During my last post about being highly sensitive, I touched on some of the physical things I notice on a daily basis. As an HSP, I’m also very affected by emotion. Emotion is sometimes a difficult thing to explain, as everyone has different experiences. Here are some of mine.
I’ve always been an emotional person. When I was younger, any kind of harsh or insensitive comments would make me cry. And they didn’t even have to be directed towards me. Critiques and evaluations done by teachers would also make me cry. I think it was partly because I already knew what I had done wrong. I knew the areas that I needed to work on, and in a way, I felt as if I failed my teacher when I didn’t do well. But even though I would cry in class, I wasn’t what you would consider a crybaby. I was very much a tomboy, playing soccer with the guys at recess, falling off my bike countless times, climbing and falling out of trees, etc. Any injuries I suffered were not accompanied by tears. I would just pick myself up off the ground and keep going. So crying in class, but not crying when I hurt myself was very confusing. It makes a lot of sense now because I know how emotion affects me, but at the time, I didn’t understand what was “wrong” with me.
As I entered junior high, I learned to suppress most of the emotions I felt. Not healthy at all, I know. But to me, it seemed a better alternative to crying in my English class after a presentation. I didn’t want the pitying looks and whispers of the other kids. Or the concerned teacher asking me what was wrong, because I didn’t know. This struggle continued throughout high school and college as well. I gained better control over my emotions and learned to distract myself if I felt like crying. After learning that I was highly sensitive and that there isn’t anything wrong with me, I’ve been trying to change how I view things. I’m working to accept my nature as a positive thing, allowing myself to feel each emotion rather than suppressing it. It’s also helped me to take better care of myself emotionally as well.
I’ve always been very aware of other people’s emotions. I can usually tell how someone is feeling just by being in the same room as them. Walking through a room of people can be exhausting, because I have a good idea of how each and every person is feeling. I think it goes beyond reading body language because I know a lot of people don’t notice the same things I do. For example, a month or so ago, one of my co-workers came in and I could tell they were sad/upset about something, but no one else seemed to notice. My co-worker didn’t have a sad expression on their face, but there was something about them that felt sad. Sadness feels very differently from happiness or contentedness. Its as if each person walks around with a cloud of emotion around them. And for some reason, I notice it.
It can be overwhelming to be an HSP, but I think it definitely has its advantages. HSPs appreciate things that others don’t even notice. And they can see so much beauty in the world.
What are some of your experiences?