Super Sensitive People
“For the highly sensitive person, a little drizzle feels like a monsoon.”
Science tells us that highly sensitive people are affected by their environment and other people, more so than ‘normal’ people. Scientific research into these different personality types has coined the term “highly sensitive people” or HSP, because their central nervous system is highly sensitive and reacts to stimulation. They pick up more subtle social cues (not always positively) and respond more to stimuli from their surroundings, people and situations than other people do, hence they are affected by everything more than Mr and Mrs Average.
Someone having a “delicate”, “touch-me-not”, or “thin skinned” nature, may well have a deep sensitivity meter that is built into their make-up. It is not that they are just delicate because of their upbringing or circumstances, it seems to be something more deeply ingrained into their personality which affects how they perceive and experience the world.
Therefore, it is not a simple nurture issue, it may also be nature too. These highly sensitive people are wired in a way where they feel things too intensely, that then influences their moods. If not corrected it will create an experience of toxic overload. Such a person may suffer from anxiety, and be overly introverted which could lead to depression and emotional burn-out.
People who are oversensitive in this way could be said to have an inverted ego. In other words, they are deeply concerned with themselves rather than others. Arrogant people are also overly concerned with the self, but have an inflated opinion of themselves. The oversensitive person usually has low self-esteem and fear of being criticised or ridiculed. They tend to be on ‘high alert’ watching people’s expressions, and interpreting and analysing conversations in which they have perceived some slight. These delicate natures are very difficult for others to be around. Everyone feels as though they are walking on eggshells, including the oversensitive person, who tries constantly to not cause any reason for criticism or aggression. This extra sensitivity could well be the cause of a lot of mental health issues, because these people are simply picking up too much information outside of themselves, which they are finding hard to process and accommodate. If such a soul is not in alignment with themselves, they will surely become mentally and emotionally unbalanced trying to negotiate the burden of excessive data input plus trying to adjust with it all.
Someone who is a natural empath on the other hand, is a person with a sensitive nature who is aware of the feelings of others and can sense their suffering and know what the right thing is to say or do to alleviate the suffering. A supersensitive person could learn to manage all their mixed emotions if they have some spiritual practice to help keep them anchored. Taking “time out” to re-tune themselves, and edit out the emotions and moods of other souls, this will help them to stay balanced in life. The key thing is to distinguish what is “yours” and that which belongs to other people; to be aware of the feelings of others without being influenced by them, and losing yourself in the process. If you are a highly sensitive person, then a good tip is to keep checking in with YOU! Ask yourself: Is this my “stuff”? Use the method of clean and delete as you go through your day.
Something we can all do is have the aim to be a compassionate human being, and sensitive to others. We do not need to become super sensitive, but just gently aware of the nature and circumstances of those around us, being respectful of their feelings and giving them space. Remember everyone is doing the best they can with the information they have available. We can learn to be sensitive and aware, and still protect the self, with understanding and healthy introversion. For some, awareness is awakened by simply being exposed to a new environment.
Prince Siddhartha, for example, lived in a beautiful palace and believed everyone lived just like him and lived a life of comfort and pleasure. Outside of the palace was suffering and poverty, but this this was shielded from him. If ever he left the palace walls, his route was carefully planned, and he was escorted everywhere. Streets were cleaned and cleared of anything that might shatter his serenity. One evening, he left the palace grounds alone and was exposed to the reality of how the other people lived. The illusion he had been living under was shattered. It was a great awakening and the suffering he saw put him on the path of searching for the way to end all suffering. He pursued a life of renunciation, and the wisdom and enlightenment he achieved are the foundations of Buddhism. He is remembered as the Master Buddha.
Regarding the pain of others … this is not a time to walk away or put our head in the sand. If we can do nothing else, we can afford to send them a prayer and good wishes. Being able to stay in our own power and not be affected by people and situations is a good stage to have… always… with love and compassion. Make yourself stable in any situation, so that you are able to deal with challenges as they come up.
It’s Time… to stay sane, become sensible and be sensitive of the feelings of others.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK