14 Things You Must Know If You Love A Highly Sensitive Person
We get overwhelmed and exhausted more easily than you do.
You might assume that a highly sensitive person is someone who simply gets emotional easily. While that’s one aspect of being an HSP, there’s more to it.
Those who possess the highly sensitive personality trait ― an estimated 15 to 20 percent of the population ― also pick up on subtle changes in their environment; they’ll notice if you got a haircut or if the mood in a room has shifted. Loud noises, large crowds and bright lights can be overwhelming to HSPs, so they may need to retreat to a calm, quiet space after a chaotic day. HSPs are often deeply moved by music and the arts, and they make great friends and romantic partners because they’re good listeners and empathetic by nature. (To find out if you’re an HSP, you can take this self-test, developed by Elaine Aron, researcher and author of The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You.)
Anne Marie Rooney ― a self-proclaimed HSP who is married to a non-HSP ― told HuffPost she’s grateful that her husband has taken the time to really learn about this aspect of her personality.
“Large crowds really stress me out, l can’t stand loud noises, beautiful artwork might make me cry, and having too many unread emails or texts sometimes gives me palpable anxiety,” Rooney told HuffPost. “At this point, my husband knows how to identify situations that may cause me HSP-related stress, and I’m very lucky that he’s always supportive and does his best to help me alleviate negative feelings in these scenarios.”
Large crowds really stress me out, l can’t stand loud noises, beautiful artwork might make me cry, and having too many unread emails or texts sometimes gives me palpable anxiety.
Anne Marie Rooney, highly sensitive person
If you’re not a highly sensitive person, it can be difficult to comprehend why your highly sensitive partner reacts a particular way in certain situations. That’s why we asked HSPs what they wish their loved ones better understood about them. Here’s what they had to say:
1. We get overwhelmed and exhausted more easily than you do.
“My husband is very accepting, but I think, in general, it is difficult for a partner to understand how easily a highly sensitive person can be overwhelmed and how exhausting it is for a highly sensitive person to take in stimuli and feedback. Family activities can be challenging because environments like amusement parks, malls and parties can be difficult for me. We’ve worked hard at trying to accommodate my sensitivities in a way that allows us to enjoy fun out as a couple but where I don’t get too exhausted.” ― Therese Borchard