“You’re too sensitive.”
I am a sensitive person.
I have heard the above statement a lot.
Being a sensitive person, when someone says the above statement to me, I take it as a negative statement. Cause, you know, I’m sensitive.
I’ve always been this way.
But it wasn’t until recently that I realized how other aspects of life were a part of this sensitivity and what it meant to me.
Every year when the kids go back to school I have a time of adjustment. Things are just off with me mentally. I am glad for the kids to go back to school – it can be quite hard to keep 3 kids, who are active in 3 different ways, appeased for all those summer hours. Equally hard to keep them from fighting. I welcome back to school, but I have a time of adjustment.
This year, I could not get out of the adjustment. There was so much change.
Thankfully, in my mindless crawl through the internet of clicking, scrolling and more clicking, I came across information about:
And as I read the information detailing high sensitivity, by Elaine Aron, I was surprised to see how much of myself was described in this type of person. As I sat and gingerly read the information, I recognized:
- At that moment I was sitting in my tidied house. I cannot sit at my computer until the house has been picked up. Nothing on the floors. No messy piles of papers or toys. I can’t focus if chaos is around me. The same applies if I go to someone else’s house. I cannot focus if there is chaos in the environment around me.
- I am very much affected by the moods of people around me
- I cannot have caffeine after 12 noon. I have been sugar-free for 6 years now, but before that – I couldn’t even eat chocolate after 12. ANY source of caffeine and I would toss and turn the entire night.
- I HATE loud sounds. If I am driving the music never goes above a certain point. My family complains they cannot hear the music, but any louder and I feel uncomfortable. And heaven forbid someone wants to talk with the radio loud. I feel completely overwhelmed when too many things are going on at once.
- I startle VERY easily. Which, when my husband is driving, is a problem and probably his biggest annoyance with me. But if he hits the brakes suddenly, I am gasping and grabbing for something to hold as if the car was hurdling through the air, completely out of control. I have even pulled the passenger arm handle off the ceiling having startled one too many times.
- I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
- I get upset, and kind of mean, when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
- CHANGES IN MY LIFE SHAKE ME UP. There I was, sitting trying to adjust to the kids going back to school, their schedules, etc. Unable to focus on anything for days. In OCTOBER.
There are a lot of other things I can easily relate to on the list, but these stand out for me, the most.
Elaine Aron began researching high sensitivity in 1991. The personality trait of the highly sensitive person is called Sensory-Processing Sensitivity. A person with Sensory Processing Sensitivity has a hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing and high emotional reactivity.
I find the information interesting as being highly sensitized is innate. All my kids have sensory issues. Two are on the autism spectrum. According to the National Autistic Society, many people on the spectrum have sensory issues. But like I explored in Introversion vs. Autism, one can have sensory issues (and be an introvert) and NOT be on the autism spectrum.
But I still find the sensory connection interesting.
Aron has a lot of information about The Highly Sensitive Person on her website. Also questionnaire’s to complete to determine a person’s sensitivity. Also, there is one for kids – and when I look at that one, I see Cate on paper. It is all very interesting, and I recommend checking this trait, website and questionairre’s out, HERE.
There are a lot of other articles and information on the web for the Highly Sensitive Person. Just do a search.
I also would like to add after reading all of this information that I am not TOO sensitive.
I am just a highly sensitive person. And that is okay.