There are people who seem like they’re just way too sensitive.
They feel strongly about things most other people simply don’t give a damn about.
Because of this, they’re often told that they should be a bit less emotional and “dramatic”—when in fact, the world needs more people like them, not less.
Want to know why?
Here are 10 reasons why highly sensitive people are a gift to the world.
1) They encourage us to be more open
Most people ask questions like “How’s your trip?” and “How are you?” as a matter of courtesy and would pivot to other, less personal topics as soon as possible.
But highly sensitive people (let’s call them HSPs) don’t do that.
When they ask questions like “How are you?”, it’s because they’re genuinely interested in hearing our thoughts and knowing our feelings.
They’ll ask things like “Can you tell me more about your trip?” and “Is anything troubling you?” that show interest in you and encourage you to elaborate further.
Note that it’s not like they’re trying to pry, and if you would rather not elaborate they’ll let you be. But they happily offer you an invitation to talk more deeply nonetheless.
Most HSPs wonder why people just effortlessly open up to them, and this is one of the reasons why.
2) They help us become more attuned to others
Being attuned means being aware and responsive to the emotions of others. This is very important in forming strong connections with people…and HSPs have this in abundance.
Being sensitive to the feelings of others is essential for building deeper bonds.
If one is attuned to others, they can communicate well and build intimacy. If one is not, they can easily ruin what could have been a good relationship.
And it goes beyond personal relationships, actually.
Being attuned to others can make someone a good leader, too. Many HSP are experts at sensing the needs of the people around them, making them more effective at guiding even the most difficult employee.
3) They are compassionate listeners
HSPs know how to pay attention.
They listen well but they also pay close attention to our body language and ask themselves “Okay, but what are they really trying to say?”
They know how to make us feel heard because when we open up to them, they will actually follow along with the things we’re sharing.
And because they pay attention to things like the sound of our voice, the words we use, and the way we hold ourselves, they can understand what we’re really trying to say.
They’re not just letting our words get into one ear and fly out the other.
And just as important as all of that is the fact that they keep an open mind. They don’t dismiss what you’re saying out of hand just because they don’t understand it or cannot relate to it.
They listen with both ears, an open mind, and a kind heart. All of these are rare in our day and age, and that’s what makes them so precious.
4) They make us value intangible things
Modern life punishes us for “wasting” our time on more abstract things like entertaining philosophical thoughts or processing our feelings.
We’re often told that these things are just distractions. That they don’t have any real value because they won’t make us rich…and might in fact make it harder for us to actually get rich.
After all, why cry over a break-up or get mad over the local governor making your life worse? You have work to do and money to earn!
But on the contrary, it’s actually important to care for things like these.
It might feel like a waste of time to cry over a breakup, but you’ll heal much faster if you take the time to grieve. You don’t want to remain angry and depressed for years because you never took the time to acknowledge your emotions.
And well, it’s a good idea to speak up if your local government is passing laws that make your life harder.
Emotions are seen as inferior compared to the things we actually see, but many grand things start with emotions…and HSPs are masters of it.
5) They offer us different perspectives
Most people don’t bother thinking too hard when going through their day, and more or less take their day-to-day experiences for granted.
Highly sensitive people, on the other hand, navigate their day with their senses.
They listen to their emotions, stop to think every so often, and try to understand the world using their lens.
Thus, they can see things most of us simply didn’t even know were there.
They can see when there is injustice we’ve all simply come to accept as part of life (even when it should not) and can explain why.
They can also see when a “shallow” TV show that people are mindlessly consuming for drama and explosions actually has a much deeper meaning.
In a way, one can even say that through the perspective they have to offer, HSPs can help us understand and appreciate things we’ve come to overlook and take for granted.
6) They can take us to greater heights
When we think of “Highly sensitive people”, the first thing that most of us think of is how they are quick to cry or get mad.
But while there’s a kernel of truth here, that’s not exactly all there is to them.
Most of us easily remember how strongly we feel negative emotions, but we also feel positive emotions just as strongly.
When they’re in love, you can be sure they’re not just feeling a touch of affection for someone—they’re head over heels in love. They’d write poetry and sing songs for their beloved.
They’ll express their feelings with such intensity that their partner will feel a love that’s out of this world.
7) They can help us face our dark feelings
Many of us shy away from negative feelings. We think that thinking about fear, envy, anger, disappointments, and regret can just make us bitter.
It’s actually quite the opposite. If we don’t face our negative feelings, we might grow more bitter and resentful each day.
HSPs don’t see negative emotions as a threat to happiness.
In fact, when they’re sad, they embrace their sadness. They know that one day their sadness will go away, but while it’s here, they let it sit with them so they can understand themselves better.
By encouraging us to welcome negative emotions—either directly or by example—we get to know ourselves on a much deeper level.
8) They make life just a bit more interesting
Author Pearl S. Buck once said, “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.”
Most HSPs are creative because of just how much emotion they feel.
Whatever they do—whether they’re a chef or a musician—they’re always able to inject a bit of life into their work.
They’re the chefs who would playfully draw a smiley face on the serving plate when they see that their customer is looking a bit glum.
They’re the musicians whose songs paint smiles on people’s faces and then bring them to tears. For them, it’s not all about notes and rhythm. It’s about feelings, too. Their songs touch the heart and make all of us feel a little less alone.
9) They help us appreciate the small things
It didn’t take much to please and delight us when we were young.
We would look at trees and wonder what sort of magical beings lived within them. We’d pick up seashells and rocks and treat them as treasures of the sea.
But as we get older, most of us barely even have the time to look at the stars and wonder “What’s out there?” so we just don’t bother.
Not the highly sensitive people. They’re the ones who’ve maintained their childlike wonder no matter how hectic the world gets…and they infect the people around them.
They make us see the world like when we were children, making us appreciate every little thing and every precious moment.
10) They make us ask the big questions
Most of us are perfectly content burying ourselves in wine and work to avoid confronting the big, truly profound questions in life. Questions like…
“Is meaning more important than happiness?”
“What is love, really?”
We usually just let others do the thinking for us, and leave it at that. But highly sensitive people won’t be satisfied with just that.
They’ll ask these questions, not just to themselves but also to the people around them.
They’ll find their own answers and in doing so, inspire others around them to do the same.
We live in a world where suppressing and even killing one’s emotions is held in high regard, and where the drive to earn material things has us neglecting the intangible.
In this world, sensitive people are there to remind us that things don’t have to be this way.
They’re the ones who truly hear what we mean to say, feel the emotions we work so hard to suppress, and think of the questions we’ve simply learned not to ask.
While few, they make living in the present bearable and help us build a better future for all.
So if you know a highly sensitive person, treat them well. Don’t shame them for being sensitive. And if you’re a highly sensitive person yourself, well…don’t ever change!