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Highly sensitive people. Saturday November 2, 2013

Growing up, my dad would exhort me time and again not to be so sensitive. I now rather suspect that he was pretty sensitive himself and wished I could toughen up a bit so as to avoid the hurt he knew was to inevitably come my way, if I continued to feel so deeply.

The only way I can describe living life as a sensitive soul (and a great many of you will no doubt relate to this, as it is suggested that as many as 15 to 20 percent of the population are HSP's), is that it feels like all feelings are worn externally and they are permanently raw. Horror, Thriller, or overly sad films are an absolute no. If siren's blast past I must put my fingers in my ears. And even in my most contented moments I struggle not think about mistreated donkey's, the countless number of displaced persons in refugee camps, the child that got shouted at very publicly in Asda this morning or The Big Issue I didn't buy today from someone in need, and the list goes on.

HSP's have an uncanny ability to pick up on things that go unnoticed by others - a look or glance, a feeling in a room - it's like having a sixth sense and it's not always a helpful skill. Oftentimes, ignorance must surely be bliss.

Of course, many feel that labels are unhelpful. Some may even feel that the term HSP is nonsense and merely an excuse for being an inept wet lettuce or a dreamer who can't face the harsh realities of life.

I personally feel that it serves us well the more we know and understand ourselves. For example, knowing I'm a HSP helps me realise that I need a fair amount of solitary and quiet time if I'm to keep my mood buoyant.

At the same time I really appreciate the attitude that the Navajo Indians cultivate. Instead of saying, 'I am depressed.' they say, 'My spirit is accompanied by sorrow.' I like this. It means we are not made up of one sole trait, like depression, hyper sensitivity or anxiety. Our souls are accompanied by many things, none of which define us implicitly.

So rather than feel we must toughen up, accept that your soul may be a sensitive one and welcome the qualities that will surely accompany that.

Are you a HSP? Take the test:

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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lubna Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 7:07am

I am a big time HSP. I can completely relate to it

Anonymous Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 8:08am

I am highly HSP, and today's note is a medicine for me. Everyday I learn something from Moodscope and it speaks to me. Yhank you John and his.
Hilda Bamford.

rebecca court Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 8:42am

This seems to explain so many things that I couldn't really put into words...thank you so much for this post!

Nick Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 9:11am

Thank you Suzy. Spot on and very well articulated.
I seem to be almost 'off the scale' when it comes to HSP - but I would rather be that than being insensitive and hard as nails.

Dawn Ritchie Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 9:30am

Thank you for this Suzy. I am HSP and sometimes forget that it is being an HSP that makes me so sensitive to the world. I got my copy of Elaine Aron's book out the other day to re-read it. I agree with Nick, I'd rather be HSP than like most other people, but conversely, life looks so easy for non HSPs, it must be a breeze!

Suzy Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 10:19am

Hey Dawn, thank you so very much for mentioning Elaine Aron's book. What a remiss that was of me! Thank you m'lady.
Hearty greetings to you and to all HSP's far and wide.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 10:42am

Absolutely love this. Thank you!

Anonymous Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 11:00am

Thank you! good to know that it is not only me who over-feels everything.

Lostinspace Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 1:32pm

Well I had never considered myself HSP or even knew the term existed. I took the test and answered 18 trues! It explains a lot of things about myself to me and you know I was brought up in a time and environment when unless you were actually an "artist" to be HSP was definitely considered wimpy or worse pathetic. Thank you for this post, now I "belong" to a group and know there are lots more like me!

Suzewords Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 1:55pm

This post really resonates with me. In fact, I am having a hibernation day today having been in an environment last night where there was lots of noise, bright lights and loud music. One of the most difficult things I find is when the kids are having a lively day and I need a quiet day. Sometimes I feel like my heads going to blow off! On these days what I usually do is go to bed early with a book, there is for me nothing quite like jumping into my bed when all the kids are settled knowing that the demands of the day are over. Another good book to read is Quiet the importance of introverts in a world that cannot stop talking by Susan Cain. Many HSP's are also introverts.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 2:35pm

I always thought that HSP were very rare and that I was the only one that had this characteristic. The uncertain glance or ill-timed query always made me uncomfortable, as if people could read my soul and I couldn't hide who I was. Reading this piece today has boosted my confidence that little bit more and I'm glad I joined up with Moodscope. Thank you.
Pete Ryan

denisthemenace Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 2:45pm

Brilliant. Think I am an extravert HSP if there is any such thing. I can make a fair amount of noise myself, can get a bit overexcited at times, then collapse in a heap. Definitely need to balance these with quiet solitary times.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 2nd 2013 @ 5:17pm

That first line had me, as it resonated so strongly with my experience of both my parents. I am sensitive although not an HSP. My parents used it as excuse not too apologise or take responsibility for behaving badly and in some cases, extremely rudely towards me. Teachers also told me I was dreamy and sensitive like it was a bad thing and so consequently I squashed down my creativity and became a numb thing. Ah, if only I'd known then what I know now!

Anonymous Sun, Nov 3rd 2013 @ 10:57am


Anonymous Sun, Nov 3rd 2013 @ 11:07am

Very nice comment,Suzewords. Thank you for citing some reading on the subject. I agree with the hibernating, finding calm and silence. I often have headaches when too much is going on - I become confused, overwhelmed, exhausted, and then I have to fight off (or not) my irritability. Life seems so chaotic - maybe it's up to me to learn to sort out the sense in it, and act accordingly!

Anonymous Sun, Nov 3rd 2013 @ 11:16am

This article giving 10 tips for HSP might be useful to some of you - it makes sense and rings with clarity to me. Hope this might be of help to you.

Tiffany Turbin Santos Sun, Nov 3rd 2013 @ 6:37pm

Oh Gosh, I scored 21 out of 22! I knew I was hypersensitive, but I never knew there was an actual diagnosis for this condition. Thanks so much.

Anne Szadorska Mon, Nov 4th 2013 @ 2:05pm

I thought I was at times too sensitive..I got 19 ..guess I very much am then!

Anonymous Mon, Nov 4th 2013 @ 4:31pm

Fascinating. My parents you to say I was 'over-sensitive', which I heard and - in part at least - was meant as criticism. A psychotherapist helped me re-frame it was saying simply 'You feel things deeply". That feels much less stigmatising, more manageable and 'normal'. I had no idea that there were enough of us around to have books written for/about though!

AnnieF Tue, Nov 5th 2013 @ 9:45am

I read Quiet in Feb/Mar and found Elaine Aron through that. I wonder how many of us, who are given a mental health-related diagnosis, do NOT score high on the HSP questionnaire.

Anonymous Thu, Nov 7th 2013 @ 11:31pm

Read Elain Aron's book ages ago and have a copy in my permanent collection of books I will never throw away. I haven't taken the tests. I think I will.

carol Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 1:40pm

It seems the medical so called professionals mostly do not even know about the HSP type of personality. They are tightly bound with the pharmacuetical industry who make money on labelling people and 'treating' them with pills. Its an interesting and big topic. Would love to hear other views on it.

I'd rather be HSP, use various damning labels i've been offered to help me navigate through the symptoms which trouble my life and use that to increase my awareness. This helps me take greater responsibility and that is quietly powerful.

I scored 21 out of 22 and just remind myself that this gives me many wonderful gifts I can share for benefit others, such a highly tunes natural empathy that borders on mind reading i've been told, and great compassion, which we all need, and a drive to take action on the political issues which most trouble those less fortunate around the world. It also helps me to deeply enjoy all forms of art and natural beauty and live with increasing gratitude and mindfulness. Its not easy, but i wouldn't trade my traits for anything, I am learning to accept, interrate and appreciate all the unique facets of who I am and my gifts to the world.

People often attack what they don't understand or are threatened by, so i don't 'cast my pearls before too many swine', i've learnt to be more discerning, but generally use my openess as a strength, amazing how many others can relate when we open up.

Here's to being HSP I say! cx

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