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“You’re too sensitive”

“You need to get out of your shell”

You act like a baby”

Sometimes bullied and picked on, teased until it hurts, never seeming to be able to fit in.

Does any of this sound familiar to you or someone you care about? Let me assure you, being sensitive is not a character flaw or mental disorder. But have you ever been made to believe it is? It’s a different way of experiencing life, and not everyone in the world is clued in about it, to say the least.

Let’s start off with a short quiz to see if you’re an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person). Ready?

1)  I’m sensitive to my environment (sounds, other people, odors for example)                      Y        N

(2)  I feel other people’s moods (such as negativity)                                                                          Y        N

(3)  I feel pain acutely                                                                                                                                  Y        N

(4)  I need to withdraw into myself, my home, to be alone and quiet when I feel

          overstimulated by too much chaos or pressure, or other environmental factors         Y        N

(5)  Even small amounts of caffeine affect my nerves                                                                      Y        N

(6)  I’m easily overwhelmed by loud noises, things touching my skin, bright or flashing 

          lights, or strong smells                                                                                                                     Y      N

(7)  My own mind/inner self is fascinating, and I am never bored when alone                         Y      N

(8)  Music or art can make me emotional                                                                                             Y      N

(9)  I have high standards of personal conduct and work for myself                                            Y       N

(10) It’s easy for someone to startle me                                                                                                Y       N

(11) Feeling pressured makes me feel upset and agitated                                                               Y        N

(12) My first reaction when someone is upset, in pain, or uncomfortable is to 

         try my best to comfort them                                                                                                           Y        N

(13) I lash out when someone makes too many demands on me                                                  Y        N

(14) I’m hard on myself trying to do everything perfectly                                                               Y        N

(15) I can’t deal with watching videos with violence and pain                                                       Y        N

(16) I easily become overstimulated by a chaotic environment and need to leave                 Y        N

(17) Being hungry makes me irritable and unable to concentrate                                               Y        N

(18) Change, whether bad or good, makes me melt down                                                              Y        N

(19) I notice details in everyday life that no one else does                                                             Y        N

(20) I control every detail about my life to avoid bad situations                                                  Y        N

(21) When people are watching me perform tasks, I get so nervous that I can’t function   Y        N

(22) When I was young – or maybe even as an adult – people always told me

         I was shy and/or sensitive                                                                                                              Y       N



If you answered Yes to at least 12 of the questions, there’s a good chance you’re Highly Sensitive. I’ll talk more about what it is to be Highly Sensitive in next week’s post. Being an HSP isn’t a curse, but an asset!