Empaths and sensitivity.

Empaths and sensitivity.

In my last post, I mentioned how my empathic friend Kimberley discovered the very real costs of an out-of-control to-do list. If you missed her story, read, “Reality Bites, Sherlock Herms.” From the combination of our two posts, we have a lesson:

If you’re trying to take care of too many people and have too much on your to-do list, you won’t have the time, energy, or attention to take care of the really important people and furbabies (especially furbabies!) in your life.

Empaths and energy.

People emit energy. If you have felt like someone was standing too close to you, you’ve felt her energy impinging on yours.

Empaths are, by their very nature, sensitive. The term “empath” is most often applied to someone who is sensitive to the feelings of other people.

But it’s not just people. All living things emit energy: animals, trees – even environments.

The problem: People who don’t get overwhelmed doesn’t understand those of us who do.

If you’re sensitive, it’s difficult to turn it off. What might seem “normal” to the average person might feel overwhelming to you.

When I was in eighth grade a new mall opened nearby. It was large, open, often crowded, and there were fountains. I think it was the noise from the fountains that put me over the edge. Every time I went shopping there, I would leave with a horrible headache.

  • How many times have you been told: “You’re too sensitive”?
  • Have you ever wanted some time alone and not been able to explain why?
  • Do you ever want to scream, “Just leave me alone!”?
  • Have you ever been physically affected by sensory overload?

Ideally, when you need to avoid a situation – or need time to recover from one – you would say, “I need to leave now,” or “I’d like to take a pass this time.” These are self-care statements that other’s should respect.

Unfortunately, it’s easier to say, “Okay,” and go along with what the other person wants. After all, empaths don’t like to hurt other people’s feelings, right?

The Highly Sensitive Person.

Dr. Elaine N. Aron identified characteristics that described what she termed, “The Highly Sensitive Person.” The bottom line is that an HSP is more likely to be physically and/or emotionally affected by sensory input and certain types of social interactions than the average person. It’s not classified as a disorder. Aron considers it a hard-wired physical sensitivity.

Visit her site, hsperson.com, to learn more.

I’m curious.

I have an hypothesis that the percentage of empaths who are Highly Sensitive People is higher than that of the average population. (Aron estimates that to be between 15 and 20%.)

Would you please help me and my “mas-cat” Leia do an informal experiment?

  1. Take The Empath Test.
  2. Find out if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person by taking the online HSP self-test.
  3. Then leave a comment letting me know if you’re one, the other, or both.

I’d love to have lots of data, so if you’d share this so I can get more responses, I’d really appreciate it.

Inquiring minds want to know… 😉

Thank you!