By Pascale: High sensitivity can generally be viewed as a person expressing a sensitivity stronger than that of others. Being highly sensitive is not a scourge nor a disease, it doesn’t need healing**. What it needs is to be understood, managed and adapted according to the needs of a highly sensitive person. High sensitivity should not be interpreted as a problem, on the contrary: It is a gift, a tool and an advantage.
A highly sensitive person feels intensely: they are intensely ‘alive’. They have a deep need for sincerity and truthfulness. Most highly sensitive people are very ill at ease with society’s expectations. They have their own set of social requirements, and this means that a highly sensitive person often feels like an outsider or a black sheep, because they have difficulties fitting within society’s understood and acceptable norms, including the state of normality. This mostly happens because highly sensitive people need sincere and truthful relationships. High sensitivity is a gift that allows highly sensitive people to reveal and demonstrate their deep humanity.
Typically and since childhood, highly sensitive people have received the message that if they were less sensitive, it would be better. This usually happens without them realizing it, at a subconscious level. There is nothing wrong with a person being highly sensitive, it is society’s perspective on highly sensitive people that signals or tells them that there must be something wrong with them and that they are not quite normal. Society perceives highly sensitive people as too kind, fragile and having specific needs, but this too is wrong and constitutes a serious misunderstanding of high sensitivity.
One major misconception held by highly sensitive people themselves, is the belief that if they weren’t highly sensitive, they’d be happier. This is not true. For example, they think that if they weren’t so sensitive at work, they’d have no problems or that they could easily get along with their colleagues. Likewise, in relationships, they believe that it is their high sensitivity that creates the difficulties they encounter, and worse, that it is their fault. They feel like a sponge that absorbs everyone’s energy; consequently, they experience confusion, moods and anxiety. They may find it difficult to make decisions. Highly sensitive people are eager to please, to be of service, only to realise that they can’t meet others’ expectations and that they are never quite good enough, thus falling into a pattern of loneliness and unnecessary guilt. They are overwhelmed and the core belief of themselves ends up distorted.
When highly sensitive people stop seeing themselves as flawed by their high sensitivity, they can free themselves from unhealthy beliefs associated with it. The ability to experience being attuned to a wide range of emotions and sensations enables an emotional understanding that is deeply unique to them, and this includes intuition. However, believing that one shouldn’t experience too many emotions or sensations in order to improve one’s life is not the right way to think and go about it.
A highly sensitive person experiences heightened awareness. They can easily pick up and detect cues and signals through one or more of their senses, which are highly developed and may include a strong intuition.
Following are some of the signs that you may be highly sensitive:
Empathy: Most highly sensitive people are extremely empathetic and can feel what others feel intensely: they can feel their joy, their sadness, their concerns, anger, etc. There is a very strong and deep tie between high sensitivity and love, (love in the broad sense of the word and including romantic love). They are compassionate, generous and feel that it is their duty to help others, to be of service, simultaneously ignoring or denying their own needs. They make themselves vulnerable to others’ expectations and criticism. This is then followed by fluctuating moods, feelings of shame, anxiety, inadequacy, unjustified guilt and depleted energy.
For example: You walk into your office and you immediately know how one colleague is feeling; or you pick up on the entire mood of a group of people when you enter a room. This can also happen in an empty room: you are able to feel the emotional residue, or the energy lingering in that room.
Sound: A simple piece of music, a song may feel amplified in your head and can take you to a meditative or spiritual state, where you not only derive enjoyment, but meaning too, by forming associations or receiving a message from spirit.
Sight: flashing lights showing up at a specific moment in your life can appear intensified and give you an acute sense of the significance of the current moment you are going through or give you an insight. Or a poster, a painting, not to mention a tarot card, catches your eye (the color or the design or some of the lines your eye follows) and literally brings a meaningful message or a symbol.
Smell: A particular smell can also bring associations which can interpret. You might often smell something no one else can, and this too could be viewed as a message you either understand or need to learn to understand, (aside from any medical conditions).
Touch: You try on a garment that doesn’t belong to you and find that you can feel, see, or know something about the person who owns it.
Arts: you love anything to do with the arts: music, literature, visual arts, entertainment, etc. You are often moved by a book, or you cry when watching a dramatic movie or an opera; basically, when it comes to art, you are generally able to let your emotions run free.
Of course, all of these sensations and types of intuition can easily intermingle. (When it comes to intuition, a learning process is also involved in understanding it and yourself).
When you are not aware that you are a highly sensitive person, you have erroneous beliefs about yourself. Your high sensitivity can significantly impact your emotional world in a challenging and distorted way, causing confusion and distress. This happens because you are overwhelmed and stressed out by the surplus of fast pace emotions and information your brain registers, frequently resulting in the misinterpretation of the information received and making you feel even more isolated, and like there is definitely something wrong with you.
Highly sensitive people are a minority. If this is you, acknowledging your high sensitivity is your first step: it will generate relief in the knowledge that high sensitivity is part of being human, that it is not a flaw, and that you can do something about it, and that is by learning to understand it and using it to your benefit.
In the next article, we will look at ways to accept, understand and manage high sensitivity by using it as an invaluable tool, for your highest good.
End of Part I
**(High sensitivity is sometimes associated with psychological/mental or medical conditions which are best dealt with by a professional therapist: this article excludes such conditions).
Love and Light,
Latest posts by Pascale (see all)
- How To Manage Your High Sensitivity – Part II - March 3, 2023
- High Sensitivity: Scourge Or Blessing? (Part I) - February 2, 2023
- Bringing Love Back - January 9, 2023