You may be an HSP if:

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You are keenly aware of your surroundings more than others are. You find yourself readily overwhelmed by strong sensory input: colors and lights, sounds, texture, smells, tastes, etc.

You pick up on the subtleties in your environment that others don’t notice - the misaligned picture frame, the lint on the couch, the humming of the fridge, the scratchy tag on the collar of your shirt - and it bothers you until it’s taken care of.

Your emotions run very deeply. You are also easily affected by other peoples’ emotions, like a sponge absorbing their feelings as your own. You have strong empathy: no words are needed for you to intuitively sense how someone else is doing. You find yourself reacting almost immediately to them before you consciously know what's happening.

You are easily moved by the arts and are drawn to things that portray deep meaning and significance. Small talk drives you crazy, while authentic, meaningful conversations are rejuvenating.


Your nervous system is overstimulated from all the sensory or emotional input that you often feel overloaded, foggy, or frazzled. You find yourself withdrawing away from all the chatter, lights, and noise towards quiet, darkened spaces so that you can decompress in private. You can retreat into and get lost in your rich inner world for hours.

Everyone else seems to have “thicker skin,” whereas you feel like you bruise easily. You have been described as being too sensitive or emotionally reactive to things that are “not a big deal.”

Sounds like you?

If you resonated with many of these experiences, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) along with 20% of the population. The HSP trait is not a disease or a diagnosis, but since HSPs are in the minority, they are more likely to be misunderstood or judged.

Because of their particular neurobiological wiring, HSPs experience the world differently than non-HSPs do, but in ways that are neither inherently better or worse. HSPs take in greater quantity and quality of input and process more finely. As a result, they are more prone to being insightful and empathic while also being easily overloaded and stressed.

What’s Next?

Find out how to take care of yourself in ways that you specifically need, not in ways that you feel like you “should.”

Learn how your relationships are shaped by your HSP experience.

Work with (not against) the HSP trait so that you can create a rich and vibrant life.

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Further Reading:


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