Understanding highly sensitive people: Nurture or Nature?
For the record, I am sensitive. Like, super sensitive.
I can tell what condiment my husband is using when making a sandwich even if I’m in a completely different floor of our home by the sound the lid makes coming off the jar or bottle. I know the moment our neighbors are doing laundry (as they use fabric softener – super toxic – so I close our windows).
Just tonight I was able to locate a slightly off, but not rotten smell, high on a shelf in our highly cramped garage and thankfully found a nesting ground for a whole lot of moth larvae (I squirm just thinking about that). If one thing is out of place in our home, I know, immediately. At times, I think I should’ve been a spy.
Here’s what is fascinating though; this level of sensitivity has gotten much more refined the more work I do on my own nervous system and the more skilled I become at sensing my internal self and external surroundings.
The other bonus with this level of sensitivity is you become really good at knowing what to do in life – important career and relationship decisions, what to cook for dinner, what road to take to avoid traffic or maybe avoid an accident, when a friend might need you to call them, and yes even finding creepy crawlies that should not be nesting in your home…and so on.
Our spidey, psychic, empath – call them what you like – senses ARE REAL and they can become a massive help when we are REGULATED in our autonomic nervous system.
But, take this level of sensitivity and empathic ability, and blend it up with a nervous system that is living in a lot of survival stress, and you create a cocktail for a lot of pain and misery.
A positive spidey sense can become a debilitating hyper-sensitivity.
Having an acute eye on the environment can become fear-based hypervigilance.
Being neat and clean can become OCD and an unbearable way to live.
In this video I dig into the concept of the highlysensitive person and/or empath.
Are you new here?
It’s possible you didn’t see this article I wrote earlier this year:
I recommend it because it’s an important adjunct to the ‘hsp and empath’ story. It is one of the most important pieces I’ve written over the last 12 months and in it I explain the other types of traumatic experiences that our society typically doesn’t see, or deem, as traumatic and it is these experiences that can send a nervous system (and the person) into the dysregulation that can create sensitivities that are off-the-chart debilitating.
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A movie I recommend that compliments this topic
If you like movies, especially ones that didn’t get a lot of press, then I can’t recommend The Hereafter enough. It was co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood and stars Matt Damon. It is a must-see if you’re interested in near-death experiences, the world of the unconscious, psychic abilities, and the uncanny alignments of humanity. (This movie is one of only three movies I have saved on my computer – it’s that good, in my opinion ;).