselves recognize. Indeed, although they often don’t recognize all their strengths, they do acknowledge their creativity. It’s probably because they find their psychological refuge in all those kinds of practices that free the mind.

They delight with their gifts for music, drawing, crafts. As a matter of fact, their sensibilities need these kinds of spaces so they can feel free and fulfilled.

Woman in the field with yellow flowers thinking about the strengths of highly sensitive people

6. Humility, the reflection of simple hearts

People with high sensitivity stand out for their simplicity and humility. They know what they’re like. They know their limits, their weaknesses, and their shortcomings. This precise vision they have of themselves allows them to always act with precision, without being bombastic, with no need to pretend, and without exaggerating.

They don’t like to compete or to be above or ahead of anyone. This means that they don’t adapt well to aggressive work scenarios based on competitiveness. In addition, despite the fact that they possess notable virtues, they don’t always take advantage of them. In fact, they prefer to minimize their abilities and detract attention from themselves.

7. Love, one of the strengths of highly sensitive people

Love is also a psychological strength. It’s the ability to know how to give oneself to others, of taking care of relationships, and understanding what the bases of this feeling are. This doesn’t just relate to emotional relationships.

If love is one of the strengths of highly sensitive people, it’s because of their wisdom when it comes to understanding what this dimension consists of. It means caring, giving affection without harassment, and respecting others’ spaces and needs. It’s knowing that affection is based on reciprocity, on emotional and not violent communication.

Highly sensitive people take care of all of these aspects. However, unfortunately, they don’t always get what they give. Nevertheless, they still don’t give up. They’re faithful to their principles, to their way of being. They don’t choose to be highly sensitive, it’s simply a part of who they are. Furthermore, it’s the way they understand life, relationships, and their own existence…

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Acevedo, B. P., Aron, E. N., Aron, A., Sangster, M. D., Collins, N., & Brown, L. L. (2014). The highly sensitive brain: an fMRI study of sensory processing sensitivity and response to others’ emotions. Brain and behavior4(4), 580–594.
  • Black, B.A., Kern, M.L. A qualitative exploration of individual differences in wellbeing for highly sensitive individuals. Palgrave Commun 6, 103 (2020).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.