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the HSP trait?

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“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

- George Eliot

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Comments: 44
  • #44

    Klaus (Wednesday, 11 October 2017 16:43)

    Hi, after 2 weeks of self analysing myself after being on an awful construction job for 8 months , my wife went to the doctors for her usual checkup. In the waiting room was a magazine on the chair next to her . It was discussing HSB. Well......she took the magazine and showed me ..."My word ....this is you!!!". I could not believe it. I have a name other than my own. HSP. I was trying to get why I got so annoyed with people......I have the answer. 65 years old . Never too late to get the message.

  • #43

    Laurinda (Monday, 14 August 2017 22:37)

    I am in my mid 40's and discovered just why I felt so different all my life only a decade ago with Elaine Aron's wonderful book. I seemed to be the only one who cried as a child when I felt overwhelmed by alot of people, loud noise and new situations. I always used to go into my room to read alot and be alone. I had and still have a vivid imagination and am moved by music and art. I also sometimes seek out the company of animals when I find being around people too overwhelming.
    Compared to when I grew up in the 70's, the world is even more overwhelming now with technology and news on a 24 hour cycle plus our expanding population. I would love to connect with other HSP's who live in Sydney.

  • #42

    Robert (Saturday, 24 September 2016 04:17)

    So, the low level oscillations emanating into my bedroom every night from a block away causing the lowest most "inaudible" hum keeping my up in my sleep, or all of the perfume's that override my senses, or the bottle of scotch cracked open from the front of the house which I can smell & find intoxicating while 3 rooms away are telling me I might test positive. Often I can't be around people, it's too much, particularly if they're in a dark place, or they're state is erratic. Tried meditating, it amplifies my sensitivity even further, often to unbearable heights.
    At least I know I'm not alone. That's something. To the author, thanks for pulling this Australian website together.

  • #41

    Angela (Friday, 18 September 2015 05:19)

    Hi please I need to meet some hsp I finally think I know what I am after just finding out that hsp exist and I could be normal in hsp groups please desperately seeking hsp

  • #40

    Annabelle (Thursday, 16 October 2014 06:53)

    Hi, at 48 I am finally working out what is "up" with me.......self diagnosis would suggest that I am an extrovert HSP.
    Would be interested in finding a help group/person/therapist in Auckland - I'm near Titirangi in Auckland, NZ.
    Also would like to make contact with any other HSp's near by.

  • #39

    Bill (Monday, 03 September 2012 07:53)

    Hey Harry!

    I went to the meeting for HSPs in Wheeler's Hill tonight. It was really good to sit around and chat to others who understand my HSP-ness! Unfortunately they won't be having anymore get togethers until February next year. I am in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, 30 mins from the CBD. It would be great to meet you - and any other HSPs reading this!
    It would be great to get a few people together if possible, to talk about each other's experiences, especially after a lifetime of being told' "What are you talking about? I can't hear a thing!" or "Gee you're very sensitive to noise, aren't you?!" etc. etc.
    Please feel free to email me, at:

  • #38

    Harry (Friday, 17 August 2012 06:41)

    Hi everyone :)
    So excited I found this page for the HSP'ers down under!

    Just wanted to say hi to everybody!
    I'm a 31 year old Irish guy that has been aware of his hsp-ness for the last year or so and I scared at how accurate it is at describing me.

    Anyway, would love to make friends on here with people I have such a deep connection with, and haven't even met!!!

  • #37

    Adelyn (Thursday, 16 August 2012 03:42)

    i am kind of relieved. on one hand, i'm not crazy after all. on the other, it's tough. been like this all my life. never knew why. glad to know there are others out there :) i just spoke to my fiance about it and he still wants to marry me hahahaha. he's been understanding, for that i'm grateful. other people, not so understanding. but i'm glad i'm not alone and now i know why.

  • #36

    Karen (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 19:00)

    Hi Amanda, I live in Perth and know exactly what you are talking about! How do we touch base? Karen

  • #35

    Amanda (Monday, 23 July 2012 09:42)

    Does anyone being a HSP feel everyones feelings in their work, life or family environment. i live in perth and i am struggling with this so if anyone understands what i am going through i would love to discuss your techniques?

  • #34

    Leona (Thursday, 31 May 2012 19:10)

    There is a great forum on the daily strength website for HSP. I have joined a couple of weeks ago when I found it and it has been a great help to be to be able to share my experiences with other like me.

  • #33

    Jordyn (Friday, 27 April 2012 09:58)

    Hi finally discovered I'm not nuts just HSP! Living in Wellington NZ and just struggling as a new HSP trying to find ways to cope...its tough at the moment. I am a mature student at University and finding being in a class with 20 year olds very overwhelming and stressful..Reading Elaine's book was both a relief and be told all your life you are 'wrong' and then find out your OK...if feel I'm grieving for all those years I felt 'wrong' but also relived...would like to connect with other HSP's in Wellington

  • #32

    Louise (Sunday, 01 April 2012 05:54)

    Hi! I too am an HSP. Am just beginning to appreciate and like who I am, rather than pretend to be an extrovert but unable to keep it up (it's so tiring!) I don't know many other people like me - it can get a bit lonely although I do have two best friends and a handful of aquaintances with whom to enjoy a cuppa. I live near Wagga - anyone else in this area? Thank you!

  • #31

    Johanna Lowe (Wednesday, 29 February 2012 00:13)

    Today I was feeling overwhelmed by how hard life can be for some people. I am a carer for a wonderful young teen who is very unwell and while I love this job, it can make me feel sad at times. I decided to google to see if there was support out there for sensitive people like me who get upset and overwhelmed easily. What a surprise to find there is a whole collection of us, support networks, books and even a label HSP. I always new I was different, that I felt things more, experienced things deeper but I never knew that there were so many others with similar experiences. I am glad to have come across this today. I believe it is a gift to be highly sensitive and hopefully I can learn some new tools to help me cope even better and work with my gifts. Sending all you HSPs love, light and courage to make your way in this sometimes overwhelming world. I believe in you. xxx

  • #30

    Bill Beruldsen (Wednesday, 25 January 2012 22:12)

    I really really want to meet others like me, that I can relate to. I get agitated by, what my family & friends seem to think are almost inaudible sounds, from neighbours, cars, trucks, motorbikes, people talking......
    I am a 44yo male, living with my wife & two kiddies in the suburbs of Melbourne, 30mins from the CBD. :-)

  • #29

    Gayel (Wednesday, 28 December 2011 17:30)

    Hi .. After completing the questionnaire I feel better to have finally discovered that I am not seeing or hearing the world the wrong way I am just sensitive and that's ok. I too like others have had difficulties at work. I work in public health where abuse is a plenty and it really is an environment where you are told to 'take a teaspoon of cement'. On two occasions in 2010 I took stress leave after verbal and physical assaults at work. I stopped sleeping and my world seemed to be spinning so fast ... I couldn't gain clarity. I have been to counsellors and all have suggested a change of career. But i do love my job of helping others ! Fortunately, I fell pregnant with my son and will not be returning to work until April 2012. So maybe I can now gain myself some strategies and strength to stay in my chosen career path. My eldest daughter is also highly sensitive I know suspect ... Hopefully I will be able to teach her some skills to improve her self esteem and make the most of the world she sees and hears too. Thank you Elaine Aron ..

  • #28

    Teresa (Sunday, 11 December 2011 21:51)

    Like so many others here, I have always felt somehow 'different' from other people and couldn't explain why.I have often been made to feel that there was something wrong with me. I discovered Elaine Aron's site a few years ago and found it a huge relief to realise that I wasn't 'abnormal' after all. Today I want to talk about medical professionals, specifically dentists and doctors. I used to be utterly terrified of going to the dentist and for many years I had to have nitrous oxide ('laughing gas') before I could tolerate injections, fillings or extractions. Ten or twelve years ago I tried a new dentist who has made such a difference to my life. She never makes me feel bad for being frightened and tense, always talks me through everything she is going to do before she does it, and stops immediately if she realises I am getting too distressed. My previous dentist had written at the top of my notes, 'Very difficult patient'. The new one, Susan, would NEVER label me like that - she is a wonder and so caring. I had another bad experience recently at a women's health clinic where I was scheduled for a cystoscopy. I had no idea what to expect and when the nurse approached me to insert a catheter into my bladder I totally freaked out, burst into tears and had to stop the procedure. The Doctor was very sympathetic but the nurse got totally pissed off and very impatient with me and made me feel that I was being ridiculous and totally unreasonable for being frightened of this invasive and extremely unpleasant procedure. I found it very difficult to believe that I was the only patient they had ever had who could not tolerate the procedure. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

  • #27

    Ree (Tuesday, 04 October 2011 20:43)

    Dad and I were the designated 'spider removalists' in our house growing up, we had a technique that ensured that even the largest huntsman left the house safely; I don't know if dad went to such lengths but I would make sure to put them in the safest possible spot in the garden to ensure optimum survival! This has always been the case for all things even ants...once I knew they existed I would go out of my way to make sure they got to where they were going safely....maybe slightly neurotic? Being in cities, shopping centres and large groups of people drains the 'Ree' out of me, but I don't see myself as introverted, I love social ocassions as long as I can control who I'm around and can remove myself from energy that doesn't agree. I am very creative and studying design at uni, that proves to be challenging at times as I find the amount of ideas I have when designing can often overwhelm me (note to self- have to learn techniques to prevent that!). I have always known that I notice things that other people around me don't; and even before I knew this trait existed I felt blessed to be able to see and be moved by beauty around me (even at inopportune moments!). Over the years some people have called me snobby or aloof, I have found that in negative environments and at times when I can't remove myself I consciously put up a wall to block out other people. If I don't put up the wall I would absorb everything and not be able to function, so I can understand why some people would misconstrue what I believe is a survival technique, for detachment. I have a beautiful network of friends most have 'normal' nervous systems, a couple connect with me in a way that can't be explained, maybe they are sensitve, maybe they are more highly evolved, maybe they are just crazy...whatever it is; around them is when I feel that I can achieve anything! The most at ease I feel is when I'm in the water, being out the back in the lineup is where I find, personally, everything calms down; and all I have to be aware of is the immediate moment. I've been like this for 30 years and I have completely accepted that I experience things slightly differently to a lot of other people. I have only seen it positively, if only everyone could experience, even for the briefest moment, the connectedness that I feel naturally.

  • #26

    Tim (Wednesday, 14 September 2011 08:49)

    My Dad used to say I needed to get into a "good" fight?
    More recently I've been described as a "soft cock", ironically by two women who have suffered repeated abusive relationships. When I was a teen, Mum's loved me, but to the girls I was always "just" a friend. I could go on, but having just discovered and read "The Highly Sensitive Person". Wow, is that why I made little moss houses for the fairies to live in as a child? Is that why in a butterfly house in Queensland I was overwhelmed by the beauty and colours of the butterflys? Is that why I experience a visceral response to the pain and suffering of others? Now I know why I didn't take care of myself and eventually burnt out. I feel I now know (embryonically) that I can develope the skills and appreciate my attribute so eloquently described in Elaine Aron's book. I've never felt comfortable in my skin, reading Elaine's book has been an epiphany. It brought back many unhappy experiences in "my" life (I know others have suffered greater), but places into context my own developement. I can only say, if you suspect you are a HSP, read her book. I can now start developing a greater appreciation of who I am, who I was always meant to be, not who I thought others expected me to be. Theres tonnes of stuff for me to continue working through, thats ok, I know now where to look. Thanks Elaine

  • #25

    Meegan (Saturday, 10 September 2011 06:27)

    I read Elaine Arons book about three years ago and have been so grateful ever since that I finally had some clarity on why I have felt so "different" all of my life. I am sure that there are many who can relate to the experience of growing up and constantly being told that you are too sensitive, shy, think to much and over react. Being the HSP that I am this lead me to many years of trying desperatley to change who I was to "fit in" and then being angry and depressed that I couldn't seem to switch things off like others can. Even now, at 30 people are still taken aback when I explain my personality trait and think that it is something wrong. I have been advised to "harden up" on many occaions by well meaning people. Even now, I am at the point of break down, being pushed into full time work soon after having my daughter as my partner does not understand that I am motivated by things other than money, and find the value of being with my daughter to be greater than a high wage. I am hoping that being part of a community of people who may understand my trait will help me to find the strength to finally start living for myself, and not just for the approval of others. We are the only ones that can look after and nuture ourselves and I believe that the collaborative support a community can go a long way in helping all of the HSP'S out there to live our purpose and find our true path in life.

  • #24

    Rebecca (Wednesday, 17 August 2011 11:42)

    Wow. Reading the messages so far with joy and sadness. Thank God for Elaine Aron. How liberating to finally feel validated, understood and even special. I believe that this trait is a gift and now we are further encouraged by scientific research. I too wouldn't want to be anything but HS even through life's many struggles. I recently read a very fitting quote along the lines that there can be no rainbow without first having had the rain.

    I think this community of hep is just the tip of the iceberg. I would bet that there are plenty more of us out there. It's just that this trait is only now recently being seen in a more positive light and taken seriously enough to be properly acknowledged. We don't have to hide that part of ourselves anymore. And we don't have to apologize for being this way.

    I say a big thank you!

  • #23

    Romelee (Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:43)

    All along i thought that i was different indeed I am in a special daughter is HSP as well now i know ,thanks for all those very informative things....its nice to know your own self

  • #22

    Leanne (Saturday, 02 July 2011 03:41)

    Wow 22/27 for me. I just read the other day for the first time about HSP in an article in an extra that came with the ChCh Press. I felt like I was reading about myself and decided that I am not as crazy as I thought I was or others may think that I am! Reading about this brought tears to my eyes as no-one seems to understand my quite wacky thought process (not even me). How strange, I even now know why I feel the need to wear sunglasses on cloudy days as I still find it too bright for my sensitive eyes. Now things seem to make a whole lot of sense... I have always known that I see/hear and think or interpret thing differently to others but when you don't realise that you really are different to others it makes it confusing to understand and I just figured there was something wrong with me.

    Even though it can be hard, I like the way I am because if were all the same life would be rather boring and predictable :)

  • #21

    jan (johannes) (Sunday, 05 June 2011 18:29)

    I have just discovered the concept of HSP after a lifetime of studying philosophy, psychology, spirituality and self-help. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar but only have had one psychotic episode and very few unusual highs (outside the context of being HSP). I have battled depression most of my life, though, but I thin this has mostly been my HSP reaction to a type-A world. I feel I am naturally an optimist and if I could find a lifestyle that was less demanding I could be hapy (as I have been in the past), At the moment though, things are very tough. I lost my son to suicide 2 years ago and have started a relationship with someone I love but whose circumstances are stressful. I feel bad not being able to cope but knowing I am HSP helps me to realise that I am coping with more than most people on a day to day basis, just by walking around. I'd like to join a support group in the Sydney area as I need to find a way to get through my current situation and rebuld my life before it implodes. cheers (I'm a typical HSP - I end this post worrying that I'm going to bring people down with my sob story. But I can laugh at myself!)

  • #20

    Sandra (Sunday, 15 May 2011 01:03)

    I have always felt myself to be slightly strange-like I'm looking into the world and all that goes on within it from the outside - and have recently come across a couple of HSP sites which explain why. Thanks for this - it's been a tremendous eye opener for me. I'm one of the 70% which are introverted and I'm shy. Difficult combo, but not impossible and it seems that we have something to offer :)

  • #19

    Lynne (Saturday, 30 April 2011 00:13)

    Okay, would love some help here....have found this site and also Tribe and am beginning to see some real correlations to being a HSP and how my life has panned out so far; seems to explain an awful lot about so much turmoil in my life. But, how do I find a counsellor that I can work with, to tidy up queries and cement my understanding about all this including whether I really am HSP? P.S. I tick just about ALL the boxes in tests.

  • #18

    Janine (Sunday, 20 March 2011 07:15)

    Hi Leonie

    Im really sorry to hear of your incidents at work. But isn't it great to learn about HSPs and know that although it's different from the majority, it is still OK. I went through a similar thing last year with terrible work issues that resulted in my being called too sensitive also. Some months later I discovered the information about the HSP. I ticked all but one of the questions on the check list. Such a huge relief!

  • #17

    Leonie (Friday, 25 February 2011 07:57)

    What a blessing to find your site this evening after yet another dressing down from my boss today for being "too sensitive" and having a bad attitude. After 40 years of being misunderstood and miserable maybe there is hope for me as I seem to be a classic HSP displaying the vast majority of indicators in the self test.
    Thank you again

  • #16

    tmroxy (Friday, 21 January 2011 22:16)

    I'm so thrilled to have found this site.My whole life I have felt like i don't fit in anywhere.Always felt different and couldn't explain why.I have been made to feel that there was something wrong with me, my feelings & emotions.I mostly had insensitive, controlling or aggressive people in my life which affected me very negatively.I was used for my kindness & compassion in times of need & forgotten in between.I also always had very physically demanding & stressful jobs.I spent so much time in negative environments that being HSP it was affecting me more than i could have ever imagined.It eventually broke my health.I have been battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia & Multiple Chemical Sensitivities for the past 3 years which has only heightened HSP for me.Since researching HSP everything adds up & it all fits together now.After alot of soul searching & councelling i am now also starting to feel blessed to be gifted with such an ability to feel automatic compassion, kindness, epathy, generousity & wanting to help others with no personal gain.I cannot change who I am, it exausted me trying.If only there were more people like us in the world it would be a much nicer place. This is not an easy gift by any means as it has been extremely difficult & lonely which is why i am so excited to have found this site.I hope my story can help other HSP to try to embrace this condition as a gift & simply learn strategies to cope in today's hectic & often selfish society.This will hopefully prevent others losing their health from the difficulties that we are challenged with every day.If I had of known about this condition & had the opportunity to deal with it in my younger years, I believe I could have prevented my health issues from occuring as they are all caused by ongoing emotional stress / trauma / overactive CNS.However through this experience i can say after 36 years that i finally really like who i am HSP and all.I am looking forward to embracing this condition further & learning to manage it & finally meeting others who can relate.

  • #15

    Craig (Monday, 17 January 2011 02:36)

    Wow..I am an HSP..and have had so many unanswered questions about who I am, and why others just dont understand me. For the longest time, I really thought there was something wrong with me - have a heightened sense of smell, and touch..and when others talk to me about a problem thy are having, i feel their pain..mostly to my own detriment!
    This site will help me to undrstand and embrace who I really am..and rebuild my self esteem.
    Thank you so much for providing this information!

  • #14

    Michelle (Saturday, 15 January 2011 21:39)


    I'm Michelle. I think I am a HSP. I am ready for a change in life. I wish to join this community but I'm not sure where and when the first meeting is. Please tell me.

  • #13

    Tina (Friday, 14 January 2011 00:02)

    Hi Taya. Thanks. Since I posted in the guestbook I have taken positive steps and feel more optomistic about the challenges ahead. Defining and acknowledging the issue has been a very helpful first step.

    I'm reluctant to join the Yahoo group as the last time I dabbled with Yahoo it/they threatened to take over my web browser, toolbar, etc. It took considerable effort to block/remove and I don't really want to go down that track again. :)

    Never mind. It's nice to know that such a community exists. I look forward to the first Australian/New Zealand HSP Gathering.

  • #12

    Taya Wood (Thursday, 13 January 2011 16:24)

    Hi Tina,

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story and it’s great that you’re asking for help. I encourage you to share your experiences on the forum (click the purple ad to the left to join). That is where you can connect with other people with the trait who can offer assistance and suggestions, as people cannot contact you via this guestbook, other than posting a public response.

    All the best,

    Website and Newsletter Administrator

  • #11

    Tina (Tuesday, 11 January 2011 01:20)

    I answer yes to all the questions on Elaine Aron's self test. Being a HSP has had a profound impact on every aspect of my life. I was placed into care as a 6 year old, in part because my parents could not deal with my sensitivity. The issue I most want to deal with right now is my sensitivity to food. Since I was born I have been unable to eat most fresh fruit and vegetables due to my sensitivity to their texture, taste, smell and appearance. As a child this meant I often did not eat and was severely underweight. As an adult I now have access to money and alternatives. I eat only processed foods, usually at the end of the day out of desperation and hunger, and am now very overweight and starting to see the impact of this on my health. I am desperate to get help with this problem from someone like a nutritionist or naturopath in my area. But I know it needs to be someone who understands and can work alongside my sensitivity. I feel like the task ahead is insurmountable and that there is noone who can give me the help and support I need. I would be interested to hear from others who have had this same challenge and those with suggestions. I am in Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • #10

    Janine (Tuesday, 04 January 2011 18:42)

    Hi Martin

    I am very moved to read your message. It is a very hard thing to come to terms with isn't it. I think there is a lot of personal work to do before one can fully embrace the trait and all it means for one's life. I hope you will have the courage to do the work required because I know that it is possible to come to appreciate and respect the trait, even though it is frustrating at times. It starts with self love which is easily said but much harder to achieve in practice. Also I am convinced that the other important thing is 'fit'. with the right people and the right work where our trait is appreciated and valued...seen as a gift. It starts with us first though. Until we can see the trait as a gift (with it's down sides like all personality traits do have), it will be difficult for others to see our trait as valuable too. I wish you well in your journey....are you near an HSP network group? I am about to start one on the Gold Coast of Australia, at Robina Community Centre. Our inaugural meeting will be on March 3rd 2011. Keep kind :-)

  • #9

    Martin (Tuesday, 04 January 2011 02:40)

    After spending my whole adult life in denial (age 40) I now realize if anyone is HSP it is me! Too be honest, right now, I am discouraged by this. It is going to take me a long time to see HSP as a gift...

  • #8

    Janine (Monday, 03 January 2011 19:05)

    Having lived with the trait for almost 50 years and feeling completely defective, I was so relieved to learn of the trait - the cause of my problem! Only now i understand that it is not a problem, but in fact a gift. It's just that much of the rest of the world sees it as a problem and that is what makes it a problem. I am so taken by all of this that I have begun giving presentations about the trait. My next one is on Jan 13th 2011 at Robina Community centre, (Gold Coast, QLD, Australia). It is free so if you would like to come, or know of anyone who might, please email me at to register Good luck to all of my new HSP friends, may you embrace your trait and keep kind :-)

  • #7

    Wendy (Sunday, 12 December 2010 17:53)

    Just read the book, how strange to see yourself reflected so clearly! Yet there is such an individual response to a particular manifestation of the trait eg Gitte I have the opposite hearing issue - I'm overly responsive to background noise - the fainter the sound the more it bothers me! How nice to be able to connect to others in the same boat - cheers!

  • #6

    Gitte (Tuesday, 26 October 2010 00:04)

    I had a funny HSP experience. I often find it difficult to hear if there is any background noise at all, and I thought I had bad hearing. I went to get my ears checked, and I am actually hearing way too well! It is not bad hearing, it is because it makes it difficult to distinguish between sounds, because I hear many more sounds, higher and lower tunes, compared to the average person. I laughed, I got it! Isn't that a HSP life in a nutshell! Too much input! :o)

  • #5

    Chris (Monday, 20 September 2010 08:44)

    finding out im an hsp has been a pricless experience. im 21 yrs old and i feel like im just starting to learn and understand who i really am.

  • #4

    Emma (Friday, 20 August 2010 08:22)

    at last people see sensitivity as a good thing not a negative thing. it is a double edged sword i guess

  • #3

    steve (Tuesday, 17 August 2010 07:08)

    I too have recently discovered that I am a HSP.Looking back,it explains quite alot about me and how I react to certain things.A few websites have been very useful and informative.I guess the next step can only be forward and learn a bit more.

  • #2

    Natalia (Monday, 09 August 2010 23:32)

    I've just discovered i am HSP.WOW!! i can feel this has had a huge impact on my life and its only just the begining:)
    Thank you for your website full of interesting and informative infomation and support.

  • #1

    Grant Knowles (Monday, 09 August 2010 17:18)

    finally i have the tools to help my son at school now i just have to sell it to them after all schools dont like to accept anything that hasnt come through the ministry of education but i have friends in high places and im ready for the fight....

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