Highly sensitive people (HSPs) are often misunderstood.
It is easy to think of HSPs as rude if they suddenly ghost at a party. Everyone else is left wondering what happened.
HSPs have a more sensitive nervous system then 80% of the population. It takes less for them to become overwhelmed and need to go somewhere quiet. A visit to a busy shopping centre might become really overwhelming, or give them a headache after a short time, whereas others can shop all day.
As an HSP myself, I have learnt that I need to listen to my body when I am in busy environments. If I start to become overwhelmed or anxious, I find a quiet place for a while where I can tune into myself and feel into what I need. I might need to sit down and drink some water or go home. I am always gentle with myself and allow for my sensitivity.
When HSPs have to ‘push through’ in highly stimulating environments, it is common for them to feel like they are floating around in a dream, not really feeling connected to their body. This is because they are overstimulated and have ‘left the house’ to be able to reduce the amount of stimulation. This is not the best way to handle the overstimulation. This is a learnt childhood defence mechanism. It is better to notice the feeling of being in a dream and take a moment to check-in with yourself.
HSPs can seem shy, timid, over emotional and rude at times. Please try to remember that they are doing the best they can with the biology they have.
Reference: Aron, E. N. (2016). The Highly Sensitive Person. NY, New York; Random House.