“I have always felt like an alien beamed down to a foreign planet. It wasn’t until I identified with being an HSP (aged 40) that it all started to make sense. The benefits of being an HSP are the immense enjoyment I take from being immersed in a nourishing forest or by the calming sea, listening to music and practicing grounded spirituality.
My life challenge has been to recognise and heal the toxic belief of deep unworthiness. This has been created by being raised in a society / school system / small town mentality / peer group that continuously undermines sensitivity and regards it as an affront to masculinity.
More recently, I have enjoyed visiting Asian countries where kindness and sensitivity are in glorious abundance. To witness such an opposing cultural landscape from the West has been incredibly heart warming.”
– Phil, 42 years old male HSP
“Learning about high sensitivity helped me become more accepting of myself, it’s helped guide me to become better equipped to look after myself and give myself what I need and have more compassion in general. Life is better all around because of it.”
– female HSP
“I first learnt of the trait of high sensitivity when I read Elaine Aaron’s book when I was 22 years old. I completely identified with it at the time, but it wasn’t until about 10 years later that I fully paid attention to the importance of being an HSP in my life and what that meant. Over the past 10 years, the difference that understanding the trait and making adjustments in my life accordingly has made has been enormous. On a fundamental level, just understanding why I find certain things the way I do has made a big difference to my confidence. I have gradually learned to first accept the trait, and then to embrace it.To redefine the narrative from my youth of being ‘over-sensitive’ to a confidence now in the fact that I am ‘highly sensitive’ and that this in many ways is a gift, has enabled me to be much more grounded and centred about how I approach things, with more understanding. Discovering the support network of other fellow HSPs has been incredibly important in this journey; to be able to share experience with mutual understanding with other highly sensitive people is such an important thing. “
– 40 years old female HSP
“One of the biggest impacts learning I was an HSP has been was ending an eight year relationship I had with a Narcissist. I tried to speak to him about what I had learned to help him ‘get me’ a bit more but he wasn’t interested because of course everything was about him, always was and always would be. After having read that the HSP/Narcissist relationship is not uncommon but how toxic it is and I need to get out of it before it destroys me, I found the courage to do so but I suffered with depression and anxiety for a while afterwards a kind of post narcissist disorder. Well on the mend now, thankfully… To sum up, I wish I had discovered that I had the trait a lot earlier in life, it would have explained so many things that I grappled with and to a certain extent still do, I guess I haven’t come to terms with all of it. ”
– Tracy, 64 years old female HSP
“I ‘ve often felt like an earthenware pot forced to travel through life with a lot of iron ones.” This is a quotation from a novel but when I first read it seemed so apt.
I’ve always been aware of what other people are feeling – I usually identify with people who are suffering. Someone once told me she had never met anyone so perceptive and someone else confided in me about something and said I was the only person in the world he could tell that to. People have also remarked how kind I am but I’d honestly not thought about it at all.
I always react with compassion when I see what people are doing mentally. Many people take advantage of this trait or accuse them of being hypocritical or transparent. I identify with people ( and animals) who are vulnerable
I also have very sensitive skin and poor circulation so I’m restricted in what I can wear. I have to feel comfortable. I no longer try to be fashionable and it doesn’t bother me at all.
I suffer from anxiety and am on medication for depression.
I hate competitiveness, spitefulness and nastiness.
I feel things very deeply and can get very upset even with things in fiction. I tend to get obsessed with sad scenes and it can take a while to move on.
I identify particularly with children who are not loved and cared for as they should be. That’s why I do a lot of charity work for children.
I’ve been very hurt throughout my life but as I’ve got older, I don’t allow things to wound me so much. As a child and teenager, I was taken advantage of and exploited.
My early life was very uncomfortable -I was always cold and bored. People have told me I’m too good-natured but I don’t think being kind is a bad thing.
As you can imagine I didn’t fit easily into the competitive atmosphere in school. I’ve also found friendships difficult as many people are simply not on my wavelength.
Until I was well into my forties I had never heard of HS. I actually found out about it through the IBS network which I was a member of. I read the book by Elaine Aron.
I understand now why I’ve never been able to fulfill my dreams of travelling or living abroad, why I get tired easily and am not gregarious. I once went to a counsellor who said I’d drawn a little circle around myself. This was not said in a nasty way.
I don’t try to be like other people now and I embrace my sensitivity and feel most comfortable using it to help others. I’ve always had a sense of responsibility towards people. I don’t try to compete with things like outdoor walking or gyms. I am quite content to do things at my own pace. I am much happier taking part in groups to help children.
This recent lockdown has not really been difficult for me as I ‘m used to being alone. I’m in close contact with my family.
People have, in the past, surprised me by saying I’m a very private person or I’m not very communicative but I have so much going on in my head that I don’t feel that way.
This all probably reads like stream of consciousness but I’m just writing what I think the effect of HS has been.
– Female HSP
If you would like to contribute your own testimonial here about what difference it made to learn about high sensitivity please get in touch with our Newsletter Editor, Ildiko Davis (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) The main requirements for testimonials are to focus on communicating something that maybe useful or inspiring to read for sensitive people.