For as long as I can remember, I have been a highly sensitive person. What does that mean? Well, let's start with what it isn't. Being a highly sensitive person does not mean that you cry all the time and over nothing. Though crying a lot can sometimes be an aspect of being an HSP, it is not the only part. With high sensitivity comes being extremely observant, highly empathetic, emotionally in tune to sounds and images, and being overwhelmed by certain sounds, smells, or fabrics on clothes. As you can see, there is both good and bad to being highly sensitive. The good is that you can easily relate to other's emotions and feelings. The good is that you are often very creative. The bad is that you can sometimes shut down around loud sounds. The bad is that someone slightly raising their voice at you can cause you to cry. The bad is that you have to sometimes remove yourself from over stimulation, such as a crowded party or a crowded mall. Though these annoying aspects of being a highly sensitive person can make me feel like I'm not normal sometimes, I love the other side of the coin of being highly sensitive. I love being extremely empathetic and intuitive and creative. Being creative is something I pride myself on and I give some of that credit to being a highly sensitive person.
It took me until about junior year of high school to discover that I was a highly sensitive person. I always thought that I was just too emotional, too sensitive to every stimuli around me. This is a common misconception of what high sensitivity is. I remember typing in my "symptoms" and finding a website with a quiz saying, "Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?" I took it, and sure enough, all of the questions related to me, and I ended up getting a pretty high score that told me I was a highly sensitive person. It made me think about what I used to be like as a child. I was the one who would cry when someone barely raised their voice at me, or if I thought that they were mad at me. I was the one that wouldn't be able to watch animal movies because animal movies often had death in them, and that was too much stimuli for me to experience. I was the one that would have my day ruined if my pants felt "weird" or if my shirt didn't hang the right way. I am still the one that is very sensitive to my clothing and hair. Especially my hair. If my hair feels weird against my neck, that is all I can focus on. I am still the one who gets emotional if someone is mad at me. I am still the one who can't bear to watch animals die on a movie. I am still and will always be a highly sensitive person. But I have learned to cooperate with it. I have learned to focus less on how annoying my hair feels, and focus more on the person in front of me, or the bird outside the window. If I remove myself from the situation for a little bit, I can often redirect my thoughts into something better, with less focus on how annoying everything feels, or how sad everything is.
I have to say that being a highly sensitive person has been a chore. But it has also given me so much sensitivity for the better. Sensitivity to others' emotions and feelings. Sensitivity to music and how it transforms my soul. I am quite certain that music would not be as much a part of my life if I wasn't so sensitive to the way the notes hit my ears. I am thankful for high sensitivity. It makes me, me.