About twenty percent of the people on this planet are considered to be high sensitive persons. HSP. just another label in a world where almost everybody has a stigma or two, or a meaningful explanation for your issues?
How do you know whether you are highly sensitive?
There are many tests freely accessible on the Internet to find out whether you are considered a HSP or not. Just google for ‘high sensitive person’ and you’ll find what you are looking for.
It’s also possible that you just know you are highly sensitive. When you are, I don’t think you need any test. You know. You feel it. Reading this article, stakes are high you are pretty sensitive. Feel free to google and take a test or two to know for sure J.
Let me share with you some of the things that made me realize I’m a bit more sensitive than the average person probably is.
Since I was a small child I found being around multiple people tiring. While conversating they would constantly complain, leaving me feeling empty and sad. They wouldn’t ask me things, but rather make statements on how tall I grew from a source of being polite and not from real interest. I could feel these persons weren’t really interested in my feelings.
As soon as someone approached me I knew what they were feeling. Whether they were happy or sad. Sometimes I would even know what troubled them. I could feel it when someone was watching me – or worse, when they thought bad about me.
Often I preferred spending time with my horses. They lived in the moment, and in the moment only. They didn’t judge me. They understood me. They were just there.
I never liked to go shopping. Shopping meant going to a mall or other places with many people and lots of music, colors, advertisements. Looking at clothes was nice, but all the impressions and all the people with all their emotions made me feel tired. At the end of the day I would be totally wasted.
When the phone rings I know who’s calling. I know who needs a word of encouragement. I know who feels bad. My guts tell me exactly which decision to make, even though my mind might want to fuzz about it.
Is it good or bad to be a high sensitive person?
Being very sensitive is amazing! I never get lost because I know which road to take. In my healing-practice I intuitively feel what issues my client is dealing with and how I can help. When I have a lot of energy, I know I radiate love and light to those surrounding me.
But when I’m not careful with myself or protect my energy, I can get drained easily and I feel tired, sad and depressed. I start asking others for attention in a negative way by self-pitying and not being able to get out of that state.
I believe that as a sensitive person, it is very important to become aware of what gives you energy and what (or who) drains you. Be aware of the flow of energy between people and learn how to direct this flow in you.
Drainers, sharers and radiators
When you are sensitive, you will feel clear differences between different kinds of people.
First of all there are drainers. These people are often playing the role of a victim. They ask, or rather demand, your attention without the intention of giving anything back to you. When you sit next to them or talk with them, you can feel your own energy level decreasing until you feel empty and hollow. In the same time you can see how the drainer feeds on your energy and empathy like a vampire feeds on blood. A parasite. Your energy fuels their self-pity and won’t help them.
Then there are sharers. These people will ask for your energy, but return the favor by sharing their energy. In these interactions you will neither run empty nor find extra energy. You share some small talk or study together. It’s nice, but you wouldn’t have missed the interaction if it never took place.
Thirdly, there are people who give you a lot of energy. They might not even do anything for it on a conscious level but they just radiate. Just by being themselves these people spread light and energy to their surroundings, and feed all the people surrounding them with generous amounts of energy.
You probably know people in all three of these categories. Most likely, you yourself have been in all of these categories, which is perfectly healthy and okay. Some moments you are sad and down, and all you can do is ask someone else to help you out. Besides, it would be very hard to always be a feeder dealing with daily issues and emotions. By being aware of the direction energy flows, you can learn how to direct your own energy flow, and how to protect your energy flow from unwanted losses.
Dealing with people and situations
How can I protect myself from unwanted energy loss? How can I prevent myself from being a drainer, and radiate love and light to the people around me instead?
Compare yourself with a grocery store. When you put your products on the street just for the taking, with no replenishing of the stocks, there won’t be any products left soon.
First you need a safe building with a steady foundation. Learn to ground yourself well. Stand or sit up straight, and become aware of your feet. Feel how your toes and heels, and maybe other parts of your feet, touch the ground. Imagine you breathe in through your feet. Feel how fresh, calm air fills your body from your feet up until the crown of your head. With every exhale, release any tension you might feel in your body or thoughts that come up in your mind. Let them float with your breath from your head, along your spine, to your tailbone and into the ground. Create a circle this way, where you inhale feelings of relaxation, and exhale tension and thoughts. When you feel you stand or sit firmly, with your mind calm and focused, you are grounded.
You need a door that opens easily, but that also closes when you want it to. Set opening and closing times. With only one employer, a shop cannot be open 24/7. You need time where you don’t serve costumers but look after yourself. There is no need to be available for everyone all the time. Feel free to turn off your computer, switch off your phone and dedicate time to yourself.
A store that never replenishes its stocks will run out of business very soon. Become aware what things give you energy so you can replenish your energy levels. Don’t push your limits constantly. Don’t believe that it’s a good thing to only give, or to give more than you receive. Without a balance you will run into red numbers quickly. Create a balance between giving and receiving. Define what gives you energy and create time to do these things. Put them in your agenda – with priority! Go for a walk, paint, draw, meditate, have tea with friends, hug a horse (one of my favorites J) or play some music and dance and sing along. It really doesn’t matter what you do, it can be different each time. But take some time each day to refuel.
You need a cash register. It’s not a balance where what you sell needs to equal what you receive precisely. But people who only take and don’t care about paying are considered thieves who don’t play according to the rules. You would probably refuse to let these people in your store again. In your life, there will be people who don’t accept the rules of your store too. These drainers will empty your stores not just once or occasionally, but constantly. Just wonder if that’s the people you want to surround yourself with.
Be careful with yourself and your energy. Be full of care. Take very good care of your energy since you know now that you are very sensitive. Love your sensitivity, be aware of the good things it brings you, and cherish yourself. Become aware that taking good care of yourself might mean you need to protect yourself from certain things or people. I, for instance, don’t watch television or read a newspaper because it makes me feel so sad. It’s not that I ignore all the bad things happening in the world, but I rather not focus on things I cannot change anyway. Instead, I focus on things I can change. I eat healthy, take enough (which can be a lot!) me-time and spend my days doing things I love and with the people I love. By being very happy and enjoying my life, I radiate energy to the people surrounding me.
Taking very good care of yourself is the least selfish and most important thing you can do. Because when you take good care of you, you will feel good and radiate – making the people around you feel good. When they feel good, the people around them will feel good too. It’s an exponential curve.