What is being hsp?

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default What is being hsp?

Post by melodiccolor on Fri May 09, 2008 3:18 pm

From Elaine Aron's website: http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/ For the current shorter version on her site (updated 5/14/15)

If you find you are a highly sensitive person, or your child is, then you need to be aware of the following points:

This trait is normal--it is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and indeed the same percentage seems to be present in all higher animals.

Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener (although they may be). But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.

Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.

This trait is not something new I discovered--it has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited.

The reason for these negative misnomers and general lack of research on the subject is that in this culture being tough and outgoing is the preferred or ideal personality--not high sensitivity. (Therefore in the past the research focus has been on sensitivity's potential negative impact on sociability and boldness, not the phenomenon itself or its purpose.) This cultural bias affects HSPs as much as their trait affects them, as I am sure you realize. Even those who loved you probably told you, "don't be so sensitive," making you feel abnormal when in fact you could do nothing about it and it is not abnormal at all.

Elaine Aron has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a thriving psychotherapy practice. She is the first therapist to tell HSPs how to identify their trait and make the most of it in everyday situations. Highly Sensitive People have an uncommonly sensitive nervous system - a normal occurrence, according to Aron. "About 15 to 20 percent of the population have this trait. It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long, bombarded by sights and sounds until you are exhausted." An HSP herself, Aron reassures other Highly Sensitives that they are quite normal. Their trait is not a flaw or a syndrome, nor is it a reason to brag. It is an asset they can learn to use and protect.

In defining the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron provides examples of characteristic behaviors, and these are reflected in the questions she typically asks patients or interview subjects:

Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?

Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?

Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?

Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?

Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?

Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?

Do you have a rich and complex inner life?

When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Dr. Aron explains that in the past HSPs have been called "shy," "timid," "inhibited," or "introverted," but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait. Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extraverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences. If these were mostly bad experiences, then yes, they will be truly shy. But in a culture that prefers confident, "bold" extraverts, it is harmful as well as mistaken to stigmatize all HSPs as shy when many are not. InThe Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron reframes these stereotyping words and their common application to the HSP in a more positive light and helps HSPs use and view these aspects of their personality as strengths rather than weaknesses.

Sensitivity is anything but a flaw. Many HSPs are often unusually creative and productive workers, attentive and thoughtful partners, and intellectually gifted individuals. According to Dr. Aron, HSPs could contribute much more to society if they received the right kind of attention.

From what I understand, what is tested for is coping mechanisms for how to deal with how our brains process information;  it is how our brains work that make us hsp's.  How we actually cope with so much information is as individual as we are.

The actual hsp test is on the webpage listed above, along with Dr. Aron's news letters.


Last edited by melodiccolor on Thu May 14, 2015 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by reb on Fri May 09, 2008 11:06 pm

i can't find the link, but there is a link to a paper present by Dr. Aron to a psychological symposium, or perhaps it was her doctoral thesis...it's pretty technical, with lots of psychology jargon, but it explores the 'percentages and trends' better than eanything else i've seen....it may even be linked on her site, if you dig enough...you'll know when you find it, as it's title is 'jung and....' something...
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Post by Little Sister on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:44 pm

This is a link to that Jungian article: http://www.junginstitute.org/pdf_files/JungV8N2p11-44.pdf
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Post by jaded on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:16 pm

I have some Jung stuff saved in files somewhere. I love reading his theories. My neighbor is a therapist & goes with Freud. I told her he was a perv. lol
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Post by reb on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:30 pm

ya know what Herr Doctor Jung says nowadays, don'tcha?


'Ach! to be Jung again!' lol
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Post by Rivershine on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:41 pm

reb wrote:ya know what Herr Doctor Jung says nowadays, don'tcha?


'Ach! to be Jung again!' lol
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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by RBM on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:26 pm

I have a contrary view of this.

My definition is an HSP is someone who has more superpower switches turned on than non-HSP's.
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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by melodiccolor on Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:35 pm

RBM wrote:I have a contrary view of this.

My definition is an HSP is someone who has more superpower switches turned on than non-HSP's.

Actually, I don't think that's contrary. It seems like a pretty good description of it. Laughing

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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by RBM on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:38 am

Glad to hear it is not perceived as contrary.
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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by Nucky on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:50 am

That is a good description of it.

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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by Justbreathe on Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:58 pm

Well for me, I have to tell you the truth and find it a curse. It's ruining my life and I do all the things I'm supposed to do to protect myself. To no avail, it's not working.
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Post by Alethia on Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:49 pm

Justbreathe wrote:Well for me, I have to tell you the truth and find it a curse. It's ruining my life and I do all the things I'm supposed to do to protect myself. To no avail, it's not working.

Its funny its five am here where I am...I have been awake on and off all night with processing, communications through dreams..outside on wet grass in the middle of the night..barefoot grounding some kind of overwhelming energy present in my body to the point I was shaking non stop..and my cat reads me all night and guides me to follow him when I dont listen....and then I finally wake up now and think.....ok is this the way my life is going to be....or what...but then I think back to the journey I have been on as a hsp and realized that many of these strange patches we go through are just patches to learn and grow...if we choose.....At the moment I am choosing to learn and grow because I really want my sleep back..and for that matter I want my twin soul to stop trying to get my attention in my dreams from the other side...by showing me people I know in my dreams with his name.........then I think is it me doing this or him...........and then I come here and read this..........and think............I always thought being a hsp was a beatiful thing...........but I am now left wondering after my night whether this thing is a curse....seriously in this moment I think it is......I feel like saying a really bad word here but I wont because I dont know you well enough yet...and you might find swearing a bad thing....then I think well shit I am sitting here in a place where I am finally fully connected to myself so it should not matter...........so for you and me right now in this moment I am going to say...out loud....."COBS WALLOP"......well you/I wanted to say worse but I restrained myself...because I have a thirteen year old son and I am sure I wouldnt want him to know I say that word....anyway I just connected to the meaning of cob and wallop..........cob as in corn...........sweet and delicous.........wallop as in hard beating............yeah that pretty much sums up being a hsp..........welcome just breathe by the way......and thankyou I am just going to breathe right now through this mass confusion reigning in my night time sleep patterns............what gets me is why do these so called supportive guides interrupt my sleep........why cant they connect in the day.............ok I just got my answer...........because I am too bloody busy........ok I hear ya.....breathe Alethia......breathe......phew...thats better...I am going to eat....food that is.........not food for thought either...........my mind has been in so many spaces today....I am telling them all to pee off and leave me be......well sometimes you dont get a choice.....sigh....
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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by melodiccolor on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:48 pm

Alethia wrote:
Justbreathe wrote:Well for me, I have to tell you the truth and find it a curse. It's ruining my life and I do all the things I'm supposed to do to protect myself. To no avail, it's not working.

Its funny its five am here where I am...I have been awake on and off all night with processing, communications through dreams..outside on wet grass in the middle of the night..barefoot grounding some kind of overwhelming energy present in my body to the point I was shaking non stop..and my cat reads me all night and guides me to follow him when I dont listen....and then I finally wake up now and think.....ok is this the way my life is going to be....or what...but then I think back to the journey I have been on as a hsp and realized that many of these strange patches we go through are just patches to learn and grow...if we choose.....At the moment I am choosing to learn and grow because I really want my sleep back..and for that matter I want my twin soul to stop trying to get my attention in my dreams from the other side...by showing me people I know in my dreams with his name.........then I think is it me doing this or him...........and then I come here and read this..........and think............I always thought being a hsp was a beatiful thing...........but I am now left wondering after my night whether this thing is a curse....seriously in this moment I think it is......I feel like saying a really bad word here but I wont because I dont know you well enough yet...and you might find swearing a bad thing....then I think well shit I am sitting here in a place where I am finally fully connected to myself so it should not matter...........so for you and me right now in this moment I am going to say...out loud....."COBS WALLOP"......well you/I wanted to say worse but I restrained myself...because I have a thirteen year old son and I am sure I wouldnt want him to know I say that word....anyway I just connected to the meaning of cob and wallop..........cob as in corn...........sweet and delicous.........wallop as in hard beating............yeah that pretty much sums up being a hsp..........welcome just breathe by the way......and thankyou I am just going to breathe right now through this mass confusion reigning in my night time sleep patterns............what gets me is why do these so called supportive guides interrupt my sleep........why cant they connect in the day.............ok I just got my answer...........because I am too bloody busy........ok I hear ya.....breathe Alethia......breathe......phew...thats better...I am going to eat....food that is.........not food for thought either...........my mind has been in so many spaces today....I am telling them all to pee off and leave me be......well sometimes you dont get a choice.....sigh....

OK, Alethia, this explains much of what I have been picking up. I was wondering if it was you or? I now know it was 3 of those of you I am closely connected to.

In times of overwhelming stimulation, hsp can seem like a curse, but there are ways to lessen the impact of that stimulation, ways to enjoy being hsp, all the advantages without the disadvantages so much. We do have several threads on this and related topics which have much insight. Justbreathe, here is a thread that is a good starting place, in spite of it being not the most linear as it ended up dealing with two completely different kinds of overwhelm at once. This create a bit of confusion, but there are lots of great insights in there. http://funhsps.niceboard.org/off-the-deep-shallow-end-f6/overwhelm-coping-and-getting-past-it-altogether-t2017.htm

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default Re: What is being hsp?

Post by Alethia on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:16 am

God we are a special bunch of souls us hsp are we not...well everyone is special..but you know we work so hard on oursleves..we go through so much shit...all of us..but you know..we deserve a bit of recognition...even if I dont like labels....I dont care today...we are special... Very Happy

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Post by melodiccolor on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:09 pm

We need to recognise our own inate gift and enjoy it for what it is. Really it is all the recognition that we need to thrive.

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Absurdity is one of the great joys of life.

All you need for a rich life is to see more.
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