At a very young age, I was subconsciously taught that being ‘too sensitive’ was unacceptable. That if I intuitively sensed the energy in the room felt ‘off’, and others did not, then it simply must have been my imagination. Or, if I felt sad for someone else getting hurt, that it was best to walk away and not get involved. That right there was a recipe for denying my gifts and shutting off my superhero abilities for the next 25 years.
I am ‘1 in 5’ of our human species born with a genetic trait called sensory processing sensitivity, aka I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). My sensory nervous system is often on high alert, making me more aware of subtleties in social interactions and in my environment.
Indeed, processing information very quickly has its downfalls, especially living in today’s technological world. For example, overstimulation happens much sooner for me if I don’t unplug from my phone or computer for periods of time throughout the day. Or, when there are too many ‘shoulds’ on my to-do list, overwhelm and adrenal fatigue often lurk nearby; a major disaster zone for an ambitious HSP.
My ability to empathize is also a lot stronger than most. Therefore, when someone shares a deeply passionate story or describes a horrific scene from their life, I literally feel the excitement or pain as if it were my own. This makes life extremely dynamic and colorful, but also quite disconcerting; especially when my ‘superhuman strengths’ are not properly managed.
Once I accepted this trait as a unique part of myself, I made a commitment to learn how to master my sensitive gifts. I had to learn everything I was NOT taught in school, and how to reprogram my limited perspective of the world and my place in it. If not, I’d be just another drug-induced zombie walking this earth, still asleep in a state of learned helplessness.
So welcome to my world, and get your big girl panties on, because there’s no messing around with denying this trait if you’re ‘highly sensitive’.
Today, I’m going to share with you The 3 Reasons Why Highly Sensitive People Are Actually Superheroes, so that you can understand how your sensitivity is a strength, and not something that causes you hide into a dark lair of isolation and anxious depression.
1. You have keen observation skills and know when to make your move.
Dr. Elaine Aron (2006), a founding researcher on the highly sensitive trait has determined that Highly Sensitive People have a stronger Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS). This does not mean you have a trait that inhibits you or makes you more anxious or neurotic. However, it does mean that it allows you to be keenly aware when observing your environment and interactions. This trait guides you to ‘Pause-to-Check’ more often than the average person, which helps you determine if your environment or situation is dangerous or rewarding (Aron, 2006). Your ability to pay attention to meticulous detail and notice patterns quicker than the non-sensitive, can help you make an early decision to leave a job before it goes under; say no to a high-risk situation that’ll be more harm that good, or change direction on your path to avoid an accident. In other words, when you know how to use your gifts properly, your intuition will always steer you in the right direction. Just as Spiderman needed some practice in learning how to use his web flying abilities, you need to learn the difference between fear and intuition so you can always take the path for your highest good.
2. You have an inherent need to help others.
Because you have a higher ability to experience empathy, you often feel the ‘oneness’ that Buddhists talk about in spiritual teachings. When others experience pain, you experience their pain as well. This leaves you quite uncomfortable. Especially when you cannot provide help in some way. You might have always been the ‘helper’ or ‘fixer’ of the group, instead of the instigator. Intuitively, you knew that if you hurt others, or used your ‘super-powers’ to destructively manipulate, then it would hurt you as well. (To you, karma makes total sense.) Hopefully by now, you’re also learning that in filling your cup up from within, and being the change you wish to see, you’re in turn helping everyone around you too. It’s called a ripple effect. And yes, it’s that simple.
3. You’re highly creative and can imagine ‘out of the box’ solutions for complex issues.
Similar to your favorite superhero who watches their beloved city from above, you’re able to see the world from a bird’s eye view by taking a step back from life. Doing this allows you to see the problems of society and envision ways for it to be better. AND because you feel the suffering of the world right there in your heart, you’re often forced to consider alternative solutions to our worldly problems sooner than a non-HSP (Suffer. Or Change. Your choice.). Whether it’s through integrating alternative health solutions in your life and then inspiring your friends and family to make a change; making life easier for the disadvantaged through entrepreneurial endeavors; or creating a shift in perception around what it means to accept one another on a deeper level; either way, your work here is greatly needed. And the more you allow yourself to go within and play with your creative imagination to see how this world can operate in new and innovative ways, the better life will be for all. And because of that, you are indeed a superhero. So thank you for your service. It is now safe to come out of hiding. We need you.
Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? Take Elaine Aron’s self-test here. Then, comment below and share this article with your favorite Highly Sensitive Superhero.]]>