We hold a bold vision: One day, we will live in a world that honors a sensitive way of being. First, we must learn to honor ourselves.
Perhaps you are new to the term, Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or its scientific term Sensory Processing Sensitivity. Or maybe you've known for some time, but it seems to be coming up in your life again. Our trait has been studied for over 30 years, but more recently is receiving world-wide attention.
Scientists believe that 15-20% of humans are born with a brain and central nervous system that are more finely tuned to subtleties in their environment. Each day, all day long, we receive stimuli from our surroundings and sensitive people are like an antennae with a wide open frequency - we see, hear and sense so much more.
Dr. Elaine Aron is the leading researcher of this genetic, inherited trait - you are welcome to visit her website to take a quick, online self-test to see if you identify as an HSP. She wrote the original book about the trait, 'The Highly Sensitive Person', as well as several other related books and an informative blog. Elaine recently collaborated to create a full-length documentary movie entitled, 'Sensitive - The Untold Story'.
Following her lead, other researchers, authors, counselors and coaches have produced a Ted Talk, numerous books, websites, blogs and an explosion of private Facebook groups for sensitive people.
Sensitivity is a strength! Many HSPs are unusually talented, intelligent and creative individuals. Some may have been labeled as 'shy' or 'introverted', but these labels are not the same as sensitivity - as about 30% of HSP's are extroverts. 50% are men and 50% are women, however so often our culture discourages men from showing emotions and being empathetic to others. Highly sensitive men may find it particularly difficult to be understood and accepted. Our community honors sensitive men, just exactly as you are.
What HSPs Have in Common:
Depth of Processing - sensitive people process situations and information at a much deeper level, analyzing from a variety of viewpoints. HSP's utilize a 'Pause to Check' system, which allows us to stop and consider all angles before proceeding. We generally avoid 'small talk', instead preferring to dive into deeper conversations about topics that really matter to us personally or for the betterment of humankind.
Overstimulation - sensitive people can be easily overwhelmed when in an over-stimulating environment for too long, and many become bombarded by sights, sounds and emotions until they are exhausted. Some sensitive people are triggered by crowds, deadlines, pressure, being the center of attention, bumper to bumper traffic, or other factors. What overstimulates you will likely be different than someone else so knowing what your triggers are can help you to arrange your life to support your personal needs. HSP's require more alone time than others to re-boot after stimulating activities.
Emotional Intensity - sensitive people feel and connect on a very deep level, especially when those around them are very emotional or are struggling with challenges in their lives. We can walk into a room and immediately sense the energy between people without even knowing what just took place. Art, theater, music, and movies allow HSP's to deeply identify with the characters or the artist's message. Some HSP's have chosen to limit their exposure to media that sensationalizes the negative aspects of our society because it is too much to process emotionally.
Sensory Sensitivity - sensitive people exhibit greater depth of senses like sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. We quite simply experience more of the subtleties of life. One or more of your five senses may be a 'super sense'. For some of us, certain smells are intolerable, for others a scratchy tag in the back of a shirt must go. Again, which senses are more deeply activated is completely unique to each person. In addition, some HSP's have a very finely tuned sense of intuition, being naturally able to tap into a deep sense of 'knowing' about people and situations.
Why consider joining our community? We strive to provide a safe and welcoming place for all highly sensitive people, accepting and honoring you for exactly who you are. Because HSPs represent a cross-section of all humanity, we are incredibly diverse. We celebrate our similarities as sensitive people as well as honor our diversity.
We offer interactive, monthly gatherings for the purpose of helping you connect with other like-minded people and to learn more about your trait. Our mission is to inspire our members to view their sensitivity as a strength and to recognize and honor your unique gifts and talents. We also offer fun, low-key social activities to provide opportunities for our members to 'find your tribe', make connection with like minded souls, be heard and understood. We hope to meet you soon!