HSP Strengths and Challenges

Essentially, as an HSP, you’re highly attuned to sensations, feelings, thoughts, events, situations, people and environments that surround you.

That’s a lot!

But when an HSP is at his or her best, being able to “track” these various sources of “information” and overlay them, makes some serious power and wisdom available!

Here are (only) 10 HSP strengths that include having the ability, capacity, or potential for:

  1. Conscious and subconscious (and according to Carl Jung, also unconscious) awareness and perception of incredible sensory detail that invites creativity and imagination
  2. An awareness of subtle nuances or shifts in meaning and intention
  3. An almost 6th sense (intuition) about situations and people
  4. Holding space” for other people so they can feel and express their feelings fully
  5. Encouraging depth and meaning, genuine and authentic connections
  6. The kind of reflection that’s necessary for effective problem solving in work, business, and relationships
  7. Internal reflection to develop awareness (to observe the body, emotional and cognitive experiences) that’s necessary for personal growth and change
  8. Observe subtle shifts in the body in response to emotional and cognitive experiences
  9. Passion and caring, empathy and being deeply moved by another’s experience
  10. Protecting and advocating for vulnerable people, environmental, social or economic justice movements

By the same token, the challenges of being sensitive can be pretty debilitating and hard.

Here are (only) 10 HSP challenges:

  1. Easily overstimulated and overwhelmed (over-arousal)
  2. Bright light, sounds that are loud, repetitive or sudden, the background noise in restaurants or bars is over-stimulating, physical sensations of clothing, or texture of food
  3. Affected deeply by other people’s emotions, communication, and behavior
  4. Need a great deal of space to “charge” and recharge after becoming overwhelmed
  5. Difficulty finding the “right” words when overwhelmed
  6. Sleep and food (easy to become over-tired or not eat the “right” food at the “right” time)
  7. Violent or “negative” images or events in the media
  8. Pressure to move quickly
  9. Perfectionism and the need to get things “right” (shame and feelings of failure that can go with these expectations)
  10. Feeling like an alien – like you don’t belong in a world that prefers superficial connection.

Image Credit: Hernán Piñera

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Eva Rubin, MPH/LCSW

Hi! I'm Eva Rubin, LCSW. I study the psychology and the art of how to live well as an introvert and sensitive person so that I can learn and share it with you.
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