I was one of those children more sensitive than most. I was teased a lot, and it was upsetting. I was told that the kids (mostly boys, in grade school) picked on me because they could get a “rise” out of me. Basically, I was told I should just suck it up. Sigh. Life was different then, but even now many people don’t grasp that this is not how brains work. That being sensitive isn’t a a bad thing.
Sensitivity is an emotional trait found in 20 percent of the population. People like me are part of a group called Highly Sensitive People, or HSP. It’s an attribute, and a biological fact (YES) like any other: tall or short, red hair or blonde. We can work at adapting to the world the way a shorter person wears high heels, or a brunette becomes a blonde. At the end of the day, we are who we are. Warts and all.
I’ve been trying for a few weeks to find a good topic for a post, and failing. I recently didn’t get a job I really wanted, and lost a friend I treasured. But one of the great memories from the past few weeks was sitting with adored co-workers at my volunteer gig, and taking the online quiz to see who was HSP.
This is always a fun exercise. My experience is that many people don’t want to take it, and they resist and push forcefully against the idea because there is a negative connotation to being sensitive. I’ve witnessed this so many times. “But I’m not x! I’m not y! The subway no longer jolts me! I walk fast through the crowd.” High heels, people, high heels.
20 percent of the population, and the majority of the people in my life who I care about, are HSP. Want to give it a go? Click through to take the self-test: hsperson.com