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Thread: HSP - Highly Sensitive People?

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    Default HSP - Highly Sensitive People?

    Hey,

    Anyone seen this article?

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/artic...nd-sensitivity

    Sounds like INFx. Found the article from an INFj's fb page, but I relate to it also in many ways. I think it could lead into some good discussion of how in many ways both INF types sort of fit an emotional/poetic/sensitive stereotype, but cope with it and experience it in very different ways.

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    Have you read the full article? It isn't online yet as it's in the current issue, but it's quite good.

    And yes, I relate very much (though to be honest I feel this excerpt, at least the "attention-grabbing" intro, makes HSPs sound a bit nuts. Not to say it isn't accurate, but I hope my sensitivity is not obvious to *everyone*... though I daresay it often is).

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    Oh yeah, I saw this same sort of thing in Delta a while back. Very interesting stuff, does sound very stereotypically IXFx at first glance.
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    Yes, I think it's more broadly IF than INF.

    Both my ISFj mother and myself are HSP, and I suspect that's actually genetics at play, because I've inherited her anxiety and hypervigilance/overarousal or whatever it's called. We also share low latent inhibition.
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    Hm.

    Also theoretically points to a genetic basis for type. However, the nature/nurture combo is also at work here; a genetic disposition towards HSP can probably be tipped in the direction of any INF type, or any IF type, and less likely (like 9:3:3:1, lol), towards IT and EF types by environment; at least that's what makes sense to me.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

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    The full article is on ProQuest if you have access

    I read the anecdotes and thought that it didn't sound like anyone I know, then later on read that HSP applies to around 20% of the population, so I would probably count.

    These are interesting quotes from the article:

    HSPs often have a heightened sense of smell or touch and, say, zero tolerance for itchy fabrics or sudden sounds- reflecting their low threshold for sensory input They complain about things no one else notices; a colleague's deodorant or a scented candle gives them headaches. And there's that damn light buzzing in the otherwise quiet office. An hour or two into a party or other sensory-rich event and they've withdrawn to a corner, a prelude to announcing they need to go home.
    In general, the heavy cognitive demands on all HSPs predispose them to a more reactive than boldly active stance in life. All that sensory input consumes psychic resources for thinking before they take action. Any risks they face are carefully calculated.
    Kagan says his "high reactives" have only one specific kind of sensitivity- "a sensitivity to events in the environment that imply a new challenge."
    One gene variation, the short-short allele of the serotonin transporter S-HTT, has long been associated with a vulnerability to depression and anxiety. Recent data indicate that the very same gene variant brings an array of cognitive benefits including better, and more profitable, decision-making in gambling situations. Aron suspects the allele maybe present in HSPs and could account for their tendency to assess risks thoroughly.


    Thirty "grueling" three-hour interviews later, she was onherwayto creating a 27-item questionnaire that is the benchmark for sensitivity. "I have a rich, complex inner life." Check. "I am made uncomfortable by loud noises." Check.
    This is the only anecdote that is similar to something that's actually happpened to me:

    She recently found a note from a neighbor on her windshield that read, "Park in the middle of your space!!" and teared up on the spot. She had to persuade herself not to let it ruin her day.

    But things like

    The sight of a beautiful outfit or exquisite handbag can choke her up.
    are completely alien to me.
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    Maybe, I could see a lot of ethical types having it, or at least relating to it, but IEI/EII are probably more debilitated by it (with Te and Se being the weakest strengths, and Ni+Fi being the strongest)
    I would think this is why they tend to have the hardest time taking initiative with theirs lives being consumed with these self-absorbed thoughts and feelings that make the realities of life seem that much more unobtainable.

    It's something that at least caused me a lot of problems in life, but I've learned ways of dealing with it through the years. As silly as it may sound, trying to stay focused on doing things productively that don't allow me to drift my thoughts inwards has helped a lot. When I don't have anything I could be doing I rationalize the "need" to do something that will keep me detached from those thoughts
    Not to disrespect the beauty of how it all works though, since like you said, people who tend to be like this can often create magnificent works of art and literature as well as be great humanitarians, but I think a lot of people who manifest those feelings towards outlets like that can end-up destroying themselves by enveloping themselves with all those feelings, than again for others it could be cathartic
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    A big for those people that fall under the realm of HSP; I doubt that I am one myself, I'm more or less oblivious to layers in a piece of music that lots of other people seem to pick up, or subtleties like that; I'll be more or less attuned to what's going on emotionally, and things that are completely verbally unstated, but I don't usually get too swept away (I don't think), unless it's like a certain song or something, that can totally be like a thing and all...

    If I'm around animals, they usually cluster as close to me as they possibly can, even if they never got to meet me before... my favorite time was when I got to walk near cows (we were unfortunately separated by a fence), they all came towards me slowly and walked along side of me, I could tell they found me somewhat interesting and friendly

    I can have some pretty wild ups and downs and bursts of uncontrolled motivation, but rarely do things get too "deep" and stew around too much before I have to physically do something about it...

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    I'd notice a curled up leaf, but I wouldn't cry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    I'd notice a curled up leaf, but I wouldn't cry about it.
    I bet you could walk home in the rain without stepping in any puddles either, you LSE, you.
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    Hm. I'm torn on this; I would offhand attribute this sort of thing to Fi, because it involves internal emotional responses to external things. However, the examples that were given are deeply rooted in Fe; an uncurled leaf has an objective emotional message of despair, recognizing emotional states in others so powerfully that they take over the individual themselves - these shed confusion on the specific functional relation. I see both, tbh; an individual who sees an external object and 'takes in' its objective emotional aspects so powerfully that it literally consumes the individual and throws them in that emotional direction - that would be Fe. An individual who produces strong internal emotional responses to these external objects who pays little attention to their objective emotional qualities (e.g. an uncurled flower may not necessarily evoke despair) but is still profoundly affected internally would be Fi.

    I think it could be both. I can see its relationship to ethics, but I am unable to see the connection to N and it is most certainly not connected to Te/Se, although easily connected to Si and possibly to Ti.
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    In theory, that would be Fe and Ne. In practice, I saw hypersensibility mostly in IEEs, EIEs, SEIs and few others, usually Ep's. That "I'm an exposed nerve" would make a good adjective for a lot of IEEs I know. An IEE friend was so sensitive that (besides reactivity) he could not stand being touched at all, for instance if he bought a new jacket and you wanted to touch its material.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ineffable View Post
    In theory, that would be Fe and Ne. In practice, I saw hypersensibility mostly in IEEs, EIEs, SEIs and few others, usually Ep's. That "I'm an exposed nerve" would make a good adjective for a lot of IEEs I know. An IEE friend was so sensitive that (besides reactivity) he could not stand being touched at all, for instance if he bought a new jacket and you wanted to touch its material.
    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
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    Not really. It's sort of all interconnected. If you are sensitive physically/physiologically you will also most likely be sensitive emotionally and 'psychologically' as well. It's just all interrelated to describe somebody who is genuinely, well... sensitive. (the HSP author talks a lot about people who are scaredy cats about loud noises and how 'busy' american society is., etc.)

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    Imo, HSP is a fashion phenomena. Not that the phenomena described do not exist, but the HSP-diagnosis is actually a rationalization created by Elaine N. Aron to mask neurotic or even pathological qualities, to turn these neuroses and pathologies into something the HSP should be proud of. A person diagnosing themselves as an HSP, is often actually saying: "I can't help it, I'm an HSP!" The truth is, they actually can help it: they need to learn to focus more on getting their own needs met instead of focusing on other people.

    For those interested in an alternative view on HSP, see the paragraph on the Self-Sacrife Schema in Schema Therapy, A practitioner's Guide, pages 246-251.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post
    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
    He was both. Indeed maybe I can't say that reacting at being touched can be called "his peak" of reactivity or something, but that's how he feels like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    the HSP author talks a lot about people who are scaredy cats about loud noises and how 'busy' american society is., etc.
    I can identify that in the most SEIs I know. However the type in the OP article seems to me like describing a different one, because I can distinguish both IRL (sometimes they are present in the same person). At least this is how I interpreted this article and the key to this difference was mentioning "anger", which is not a pattern in the others. I have no idea whether the HSP author deals with both, though, I'm just talking about what you wrote.
    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Not really. It's sort of all interconnected. If you are sensitive physically/physiologically you will also most likely be sensitive emotionally and 'psychologically' as well. It's just all interrelated to describe somebody who is genuinely, well... sensitive.
    I should mention that I'm sensitive myself, too, and yes, it connects to physical sensitivity. For instance I refuse very hot, spicy, salted, cold food and drink, and anything extreme. I get tickled very easily, too. Nevertheless, I'm not *that* sensitive, I'm not disturbed by noise or pressure, neither do I get angry without a reason (I'm emotionally consistent). So I guess I have this hypersensitivity in myself just it doesn't go too far and never changes my mood, exactly like the effect of thunder or crackers usually have: you react on the moment then you mind your own business like nothing happened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by consentingadult View Post
    Imo, HSP is a fashion phenomena. Not that the phenomena described do not exist, but the HSP-diagnosis is actually a rationalization created by Elaine N. Aron to mask neurotic or even pathological qualities, to turn these neuroses and pathologies into something the HSP should be proud of. A person diagnosing themselves as an HSP, is often actually saying: "I can't help it, I'm an HSP!" The truth is, they actually can help it: they need to learn to focus more on getting their own needs met instead of focusing on other people.

    For those interested in an alternative view on HSP, see the paragraph on the Self-Sacrife Schema in Schema Therapy, A practitioner's Guide, pages 246-251.
    I agree with you on how some neurotic labels are often used as a means to feel special and entitled (just saw the HSP main website and it sounds like a VIP club)
    Having or relating to these labels, and I'll include Socionics in here too, is fine as long as it's not used as a means to feel superior or entitled towards the benefits and faults that could be associated with them.
    I sort of see them more as a tool to self-understanding rather than an excuse to not improve your situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ineffable View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post
    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
    He was both. Indeed maybe I can't say that reacting at being touched can be called "his peak" of reactivity or something, but that's how he feels like.
    oic, I thought it was just a physical reactionary thing, my bad
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    I sort of see them more as a tool to self-understanding rather than an excuse to not improve your situation.
    If you were born with genetics that caused you to be extra-sensitive to loud noises, busy traffic and bright lights etc., how in the world could you actually improve your situation, since you can't exactly change the world to suit your emotional needs? You could say 'they could just choose to live someplace really quiet' but not everybody has the money to do that...

    I sorta have a feeling the author is kind of a stuck up narcissistic bitch who is feeding off of other people's fears and insecurities to make more money for herself, like most 'self-help' charlatans but perhaps my view of human nature is too bleak. =p I used to enjoy the HSP thing myself and then yeah, after awhile it just started to feel really silly like 'Oh please you'd build up your tolerance to almost anything if you just exposed yourself a little more.'

    I also feel that, in general, the HSP movement could possibly be a benign thing to make people feel comfortable with their weaknesses/sensitivity to things. Sort of like that common spiritual message about not being afraid to be weak, and not being too proud to be strong.
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    I can identify that in the most SEIs I know.
    Yeah, I get afraid of social things happening that I don't like, but the 'sensitive person' thing seems to be more of the person who is afraid of 'loud things' and things that activate their physical senses as well as their intuitive emotions. I honestly wonder if they just need to meditate instead of create a label for themselves that kinda makes them as victims not responsible for their own actions. That is very tempting for anybody to do, and ultimately is the easy way out.

    Still, I objectively agree that american society is too fat, loud, ignorant, annoying, extroverted and homophobic straight man-ish and people need to take a faggot chill pill. =D

    "WOULD YOU LIKE ANOTHER HAPPY MEAL TO GO WITH YOUR MAN BOOBS TODAY SIR?" lol hahahahhaa.

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    Some of the HSP descriptions have resonated with me through the years. I don't know if I just share common traits or actually am HS, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Ineffable View Post
    In theory, that would be Fe and Ne. In practice, I saw hypersensibility mostly in IEEs, EIEs, SEIs and few others, usually Ep's. That "I'm an exposed nerve" would make a good adjective for a lot of IEEs I know. An IEE friend was so sensitive that (besides reactivity) he could not stand being touched at all, for instance if he bought a new jacket and you wanted to touch its material.
    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
    Trust me, I am HSP, and it is one and the same.

    Ever since i was a kid, I was made fun of for flinching easily. I just can't help it. I flinch a lot. And I cannot stand a lot of overt sensory inputz. And I am oh so emo
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanashi View Post
    Some of the HSP descriptions have resonated with me through the years. I don't know if I just share common traits or actually am HS, though.
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    It doesn't really relate exactly to the OP, but as an aside, it really annoys me when people use the term: "Highly Sensitive People". It kind of establishes this idea that their is a particular correct or valid degree to be sensitive and people who exceed that are abnormal.

    Sure statistically there is variability to how sensitive people are, but establishing the average level as the "correct" level is really what annoys me. The correct level is dependent on all sorts of factors related to the individuals psychological make up, their is no universal correct answer, only a correct answer for an individual.

    Hence why it annoys me to no end to hear the pop phrase, "You over-react, you are over-sensitive, you are a de-sensitized jerk, you are too relaxed..." and so forth. In fact I've been told conflicting accounts from different people on where I lie in terms on what's correct. Really the only truth in their statements is that I'm reacting more than they would prefer, or I'm reacting less than they would prefer.... or etc etc. Their is no problem with that, but I believe certain people actually believe in their heads that their is a correct level of emotionality to be at. I mean just consider all the disorders and psychological diseases that people get drugged up for, all based on the fact they are considered to have abnormally high levels of sensitivity or so forth. It's all a huge fallacy of conformity, emotionality isn't a one size fits all baseball cap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Kam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post

    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
    Trust me, I am HSP, and it is one and the same.

    Ever since i was a kid, I was made fun of for flinching easily. I just can't help it. I flinch a lot. And I cannot stand a lot of overt sensory inputz. And I am oh so emo
    I can't stand overly sensory inputs either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Kam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post

    I think you're describing a sensitivity with the nervous system, HSP is referring to sensitivity in the emotional/psychological sense
    Trust me, I am HSP, and it is one and the same.

    Ever since i was a kid, I was made fun of for flinching easily. I just can't help it. I flinch a lot. And I cannot stand a lot of overt sensory inputz. And I am oh so emo
    +1

    I flinch internally a lot; not so much externally anymore.

    As a kid I flinched a lot too, but I didn't like people commenting on it (other kids, mostly) and trained myself not to show the flinch. Now it's amusing to me when others flinch at a sound that I heard and identified as no big deal a split second before they seem to have even realized it was there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    If you were born with genetics that caused you to be extra-sensitive to loud noises, busy traffic and bright lights etc., how in the world could you actually improve your situation, since you can't exactly change the world to suit your emotional needs? You could say 'they could just choose to live someplace really quiet' but not everybody has the money to do that... I sorta have a feeling the author is kind of a stuck up narcissistic bitch who is feeding off of other people's fears and insecurities to make more money for herself, like most 'self-help' charlatans but perhaps my view of human nature is too bleak. =p I used to enjoy the HSP thing myself and then yeah, after awhile it just started to feel really silly like 'Oh please you'd build up your tolerance to almost anything if you just exposed yourself a little more.'

    I also feel that, in general, the HSP movement could possibly be a benign thing to make people feel comfortable with their weaknesses/sensitivity to things. Sort of like that common spiritual message about not being afraid to be weak, and not being too proud to be strong.
    "Extra sensitive" is sort of difficult to validate since how can it really be measured? I guess if it could the best way to do so would be measuring how much it debilitates your abilities to tolerate it, like someone who cannot leave their home or goes into uncontrollable panic attacks at the occurrence of them.
    In those cases I would presume it would require some sort of profession help.

    What I was more referring to in my last post is about not allowing yourself to deteriorate from self-pity, that is "I've identified myself with this label, so I'll give-up and let it control me and blame it for all my inabilities and failures in life" sort of mentality that some people actually take pride in (like the HSP site I was referring to)
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    Actually, heightened sensitivity can be very easily measured by stress response (with things like skin conductance and pulse rate). Someone like me has really extreme stress reactions to very tiny things, like sharp labels or an itch in my leg.
    Know I'm mistyped?


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    Why I was , once.

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  29. #29
    RoadPaveMent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    It doesn't...baseball cap.
    N-EII ~~~ 6>1 sp/so ~~~ INFJ

    No type is smarter, better, more difficult to handle, or harder to be than another.

    Personality theory doesn’t predict what a person will think or do.

    Any type in one theory can be any type in another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Kam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nanashi View Post
    Some of the HSP descriptions have resonated with me through the years. I don't know if I just share common traits or actually am HS, though.
    INTp HSP? sorry girl, we are an elite club.
    You're joking, right? You know INTps are one of the most sensitive types, right?
    ENTj-Ni sx/so

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    Well Nanashi is definitely in the club at least

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    I took this test once and answered yes to nearly all the questions and there's no way I'm NF or SF

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