Does the whirring fan in your computer distract you? I have a weird olfactory sense: When it comes to nice, natural smells such as roses and lilacs, I have to put my nose right into the flower in order to smell it.
While the idea of highly sensitive people is still shrugged off by the mainstream press and health-care community, I have no doubt that, just as people have different levels of visual acuity, hearing, intelligence and physical grace, there are also varying levels of what I call vibrational sensitivity.
In my observation there is no diagnostic device presently available that is as sensitive as the human body.
That worked for a while but at some point during the past 18 or so years that I have been actively and sometimes intensively engaged in personal growth, I have discovered that behind the walls and under the layers of distance and detachment lives a highly sensitive person.
This awakening sensitivity has, sometimes, felt more like a burden than a blessing.
This innate sensitivity has been well researched and the term Highly Sensitive Person was coined in 1996 by Elaine N. This is a specific trait with key consequences that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness, inhibitedness, innate fearfulness, introversion, and so on.
The existence of the trait of innate sensitivity was demonstrated using a test that was shown to have both internal and external validity.
So if you have ever wondered if you are highly sensitive, here is a list of signs that could indicate that you are a Highly Sensitive Person.
(I’ve added some personal notes to a few of the items on the list). Can you hear things others cannot, especially high-pitched sounds? Does the high-pitched hum of a partially dimmed light fixture get under your skin when no one else seems to notice?
Do you ever walk into a room and sense that there has been an argument? Do you pick up physical symptoms from other people?
Have you ever been feeling great and then run into a friend who had a headache and suddenly noticed a headache coming on?
But as more has been written about Highly Sensitive People and the concept has gained wider (though certainly not universal) acceptance I have come to recognize and accept myself as a Highly Sensitive Person.