Have you ever been told that you are too sensitive? Or that you need to toughen up? If you have, you are not alone. Many people have been labeled as “too sensitive” at some point. But what if being sensitive is not just a personality trait but a genetic trait that affects how we perceive and process information? This is the case for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs). Read on to learn more about this type of personality.

What Is a Highly Sensitive Person?

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a genetic trait that affects their sensory processing sensitivity. This means they are more aware and responsive to external stimuli, such as sounds, smells, and emotions, than the average person. HSPs may also have a deeper emotional and empathetic capacity and may be more affected by their surroundings and the people around them. This sensitivity is not a disorder or a weakness but rather a unique and innate aspect of their personality.

HSP is often linked with introversion, but it is important to note that not all HSPs are introverts, and not all introverts are HSPs. HSPs may also have extroverted tendencies and enjoy socializing but may need more downtime to recharge after social interactions. Introversion is a separate personality trait that relates to how someone gains energy and processes information, while HSP is a trait that relates to sensory processing sensitivity.

Here are some of the common characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person:

  • Easily overwhelmed by bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells.
  • Highly empathetic and can easily pick up on the emotions of others.
  • Need for alone time to recharge after social situations or intense experiences.
  • Easily startled.
  • More sensitive to caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications.
  • Prone to anxiety and stress and can become easily overstimulated in chaotic environments.

5 Signs that you may have HSP

1. You Get Overwhelmed by Tasks

If you get overwhelmed by tasks, it’s important to recognize that this is a common challenge for highly sensitive people. When faced with a long to-do list or a busy schedule, you may feel more drained or fatigued than others around you. Developing strategies to manage your time and energy can be helpful.

2. You Get Overwhelmed by Your Senses Easily

If you get easily overwhelmed by your senses, navigating busy environments and loud noises can be challenging. You may feel more frazzled and drained than others around you. Understanding your triggers and developing strategies to manage them can be helpful.

3. You Get Upset by Violence in Media Easily

If you get upset by violence in the media easily, it’s important to recognize that this is a natural response. Highly sensitive people tend to be more empathetic and may find violence and aggression in the media distressing. Setting boundaries around the media you consume can be helpful.

4. You Avoid Stressful Situations

If you tend to avoid stressful situations, it’s important to recognize that this is a coping mechanism. Highly sensitive people may feel more overwhelmed by stress than others and need extra care to manage their stress levels.

5. You Get Overwhelmed by Crowds

If you get overwhelmed by crowds, navigating busy public spaces, concerts, or events can be challenging. You may feel more anxious and on edge than others around you. Developing strategies to manage your sensitivity can be helpful. 


If you are highly sensitive, understanding the traits that come with your sensitivity can help you navigate the challenges that can arise. Addressing and managing your emotional and physical needs and setting healthy boundaries to protect your well-being are crucial. You can thrive and maximize your unique qualities by developing self-care strategies, building resilience, and surrounding yourself with supportive individuals. Embracing your sensitivity and finding balance in your life will enable you to harness your strengths and overcome the challenges you may face.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges? Let Riverbend Life Strategies help you navigate through tough times with our individual therapy sessions. Reach out to us now to schedule your first appointment and begin your path to emotional wellness.