ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Treat a HSP(Highly-Sensitive Person)

Updated on June 16, 2015

From the Heart of a HSP

I have been thoroughly disappointed in the fact that most articles about HSPs describe us as weak people that need to be sheltered from the real world. There is an abundance of ignorance about what HSP actually is and how we think or act. As an HSP, I wanted to provide more information on what it's truly like to be a sensitive person in a very insensitive world. I want people to understand that HSP is a real thing that deserves as much respect as being right-handed or having blue eyes-it's not something we can just change. That it's both a blessing and a curse. Empathy isn't a choice for us-it's in our DNA. We're not asking for trophies or pats on the back- we just want people to treat us with respect and give us the benefit of the doubt when we act or think differently from most "normal" people. So whether you are an HSP trying to find new ways to describe our worldview to others,or you're someone who wants to love a HSP in your life better, or if you're just simply trying to learn more about what HSP truly is,read on.

1. Learn As Much as you Can about HSP

The more you understand about us, the more you will be able to sympathize with us and forgive us for our differences. HSP is a physical,research-proven condition. Notice I did not say disability or defect-just simply a genetic disposition. I cannot stress how important that differentiation is. Studies have shown that 1 in 5 people has a heightened central nervous system. This means that all our senses are intensified. Our brains don't cancel out extra "noise" like most people do. Loud sounds startle us. Bright lights give us headaches. Violent films bother us because we empathize so deeply that we literally feel the pain of others as our own. We are extremely intuitive to the emotions/energy of others and constantly feel the need to help everyone. EVERYONE. And yes,we feel emotions much more intensely than others do. A simple joke or criticism may cut us very deeply even if we don't want it to. And sometimes, we react before we have time to process these things and remind ourselves that he/she didn't mean to hurt us. The more you put yourself in the shoes of an HSP, the better you'll understand what we need from you.

2. Be Patient.

This is SO important. You're not always going to understand everything we do because our brains are literally different from yours. Sometimes, you'll 'poke fun' at us and we'll take it personally. Sometimes we might get quiet and shut down without much warning. Sometimes, we just need to regroup from all the stimuli we've been processing. Imagine feeling every sound,smell, touch, and emotion with 10 times the intensity. Imagine being hurt at least once during each and every conversation you have. Imagine feeling helpless when you logically know that you shouldn't be offended but your heart feels it anyway. Imagine feeling the weight of everyone else's problems as if they're your own. I read somewhere that the comparison is like have 50 fingers instead of ten. We take in more. We hurt more. We feel more. A lot of the time, this is against our will. Because we're going through so much internally, we might need alone time or avoid social settings for awhile. It's not that we hate people,it's just that we need a break in order to maintain our sanity. Also, we might "freak out" when we have a lot of things to do at once because we feel extra-overwhelmed. And because we have to keep so many hurt feelings inside all the time, we might react very strongly to something small. This is most likely because of a bunch of built-up past hurts and not because we're "crazy". Most of our 'overreactions' have a reason if you'd just ask us.

3. Create a Safe Place for Us

It's unfortunate but true that sensitivity is viewed as a weakness in this society. Whatever you do, don't make us feel like we're a mistake. Don't tell us we're too sensitive- trust me, WE KNOW. It frustrates us more than it frustrates you and constantly pointing it out isn't going to make it better. It will just make us feel isolated and unloved. Most of the time, we are doing the best we can to act as "normal" as possible so don't tell us to "stop taking things personally" or "you're overreacting". No,sometimes we can't just 'take a joke'. Keep in mind that it's something we're born with and though it can be somewhat controlled, it can never be fully reversed. Please allow us to be ourselves and feel safe telling you our likes and dislikes. Just because we're very sensitive to certain things doesn't mean we're sensitive to everything. If you create a judgment-free zone, we will tell you what specific things hurt us the most and what environments make us uncomfortable. That way you won't have to constantly feel like you're walking on eggshells around us. It is a possibility that something might come up that we didn't know we were sensitive to so bear with us. We're learning right along with you. Oh, and don't rush us. We take longer to make decisions sometimes because if it turns out to be a mistake, it will make us feel responsible for whatever negative consequences follow. It will bother us for days long after you've forgot about it. So please don't yell at us for being 'indecisive'. We're simply weighing all the options.

4.Love Us just the Way We Are

Our condition is difficult to live with at times, but the pros still outweigh the cons. Because we're able to empathize and care so deeply, we make really good listeners. We will do whatever we can to make sure the people around us feel loved and happy. We also experience happy emotions more intensely than the average person so we get extra excited about little things and bring a cheerful attitude to our loved ones. We will always be able to tell when something is even slightly bothering you and will make sure you feel comfortable venting to us if you want to. We're super observant and notice subtle things like your new glasses or pretty dress. We live to make other people feel loved and will do little things to show that love(i.e. buying little gifts, writing heartfelt letters, spontaneous hugs). We truly understand what it is to sacrifice for the good of others. When we say we'll be there for you when you need us,we mean it- like REALLY mean it.Whenever. Wherever. If we know that someone needs us, we will be there. Also, we're loyal. Once we've chosen you and feel safe with you, good luck getting rid of us. Basically, if you're willing to cut us some slack, we will do our best to make sure your life is as happy and love-filled as possible. GIve us a chance-I promise you won't be disappointed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Imani Jane profile imageAUTHOR

      Imani Jane 

      3 years ago

      Thank you so much for saying that! Yes it dedefinitely hurts when people made me feel like I was a mistake. I wanted this article to show the PROs and cons of HSP. I'm glad you could relate :)

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      3 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Thank you for this article, and for taking a positive approach to explaining being an HSP! I, too, am tired of the combination of "it's a weakness" and "wah-wah-wah" whining that seems to dominate the landscape, when it comes to high sensitivity. I learned about the trait in 1997... and yes, learning is essential-- both for ourselves, as well as for those in our immediate surroundings.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)