9 signs you're a highly sensitive person and how to embrace it (2023)

Are you someone who gets easily overwhelmed by loud noises or strong smells? Do you feel like you’re constantly on edge or get emotional at the drop of a hat? If so, you might just be a highly sensitive person!

I know it feels like a curse, but being highly sensitive is actually a pretty cool thing. It means that you have a heightened awareness of your surroundings and the emotions of those around you.

It’s like a secret superpower, so it might be wise to embrace it!

Not sure how to go about it? Here are nine signs that you might be a highly sensitive person, and some tips on how to embrace your sensitivity.

1) You feel things deeply

When I was a little girl, I would often go out in our garden, stop by the flower bushes, and breathe in the smell of the flowers, eyes closed, savoring the moment, unmindful of the minutes that passed by.

My grandma told me that the first time she saw me in that blissful state, she knew I was a highly sensitive person. She knew I would feel things deeply – joy, pain, sorrow, every emotion there could be in life.

And she was right, you know. As a highly sensitive person, I do feel things intensely. I easily get super emotional during movies or while reading books, and I feel a deep connection to nature.

This can be a double-edged sword, though. As our emotions can sometimes overwhelm us, it can sometimes be hard to deal with certain situations.

How to embrace it:

I’ve learned this the hard way – do not suppress your emotions. Allow yourself to feel them fully. Write in a journal, talk to a friend, or just take some time to yourself to process your feelings.

Acknowledging and processing your emotions is the only way you can learn to control them and use them to your advantage.

2) You’re easily overwhelmed

As I mentioned earlier, the depth and intensity of feeling, as well as too much stimulation, can overwhelm you. It can all drive you crazy!

Other people find loud noises, bright lights, and crowded spaces energizing, but not you. Too much of it can make you feel like running away, like you want to retreat from the world to find your bearings.

(Video) 9 Things Highly Sensitive People Do Differently

How to embrace it:

Try to create a peaceful environment for yourself. Listening to calming music, turn down the lights, or spend time in nature (this is my go-to solution!).

If you need to be in a crowded or noisy space, try wearing noise-cancelling headphones or taking breaks to step outside and get some fresh air.

3) You’re intuitive

The good thing is, you know exactly when you need to step back and recharge. That’s because you’re super intuitive, like most highly sensitive people.

Not only that, you have a strong sense of what others are feeling, and you can pick up on subtle changes in a room. This can make you a great listener and a supportive friend.

How to embrace it:

Trust your intuition and use it to guide you in your relationships and decision-making. If you have a hunch about something, don’t ignore it. Instead, investigate it further and see where it takes you.

4) You’re a deep thinker

Have you ever been told any of these things?

  • “You think too much.”
  • “You’re always so serious, why can’t you just relax and have fun?”
  • “Why are you making things more complicated than they need to be?”
  • “Stop analyzing everything and just go with the flow.”
  • “You’re too sensitive, you need to toughen up and not take things so personally.”

If yes, take it as a sign that you are a highly sensitive soul.

I spend a lot of time pondering the meaning of life or reflecting on my own experiences. And while being a deep thinker allows me to see the world with fresh eyes, it can also sometimes feel burdensome. Those big questions of life can feel really overwhelming.

If you’ve ever felt this way, I hear you. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, I wish I didn’t have to be this way!

But the fact of the matter is, highly sensitive people like us can’t help it – we were born this way, as Lady Gaga says!

(Video) 8 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

How to embrace it:

Just lean into it! Stop pushing your inner philosopher away. Spend time exploring the deeper questions in life. Read books, have conversations with friends, or just take some time to ponder the mysteries of the universe.

You never know what insights you might gain from your musings. And you never know if those insights might come in handy when someone comes to you with their problems!

5) You’re empathetic

Yes, it is inevitable – someone will come to you with their problems. Because that highly sensitive nature gives you heaps of empathy!

You feel deeply for other people, and imagining yourself in their shoes is just second nature to you.

So, yeah, you might get criticized for being overly sensitive, but guess who people will turn to when they need a comforting presence? YOU!

How to embrace it:

Think about this – the world needs more kindness and compassion. So go ahead and use your empathy to the best of your abilities! Connect with others and go on building strong relationships.

Just be sure to recharge afterward because your high sensitivity also makes you a target for energy vampires…

6) You’re affected by the energy of others

It’s a known fact that emotions and energy are contagious. And since you’re a highly sensitive person, you’re extra prone to that.

You pick up on someone else’s energy, even if they don’t say anything.

Here’s where it becomes a double-edged sword:

If they are happy and joyful, you’ll get those good vibes, too.

(Video) 13 Problems Only Highly Sensitive People Will Understand

Unfortunately, the same goes for bad vibes. When someone’s full of negativity, you’ll absorb those too, and feel drained.

How to embrace it:

This calls for extra self-awareness. Learn to recognize when you’re picking up on someone else’s energy, and take steps to protect yourself. Here are some of those steps:

  • Take a break from the person
  • Engage in activities that bring you joy
  • Use visualization techniques to release those negative vibes
  • Practice self-care

7) You need alone time

That point above is the reason why highly sensitive people need time alone. After spending time with other people and absorbing all of that confusing energy, they need to recharge.

My family used to get mad at me for retreating to my room in the middle of a party, but they’ve since learned that it’s necessary for my state of mind.

How to embrace it:

Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. Schedule some alone time each day to read, meditate, or just relax.

It’s also important to communicate your need for alone time with those around you, so they can understand and respect your boundaries.

8) You’re easily moved by art and beauty

Do you love going to museums? Or doing creative pursuits like writing, painting, or playing music?

That’s a sign you’re a highly sensitive person.

Being highly sensitive renders you to be easily moved by art and beauty. That’s why you’ll often find HSPs (Highly Sensitive People) in the world of art.

You see, that deep connection to the arts just makes our lives better. We gravitate to artistic expressions because they help us feel less alone in experiencing things intensely.

(Video) 11 Signs You Are A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

Does that make sense?

For me, who’s an HSP, it totally does. When I view a painting or listen to a sad song, I immediately recognize a kindred spirit, someone who feels things as deeply as I do, and that thought fills my cup.

How to embrace it:

Use your senses and drink it all in! Allow yourself to feel those feelings, regardless of what others say.

And give yourself room to explore your own creativity as well. Set aside time each day to engage in creative activities, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re “good” at it – the point is to enjoy the process of creating something.

9) You’re detail-oriented

Finally, here’s a detail (pun intended) that points to your highly sensitive nature – you notice details!

Your sensitivity allows you to see the small things that others overlook. It’s a trait that gives you an advantage in both your personal and professional life!

How to embrace it:

Use your attention to detail to your advantage. Take pride in your work and focus on the littlest things that make a big difference.

In your personal life, pay attention to the small things that make your loved ones happy, and try to incorporate them into your daily routines.

However, be careful not to cross over into perfectionism. HSPs do have a tendency to be perfectionists and overly critical of themselves. As long as you can guard yourself against that, you can make that talent for spotting details work for you in many ways!

Final thoughts

As you can see, being a highly sensitive person can be both a blessing and a curse. The key is to harness it so that it empowers you instead of overwhelming you.

Remember to take care of yourself and always recharge. And never feel ashamed for feeling things too much. The world needs more people like you who can make us feel less alone in life!

(Video) 8 Signs You're a Highly Sensitive Person with a Strong Personality


9 signs you're a highly sensitive person and how to embrace it? ›

Highly sensitive people may be more affected by certain situations such as tension, violence, and conflict, which may lead them to avoid things that make them feel uncomfortable. You might be highly touched by beauty or emotionality. Highly sensitive people tend to feel deeply moved by the beauty they see around them.

What hurts a highly sensitive person? ›

Highly sensitive people may be more affected by certain situations such as tension, violence, and conflict, which may lead them to avoid things that make them feel uncomfortable. You might be highly touched by beauty or emotionality. Highly sensitive people tend to feel deeply moved by the beauty they see around them.

What triggers a highly sensitive person? ›

Sights, sounds, smells, and other forms of sensory input may cause a heightened experience for HSPs. A sound that is barely perceptible to most people may be very noticeable, and possibly even painful, to an HSP. There's more to being a highly sensitive person than just being sensitive to stimuli.

What do highly sensitive people need to be happy? ›

To the rescue of emotions

HSPs, therefore, need a lot of empathy and understanding, as well as space to express their much stronger emotions. According to Elaine Aron, a psychotherapist dealing with highly sensitive issues, such people tend to cry more than others and are unable to express what they feel.

What are the secret strengths of highly sensitive people? ›

Most highly sensitive people display rare strengths in key areas of emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ) — the ability to recognize and understand emotions in themselves and others. These strengths including self-awareness and social-awareness.

What is the superpower of highly sensitive people? ›

Overall, sensitivity is a heightened “ability to perceive, process, and respond deeply to one's environment,” which means sensitive people absorb more sensory information (often unconsciously), think more deeply, and find more interconnections among disparate things than less sensitive people typically do.

What should a highly sensitive person avoid? ›

Highly sensitive people traits
  • Avoiding TV shows or movies that are violent.
  • Finding the beauty in almost anything, whether it's art or something in nature.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by noises, bright lights and uncomfortable clothes.
  • Feeling anxious.
  • Feeling the need for downtime.
  • Having a rich inner life.
Jan 20, 2023

What kind of partner does a HSP need? ›

Someone who knows how to have an authentic connection — they like deep conversations about feelings, emotions, and aspirations. Superficial relationships made up of small talk hold no value to highly sensitive people.

What personality types are highly sensitive? ›

The introverted (I) intuitive (N) types (“INs”)—INFJ, INFP, INTJ and INTP—are among the most “sensitive” of the personality types. This is especially true of those who are more turbulent than assertive.

What are the three types of highly sensitive people? ›

The three subtypes of highly sensitive people include Aesthetic Sensitivity (AES), Low Sensory Threshold (LST), and Ease of Excitation (EOE). Before we explain what each of these means, it's important to note that HSPs can fit into more than one subtype, each subtype has its own characteristics.

How do you fix a highly sensitive person? ›

Strategies for Managing Highly Sensitive People
  1. Accept Highly Sensitive People. It can be tempting to try to help an HSP on your team overcome their sensitivity. ...
  2. Address Sources of Stress. ...
  3. Let People Work Alone. ...
  4. Provide a Quiet Place to Work. ...
  5. Give Advance Warning. ...
  6. Encourage Your HSPs to Take Action.

How does a highly sensitive person love? ›

When highly sensitive people (HSPs) confide about love, there is notable depth and intensity. They fall in love hard and they work hard on their close relationships. Yes, sometimes non-HSPs sound similarly enthralled and confused by love, but on the average, HSPs have a more soul-shaking underlying experience.

Do highly sensitive people like to be alone? ›

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) need daily downtime that is alone, unstructured, and unplugged.

Are highly sensitive people lonely? ›

One of the main reasons that HSPs might feel lonely is that their interactions and relationships are lacking substance — and our constant sense of being an “outsider” only makes this worse. Unless we can stop withdrawing and get the meaningful interactions we crave.

What is the brain of a highly sensitive person? ›

HSPs' emotions are extra vivid due to a part of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). The vmPFC is involved in emotion regulation, especially the vividness of emotions. The emotional vividness is not of a social nature (unlike mirror neurons).

Do HSP have anger issues? ›

Due to traits of their personality, heightened empathy or childhood conditioning, many highly sensitive people have repressed anger, and do not know how to deal with their emotions healthily.

Can highly sensitive people read minds? ›

2. No, we don't read minds, but do read emotions. The word “empathic” is used often in highly sensitive people, but that doesn't mean we can read minds. We have a higher sense of the emotions we and others around us feel.

Do HSP cry a lot? ›

Feeling things very deeply

An HSP may be very sensitive to other situations and other people's feelings. A child that is an HSP may cry a lot, and that may be their emotional response to a bunch of different unpleasant feelings (anger, frustration, sadness, stress).

Do HSP need more sleep? ›

Most HSPs need at least 8 hours, and many sleep over the average -- 9 or 10 hours nightly. If you're not getting enough sleep you WILL burn out and edge towards depression, anxiety and become less capable of functioning.

How do you survive and thrive as a highly sensitive person? ›

From managing stresses, to feeling empowered by your sensitivities, we share five essential steps to help you thrive as an HSP
  1. Get rid of any preconceptions. ...
  2. Follow the science. ...
  3. Work on your self-awareness. ...
  4. Set healthy boundaries. ...
  5. Find a work-life balance. ...
  6. Engage in self-care.
Oct 5, 2021

How do highly sensitive people deal with criticism? ›

Take a mental step back and assess the situation before responding. This will help you process the criticism and form space for you to think clearly. You can also choose not to react at all. You might think you're the one who's done something wrong but that's not always the case.

What is the love language of HSP? ›

The 5 Love Languages (Chapman, 2015) include: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Words are powerful for HSPs, who tend to replay conversations over and over again.

What are 4 characteristics of HSP? ›

High Sensitivity can manifest in many ways, but generally shows up as the following four characteristics (D.O.E.S) that are present across the lifespan:
  • D - Depth of Processing. ...
  • O - Overstimulation. ...
  • E - Emotional Responsiveness/Empathy. ...
  • S - Sensitive to Subtleties/Sensory Stimuli. ...
  • Easily Overwhelmed. ...
  • Anxiety and Depression.

Are HSP emotionally intelligent? ›

Groups of HSPs are nearly always compassionate, empathetic, and able to move forward toward goals that have been negotiated by everyone and mutually agreed upon. As a psychologist, I recognize these behaviors as examples of emotional intelligence.

Do highly sensitive people have low self esteem? ›

Sensitive people have a higher likelihood of having low self-esteem. As a highly sensitive person, you may have learned to hide the depth of your emotions or your propensity to become overwhelmed.

What is the kindest personality type? ›

1. ESFJ. People who fit the ESFJ personality type can usually be recognized by their big hearts and kindly manner. ESFJs are warm and welcoming and their love of tradition means they value good old-fashioned manners highly.

What is the most fragile personality type? ›

#1 Most Sensitive Type: INFJ

They are incredibly sensitive to suffering and are unable to just turn away from someone who is in pain. They tend to experience sadness about the cruelty they witness in the world which can lead them to have isolated periods.

Do HSP have more empathy? ›

Seeing the world through another person's eyes is central to the experience of being a highly sensitive person (HSP). There is now a documented, replicable fMRI study showing that HSPs demonstrate stronger empathy than do others in tests involving reactions to images.

How do I control my HSP emotions? ›

How to cope with being a highly sensitive person
  1. Give yourself adequate downtime. Taking breaks for downtime is crucial when you're feeling overstimulated. ...
  2. Manage your environment. ...
  3. Practice paced breathing. ...
  4. Stress management. ...
  5. Emotional regulation. ...
  6. Cultivate a balanced life. ...
  7. Set boundaries. ...
  8. Practice self-soothing.
Jun 17, 2022

Do HSP fall in love easily? ›

Highly sensitive people are easy to love and easy to live with—as long as you understand our unique needs. They say we can't help who we fall in love with, which I think is true. So you may very well fall in love with a highly sensitive person (HSP).

Why is it hard to date as a HSP? ›

For HSPs, who exist in a world that doesn't always understand our needs and neurodivergence, dating can be especially overwhelming. The uncertainty makes the process inherently risky, especially for people who experience feelings on a more intense level than most.

Are highly sensitive people jealous? ›

1. Jealousy. The dictionary defines jealousy as "feelings of worry over the potential loss of something valuable." In business, experiencing jealousy is fairly common, but those feelings are amplified if you're a highly sensitive person.

Do highly sensitive people have friends? ›

An HSP can be fulfilled in their relationships even if they have only a few close friends, so long as those friends are a good match for the HSP's unique needs. An ideal friendship for an HSP is a truly meaningful one. We thrive on strong, solid, and deep connections.

How do you overcome being a highly sensitive person? ›

How to cope with being a highly sensitive person
  1. Give yourself adequate downtime. Taking breaks for downtime is crucial when you're feeling overstimulated. ...
  2. Manage your environment. ...
  3. Practice paced breathing. ...
  4. Stress management. ...
  5. Emotional regulation. ...
  6. Cultivate a balanced life. ...
  7. Set boundaries. ...
  8. Practice self-soothing.
Jun 17, 2022

How can I make my life easier as a HSP? ›

From managing stresses, to feeling empowered by your sensitivities, we share five essential steps to help you thrive as an HSP
  1. Get rid of any preconceptions. ...
  2. Follow the science. ...
  3. Work on your self-awareness. ...
  4. Set healthy boundaries. ...
  5. Find a work-life balance. ...
  6. Engage in self-care.
Oct 5, 2021

What should a highly sensitive person do? ›

HSPs thrive on love and affection.

For the highly sensitive person, emotional support and affection aren't just nice — they're necessities. Because they easily pick up on the moods of others, expressions of caring are important (like a hug or kind words) because it creates a sense that all is well in the relationship.

Can you fix being highly sensitive? ›

You may not be able to change the fact that you are highly sensitive, but you can absolutely change your lifestyle and habits so that you're less affected by those stressors you can't control. After a while, this approach will become second nature and you will feel more resilient toward stress in general.

Do HSP have low self esteem? ›

There is often a misconception that highly sensitive people have low self-esteem, as if the two are one and the same. But high sensitivity does not cause low self-esteem, nor are highly sensitive people born feeling insecure.

Can HSP lack empathy? ›

Most HSPs are empaths, and vice-versa, but this is not necessarily the case. Additionally, many confuse both of these traits as introversion. About 70% of HSPS are introverts, meaning a good number are actually extroverts. However, an introvert is not necessarily highly sensitive or an empath.

Why do HSP have low self esteem? ›

Many HSPs are happy, confident people who have managed to use their sensitive qualities to their advantage. But there are also HSPs who struggle with how they feel about themselves, not as a result of their high sensitivity, but as a consequence of living in a less than sensitive world.

Can HSP control their emotions? ›

As HSPs learn to embrace their sensitivity, they'll easily be able to regulate their emotions by stating their needs rather than trying to fit in with the 80 percent non-HSP culture.

Do highly sensitive people get overwhelmed easily? ›

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) tend to get overwhelmed or over-stimulated because they “process more information from their environment and from within than others do,” said Jean Fitzpatrick, LP, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with HSPs.

Are you born highly sensitive? ›

As it turns out, there is research on this innate trait of high sensitivity. The scientific term is “sensory-processing sensitivity" (SPS). Highly sensitive people are born that way; it is not something they learned. As children, they might be described by teachers as shy or inhibited, especially in Western countries.


1. Signs Of A Highly Sensitive Person - Dr. Julie Smith
(Dr Julie)
2. How to Know if You're A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
(Julia Kristina Counselling)
3. 8 Things That Make a Highly Sensitive Person Hard To Love
4. 12 Signs You're a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
5. 15 Things You Should Know If You Love A Highly Sensitive Person


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