Highly sensitive people feel more deeply and strongly.
And because of this, they’re often misunderstood.
If you’re someone who wants to get closer to a HSP but you’re not quite sure how to read them and treat them right, this article is for you.
Here are 9 things highly sensitive people wish you knew about them.
1) They’re not toxic
Today, we consider anything that’s a little bit complicated to be “toxic.
And HSPs are often accused of being “toxic” and “dramatic” just because they’re more emotional and perceptive than the average person.
Well sure, some highly sensitive people can be toxic, but many HSPs also know how to regulate their emotions and are anything but toxic. And in fact, the most toxic people I know are the insensitive ones.
So if you want to be closer to a HSP, make sure you don’t make them feel like you’re judging them when they express their emotions.
Phrases like “Don’t be too emotional about it” or “You’re overreacting”, even said in a joking manner, will make them put their guards up. They’ll be scared of opening up to you.
So what should you do?
Encourage them to just freely express what they truly feel.
2) They’re not using their emotions to manipulate anyone
When someone who’s highly sensitive gets emotional, some people would go “hmmm, so why are they acting this way, really?”
Here’s the thing: As far as HSPs are concerned, they’re just feeling their feelings.
And they truly hope that people will stop thinking they have a hidden motive everytime they can’t help but cry, or laugh, or get excited, or get overwhelmed.
It’s not their strategy to get what they want.
3) They’re not being “dramatic” to get attention
When they see or experience something touching, they get overwhelming feelings. And if they express their feelings in any way or form, it’s not because they just like the “drama”. It’s because they have to express.
Don’t call them “drama queens” and “attention-seekers”, because they don’t care about attention—trust me. In fact, they don’t like much attention because as HSPs, they’re easily fazed by any stimuli.
So when they express feelings or they shut you off because they’re overwhelmed, don’t assume they’re mad at you or that they’re just acting like princesses.
They just find it challenging to handle their emotions. Period.
If you truly want to get closer to a HSP, then you must give them the freedom to navigate their emotions. Instead of thinking that they’re just being bratty, give them the support they need.
4) They’re sensitive to external stimuli
As mentioned, HSPs easily get affected by the things around them.
When you shout—especially if it’s at them, they’d get startled like a toddler on a highway.
Same goes with positive stimuli. If they see a cat being cute, they can’t help but gush…and yes, even while you’re talking about something serious.
They find it hard to NOT feel anything when they experience any kind of stimuli.
Therefore, if they’re already distressed and you want to comfort them, or if you need to have a serious conversation with them with their full attention, it’s a good idea to take them somewhere quiet and calm instead of just expecting them to “behave right”.
5) They tend to overthink
Not only do HSPs “overfeel”, they also have the tendency to overthink.
So if they got into a heated argument with their friend, they’d replay everything and assess the conversation…even though it’s not really such a big deal to their friend (or to anyone who witnessed them).
They’d think “Do they hate me now?”, “Am I an asshole?”, “What will happen to our friendship now?”
And the thing is that they’d beat themselves up for it. If they’re convinced they’re the bad friend, they’d tell themselves they’ll never be able to keep friends…and that they’ll be alone forever.
So if you know someone who’s highly sensitive, a bit of reassurance—especially after an argument— is highly appreciated. Doing so would prevent their guilt from eating them alive.
6) They easily get drained
Most HSPs are also introverts.
Not only do they get drained emotionally, they also just get drained with any prolonged social interaction—even if they’re interacting with the people closest to them like their spouse or best friend.
They want to be alone with their thoughts and feelings after absorbing so many things.
You see, whenever they’re with other people, they can’t help but sense and gauge people’s feelings as well as their own…and the whole thing can be quite exhausting.
Someone who’s not HSP will still have energy to party after a presentation at work, but HSPs are usually deflated after a daunting task…and so they’d rather go home and recover.
If you want to be nicer to a sensitive person you know, don’t feel bad if they’d say no to some dates, or if they’d lock themselves up in their room. They just really NEED to recharge.
7) They wish people would be gentler
Someone who’s HSP would appreciate it if people would not only be kinder, but also gentler to one another.
By that I mean, even if you have good intentions, HOW you do things still matter to them.
Some of us—in fact, almost all of us—have good intentions. We want what’s best for our friends and family. But sometimes, in our excitement and stubbornness, we do things in a rather harsh manner.
In our attempt to help someone, we sometimes get tough on them— lecture them harshly or give punishments—but the HSP, because of their sensitive nature, would not even see the intention anymore once you start being harsh on them.
What they’ll see is just your harshness…and they’d retreat to their shell and not come out for a while.
So be gentle. For a highly sensitive person, how you do things is as important as your intentions.
8) Their sensitivity doesn’t make them weak
In this day and age where we have to act tough to be respected, if someone cries easily or if someone is emotional, they’re seen as weak.
But here’s something we all should know: being sensitive is actually a superpower.
The fact that they’re more sensitive than most people doesn’t make them weak, gullible, and irrational.
Sure, they feel sympathy and guilt more strongly than the average person, but they just feel them. They know better than to let their feelings become the compass of their decisions.
In fact, there are many strong leaders who are highly sensitive, and that’s because sensitivity is an added strength. It allows them to not only use their heads, but also their hearts.
9) What you see is what you get
HSPs are transparent. It’s hard for them to conceal their emotions, and it’s equally hard for them to fake it.
So even if they say “I’m fine” and flash a smile, you can still easily tell they’re just faking it because their eyes, their voice, and their whole being would betray them.
It’s usually too obvious when they’re happy, when they’re jealous, when they’re angry, when they’re sad.
What’s great about this is that any potential problem with your relationship with them can be resolved quickly because you’ll be able to catch them faster. You’ll just say “hey, I notice you’re quiet today. Everything okay?”
Luckily, most HSP are honest and open with their feelings if you really ask them seriously, so they’ll tell you what’s bothering them.
And you know what else is good about this?
If you see they’re happy, you can rest assured that they’re 100% happy.
Highly sensitive people want us all to know that we shouldn’t take it against them if they’re sensitive.
They’re not being sensitive to offend us or threatening us, they’re just born that way.
Instead of shaming them for it, we should just support them and not think badly about them while they process and navigate their feelings.
It’s a harsh world out there. We should look after each other—and the best way to care for a highly sensitive person is by being a little more sensitive yourself. Or at least, by being more tolerant of them.