HSP is a trait that we are born with. It is genetic.
Also known as sensory processing sensitivity, the highly sensitive person trait makes up 15-20% of the population.
It is not gender specific, meaning an equal percentage of both women and men have this trait. It’s also found in over 100 animal species.
I know for sure that one of my kitty cats is an HSP or should that be an HSC? 😺
Interestingly HSPs are not just introverts. Thirty percent of HSPs are in fact 30% extroverts.
Although the trait has been around forever, it was Dr Elaine Aron who began researching it in 1991. Since then Dr Aron has written many books and scientific research papers to provide a more in-depth psychological understanding of this trait.
It began as a survival strategy that involves a special way of processing extra, subtle details allowing one to process information thoroughly before responding. While the other 80-85% of the population may tend more to rush into things, we process the five senses in a much deeper way.
Imagine that you have about three or four paths of information coming into your brain.
That is the experience of the majority of the population, but for highly sensitives, we have 50-100 paths of information coming into our brains.
That’s a lot of information for us to process.
This means we can be very intuitive and empathetic. It is also very similar to having a sixth sense.
As you can imagine, taking in so much information can often feel overwhelming and at times utterly exhausting. To be our best, we usually need more quiet, down time to process all that information.
You may have grown up being told you’re too sensitive, or shy, perhaps too quiet. You may have felt that you were different, that you didn’t fit in.
Sensitivity comes with so many gifts and I want you to discover the positives within you.
– Julie Bjelland
I hope by reading this post and learning that there are millions of us in the world (1.4 billion roughly!), you feel validated in how you feel and how you show up in the world.
You have so many wonderful gifts as a highly sensitive person and I really encourage you to embrace your gifts and honour yourself.
It truly is an amazing trait.
If I were to leave you with one piece of advice, it would be to surround yourself with other HSPs.
There are many wonderful communities that will welcome you with open arms.
If you’re not already a member of my free Facebook group, I’d love to invite you to join.
I’d also highly recommend the Sensitive Empowerment Community with Julie Bjelland. Not only are there many other HSPs it is packed full of tools and resources to help you flourish as someone with the HSP trait.