You’re not crazy, you’re an HSP

As a child my sensitivity showed itself in simple ways: preparing my dad’s morning routine for him upon noticing how exhausted he was coming home from the factory; consoling my mother’s cousin who lost her husband; feeling family conflict to my core; and quickly recognizing what spaces I fit in and didn’t.
As an adulatier version of myself, I’m hyper-aware of my sensitivity and anxiety. Most recently, a friend spoke to me about HSP’s, Highly Sensitive Person, and for the first time there’s a name for the type of person I am.
If you:
  • Get easily overwhelmed
  • Are slow to accept rapid change or freak out when there is change
  • Pick up on nuanced body language
  • Empathise with almost anyone
  • Focus on subtle differences in temperature, setting, or aesthetic
  • Love being around people and stimuli but need time alone
  • Feel the need to turn everything off
  • Struggle wearing certain fabric or even underwear (this validates my hatred of bras)
  • Look to find your peace in music, nature, and other spaces that offer solitude
  • Are sensitive to certain household scents, cleaning products, or perfumes
  • Find yourself falling deep into one feeling

You might be a Highly Sensitive Person.

According to Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, “15 to 20% of the population” is an HSP. Although Aron is known for authoring The Highly Sensitive Person, this trait is not unique to humans, the animal kingdom has folks like us too!


What makes us different from others, whether we stand on leg or paw, is that we “are more aware than others of subtleties.” On her website, Aron goes on to explain that [our brains process information more deeply]. Therefore, if you find yourself trapped inside the folds in your noggin, you’re not insane.

To survive this world, HSP’s need to step away and recharge. My escape is often music, nature, writing — all activities I much prefer to do alone, especially when I feel the urge to panic. Because we are highly sensitive and can easily become consumed, HSP’s are more susceptible to depression, making them feel alone on this massive planet.

If you are an HSP reading this, you’re not alone. If you’re friends with an HSP, check on them here and there, especially during difficult times, because it is often a task to pull free from our minds.

Whether you are an HSP or not, self knowledge is the start. Once you get to know who you are: how you function best, when to recharge, what your stressors are, etc… you are well on your way to living a fuller life. Take the time to get to know you, it’s not silly, I promise.

For more information on HSP’s visit Elaine Aron’s website. Below are some posts I’ve found most helpful: