ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Highly Sensitive People - The 5 Types Of Highly Sensitive Person. Which Are You?

Updated on December 20, 2014

Highly Sensitive People Come in All Shapes and Sizes - Which Are You?

A highly sensitive Introvert
A highly sensitive Introvert | Source

Highly Sensitive People Need Extra Love and Care as Children


Highly Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people are a very intriguing group of people indeed, not only for their extreme sensitivity to almost 'everything' but also for their unique abilities such as heightened intuition, powerful senses and an almost psychic level of empathy with people they interact with.There is no doubt in my mind, highly sensitive people 'do' have a purpose here on this seemingly insensitive planet.

Highly Sensitive People and the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

The numbers that Elaine Aron came up with reminded me of the Pareto principle which states that '80% of the results flow from just 20% of the causes.' According to Dr. Elaine Aron, highly sensitive people make up around 20% of the population of humanity, which definitely gives us something to chew on regarding why only 20% of the population are highly sensitive. The Pareto principle can be applied to many things in life, not only business and profit. Perhaps it can be applied to highly sensitive people? Let's give it a shot:

The Pareto Principle and Highly Sensitive People

80% of all healings that occur are done by the 20% population of Highly sensitive people

80% of all Counselors are made up of the 20% population of Highly sensitive people

80% of all Doctors are made up of the 20% population of highly sensitive people

80% of all people in therapy with counselors are made up of the 20% population of highly sensitive people!

Okay ... okay! I was just speculating as I often like to do but the figures do offer food for thought don't they? Here's what I really think:

I think the reason why highly sensitive people make up only 20% of the population is because if it were much more than that, then our (I'm a HSP too) particular abilities would be redundant and not so 'special.' When you also consider it takes only one highly sensitive person to calm down a room full of not so sensitive people who are arguing or freaking out, or warn a group of impending danger (extra-sensory ability of HSP) the numbers make sense, don't they?

Highly Sensitive People Are Specialists

Just as in any career, e.g. military, law, education, marketing etc, there will always be 'specialists.' Those people who are highly educated in a specific area and whose skills are highly sought after. Funnily enough, they usually make up a much smaller percentage of the workforce than the average worker yet are paramount to the success of the company they represent. This goes for highly sensitive people too! We may only make up 20% of the population BUT our specific set of skills are extremely important to the success of the human race. I won't go into great detail in this article, I just wanted to give you inspiration and hope. Highly sensitive people are specialists! Sounds great... but there are drawbacks to being sensitive.

In Fact I Believe We Are All Specialists!

Above, I mentioned only Highly sensitive people and that may have seemed a little unfair on our less sensitive brethren, who are 'just' as important as the rest of us. The Myers Briggs test is sufficient evidence to show that humanity is filled with groups of 'specialists.' Each type has a specific role in society and the development of mankind and so is an integral part of the natural cycles mankind must inevitably go through. A slight problem though these days, is that highly sensitive people seem to be the least useful members of these specialist groups. You only need go to a HSP forum, online to see the suffering highly sensitive people go through because of the rejection they receive daily. I don't want to get all negative here though so I'm going to say that right now it is the time for 'extroverts' to dominate society and rightly so because that's the kind of world we have built up. However, I predict that the future will bring a time when highly sensitive people are at least 'accepted' and 'welcomed' as an important part of society rather than ignored. The understanding has finally arrived, highly sensitive people are beginning to come to grips with what they are and what is possible for them. The future is bright!

The 5 Types of Highly Sensitive Person

Misunderstood: HSPs as children.






Highly Sensitive People and Stress





Highly Sensitive People and the 5 Types

I have created a test to help you to find out which of the types of Highly sensitive person you are. I know what you are thinking: there must be far more than just 5 types! Possibly, yes, but I have narrowed it down to 5 just to make things a little more succinct.

The 5 Types of Highly Sensitive Person

Using the diagram of the 5 types above as a reference, take a look at this list and try to figure out which of the types you could be. I have based my calculations on trauma and abuse suffered from childhood to teens as I believe highly sensitive people who grow up in supportive environments where they are nurtured and cared for flourish.

On the other hand, highly sensitive people who suffer from a young age to adulthood develop all kinds of problems, from social phobia to a fear of going outside. Look at the diagram and the list below and then take the test to see which you are.

Type A - A normal highly sensitive person --> Sensitivity Level : 1 (lowest)

Type B - A HSP who experienced mild to medium trauma in childhood but was supported throughout by a parent or loved one --> Sensitivity Level : 1- 2

Type C - A HSP who experienced mild to medium trauma in childhood and received little or no support --> Sensitivity Level : 2 - 3

Type D - A HSP who was bullied and abused as a child but received support and protection from parents or loved ones --> Sensitivity Level : 2 - 4

Type E - A HSP who was bullied and abused as a child but received little or no support from parents or loved ones --> Sensitivity Level : 4 - 5 (highest)

Just to be Clear

Hey everyone!

I'm writing this at 03:22 am on 21 Dec 2013 because I see that my classifications are causing a little confusion.

When I mention trauma I'm not necessarily referring to that suffered at the hands of abusive parents, mentally, physically or otherwise. I'm also taking into account the incidences that other children would shrug off and be unaffected by.

Things like being lined up and interrogated to ascertain who stole the cookies can have a much greater effect on a highly sensitive child than on a non-sensitive one.

Growing up in an environment where arguing is frequent, dominant personalities abound and verbal bullying occurs may not affect non-sensitives but it does highly sensitive children, make no mistake about that.

I just wanted to make that clear. Trauma for non-sensitives may be extreme things, but for us (HSPs) constant stress, being left out, loneliness and all those other smaller yet significant things constitute trauma - unless we are supported and understood.

Enjoy the quiz and I hope it teaches you more about yourself.


The 5 Types of Highly Sensitive Person - Find out Which You Are by Taking this Quiz

view quiz statistics

More free resources for the highly sensitive person

Highly Sensitive People - Handle with Care


Why the Quiz?

The reason I made this quiz is simply because I spent my life blaming myself for being weird and weak because I just couldn't cope as well as other people seemed to do. I wondered why I was always so sensitive and seemed to take everything personally. It was much later, when I was 32 that I realised I was a highly sensitive person and I finally had the answers.

Perhaps we aren't necessarily 'types' so much as people who suffered from a lack of knowledge about our trait and therefore suffered in silence, alone and confused. However, I came to the conclusion that if my life was that way 'because' I didn't understand my trait or even know of it then naturally there must be thousands more in a similar struggle.

I concluded that if highly sensitive people 'don't know' that they are highly sensitive while still very young, they will feel strange, alien and alone in an overwhelming world. This will in turn, lead to stress and self-blame followed up with the mistreatment a highly sensitive person might receive due to the lack of understanding about the HSP trait. We may appear to be 'difficult' or 'special' in a negative way to some parents or peers and that will only add to the suffering. Finally, there are also the normal problems of any domestic family life such as fighting, arguing, separations, divorces and child custody battles etc. All this makes for a pretty overwhelmingly negative existence for a highly sensitive person, because of our heightened sensitivity to everything.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the test. I hope I was able to shed some light on the HSP trait.

I will be writing a series about highly sensitive people filled with even more information and tips. Here are the other articles in the series so far:

Are you Highly Sensitive? If not, then do you know any highly sensitive people?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • complexity0 profile image


      16 months ago

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      haha the results were not really true.. really erred on the pessimistic side - but that was interesting and nice job with the hard work!

    • profile image

      Jane Mendelson 

      3 years ago

      First I determined with a professional assessment test, that I had ADD. A sharp, quick, smart child, I always had procrastination issues. My sensitivity as expanded perception or awareness, would have me see, sense, so many possibilities, perspectives, implications etc. attached to an assigned report or research. Repeatedly in grade school my mother sought an a day's extension which oddly were not challenged by teachers even tho we were decades from the concept of non-hyper Attention Deficit and a couple more decades ahead of HSP.

      But, since the HSP probably also contributed to my acute perceptions and never omitted creative accents in my submissions, I'd end up with A+ to A++ grades on my work, not penalized for a deadline exception.

      The processes at work in the procrastination situation occurred by way of 'Hyper-focusing', where the overwhelming sensory intake overloaded and ultimately flipped a mental switch. Filtering down, what was like an exceptional burst of energy, spun through and, then a stellar outcome.

      Perfectionism contributed to the build up of overwhelming sources and information. Apparently, sensitivity, perception, the open mind, had to make sure no angle or relative information was missed or not properly included.

      Now I'm pooped. How do I get a copy of this (shouldn't be texting comments that become documents!) Assuming the whole work isn't lost as I try to submit it. Avoiding any physic prediction in those words, I amend, that this submission wI'll work just fine.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      3 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thank you Grand Old Lady. What an interesting name you have there! I like it. :)

      Thank you for the lovely comment.

      There's lots of us, but we're often hard to find because we either learn to hide it, or we live quietly.

      Thanks for stopping by.


    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      Such a fantastic article, and I especially liked the test which was spot on. I never knew being sensitive was a mental thing. And it's nice to know there are others like me. I also love the tools you included. I will be reading some of the tools you added. Thank you very much!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I didn't know until relatively recently, in my 60's, that I was normal but a member of a smaller portion of the population; an HSP. This was a couple of years after I found out that I was very introverted, a discovery in which I cried in the realization. No wonder, as a 10 year old, I told myself that I must have been born with something wrong with me and that if no one got close to me, they wouldn't find out either. Now that I understand myself better, I can know that I am really normal and continue to forgive those in my past who hurt me with their name calling. Big relief.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for offering nuance on a subject deserving of it. This co-morbidity of sensitivity and abuse is a dire place to find ones self. Diagnosed rapid cycling bipoalr, medicated with horrible results, five years of intensive therapy and on the home stretch a self loving person who has come to terms with the nature of self and the wounds.

      My pill doc would get sarcastic and smirk and be offended when I didn't respond "correctly" to his brain cocktails. Thank god I went cold turkey and focused on therapy.

      I may have been bipolar, that's their field, but I'm not anymore. I'm a person of profound sensitivity who overcame the trauma of abuse capable of self love and self acceptance.

      Thank you for your attention to this topic.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have to say that the quiz was not well constructed at all. Many of the questions asked either for concrete Yes/No answers, when there should have been the opportunity to say sometimes/often...I think there was one about if I was raiesd in a loving family. The suggesting was that loving families and parents don't fight, which is not the case at all. The result had some truth in it but because of the black & white nature of the quiz it was on the whole pretty misrepresentative.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Ive accepted im highly sensitive i didn't realise there was so many people who are.glad i found this today.its an overwhelming relief to know you guys are there so thanx

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I just discovered that I am like this, I knew for awhile now something was different about me. But I couldn't explain it to anyone, so I learned to adjust to things. And if it was too much I would go into hiding.

      Now at the age of 52 I need to learn how to deal with this. I am sure there are ways to deal with this. And find how I can use my talents to help others.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi, I read this article, nodding at the same time and agreeing with pretty much every comment, article and word that was written. Thank you for sharing.

      I am 39, I work as a psychic, intuitive, astrologer and written a book on relationships. I have always struggled to hold down relationships with partners, in fact I started to ask myself, I don't understand men, only for my mum to say, do you prefer women? which made me want to lash out and say to her how dare you...but instead ran away back home, even having the confidence to be harsh back would help but I can't do that...she will never understand me.

      My parents are still married after 50 years, they are, what I would call, very black and white, they say it as it is, just get on with it and nothing touches them, literally, they are never and I say never emotional about anything, they don't show it, they don't know how to be but looked after me materially be it financially or did things for me practically, but never got me emotionally. This is my struggle, I just want to feel understood and don't and would rather have less money as they are well off and them emotionally than money, which sounds like Im not grateful but showing love and feeling it are two different things putting aside money. My brother, 41 is nothing like me, he is the same as them so many a times you see me just doing my own thing, reading not engaging in conversation as I sometimes feel its not me or shallow.

      Whenever I am around their house now, I don't want to be there anymore, I have recently meditated and its brought up a lot of emotion and feelings, I recently when to a monastery and the same thoughts and feeling emerged for me. So something is shifting. I don't resent my father or mother but do feel at ease knowing I am different and would rather keep conversations light around them now, for some reason that doesn't make me feel lonely anymore just knowing.

      When I am working with others I feel confident but the minute I date someone and they reject me and I liked them, I can fall into a very deep depression almost to the point of wanting to contact them again and again and stalking, trust me I don't...but its an overwhelming feeling I have.

      So at this age I still feel misunderstood and cant work with any dominant people if I feel their energy is too harsh or bullish same goes for emotionally distant men, even though my mum thinks I am lesbian she will never get me nor will my dad, so its best to keep my distance and just keep conversations short...this seems to prevent me from feeling worse.

      The downside is, we are even more sensitive to other's feelings which is a double whammy. I feel alone yes but meeting others the same, like you sai d exercising, eating right and meditating and looking and feeling good, reading books, seems to be the only way forward, trust me it does work..but you have to stick with it and really focus on yourself, even write a diary if this helps as it did me.

      I am glad we arent all alone here

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Highly sensitive people are often bullies. They use their alleged "sensitivity" to control people and to get them to abide by their unreasonable conduct. In other words, they want a free pass on the grounds that they are "very sensitive". In myopinion, I have found that "sensitive" people are sensitive about their own feeling, and highly insenstive about other people's feeling.

    • I can be me profile image

      I can be me 

      5 years ago

      Hi richawriter,

      thank you for sharing. I see what you have written in reply to marly and it is telling me I am heading in the right direction. I am currently in the very early stages of trying to find MY OWN way out of the rubble of not understanding me thinking I was what they all said doing what they said and numbing the intuitive feeling it's not ok.

      I am aware that change is right and fear repeating past by conforming to what is said is right. It's not right for it did not work.

      I am scared and excited and very much in awe of those on the journey already as you are. I am scared I may not do it right but my biggest fear is that I will be forced to conform as I always have if it were out of my control. I am a fighter and highly skilled my skills I need to rehone to use on self instead as always for others.

      I am retraining, I have always been this way I will always be this way I don't think anyone can help me besides me. I am scared I am not capable.

      Thank you for being.

    • shaiena profile image


      5 years ago from Wyoming

      I 100 percent feel that for a hsp the environmental establishments growing up as with passive experiences helps dictate the direction we lead as hsp specialists. I understand the importance of the gifts in all HSPs. What is most importantly is in our destiny's purpose and how well you manage to integrate your Highly intuitive sometimes raw gifts to this world. Thank you for the good read was great insight :D


    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      5 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Marly,

      I hope I'm not too late and that you do come back and see what I have written. I know how you feel. I've felt that way my whole life. Most of the friends I had whilst growing up were those friends of my brother and even then, they teased me because I was so sensitive and they loved seeing me squirm.

      Little did they know that they were destroying me piece by piece with their caustic and ill thought remarks.

      I understand where you are in life. You are at the cross roads.

      However, I stopped advising people directly a long time ago. It's not my place to tell you what to do Marly. However, I will say this: You need change. It's simple. You remain as you are, living your life the way you are, approaching life the way you do and you'll have this problem forever. BUT if you change something, or even everything, you might find yourself on the right track and the pain will slip away to be replaced by happiness and fulfillment.

      You need to be brave and become your own hero, no one else is gonna do it for you. I'm sure you know that by now. Even our partners don't understand us and that's only normal. If you go asking for help in a HSP forum, you get the same "blessings" and "nice thoughts and remarks" etc but you'll be competing with hundreds more to be heard and seen.

      You'll find the answer if you look inside and most of all, if you forget the past, forget what people have said, forget what you have said to yourself in anger or regret, you'll be free to be move on, move forward and start afresh.

      Tomorrow, start fresh. In fact why not make every day a fresh start. Be who you WANT TO BE each new day and leave the previous day behind.

      I could say a million things but it's difficult. Myself, I listen to, read and study self-help, self-improvement books, videos, audios, I set out to achieve every day, I do as much as I possibly can to build my self - esteem.

      I also give speeches to myself and record them in my phone. Every way I previously hated myself, whether it was for my voice, my looks, my body, whatever, I tested that and proved myself wrong by recording and listening to and improving my voice, by taking pictures and picking out my nice features, by exercising and being proud of my body.

      Well, I hope some of that helps, Marly.

      You take care and if you need any more help, you can contact me here, facebook or twitter and I'll be glad to offer advice.


      Take care and keep your chin up!


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I am an E type and I do ok most times but this is the time when I am struggling again. Haven't been able to sleep the whole week because of anxiety and I cannot function properly at work the next day and am more anxious. I get so irritable easy and my heart is racing most of the time. I am almost always anxious. I eat healthy and exercise and do all the right things to heal and change my mind set but nothing seems to work long term. I just don't trust any people, can't talk to my family about it, don't have any real friends (only people from work) and the only person I can talk to is my partner. He listens and is there most of the time but he doesn't understand and sometimes he upsets me by saying all the wrong things and then it brings on more anxiety. The other night he had to go sleep in the car so we could both get some sleep as he snores and that makes me impossible for me to sleep. I am so sensitive to everything both emotionally and physically I can't live it seems. Can't eat unhealthy, affects me physically and gives me all these allergies and stuff, so no cake for me, no sugar, no alcohol, no coffee etc; can't use most make up, I get pimples all over, can't use most hair dyes it stings me ( once my hair even fell out half way) emotionally I am a rack, get ovcerwhelmed easily and burst into anger if in public, and cry at home, then I get depressed. I don't know what to do anymore, just want to crawl in my cave and hide for the rest of my life. My parents and everyone I ever knew always told me to toughen up and not show emotion, this made me even more messed up having to pretend to be someone else all the time which led to a massive breakdown at 30, I nearly died. I managed to make it and find myself and stop being so fake and now I have very good times at times but right now seems like everything is falling apart again. I am so worried about myself, I am the kind of person by nature who loves life, who is the happiest when I see nature and animals and all these things life has to offer but I can't enjoy it, not as long as I have to deal with society and strangers and rude people. I love people somewhere deep inside but I hate people for being evil and for making me feel like this. If I could quit my job and just travel and then have a baby I would be fine, but I have to work to support myself. What am I to do??? I heard that chickens can only remember 100 faces and in the chicken world there are bullies, and if they are overcrowded, say in a place where there are 1000 chickens roaming around, the chicken who was bullied can't remember which chicken bullied it so it lives its life in constant fear from every other chicken it comes across, coz any of them could be the bully. So much stress for the chicken. I feel like the chicken. Please help me understand what is going on with me and please tell me that there is hope for me being somewhat normal one day coz I have lost all hope by now and feel like I am slipping into depression again. Nobody understands me, being me is not easy.

      Thank you for a great article, I don't have anywhere else to turn to, so you have fulfilled your purpose :) I hope I find mine one day coz I'm a fighter and I never give up searching for answers, just temporarily give up.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      5 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Kirja,

      That's an interesting perspective and yes, one that definitely applies to sensitive people. Focusing on ourselves like this does appear to be self-centered and kind of obsessive but it's necessary in order for us to better understand ourselves, I guess.

      In a world where the focus is constantly on outer rather than inner worlds, i.e. on other people, T.V., Facebook etc, we lose track of who we are and come to rely on others for identity.

      Back to your point though. Yes, I did see others bullied whilst young and it did have an effect on me. It has stayed with me until now but rather than hold me back now, it strengthens me and teaches me.

      Thanks for that great comment!

      You take care.


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hey, its great that you did this thing, and also the test, but I just want you to notice, this is all in all very much self centered, but high sensitivity is very much about sensing others. You might not have been bullied yourself, but maybe someone close to you, or someone close to you might have trouble with something and that will drag you down, will make you more sensitive. So you might consider that aspect also!

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Ngoho,

      I agree it is difficult to rate sensitivity levels as there are just so many factors to take into account - as you say. I guess I just wanted to help people better understand themselves and why they are the way they are.

      I'm glad you liked the article. It is my aim to help as many people as possible.

      Thanks and have a great day!


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Really informative article! I'm not sure I quite agree with the quiz's sensitivity levels. It assumes very specific scenarios: being bullied/ abused at school and/or at home, and being having one or more supportive person(s) that may or may not be a parent. There are so many other factors. My parents are supportive and loving; however, I am also internationally adopted, having spent time in the child welfare system and other institutions (immigration).

      But I appreciate your article! I had never read about HSPs/Pareto Principle and that's fascinating and very true! (At least, in my experience).

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hello, Rev.Dhammissara thero,

      That is very touching to hear from you my friend. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

      I agree that sensitive people are extremely rare and the gifts we possess are valuable to this world and the people in it.

      You are welcome here my friend. There are many HSPs here and you would be in good company.

      Thanks and God bless you.


    • profile image

      Rev.Dhammissara thero 

      6 years ago


      I am A buddhist teenage age is 18-19.

      birth is 22-11-1994.from sri lanka

      Actuarly.i wish i m to be a high sensitive person from my birth.

      I knew from my child time i m different more than other people.

      From my child i am only one for me.every time, all sad everything hard me,i m one help me.and i would like to say my father left my mom my brother and me.I think about that .its down me every time.But,I like Buddhism.sometimes Buddhism help me.i was be a monk frome my birth of 07 years old.Then ,my mother and father is Buddhism.but,from my child i feel sad,bad more than happy....

      I have many things to say.i canot say i like if i have someone to say to talk be a best friend.i wish and hope plz, i need best friend worshiping Lord buddha,Dhamma and Sangha.But one day it became a true,i i meet

      him in a temple.i see him.i never see him but that day he tame my heart.

      from that day i have great friendship with him.But, i thought he is high sensitive person like me.its true.But he have limit.

      I talk everything with him without secret.he is my me. i know that.because.he is vegetarian like me from his birth.and,,,,,,,,,,,,, so he is very kind,so prity soooooooooo good.every time he have a very nice smile.

      however,he is with me.I whould like to say sensitive is very good and.everytimes sometimes its hard.but,its i have many things to say....... i have manythings...i wish to this web site for listen help us. sensitive people ( like us ) are very very very rare..

      if there some one know me i like to know and see high sensitive people.

      because we are very rare.

      i wish all sensitive people will be collect.and it will be very very very imortional moment.

      i see dream for it.

      thank you all of you.... for listen me.

      good day.good friendship.

      May Triple Gem Bless You.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Sorcha,

      I'm glad this hub was able to help you make sense of your giftedness.

      Take care and be proud to be a HSP!


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for this! After years of misunderstanding myself and getting cheesed off with the comments 'Don't be so sensitive' etc etc. The 5 different types are an eye opener too, especially after learning I am a type E HSP. Knowledge is power! :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      Excellent information and quiz! I read Elaine Aron's books a number of years ago and subscribe to her newsletter, so I was not surprised to find I am a Type E HSP! Voted up, awesome and linked! :)

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Hi, here's a couple of thoughts after reading your fascinating hub.

      Firstly, I don't think an HSP would make a good doctor - particularly not a surgeon. Empathy would get in the way. (I've seen an HSP try to remove someone else's splinter. It caused the HSP more pain than the patient. lol)

      As the mother of an HSP (in the days before we'd ever heard of the concept of HSP) I think the terms trauma, abuse and bullying to exacerbate sensitivity are too restrictive. Homes in which there was upheaval of one sort or another - be that moving house, divorce, death of a loved one etc - can have just as much an effect on HSP development as bullying, I suspect. Not deliberate bullying or abuse, but stressful nonetheless.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      All this information has been of such great value to me! I always knew I was 'different'. I remember reading a book of short stories (by either Ray Bradbury or Issack Asimov), about two children who were half alien, half human. The girl, a 'sensitive' did not have the other half of her gift, to turn down or turn off the sensitivity at will. I identified with her.

      I am also an intuitive, and work alone to develop new innovations; have patents, etc. I can do it 'at will' now. Also had both nature and nuture bringing the HSP- both parents Genius/bi-polar, with all the ferocity of life those bring.

      Thanks for your site!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 years ago from North Central Florida

      This is very interesting . Our family is filled with hsp and none of us has had any kind of abuse and we are all quite 'sensitive.' Be that as it may, I still was captivated by reading this and will read your second entry as well at a later time.

      Sending Angels to you.

      :) ps

    • profile image

      Lost Girl 

      7 years ago

      I took your test, thinking I would be a type B. To my surprise, I am actually a type E. Wow!! I guess I have been in a state of denial for a long time, having been told forever that I didn't have it as bad as I thought. This sure puts things into perspective. My intuition was right on the mark. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to become the relatively well adjusted adult I am now. Thank you so much for helping me validate my experiences.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hello again, KristenN4boys!

      It sounds like you most definitely are a HSP. Welcome to you and your son - to the HSP club I mean. It is a club to be proud of, that much is for sure because the skills we possess are so unique to us and once practiced, can make our lives so much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

      I know where you are coming from, I always thought I was just 'too sensitive' and it was probably just an accident of genes or something, but as it turns out, we are actually a 'type' of human being! Brilliant to find out when your whole life you have just passed it off as you being a sissy! haha

      hahah, I'm pretty sure you're not nuts ... or ... then again, perhaps all highly sensitive people are a little nuts, myself included! :) I say that because, growing up sensitive can really mess with your psyche especially when you realise that you are different to most others. It can be lonely.

      Anyway, your experience of sensing emotion from those different households is definitely a common one shared by all HSPs, some stronger than others. It works when you walk into a room full of people too and can get really nerve-wracking at times for me.

      You are simply a beautiful HSP!

      If you want you can go check out my hub on 25 wonderful aspects of highly sensitive people. There is a lot of info on the characteristics and signs that one is a HSP.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)


    • KristenN4Boys profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Interesting Hub! I'm a Type A. I wasn't abused as a child. On the contrary, I had a very stable, loving family. But I was picked on by peers A LOT as a kid for being skinny and too shy.

      I feel as I've gotten older, I have become more sensitive to things. I'd like to do some further reading on HSP to see if that's normal. I am almost certain one of my sons is HSP as well. Heck, I didn't know there was such a thing. I just thought we were too darned sensitive and got our feelings hurt too much. (at least according to everyone around us)

      I enjoyed reading this. I have always felt, at least in my case, being too sensitive was a negative thing. I've never really looked it at as possibly being positive and a good thing to be in tuned so well with surroundings and people. That part is pretty awesome.

      As a kid, we drove back and forth to my Aunt and Uncles quite a bit to visit. It was about a 3 hour drive one way. I used to look out the back window at the houses as we would pass by and I had emotions hit me. I could tell you if one was a happy home. I felt pain for what I believed may be an abused home. As a got older I wanted to go knock on some of the doors to see if my gut was right. It was so bizarre. SO bizarre that this is the first titme I am saying this out loud. It really makes me wonder if it's a part of HSP. Or maybe I'm just nuts. :)

      Again, thanks for sharing. Loved it.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Prairieprincess!

      So nice to see you again so soon.

      I'm so glad that I have been able to help you and resonate with you, with these articles I'm writing on the HSP trait. I wasn't sure if all HSPs are similar or not, in their behaviors and experiences but the more I write and meet other HSPs like you, Prairieprincess, the more I realise we are all very similar as adults.

      Stronger, but really went through a tough time growing up due to the misunderstanding of our trait. I'm glad you were supported while young, and I can honsetly say that my mother was there for me too. It helps immensely, in hindsight.

      We are similar in that we both see a relationship between all these other psychological conditions and the high sensitivity trait. I really appreciate your wonderful comments and support. Perhaps I may put this stuff in a book one day along with my zombie fiction, hahah.

      Strange, isn't it, that a HSP would be so obsessed by zombies!

      Have a great day. Peace.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Rich, this is very interesting, and actually fits into some of the thoughts I had this week. I was thinking about how my high sensitivity coupled with abuse and bullied makes it harder for the highly sensitive person. This article actually hit the nail on the head for this concept I've been mulling over. Very cool!

      I was thinking about it, both for myself and on behalf of the children that I teach.

      I took your quiz and found out I was a number two. I grew up in a very turbulent environment and received it both at home, and at school, but I also had a Mother who supported me, and teachers at school who appreciated me for my academic abilities.

      I love how you are fleshing out the concept of high sensitivity and fitting into other theories. I think one problem is that psychology tends to isolate theories, such as HSP and PTSD, and not look at them together, which is what you are doing. Brilliant work, that I hope you write into a book someday. Take care!

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thanks, Alastar my friend.

      haha yes, that was just a little speculative fun on my part about the Doctors! I know as well as you do just how insensitive those money grabbers can be! Not only that, but the ushering out the office door even as they were prescribing my medicine :O!

      Thanks Alastar. Just another area i'm about to delving deeply into in my search for answers.

      See you soon buddy!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      The Pareto Principle is a new one here Richie. Not sure about the 80% of doctors being of the 20% highly sensitive; most of the ones I've had to deal with were rather insensitive to my wallet lol. All this is very interesting, the five types of highly sensitive people caused me to start matching friends and relatives under the appropriate type. An excellent and enlightening subject you've written on here Rich my friend.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Euroninila! Great name by the way!

      Yes, I understand the 'random touchy' phenomenon! haha, I also get touchy at random people and things, and it usually depends on how long it has been since the last time I was 'random touchy.' It's like a power bar that take time to recharge and when it is full to the brim - Watch out! - coz I'm like a bomb about to go off! :)

      Thanks for your kind words, my fuel for the next round of hubs!


    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hello, Cara.

      Thanks for your kind words and I'm thrilled to meet another HSP here on hubpages. There seem to be so many of us here.

      When I'm writing about HSPs I can't seem to stop writing. I have to force myself to stop and save some for the next article!

      Thank you for stopping over! I'll pop over and see you right now.


    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 

      7 years ago from NYC BABY

      I'm not sure where my sensitivity came from but I wasn't bullied nor abused as a child, but trauma happened in my life when I was a bit older. I was just sensitive from very little, that my mom even made fun of me about it but then comforted me at the same time. I guess I'm not that sensitive just at random I get touchy. Depends on the who, what, where and how. This was a great hub and I liked your Quiz!

    • Cara.R profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Hi Richawriter, I was happy to read a Hub on this topic. I was thoroughly engrossed in it and just when I thought it was going to end, there was more to read. At first I thought, How will this article cover HSP well? (With the assumption that it wasn't as long as I thought.) Then I scrolled down and realized I wasn't even halfway through, got all excited that there was more to read and got comfortable. Awesome Hub!

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Patrice. I understand what you are saying about the level of hspness and abuse. There is no data to back i up. I'm just going on what I know of psychology and how the human mind works.

      For example, let's take a hsp born into a family like you mentioned above. A family with a lot of hsps and therefore receiving a lot of support. This type of hsp would be much more confident, in control of their sensitive reactions and also be able to enjoy their trait much more as a result, because they received support and they understood their trait from an early age.

      Then take a hsp who grew up in a family that may have contained hsps but still didn't understand the trait as in their generation in the early-mid 20th century that kind of thing was unknown. These hsps were merely supposed to be shy, overly, annoyingly sensitive and weak by others who perceived them. Nothing was known of this hsp trait or gene. Add to that the normal problems of growing up plus any family problems and it seems to me that the sensitivity would be magnified depending on how much trauma was experienced. The child would be misunderstood, lonely, think they were strange because of all these overeactions and constant nagging to 'stop being so sensitive' etc etc.

      This may even be the description of a highly sensitive person with social phobia/anxiety which happens to be the topic of my next article. Highly sensitive people with depression and social anxiety as a result of their misinterpreted trait, and consequent mistreatment.

      Thanks for coming and commenting on this series Patrice. I really appreciate it and like that we share this common ground. There are actually so many hsps (haha. here is the point I struggled with the apostrophe!!) here on hubpages and I think we could perhaps build a community here you know. Would be awesome.

      Thanks again.

      Peace, Patrice!

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Neil.

      I understand what you saying and you do raise a some very good points there, especially the point where you mention that people can develop and become a highly sensitive person through the practices you mentioned.

      However, this article is really only aimed at those born with the hsp trait as discovered by Doctor Elaine N. Aron. People born with this extreme sensitivity are often misunderstood by their parents and other children because they seem so sensitive while interacting. They are almost labeled as autistic. They are also shunned by other children and parents often don't realize the effect that break-ups, fighting, arguing etc can have on a young hsp.

      That's all I was getting at Neil. I may write another article on those people who are able to develop sensitivity through meditation etc, but for now I'll just concentrate on those born with the trait.

      I don't think many people actually know of this trait or really understand it if their children have it, therefore many kids suffer as a result.

      Next I'll write about Highly sensitive people with social phobia. Check it Neil.

      Thanks for reading and I appreciate your comments and discussion.


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I don't know if I agree that the level of HSP sensitivity is a function of abuse during childhood. Doesn't Arons say that there's a genetic component to being an HSP? If that's the case, someone with a lot of HSP people in their family tree could be raised in an extremely supportive family without any abuse and still be extremely sensitive.

      I do agree that childhood abuse creates problems in adulthood but this is true of anyone, HSP or not. On the other hand, HSPs probably suffer more because of our extreme sensitivity, and while I don't have any hard data to back that up, it makes perfect sense to me.

      I'm so glad you're writing this series of articles on HSPs, Rich. It gives us HSPs a chance to support one another and everyone the opportunity to learn more about us. Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.

      P.S. Just a suggestion - you might want to include anchored links to your other HSP articles so that people can easily access them.


    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Rich -- The only part I disagree with is High Sensitivity can be purposely developed and does not only take personal trauma and struggles to develop.

      Actually Maybe I don't disagree at all with all you said - I just add a whole new dimension to your hub LOL

      Meditation, Marshal arts, Yoga, Music and the like can create out of anyone a highly -- HIGHLY sensitive person - maybe even more so than life trials and struggles. Neither your article nor your test takes that into account. Personally I have a combination of trauma's and little support at home plus years of Mystical studies.... and I can attest for myself the greatest development in sensitivities came through Meditation and music..... not only that -- but the power to handle the greater sensitivities without being overwhelmed by them... i see many overwhelmed by their sensitivity and thus accomplish little for themselves.

    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Neil.

      As for the test, it probably needs a tweak here and there as I'm still not a hundred percent sure of the accuracy of it, after a few tests. I'll tweak it a few more times and test it. Thanks for the heads up.

      Which parts of the article aren't you sure about? We can have a little chat here as I'd be interested to know and have a discussion if you want. Would be awesome.

      I myself am a highly sensitive person so I write from the perspective of one.

      Thanks for commenting Neil.


    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hey Crystale.

      I have wondered about the types of highly sensitive person for a while now, such as extrovert hsps and introvert hsps. I'm utterly convinced that our upbringing and experiences have a lot to do with the type of hsp we become.

      Thanks for commenting.


    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thank jennzie!

      I'm glad you liked it. There are probably a lot more than just 5 types, you know. I just opted for the easy option of having only 5 because! :)

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope you were able to find out which type you were and were satisfied with the result.


    • Richawriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard J ONeill 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Howdy Amymarie!

      Another Hsp here on hubpages! I am meeting more and more these days. Must have something to do with all the Hsp hubs I'm writing! haha

      I'm so happy that my idea of the different types appealed to you because I myself have never heard of it. It occurred to me that there 'must' be different types, depending on the strength of their sensitivity which in turn depends upon their experiences.

      Thanks for coming over for tea and biscuits!


    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Interesting for sure - I agree with some of it and some I question - The test said I was raised in a stable home -- way off.... but I became super stable on my own.

    • Cristale profile image

      Cristale Adams 

      7 years ago from New York

      Wow, this is very informative. I never knew there were different types until now. Thank you!

    • jennzie profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I also didn't realize there were different types of highly sensitive people. Great hub, and the quiz is very helpful as well. Voted up and more!

    • amymarie_5 profile image

      Amy DeMarco 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Wow, I know that I'm highly sensitive. I have an article on it too but I didn't realize there are different types. Thanks for writing this. I'm sure it will help people. Rated up and shared.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)