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What Does it Mean to be Highly Sensitive?

Being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is a personality trait characterized by heightened sensitivity to various stimuli, both external and internal. HSPs process sensory information more deeply and intensely than the average person, which can impact their emotional, mental, and physical experiences.


This trait was first identified by Dr. Elaine Aron, who coined the term "highly sensitive person" in the early 1990s.

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Highly sensitive individuals tend to process information more deeply and intensely, which can lead to both strengths and challenges in their everyday lives. Here are some key aspects of being highly sensitive:

Emotional Sensitivity:

Highly sensitive individuals tend to experience emotions more intensely. They may be deeply affected by the emotions of others and may have strong emotional reactions to various situations. They often exhibit empathy and understanding towards others.

Sensory Sensitivity:

People who are highly sensitive can be more attuned to sensory input such as sounds, lights, textures, and smells. They may be easily overwhelmed by loud or chaotic environments and may need more time to recover after exposure to such stimuli.

Deep Processing:

Highly sensitive individuals tend to process information more deeply and thoroughly. They may notice subtle details that others might overlook and think deeply about their experiences and interactions.

Strong Intuition:

Many highly sensitive people have a strong sense of intuition. They often rely on their gut feelings and inner insights to make decisions.


Due to their heightened sensitivity, HSPs can become easily overwhelmed by too much sensory input or emotional stimulation. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, stress, and the need for alone time to recharge.

Empathy and Compassion:

Highly sensitive individuals often have a high level of empathy and compassion. They can easily understand and share the feelings of others.

Aesthetic Appreciation:

Many highly sensitive individuals have a deep appreciation for art, music, nature, and other forms of beauty. They may be profoundly moved by artistic expressions.

In-depth Thinking:

HSPs tend to think deeply and thoroughly about their experiences and the world around them. This can make them great problem-solvers and critical thinkers.

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