Aron (2016) estimates that 15-20% of the population is an HSP. Being HSP is no better or worse than not being an HSP, they are just different, and for an HSP growing up in a family of non-HSPs, it can be a deeply painful and invalidating experience.
Over time, HSPs often develop a sense of being flawed. They feel something is wrong with them and will often try to change their natural way of being to avoid making others uncomfortable. Knowing when someone is uncomfortable is one gift of being an HSP.
It can be helpful to look back at your life and begin re-framing some of the big events in your life. Was it that you were ‘too sensitive’, or was it that you were ‘more sensitive’ and had different experiences and needs from others in your family?
Here are some things to journal if you feel like it:
- How did my family respond to my traits as an HSP?
- How did my friends respond to my traits as an HSP?
- How did I see myself as a child who was an HSP?
- How does the culture I live in value or not value the HSP?
Let me know if this resonates.
Reference: Aron, E. N. (2016). The Highly Sensitive Person. NY, New York; Random House.