So, I found out about this term -- HSP or Highly Sensitive People a few days ago when I was chatting with a friend about her son heading off to Kindergarten. She said she was worried about how he would react to his new environment because "he's so sensitive." That's when she dropped HSP on me.
Apparently, between 15 and 20 percent of the population is considered highly sensitive which means their nervous systems process stimuli at a much higher rate -- sometimes up to 10 times more -- than the rest of the population.
Traits of HSPs include having a low tolerance for bright, glaring lights and loud noises. They are extremely sensitive to the emotions of others and they tend to be quiet, but astute observers who, according to Dr. Elaine Aron are mislabeled as shy, introverted and hypersensitive.
She also goes onto say that high sensitivity causes them to process and reflect upon incoming information very deeply. It is not that they are "afraid," but that it is in their nature to process incoming information so deeply.
After a little research, I discovered that HSPs are also sensitive to caffeine, masters of subtlety, into art and music, sensitive to their own pain and extremely uncomfortable with movies and TV shows that contain violence. All of these traits according to Aron are inherited.
Finally, I also found that there is a strong correlation between high sensitivity and being "gifted" or very intelligent.
What do you think? Do you buy into the concept of HSP? Do you know anyone you would consider HSP? Do you consider yourself HSP? If you are easily overexcited by the world around you, what are your coping mechanisms?