Home Sweet Home for an HSP – Highly Sensitive Person.
As a child (or as an adult) were you ever labelled as a “fuss-pot”? I was. “Fuss-pot Annie …” my father called me. Do you readily identify with the Princess and the Pea? I do. I’ll notice every lump and bump on a dying mattress
Are you really freaked out by sudden and intrusive noise? Are you unnerved by constant droning noise you can’t drown out? Do you easily feel too hot, too cold? Do you need everything to be “just right”? Do you wonder if Goldilocks was based on you?
Do you love company and crave quiet? Do you notice everything – and sometimes nothing because you’re overloaded? Do you see subtle nuances that others miss?
Are you capable yet turn into a clumsy klutz if asked to handle too many things at once? Do you love your butterfly-brain yet find that multi-tasking turns you to jelly?
Do you crave stimulation and at the same time crave escape? Do you need to be comfortable yet rarely feel at ease? Do the lyrics “… oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood …” mean more to you than anyone could possibly understand?
Have I asked way TOO many questions???
If you recognise the above and it resonates with you, you might just be an HSP – a Highly Sensitive Person (whose central nervous system is highly sensitive to sensory /environmental stimuli, an innate trait also known as SPS – Sensory Processing Sensitivity). If so, you’ll find a welcome and understanding home here. As an HSP myself I totally relate and empathise with that sense of being out of sync with what our busy-busy world expects from us.
Our culture has a norm of busyness, always active, always on the go, always being fully engaged, proactive, go-getting productivity that, for an HSP, is frankly exhausting. We are bright, we are creative, intuitive, empathetic, sympathetic, sensitive, considerate, giving and caring. And sometimes we need to chill out. Unplug. Zone out. Recover. Of course, you know that …. if you already know you’re an HSP.
But we’re scared that the world will leave us behind if we ask for what we need. Scared it will label us as lazy, difficult, demanding, fussy. HSPs often neglect to speak up and show our value and the positive impacts we can bring. I’m writing here to both offer recognition and support to HSPs and to facilitate better understanding and appreciation of HSPs among in wider world.
Highly sensitive people make up around 20 per cent of the population and are perfectly normal – yet that bit different to most people. We have a rich inner world. We can delight in nuances and subtleties that others may miss. Our brains fry hard and we need time out.
Dr Elaine Aron, the psychologist and author of The Highly Sensitive Person, who gave our experience of the world its name, is herself an HSP and has come up with the handy acronym DOES for Depth of Processing, Overstimulation, Emotional Reactivity and Sensing the Subtle. Dr Aron’s work informs and inspires much of the thinking and knowledge building around HSPs.
What did the square peg say to the round hole? “Ouch!”
Here you can come home and relax. I can’t promise to offer you a total “ouch”-free zone – change, development and growth almost always entail some degree of temporary discomfort – (argh, I know!) I can offer you the prospect of less “ouch” with time and space to reflect and select.
Here we can offer you the chance to feel nurtured and nourished. To explore who you are and what you need without feeling that you are wrong. The chance to move from the unease of shifting sands to a more solid foundation where you feel excited and calm; centred, grounded, supported – ready, able and willing to love your highly sensitive life – launch yourself, accept yourself and fly.