Why Wouldn't You Want to Be an HSP?

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  1. I am an HSP. I am having a lot of difficulty with it right now, because of lack of sleep for five weeks. My husband just went through bilateral knee surgery two months ago. Three college students and a dog live here. I know I will recover, but feel extremely vulnerable right now. Also, at mid-life transition.

    I did buy a sewing machine and have some projects in mind. I have plans to join a christian writers group when I recover fully. This could take months. Help me Lord.

  2. Amarkai Amarteifio says:

    I am so happy I found this page! For years, I was told I was “sensitive” and it came with a bad connotation. But I want to learn to embrace my sensitivity and see it as a strength. It is hard especially when your own family points it out as a bad thing every. single. time. I am hoping to be more confident in my sensitivity! God bless you

  3. What makes it hard to tell others…

    The fear of still being misunderstood. I tend to over explain my emotions to my family. Because I need them to understand why I feel what I feel and all they see is me making excuses for what I do or say.

    They aren’t open or sensitive to what I say. I am just a ranting person that causes drama in their lives.

    I cried out to god an asked why he allowed this. Why am I affected the way I am over people being done wrong. Why do I but in an stand up for something I believe isn’t right. It causes me nothing but grief. Causes my family to devide.

    Telling people would just be something else they would throw in my face as me being full of it.

    I don’t have a support system.

  4. Ann Souza says:

    Thank you, I really need help in understanding this…I feel like my eyes have been open to finding out “what’s wrong with me”

  5. Tina Watkins says:

    Wow! I can’t wait for the next blog!

    Hi! I’m Tina! And I’m an HSP! And I do treat it like a hidden disease or addiction! I learned as a kid that while a little sensitivity is a good thing, being sensitive is NOT! So I hid it. I’ve hidden it for years and years! I only scored an 86 on the test because people don’t tell me I’m a drama queen or cry baby or too sensitive because they never see that side of me. I’ve learned to control myself. Even when someone jumps out at me and scares me to tears, I don’t outwardly jump and I don’t cry until I get away from everyone. People even think I’m not ticklish because I control my reaction.

    In most cases, I’m horribly ashamed of being an HSP! This article has opened my eyes to some new thoughts. Thank you!

  6. I told someone I’m an HSP, and she responded, “No, you’re not,” as if it’s a disease. I said, “I’m not?,” kind of doubty-like. It a tough mantle to carry.

    It explains a lot but is really seen as a negative So what do you do? Accept you’re one but keep it a secret? 😳

  7. Deanna Pfau says:

    Cheri, a friend sent me your blog post. I am so glad she did. I just discovered in the last year that I am HSP, answering every question as a yes, the Mt. Everest of HSP’s! Thank you for sharing your insights through the lens of the Christian faith! It is a relief to know it’s how I’m wired and not a weakness.

  8. Oh my word I so identify with your friend saying she could never tell her family she was an HSP. Nope. It would be giving them more stones to throw. But thank you for that beautiful list of synonyms that are good for sensitive. <3

  9. Cheri, I now listened to the TED talk by Brene Brown. Wow! I’ve been doing something real all along and didn’t completely get how good it is. Ever since I spent 3 months in a mental hospital when I was 37 or 38 in 1988 I have been constantly vulnerable to those around me. I can’t tell you how this message of hers hit me. I’ve been doing something right after all!!
    I thought more after I wrote my post earlier. My husband says I’m very defensive but I think it’s part of my HSP. I hope you will touch on that. You may have already.
    I also, have a tendency to want people to know why I did something or said something. Is that part of HSP? The need to explain is high but I have told myself it is okay to walk away and not explain because not everyone deserves to know or needs to know.
    Someone posted below about how they are so sensitive to noise, crowds, etc. I am, too. But I, like someone else said I notice things about people, situations, and experiences that others pay no attention to. I see into others and sense what they need or are trying to say. I think that is a strength. My husband can’t believe all the things I notice. It’s funny how I figure out how movies are going to end or who the villain is way before it is revealed. I think that is special not bad.
    I can’t wait to see what else you do with this HSP!!

  10. I don’t mind the HSP. That’s who I am. My dad was one and as a pastor found it hard to speak from time to time when his emotions overcame him. My mom, the stoic would finish what he was trying to say from the organ or the front row at church. I guess in my family that made it embarrassing to show those emotions. Part of the hard is being the youngest in my family and having the stigma of being the “baby”.
    I have been told that when I was a Bible study leader and a leader in other arenas my HSP tendencies have helped others be more vulnerable or open which makes it a positive
    When I deny it inside and not want the HSP to show I have to put on the face I was taught as a child and when I do that it confuses me as to whether my feelings are valid or true. I think that has been a challenge for me my whole life. Am I overreacting, being dramatic, and too sensitive? It makes me not trust myself and then I lose my confidence.
    In some situations I am completely in control and feel okay. But as a child the message was “don’t lose control. That’s not good.”
    I mostly embrace the HSP the older I am. It helps to know I’m not alone and have a place to learn about it. Hearing others’ experiences creates a safety zone inside of me.
    Thank you, Cheri!

  11. I really dislike being an introverted HSP because I’m tired of fearing becoming overwhelmed in new or certain situations. My husband is very extroverted, high energy, and his job requires us to move every 2-3 years. So that creates a lot of stress for me. I want to have more energy to keep up with my husband and be a good helpmate. I don’t understand why God created me this way (some day He’ll tell me) but I’m trying to do the best I can. I know God does not make mistakes. I need to learn how to function better as an HSP so I would love to learn more from you. Both my kids are HSP.

    1. Same here. You described my life, Laurie. Let’s keep in touch!

  12. Being HSP leaves me feeling very vulnerable, not just to my own emotions but to other people as well. It can be exhausting too, as if there’s an extra motor running all the time that can’t be shut down.

  13. Thank you for writing this post. It made me smile!

    Some days I haveta hard time being HSP sibfrtI feel I don’t belong anywhere. And that no one really understand me. I would love to find like minded women to share with and talk to. It would make it easier for me.

    1. Mary Kay Robertson says:

      You are not alone. I do not have any friends who are HSPs, nor have I met any HSPs. I wish I had a friend nearby who is an HSP.

  14. Everything written so much describes me, I have always taken things to heart and then be frustrated with my emotions. I would recall everything and wonder what just happened.

  15. When I think about how God created me, and being “overly sensitive”, I have extreme fear and shame about being crazy, insane, mental. Different, in a bad way. The reason for why I’m​ floundering, depressed, and a failure. The reason my life doesn’t and never will change. The reason no one can stand or put up with me. Needy. Weak. Undesirable. …..crazy

  16. Mari Flynn says:

    I think it’s hard to accept that I am an HSP because my older sister (we were born 18 months apart) is such a high energy, tough person whom nothing seems to faze. It’s hard to admit that I need more rest and, as much as I love to interact with people, need more breaks from them than she does.

  17. Discovering says:

    This is totally true for me. I’ve finally accepted the fact that in an HSP, in the sense that I’m convinced that I am and I consider myself one. Sometimes it’s still hard for me to accept that I’m an HSP because I’m still learning to see the fact that I have needs (especially when I feel like they’re different from others’ “normal” needs) as a legitimate and real part of me and not a weakness. It’s hard for me to tell other people I consider myself an HSP because I feel like they will just see it as me giving myself an excuse to categorize things I dislike as “needs”. Actually, I haven’t really told very many people at all that I consider myself as highly sensitive.

  18. HSP is my mom’s job. I’m supposed to be tough and hold everything together.

    Many family systems don’t like change. This is a game changer in my family of origin. I’m not supposed to have feelings. Luckily my husband and boys know me and know I’ve always had feelings 😉 So I have a safe place to land.

  19. When I found out that I was an HSP, it was a relief! Why? Because now I understand why people didn’t notice all the things I did. I didn’t know that my observation skills were abnormal, so I often felt unloved, unnoticed, and let down, because most people throw away a lot more detail than an HSP. I take it in and catalog it without even realizing it sometimes. Knowing that I am unique in that aspect frees me not to expect the same thing from others. There can be times that being an HSP is hard. But at the same time, it is a super power. I think I have struggled most in knowing how to use that super power in a way that lifts me up too. I think I am starting to understand more.

  20. I enjoy reading your insightful thoughts about a HSP. You may not want to use the word “dang” in your writings! It is the slang word for “dam”. I would not want you to offend any HSP. This was something that the Lord curbed me in saying many slang words, which cursed the name of our Lord and Savior. This conviction by the Lord’s Spirit, made me HSP towards my choice of words against the Lord.

  21. Elisa Gray says:

    I so wish I weren’t HSP. It has caused quite a bit of trouble in my life. It would be SO much easier to not be bothered. I really hate how easily I can get overwhelmed. I don’t want to be that way at all. I want to be the person who is unflappable who can manage what life throws at her. That’s who I want to be. But instead I get so easily knocked off my equilibrium. It all makes me feel like I’m a terrible Christian who only makes faith in Jesus look like something unattractive. It takes a lot of mental effort to believe that I am loved when I’m so obviously a disappointment. (OK, I know I’m not really a disappointment. But when I’m in the midst of the storm, that’s where my mind goes.)

    1. BOOM. Me. *sigh* Thanks for sharing. I just figured out what HSP is yesterday and I am one…it’s rocking my world right now. A mixture of guilt, disgust, epiphany. Pregnancy hormones don’t make it easier.

      1. Elisa, like you I am just accepting the fact that I am a H.S.P. and so wanting to find tools that will help me enjoy life instead of feeling hurt and pained by so much around me…feeling things so deeply. I was thinking how Jesus was H.S.P.-knowing and caring and empathizing with us humans. Our Heavenly Father wanted His Son to be one who could know experientially what it is to be human and deal with all we deal with. I guess we all are in pretty good company if we think of it like that, huh?! *smile*


  22. I find it somewhat liberating to realize that I’m and HSP- I was always trying to cover up my sentivity or become stronger – knowing it is part of my personality allows me to give myself more grace.

  23. Great post…. I think sometimes it’s when I realize I am so different from those around me. Normally I don’t care or don’t notice or it doesn’t affect me. Or I am around enough people who seem to love and accept me for who I am.quirks and all. But once in a while there is that person who just acts annoyed by my sensitivity. It causes a rift in relationship. The only word to describe it is rejection. I feel a sense of rejection of me. Sometimes I think so deeply about stuff even I am sick of myself.
    Then I wonder what is it like to go around not thinking about this kind of stuff. Then I am grateful for God and how he made me and loves me and addresses me because of what he knows and loves about me. And he does the same for others.

    1. I relate…
      … .that person who just acts annoyed by my sensitivity. It causes a rift in relationship. The only word to describe it is rejection. I feel a sense of rejection of me. Sometimes I think so deeply about stuff even I am sick of myself.
      Then I wonder what is it like to go around not thinking about this kind of stuff. …..

  24. Your posts are fantastic, Cheri. Keep them coming! I’m learning to appreciate this trait thanks to you. I always knew I was sensitive but I often saw it as a negative thing and still struggle at times. I think of it as a “high maintenance” personality… So often over thinking things or being wounded by someone who doesn’t have this in their temperament at all! I forget that there are very positive sides to it that people are able to appreciate and some are drawn to. Finding your site has been a God send. At a crucial time too because I’ve been grieving the loss of my mom. What a time to be sensitive!!

    1. Such a good post, again! I was relieved to discover I was an HSP. It clarified so very much for me. On the other hand, I’m not going to go around telling people that I’m one, because, well, I’m sensitive. Lol. One thing that made it hard for me to accept my HSP qualities was that my sister is also one, but hers looks very different than mine. I could also be labeled as strong willed, feisty, spirited, stubborn, etc. but I’m still an extremely sensitive person to sounds, people, crowds, textures, temperatures, emotions, pain, change, etc. My sister is meek, subdued, quiet, reserved, etc. She was usually seen as the sensitive one. However, from what I know now, I may well be more sensitive than she is. I went through some personal counseling for some months, and my counselor helped me to see how being an HSP is a tremendous gift; when I accepted it as part of who God made me, I began to see how it benefited me so much in my parenting, my friendships, my creative work and more. I’m gradually becoming more comfortable with letting the “secret” out. Haha. 😀

      1. Great perspective, thank you.