How the hell can it take 52 years to realise what I am, why I react the way I do and that there is something I can do to reduce or even change it?
It doesn’t seem real does it? But it is and it’s me. I am that person who always has got angry with myself for what I see as overreacting to situations and emotions, but who never knew til now that there is a reason for it and I can look into it and try to curb it.
It frustrates the hell out of me that I’ve trained myself not to confront or challenge people whose opinions or behaviour I disagree with (and yet I do fully believe that it is the right thing to do as how can either they or I learn from it?). Instead I’ve grown up either quietly agreeing with them whilst in my head thinking the complete opposite, or, when I have tried to challenge, my emotions go into overdrive and I end up in tears and feeling like shit for a few days.
I’ve also gotten to the stage where I avoid crowds as much as I possibly can, to the extent that I now get my shopping online and hubby or son pops to local shops when I need something. I just find crowds of people around me gives me an intensely uncomfortable feeling, almost like a flight or fight scenario.
I’ve looked into the signs of HSP’s and most definitely can identify with almost all of them. Looking at Highly Sensitive Person | Psychology Today I meet the majority of the criteria. It is seen as a personality trait, not a condition and up to 30% of the population are born with the gene that can lead to having it.
I wonder then how many people are out there, just dealing with their shit and not realising they can do something about it?
Ok so let’s look at the signs first;
- Being called oversensitive – yep – all my life!
- Having at least one sense being overstimulated – yes – they vary
- Easily upset by violence in media – yes – especially with animals or children
- Avoid stressful situations – yes – I tend to not go to something that I may have initially said yes to, because I’ll become more and more anxious about how I’ll cope emotionally.
- Called ‘shy’ as a child – no – I was definitely not shy, but reading the above article shows that extroverts can be HSP’s as well as introverts.
- Get overwhelmed by tasks – yes – I tend to freeze and panic as I feel as though I can never finish the task in time
- Being attuned to nuances in environment – yes – I can pick up on an atmosphere in a room that others can’t and also to the mood/emotions of a person and ways to address it.
- Sensitive to pain – yes – I have Fibromyalgia so pain is a permanent fixture unfortunately
- Considered thoughtful – yes – although, I fear, less so lately
- Work hard to please others – yes – I am a people pleaser and it is like a personal mission to please everyone I meet.
Other traits can be found here 24 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person | Psychology Today I meet the majority of them.
I have researched and found some interesting articles on Pinterest which identify signs of HSP’s and self care tips to help cope with stressful days. You can see my page here Pinterest . As I’m just discovering it myself, I’m still learning and processing the information. I hope I can learn to follow some of the advice at least to help cope with my stressful reactions and lead to a calmer existence.