How Highly Sensitive People Interact With The World Differently

Highly sensitive people have been labeled a lot of ways in the past, like fragile, over-emotional and intense. But there’s more to a highly sensitive person than just excess crying and a whole ton of feelings.

Those with an empathetic personality are actually biologically wired to behave the way that they do. As a result, they also have an entirely different approach to to their physical environment — and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Below are just a few ways highly sensitive people interact differently with the world around them than their “thick-skinned” counterparts.


They’re easily overstimulated by their surroundings.
Loud noises, big decisions and large crowds don’t bode well for HSPs without a little downtime to balance them out. This is because they have a very active emotional response, according to Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and one of the original scientific researchers of the personality trait.

“The reason this happens is because they’re processing everything around them so thoroughly,” Aron told The Huffington Post. HSPs process their surroundings or life events based on emotions. In other words, the more overwhelming their circumstances get, the more deeply they feel.

They pick up on the subtleties in a room.
Did you rearrange your living room? Did your spouse make you upset at a dinner party? Sensitive folks can sense many subtle shifts, whether they’re tangible items or emotional moods, Aron says. “There’s just this intuition they have about their environment that other people generally aren’t aware of,” she explained.

That intuition also guides them in their own relationships as well. HSPs notice different attitudes that may not be picked up on by other people. So if you’re using different language or texting more abrasively than normal (think periods instead of exclamation points), chances are a HSP is going to take note.

They’re more emotional in their relationships.
HSPs crave deep connections. According to Aron’s research, sensitive people tend to get more bored in marriages than non-HSP couples, mostly due to the lack of meaningful interaction that naturally occurs as time goes on. However, this isn’t necessarily bad news. Aron says that the lack of meaning doesn’t mean an HSP is going to abandon ship — it’s only going to motivate them to have more stimulating conversations.

The key to a successful relationship for an HSP is communicating what they want out of a relationship and finding a partner that understands their emotions are part of their nature. “Sensitive people can’t help but expressing what they’re feeling,” she said. “They show their anger, they show their happiness. Appreciating that is really important.”

Sometimes they prefer to fly solo.
HSPs function best when they’re in quieter environments — particularly in the workplace, according to Aron. “Open office plans aren’t productive for them in most cases,” she says. This preference to operate alone may even go for leisure activities outside of the office. HSPs may also avoid group sports or physical activities because they feel like their every move is scrutinized, Ted Zeff, a researcher and author of several books on highly sensitive personality traits, previously told HuffPost.

They might be more sensitive to caffeine or alcohol.
This certainly isn’t always the case, but Aron says on average HSPs may have more of a sensitivity to stimulants like caffeine or substances like alcohol, based on self-tests she’s conducted for her research. HSPs are also more easily bothered by hunger, she said.

They get anxious around conflict.
Conflict is a tough road to navigate for HSPs, according to Aron. They have two approaches to dealing with it, and those ideas are often at war with each other. “Sensitive people get torn between speaking up for what they feel is right or sitting back because they don’t want a violent type of reaction [from others],” Aron said. “They’re very sensitive to environments where they’re being judged for their sensitivity or for anything else.”

On the other hand, HSPs have a way of managing disagreements in a rational way. Because of their high levels of empathy, sensitive folks can often put themselves in the other person’s position and see their side of the argument, Aron explained.

When it comes down to it, Aron says the key for sensitive people is to embrace their personality trait rather than work against it. “Highly sensitive people make excellent leaders, friends and partners,” she said. In other words? Keep on experiencing those emotions, HSPs — even if they do make you cry



5 Things Sensitive Empaths MUST Do To Avoid Emotional Exhaustion

empath personality type

Are you really intuitive about your friends and family? When there’s a conflict brewing can you sense it? Do you pick up on the emotions of other people easily, maybe even those you just met?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you might be have an empath personality type.

Being an empath (sometimes called a highly sensitive person), in its simplest terms, means that you are a person with empathy. But it it actually goes even further than that. Empaths feel ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

An empath’s entire life is affected by the feelings of the people around them. It’s a wonderful gift! You can connect with strangers easily, and when it comes to managing groups of people or solving conflicts nobody does it better than an empath.

But when you live your entire life being drowned in the unconscious feelings of other people it gets incredibly exhausting. The emapth personality type is often so busy taking care of other people or worrying about them that they forget to take care of themselves.

If you’re an empath, here are a few simple ways you can make your life easier and recharge your own energy.


1. Set boundaries in your romantic relationships 

When you start dating someone everything feels wonderful. This goes double for empaths. All of those wonderful butterflies in an empath’s stomach are multiplied because they are also feeling the butterflies in their partner’s stomach. It’s a rare treat and one to be savored.

However that deep connection created by the empath at the beginning of the relationshipcan become draining over time.

Even when your relationship is going really well, feeling your partners’ feelings 24/7 is more than anyone should ever be expected to handle. You might want to be with your partner all the time, but to keep your relationship on firm footing and your own emotional health in tact, make sure to take at least one day a week all for yourself.


2. Don’t change who you are to accommodate other people 

To be the friend of an empath is an absolute honor. It means you have someone in your life who knows what you’re thinking and feeling and can sometimes articulate it better than even you can. Ask your friends, empaths! They will surely agree, they’re lucky to have you.

There are some people who won’t value your gift. These are the people who will accuse you of being “too sensitive” or of being “overly dramatic.” Because of who you are, you might feel tempted to put a bushel over your bright light just to make others feel more comfortable. Don’t do it! They aren’t hiding who they are to make you more comfortable, why should you do the same?

3. End a relationship if you have to end it 

As an empath, your relationships with the people around you are integral to who you are a person. You thrive engaging in deep, meaningful exchanges of emotion. When a friend or a partner is in crisis, you shine, acting as an advisor and shoulder to cry on.

But people who are constantly in crisis can drain you dry and take advantage of your gift. You will always feel compelled to help even the most troubled person you meet, but take your own advice and when a relationship turns toxic, know that you can end it and no one will fault you for it.


4. Figure out what drains you 

Everyday exchanges can be revitalizing for empaths, or they can be draining. Keep a journal and record how the activities in your daily life make you feel.

Being an empath doesn’t have to mean meditating and doing yoga are the only things that will energize you. Maybe baking a dozen cookies or have drinks with friends is even more effective at bolstering your energy reserves.

For everything that makes you feel revitalized, there will be things that drain you. A long crowded commute on mass transit, grocery shopping at peak hours, getting cornered by the old woman who lives in your building, these could all be things that drain you. Be able to identify them will help you prepare for them and balance these encounters out with activities that make you feel energized.

5. Prioritize time for yourself 

As an empath, your life is about connecting with other people. Being social is a critical part of who you are. That’s why you will need to work hard to prioritize time for yourself. Feed yourself, nurture yourself, and make sure to get plenty of “you” time. It might not come naturally to you, but you’ll find life a lot easier to handle if you learn how to take care of yourself as well as you take care of the people in your life.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give an empath is this, keep on feeling everything you feel and don’t let anybody tell you it’s wrong or weird.

But take the steps you need to take to make sure you’re as happy, comfortable, and engaged as you would have all the people in your life be.