HSPs have a more sensitive nervous system than 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 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 in busy environments. I am always gentle with myself and allow for my sensitivity. If I become overwhelmed or anxious, I find a quiet place for a while where I can tune into myself and feel what I need. I might need to sit down and drink some water or go home.
When HSPs have to ‘push through’ in highly stimulating environments, they commonly feel like they are floating around in a dream, not 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 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, emotional and rude at times. Please try to remember that they are doing the best they can with the biology they have.
Please send this to anyone who you would like to understand you better.
Big hugs, Jen
Reference: Aron, E. N. (2016). The Highly Sensitive Person. NY, New York; Random House.