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What Does it Mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person?

by | Jan 31, 2024 | 0 comments

Aurora Borealis - hsp
What Does it Mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person?

Being a Highly Sensitive Person can sometimes feel like this photo of the Aurora Borealis: Your moods, emotions, and colors vary wildly. You may feel delicate and too changeable, yet at times, you feel expansive, like you’re connected to everything and everyone. That can be both the blessing and the curse of being an HSP..

According to Elaine Aron, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field who has researched this subject extensively since 1991, High Sensitivity or Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (the scientific term) is inborn due to an intricately sensitive central nervous system and is found in 15-20% of the population, too many to be a disorder. Although more information is being shared all the time, what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP is still not understood by most other non-HSPs.

This leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and a lack of self-worth for HSPs. Too often, you may have been wrongly accused of being “too sensitive” and shamed into withdrawing or berating yourself in ways that hamper your creativity, joy, or even your very existence. You’ve often been made to feel like you are neurotic, crazy, flaky, or just a little too weird.

Most people who aren’t HSPs will probably never understand, but don’t let that stop you from learning to balance and even use your sensitivity in positive ways. Once you embrace the things that make you different, you can begin to open and blossom into the wholeness of who you are. You may even turn your perceived shortcomings into your Superpowers.

HSP/Empath Quiz results

If you took our HSP/Empath Quiz and received HSP – Highly Sensitive Person as your highest trait, you should find many answers and tips that empower you to learn to moderate the impact of your sensitivity and find ways these traits are part of your Superpower.

You are a Rarity

You didn’t choose these traits. You were born with sensitivity as a survival strategy to be observant before acting. Your brain is wired a little differently than others.

Sensitivity is frequently misunderstood and undervalued or even demeaned. Too often, you may have been called shy or introverted because you prefer to assess the situation before jumping in and need more alone time. 30% of HSPs are extroverts.

Your sensitivity may feel like a curse that has singled you out, leaving you feeling agonizingly misunderstood. With a little awareness and some coping tools, you can turn your sensitivity into a gift that will serve you well throughout your life.

Not all Highly Sensitive Persons, HSPs, are the Same

WalkingAntennaThe one thing HSPs all have in common is that they react more deeply and intensely than 80% – 85% of people on the planet.

Understanding what impacts you can help you learn coping skills for your needs.

Our team of Energy Experts and Social Scientists developed the HSP and Energy Sensitivity Quiz to allow you to assess your overall sensitivity and understand more about your own particular style of HSP sensitivity. The subcategories of HSP sensitivity address that high sensitivity can show different manifestations and effects.

We’ve broken results into categories because high sensitivity can show up in different ways and be handled differently in your system. For example, although most Highly Sensitive Persons are indeed “introverted,” with an estimated 70% being reported in studies, the remaining third of HSPs are extroverts.  These HSPs may experience similar situations in very different ways.

Within the HSP group are empaths – Empaths make up approximately 5% of the overall population. In other words, only one-quarter of HSPs are empaths. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but that is misleading. All Empaths are HSPs, but not all HSPs are Empaths. Click to read more about Empaths.

Challenging Situations for HSPs – and Suggestions for How to handle them

HSPQuizshopping 300
Malls, crowded stores, events and gatherings

These are some of the most difficult places for HSPs and Empaths. The noise, lights, electronics, energy, and emotions from everyone can completely overwhelm your nervous system and senses. You may have difficulty thinking or making decisions in those circumstances, leaving you feeling zapped. Crowded shopping areas have high levels of:

• Electromagnetic Energy (fluorescent lights, electronics);
• Other people’s emotions: You may become sad, depressed, emotional, angry, or even joyful around someone experiencing those emotions. That’s one of the reasons crowds can be so devastatingly exhausting; you don’t even have to be in close proximity to be affected.
• Noise, smells, and sometimes even touch.
You may even find thinking or feeling your emotions difficult in crowded situations.
Tip: Avoid crowds – This probably doesn’t need to be said, but be honest about what you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy a packed stadium with screaming fans, find another way to cheer for your team or spend time with friends. Shop during less crowded times, go to matinees, and find those unique out-of-the-way coffee shops and restaurants, and you’ll enjoy yourself much more than in a loud, crowded place.
Tips for enjoying parties, gatherings, networking, etc. – Whether for work or pleasure, you may find the impact of everyone else’s moods, anxiety, and stress to be overwhelming if you don’t have coping techniques to lessen the impact
  1. Finding one or two people you can talk to and have quiet conversations with may be helpful rather than trying to “work the room.”
  2. Another coping technique is to stay outside the room rather than in the middle of the crowd, where the energy surrounds you.
  3. If possible, go outside for a break from time to time. If there’s no way to go out, go in – bathrooms are great retreats.

After-Event Care is Important – Time to Recover Can be Turned Into a Plus

  • Find a quiet retreat to spend some quality alone time to calm your nerves and refresh your energy.
  • Allow adequate rest time to avoid feeling exhausted or ill after being around even small groups of people for extended lengths of time.
  • It’s often wise to schedule events so that you don’t have to attend them back-to-back but have some time in between to recharge.
  • Note: I’m not talking about taking time only on the event day. Pay attention to how you feel in the days following. Depending on your system and ability to deal with excess energies and stimulation, you may need a day or more afterward to rest and regroup.
    I fought against this need for more downtime for years, thinking my need to retreat was a failure on my part. I only embraced this truth after health issues brought on by stress forced me to acknowledge my need for more rest and a change of pace. I now embrace rest time and activities that release the tension and reinforce my energy and joy.

Other Skills or “Super Powers” You May Have as an HSP can Help you Professionally and Personally.

  • Built-in lie detector – You may easily know when others are lying or dishonest.
  • Awareness – You notice things others don’t and are often aware of fine nuances.
  • Empathic Leaders – You may make a great leader. Empaths are often less attached to their own achievements and can see what is good for the group.
  • Healers, Teachers, Change Agents – Because of your sensitivities and idealism, you may be working as a healer, counselor, therapist, teacher, volunteer, or someone somehow working to make positive changes in the world.
  • Creative, Artistic, Problem-Solver – HSPs are often extremely expressive musically, artistically, or verbally. It’s sometimes as if you download the inspiration out of nowhere. This also makes you a great problem-solver, seeing solutions that others overlook.
  • Strong Sixth Sense – You may have a strong sense of intuition. You may be able to sense places where bad things have occurred. This sense may also easily alert you to danger and help keep you safe. After being in a place like this, it’s often helpful to do some clearing to release the energies you picked up on. Click to read more about Intuitive Sensitivity.
  • Emotional Availability – You can discuss emotional issues without much difficulty. However, this is another area where your gifts can cause problems. You may feel shut out if you are involved with or in a relationship with someone who is much more emotionally closed. Your desire to connect deeply may feel invasive or too much for them.
  • Seeing Both Sides of Every Argument is a double-edged sword – You may feel wishy-washy because it’s difficult to pick a side when you see the validity of both perspectives. Don’t beat yourself up for this; often, simply understanding it helps you find coping techniques to hone in on your own conclusions or choices. On the plus side, you are able to be less judgmental because you can see from the other person’s point of view.

Self-Care is Criticalself care - quote

Highly Sensitive Persons are often so busy caring for everyone else that they neglect their needs and burn out. This makes taking care of yourself an urgent need, not just a good idea.

Alone Time – One of the most helpful things you can do is have some alone time to recharge and regroup. This time also allows you to remember your thoughts and needs. They count and are important. You may even want to learn some decision-making techniques. Read more about Self-care.

Many empaths and HSPs find themselves exhausted or even ill after being around groups of people for extended periods. You may even find thinking or feeling your emotions difficult in crowded situations. Find time afterward to regroup, rest, and find your own center again. If you’re in a situation like this for extended periods, find a way to take quiet breaks, preferably in nature.

I’m saying this more than once, hoping you’ll give it more attention than many of us and bypass some hard lessons.

A Personal Note to you from an HSP

AnnaMariahNau-Empath-HSPI’m AnnaMariah Nau. I have been part of BioElectric Shield since it changed my life in 1994, but even more importantly, I’m a Highly Sensitive Person with strong empath scores in almost all the categories listed on the empath portion of the quiz. I’ve studied healing, energy work, gemstones, and various modalities since 1988. The BioElectric Shield has been the most helpful tool in everything I’ve learned. Prior to getting a Shield, I called myself the” poster child for sponge people.” I picked up everybody’s emotional and physical pain and had a hard time knowing what I felt or thought at times.

When I found the BioShield, my life changed dramatically. I could shift my attitude and feel like I’d been given a gift instead of a curse. I want you to know that I understand your struggle; I’ve been there. When I found the Shield in 1994, I was in my 40s; it made such a difference for me that I went to work for the company in order to have the opportunity to help other highly sensitive persons and Empaths in the way I’d been helped. Since then, I’ve talked to thousands of men and women in person at trade shows and on the phone and listened to your challenges and triumphs. Many have benefited from the Shield’s balance and protection.

We developed the quiz as a tool to improve your life. My personal mission is to help you become your most empowered self even if you never order anything, and the quiz and following info are the best ways I’ve found to reach as many people as possible. Since we launched the first quiz in 2016, over 20k have taken it. The current quiz (2024) is new, improved, and builds on the research and data collected over the years. Read more of my story.

Your New Best Friend – Your BioElectric Shield

I hope you will consider getting a BioElectric Shield. The Shield balances and strengthens your energy field deflects much of the energy coming from other people and technology and can be an HSP’s best friend.

Most HSPs find the Level 3 BioElectric Shield excellent for providing them with the strength and relief they never imagined possible. Read more about the Levels of Protection.

Get a personalized recommendation for the best BioElectric Shield for your needs by taking our EMF exposure and risk factor quiz. We’ve found most HSPs are also affected by EMF, and the Shield to reduce the EMF energy load is normally the best for all their energy protection needs.

Take the EMF Quiz for Assessment of overall Exposure and Risk, and Personal Energy Protection Recommendation


Read More about all the HSP/Empath Quiz Results – What are your superpowers?

Environmental Sensitivity Awareness – HSP Information and Tips

environmental sensitivity too much going on







Being an Emotional Empath is a Rare Gift

Emotional Empath - woman showing 3 faces






What Does it Mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person?
Aurora Borealis - hsp







What does it mean to have Intuitive Sensitivity?

Line drawing of third eye, woman and child showing intuition from Am Canva Premium 1-29-24


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Email from new customer: I put the Shield on …not expecting to feel a response and to my surprise, I felt it instantly.

There was an instant calmness that I had not experienced in a long time. I felt protected and felt like I had come home to me. Over the years, I have become quite an emotional person, being quite sensitive both to devices and to negative and abusive people. I have found that although I still experience emotional outbursts when exposed to people, I am finding that I am a lot calmer, and I seem to be able to find clarity quite fast. The effects of feeling protected have allowed me to own my choices and to allow myself to heal on such a deep level. I have more energy, can focus more easily, and have found a deep calmness, clarity, and knowing that I haven’t felt in such a long time.

Need Assistance?

Contact us at 541-201-8878, Mon ~ Fri, or visit our contact form. If you don’t have a Shield yet, take our Quiz and get a personal assessment of your overall exposure and risk, along with a recommendation for the best Shield Level for your needs. This quiz has been proven effective since 2016.


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