14 things only highly sensitive people will understand

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If you’re a highly sensitive person you feel and experience life in a very intense way. 

This means that certain situations and feelings hit you much harder than they would a less sensitive person. 

I’m going to go through the top 14 things that only highly sensitive people will understand. 

1) Beauty can move you to tears

One of the top things only highly sensitive people will understand is the power of beauty to move them to tears. 

A sunset pouring like golden syrup over waffles…

The wind whistling through the willows…

The first strums of a rich chord played on an old acoustic guitar around the bonfire…

It can move you to tears before you even realize it. 

Whereas others might hear an amazing hymn in church and think “how nice,” you’re actually shedding tears. 

Welcome to the world of being a highly sensitive person

As Dr. Elizabeth Scott writes

“You might be highly touched by beauty or emotionality. Highly sensitive people tend to feel deeply moved by the beauty they see around them.”

2) When you fall in love it’s absolute

The next of the things only highly sensitive people will understand is the intensity of falling in love fully and quickly. 

Whereas many others may fall in love more gradually or as a kind of “get to know somebody” process, the highly sensitive person falls in love completely – and, often, fast. 

This can be painful and disillusioning if you fall for the wrong person

But it’s something that less sensitive people may find very hard to understand. They may even see you as someone who needs to get more of a grip on your emotions and heart. 

But that’s just the thing:

As soon as you know you shouldn’t be feeling something for somebody or that it’s too soon, it’s already too late. 

You’re already falling – or have already fallen – in love.

3) The memory of love lingers forever 

All too often love doesn’t work out or doesn’t last. 

There’s a reason that so many love songs are sad! 

But as a highly sensitive person you tend to be very selective in having any serious relationship or meeting somebody you really connect with

And when you do fall in love and it doesn’t work out or doesn’t last, you never forget what you once had. 

Even once you’ve moved on, the memory of experiencing love never leaves you. 

As the singer Brandon Ratcliff sings in his track “Sad Song:” 

“Something beautiful is still something beautiful 

Even when it makes you cry

 I hope you stop and smile 

Even just for a little while if I ever cross your mind.” 

4) Sometimes you just need to be alone 

Everybody has bad days and times they want some space. 

The difference is that as a highly sensitive person you need a bit more than the average person. 

You don’t just want to be alone sometimes, you actually need it. 

It can almost be like recharging a battery. 

Times come when you’ve had enough and even just one more pleasant conversation is simply too much for you to engage in at the moment. 

You have no more left to give, and even a nice invitation can feel like a burden when you just need time by yourself

5) Beautiful music, poetry and art touches your soul deeply 

Everyone has music, art and literature they like. 

But for a highly sensitive person, art and creative projects touch them on an even deeper level

You may find yourself going to an art gallery and staying transfixed in front of a van Gogh painting for half an hour or more. 

You may listen to a cello concerto after dinner and be moved to an almost transcendent, meditative state wherein you have certain realizations about life, love and existence itself. 

Ordinary life is never just ordinary. 

6) You intuitively feel tension or harmony between people

Another of the things only highly sensitive people will understand is the ability to read a room immediately and sense energy. 

When you meet two people you can already get a read on their basic level of comfortability and harmony with each other at the time you meet him. 

You can feel painful and difficult energy and vice versa. 

This can often mean you also have empath abilities, which leaves you highly sensitive to the states and energy of others around you. 

The upside is that you are very insightful and good at communicating with others

The downside is that you can often get dragged down into the problems and sufferings of others.

7) You have strong instinctive reactions to those you meet 

On a related note of your intuitive reaction to others is that you have strong instinctive reactions to those you meet. 

You just…don’t like some people. 

And you may not even be sure why. 

On the other hand, you really like some people and you may also be unsure why. 

Your opinions of people sometimes change, of course, but you tend to have stronger initial reactions to people on first meeting them than most other people. 

It’s just how you’re built. 

8) Rejection and being overlooked hurts you deeply 

Rejection hurts for everyone.

But for highly sensitive people it can hurt even more. 

The reason is not only that they feel more deeply, but that highly sensitive people tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve. 

Because you’re very open and offer your true self to those around you, it hurts and is depleting to have that turned down or rejected in some way. 

It’s not even rejection that hurts most, but actually indifference that leaves the biggest mark. 

Sensitive people want to connect and communicate: there’s nothing worse than coming up against a blank and indifferent white wall in response. 

9) You crave answers to existential questions 

For many people existential questions like “why are we here?” are interesting and absorbing questions to think about sometimes or watch a YouTube video about and think over. 

For the highly sensitive person these are questions that never leave them. 

Even when they’re following a spiritual or religious path, these kinds of existential questions persist and are always being lived not just theoretically pondered. 

The answers to life aren’t intellectual, they’re experiential, and they’re always evolving and being experienced. 

10) Too many expectations leave you feeling overwhelmed 

Being highly sensitive often leads you to being very idealistic. 

As Bob Dylan sings in “Up To Me”:

“It frightens me, the awful truth of how sweet life can be.”

You see the potential of life and feel very let down when it doesn’t pan out that way or, more often than not, turns out quite anticlimactic.

Welcome to life…

Whereas less sensitive people may just say that you’re idealizing love, life and other things that bring you down, you know deep in your heart that this isn’t the case. 

Life really does have the potential to be sweet and ecstatic. That’s what makes disappointment sting all the more. 

11) You can’t shake the feeling of being misunderstood 

As a highly sensitive person you often feel misunderstood.

The upside is that this can lead to some beautiful creations and innovation…

The downside is that this can lead into unhealthy amounts of self-isolating, depression and enormous frustration. 

I’ve definitely been there.

This brings me to the next point… 

12) You sometimes feel left behind by ‘normal’ people 

Everyone has certain issues or experiences that they are sensitive to. 

But as a highly sensitive person you often feel that “normal” people are leaving you behind. 

It can feel that others are living their lives for better or worse while you wait for your own life to start. 

I remember feeling for years like I was in a holding pattern like an aircraft circling a runway without ever landing. 

When does my life start?

The truth?

It only starts when you make it start. 

As motivational coach Tony Robbins puts it so memorably

“You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! 

You must take action.”


13) Your identity is always evolving 

As a highly sensitive person you’re always changing. 

Your identity isn’t just a static checkmark in a box like being an “accountant” or “husband.”

You may be those things, sure, but you’re also you. 

And you are always learning, always growing and always experiencing. 

Unlike those others who seem less needful of deep and transformational experiences and changes, you’re never satisfied by the bare minimum. 

14) You overthink simple things 

One of the harder parts and things only highly sensitive people will understand is the tendency to overthink things

The future, the past, your own appearance, you name it…

Your mind and emotions are often consumed by worries and speculation. 

It’s hard to make decisions and take actions because your mind travels down so many different options and then ends up right back at the beginning. 

Plus, even once you make a decision you often find yourself doubting and doubling back on your choice. 

Embracing who you are

Being highly sensitive can sometimes feel like a curse.

What’s the benefit of so often being stuck in your head or caught up in your feelings?

But hidden inside the difficulties of being highly sensitive is a precious gift:

The ability to bring insights, healing and transformation to yourself and those around you.

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