Four Myths of Highly Sensitive People

Being a highly sensitive person can have serious ups and downs. Don’t believe me? Just read this excerpt from an interview with Thrive Global on Surviving and Thriving as a sensitive person with training LPCC Paige Swanson.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a Highly Sensitive Person? Can you explain what you mean?

Highly Sensitive People Need to Detach their Emotions

It isn’t that highly sensitive people need to detach their emotions. This isn’t necessarily true, especially if you’re in a helping profession. Highly Sensitive People just need to be able to manage their reactions to stimuli differently than the other individual. Highly Sensitive people need to learn to practice self-compassion for themselves and for others despite intense emotions. And once they have developed a practice of self-compassion, they’re able to handle burn out with more ease while maintaining their intense degrees of empathy.

Highly Sensitive People Are Always Anxious

Anxiety and High Sensory Processing are different. Anxiety is defined by excessive worry that can lead to muscle tension, irritability and sleep disturbances. High sensory processing is the brain’s ability to sort and organize sensory data differently than the average individual. Being sensitive to difficulties in your environment does not mean you have a generalized anxiety disorder. Although, there have been reports that the two can be comorbid psychological traits.

Highly Sensitive People Can’t Love

Huh? This is the worst myth of all. Of course highly sensitive people can love. This myth would direct me into trying to understand what kind of partners HSPs are attracted too. For instance, individuals who display high states of narcissism might be attracted to HSPs due to their depth of empathy. However, these two matches can be a disaster for one another. If you suspect your partner lacks empathy as an HSP, I would stick to your guns and find a partner who has the same level of depth as you do.

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