Highly Sensitive? Learn How Your Personality Is Biologically Hardwired

By Lindsay Holmes | The Huffington Post

Photo by: Mitya Ku

Photo by: Mitya Ku

Highly sensitive people have been labeled a lot of ways in the past, like fragile, over-emotional and intense. But there's more to a highly sensitive person than just excess crying and a whole ton of feelings.


Those with an empathetic personality are actually biologically wired to behave the way that they do. As a result, they also have an entirely different approach to to their physical environment — and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Have relationships with highly sensitive people? Learn “25 Habits of Highly Sensitive People” – love and support them better, enjoying deeper and more meaningful, successful interactions. 

Below are just a few ways highly sensitive people interact differently with the world around them than their “thick-skinned” counterparts.

They're easily overstimulated by their surroundings.
Loud noises, big decisions and large crowds don't bode well for HSPs without a little downtime to balance them out. This is because they have a very active emotional response, according to Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and one of the original scientific researchers of the personality trait.


“The reason this happens is because they're processing everything around them so thoroughly,” Aron told The Huffington Post. HSPs process their surroundings or life events based on emotions. In other words, the more overwhelming their circumstances get, the more deeply they feel.

They pick up on the subtleties in a room.
Did you rearrange your living room? Did your spouse make you upset at a dinner party? Sensitive folks can sense many subtle shifts, whether they're tangible items or emotional moods, Aron says. “There's just this intuition they have about their environment that other people generally aren't aware of,” she explained.

That intuition also guides them in their own relationships as well. HSPs notice different attitudes that may not be picked up on by other people. So if you're using different language or texting more abrasively than normal (think periods instead of exclamation points), chances are a HSP is going to take note.

They're more emotional in their relationships.
HSPs crave deep connections. According to Aron's research, sensitive people tend to get more bored in marriages than non-HSP couples, mostly due to the lack of meaningful interaction that naturally occurs as time goes on. However, this isn't necessarily bad news. Aron says that the lack of meaning doesn't mean an HSP is going to abandon ship — it's only going to motivate them to have more stimulating conversations.

The key to a successful relationship for an HSP is communicating what they want out of a relationship and finding a partner that understands their emotions are part of their nature. “Sensitive people can't help but expressing what they're feeling,” she said. “They show their anger, they show their happiness. Appreciating that is really important.”

Are you highly a highly sensitive person? Here are 5 tips just for you courtesy of research by Dr. Elaine Aron. 

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5 Reader Comments

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  1. sillyshelly23@gmail.com' Shelly says:

    This hit home thanks

  2. slpulsinelli@aol.com' S u e says:

    Hit home for sure i am empathic

  3. slpulsinelli@aol.com' S u e says:

    This was very true for me I am a empath and clairvoyant its nice to see people have put words to the experience.

  4. slpulsinelli@aol.com' S u e says:

    This was very true for me I am empathic and clairvoyant its nice to see people have put words to the experience.

  5. sparkleybits@yahoo.com' jan says:

    Ha try being an xray tech n a 300 bed hospital with only 2 techs.
    This job drains everything have. Not only that i only get 1 day off in between 4 days on/off. I am completely debilitated. Talk about the wrong career choice! I’m in my late 40’s and single so i’m stuck with this soul crushing career.

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