Why it’s hard to be a highly sensitive (HSP) introvert

A handful of years ago I was so relieved to discover that there’s a name (Highly Sensitive Person, aka HSP) for what I thought were uniquely weird sensitivities. I also finally understood and now even celebrate the fact that I’m highly introverted. Thanks to these new insights into my personality, I’ve come to appreciate that the traits that make me seem “strange” to some are also the reasons that I enjoy and do well at being a coach and writer.

Through most of my life I felt that if people knew what I was really like, they’d write me off as strange or  different. What a thrill to discover I’m not alone: 15-20% of the population are thought to be highly sensitive (according to HSP expert Dr. Elaine Aron), and around 20% of all people tend towards introversion. Of the 15-20% who are HSPs, 70% are introverts.

I’ve been enjoying fellow PT blogger Sophia Dembling’s blog about introverts, and it got me thinking of how difficult it can be to live this way in a world of extraverts. Add being highly sensitive to the mixture and you may feel like you want to hide from everything and everybody (partially to avoid trying to explain yourself to others). I’ve found that understanding why I am who I am has helped so much, and has helped me stop trying to fit in.

Here are some of the more challenging aspects I’ve experienced living a highly sensitive introverted life:

1) I’d prefer not to share a hotel room with you

A few years ago, a well-meaning acquaintance suggested we rent a one-room apartment during an extended stay in Europe, though I was already happily ensconced in a cheap but cute hotel.

“We’ll save so much money,” she urged me, “and it’ll be so much fun!”

At first, I said no. I tried to explain that when I don’t have my own space, I get really stressed out.

She laughed and told me I was being ridiculous. We got along so well and had so much in common, how could this not work? She was so convincing, optimistic and insistent that I caved in. After a few days I started to feel a lot less friendly.

As a highly sensitive person who needs to minimize auditory stimuli, I don’t do well when another person likes having TV or loud music on all the time as background noise. I’m extremely sensitive to other people’s moods; when someone is angry, judgmental or irritated, those emotions make me even more uncomfortable. If I don’t have my own space to retreat to and recharge, I’ll eventually have a meltdown.

As an introvert, being around other people drains me (as opposed to extraverts, who gain energy being around other people). That doesn’t mean I don’t like being with others, in fact I love it – but I can only do it for so long before I have to go into my cave and refuel.

Sadly, after that ill-fated stint in Europe, our friendship ended. We never recovered from the tensions of trying to cohabit in that teeny space. I felt particularly sad about it, as I had told her that I didn’t do well sharing a small space.  At the time, I thought that she was right, that I was just a weird, anti-social person. Thankfully, now I know otherwise.

2) Just because I don’t call doesn’t mean I don’t care

Reading Sophia Dembling’s blog, I was thrilled to discover that introverts almost universally don’t like the phone. All my life people have been complaining that I don’t call them, perceiving my behavior as evidence of lack of affection. I used to feel guilty, but finally realized (with Dembling’s help) that it’s simply that I don’t like being on the phone. The only exception is talking to someone else who I’m so similar to that there’s an effortless endless flow of conversation. I dislike awkward silences or pressure to come up with fascinating conversation topics, even with people I know well. (I’ve come to appreciate since, though, that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean I can freely avoid it; I’ve trained myself to call people more often as my priority on relationships trumps my  own comfort level)

Email and Facebook are completely different, I love to communicate that way – another characteristic, according to Dembling, which is typical of introverts.

As an HSP, I also pick up all kinds of subtleties in people’s voices or comments that make me uncomfortable if they have personal (negative) significance. This sensitivity works really well when I work as a personal coach over the phone, as I’m able to pick up what’s behind a client’s words and use it to unblock them or help them move forward, but in personal conversations it can be too much information.

3) I don’t want to go to a crowded concert with you, but would love to hang out in a relatively quiet restaurant where we can hear each other speak and can talk about life and other meaningful things

One of my worst memories in recent years was a concert in a large plaza in Cabo. If I’m somewhere that really interests me, e.g. a salsa club where there’s great music and lots of room to dance, or a party filled with friends and people I find highly amusing and interesting, I’ll often be the last person to leave. If I’m just going to an event for the sake of going and there will be tons of strangers and noise, I’d rather stay home and watch a video.

As our group pushed through the sardine-packed throng to get near the stage, I decided to stay by myself near the periphery. I was still surrounded and pushed against by people I couldn’t see over, and felt overwhelmed by smells of beer and smoke (that’s an HSP thing) as unfamiliar eardrum-shattering country music assaulted me. Too much noise, too many smells, too many people. I was on the verge of tears and if I could have walked home, I would have.

I’m a fun person, really I am (just ask my salsa dance buddies from years back) – if I have space, can hear myself talk, and have reasonably fresh air to breathe. People like me don’t want to leave a party because we want to wreck your fun, we’re just totally overwhelmed. My sister’s the same, and she and her husband have learned to go to parties in separate cars.

Let’s go out for a lovely dinner instead – introverts prefer meaningful one on one conversations to large group experiences, and HSPs yearn to connect deeply, discussing rich complex topics.

If any of this reminds you of you, google the words highly sensitive person (HSP) and introvert. You’ll be reassured by what you read, and can finally explain to the world that you’re not weird, you’re just like a significant proportion of the rest of the population – so there!

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  1. Sam says:

    Great article. I totally identify with all of it.

  2. peter says:

    Another penetrating analysis! Dr Biali maybe you are like van gogh, “for they could not love you but still your love was true” from Don Mclean Song’s Vincent. You just need to know how to avoid toxic people.

  3. Jean says:

    Dear Dr. Biali, How would you differentiate an HSP from a person who has Asperger’s Syndrome?

    • L says:

      Just last week someone assumed I had Asperger’s Syndrome. I’ve learned that I interpret speech differently from many others and sometimes might ask a clarifying question that baffles the speaker but often gets to the true meaning of their words – for me.

  4. Dr. Susan Biali says:

    Hi Jean,
    Thanks so much for your question, it is an excellent one that I had recently asked myself. I didn’t know much about the autism spectrum when I started writing about HSP, but the more I read about it, especially with respect to Asperger’s, the more I wonder about a link between the two.
    For example, when I read Aspie blogs, especially when they complain about a world full of Neurotypicals, I can absolutely relate.

    One main difference that I understand – and I’m not an expert – is that people with Asperger’s have challenges understanding social cues, reading facial expressions etc. HSP’s on the other hand, as I understand them, are exquisitely sensitive to these kinds of cues.

    For example, I’m so sensitive to the slightest nuances of conversation and tone that it can be incredibly uncomfortable – sometimes I’d rather not be able to read what’s under the surface!

    I believe this is quite a considerable contrast to someone with Asperger’s. If you have Asperger’s, I’d love to hear your thoughts and about your experience. I have a feeling we’re very close neuro-cousins!

  5. Dee_ says:

    Your article touched me on so many levels, Reading it made me cry, the emotions I felt was overwhelming. I spend a lot of time alone, the tv is turned off (unplugged). My noise machine is on constantly to drown out the outside noise, as I have made my home a peaceful sanctuary. I knew there were others that felt the same way, but where are they I thought. Thank you again

  6. Dr. Susan Biali says:

    Hi Dee and thank you so much for your comment.
    As you now know there are actually millions of people out there just like us! When I posted this on my Facebook page, I was amazed how many people I’d known for years said that this described them perfectly, and I’d had no idea.
    So glad you came along and discovered my site!
    All my best,

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you…thank you…thank you!! I’m middle age and just finally understanding and accepting that this is who I am. I still feel weird at times because I often act extroverted so people think I’m arrogant or not normal or whatever they want too put on me when I leave early or can’t tolerate their all night /early morning noise. Even when I explain it they just don’t understand.I have learned to better tolerate my ability to pick up subtleties and undertones in conversations. I have struggled all my life with tremendously low self esteem…apparently well hidden…so I wish I had understood all of this earlier!

  7. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am staying at a friend’s place right now, and I was just about in tears earlier. Why? She was playing some music and singing along to it. It was stressing me out, but I felt ridiculous asking her to quiet down because I felt like it wouldn’t bother a “normal” person. I felt like there must be something wrong with me, or maybe I am a really selfish person because I couldn’t deal with the noise. So thank you. I feel that now that I understand more of what type of person I am, I can take better care of myself.. Do you have any tips for HSP’s in the workplace?

  8. Meg says:

    Hi Dr Biali, my therapist was the first one to fill me in on being an HSP, and like you have said, just knowing I am not weird, helps deal with life all the time. My biggest struggle however is as a parent. Kids are constantly moving and making noise and are so much stimulation. I am a stay at home mom to a 9 y/o son and 5 y/o daughter. I try so hard to embrace my kids and motherhood. But then I get agitated so quickly and easily! At times just walking in the room with them causes me panic, stress, and anxiety. I love them so very much, but I have so much guilt for telling them I need to be alone so often. They just want my love and attention, and I want to give it to them, but several times a day, that is just impossible. Any advice or resources that could help me stay engaged in my kids lives without feeling like I am on the verge of a breakdown?

  9. Janis says:

    I too struggle with being a parent. I have a 3 year old daughter who is so used to me needing a nap in the afternoon she will close the shades and shut the door and say ” have a good nap”. It makes me feel awful to miss out on this time with her, but if I don’t get this time, I get snappy, have no patience and just cannot handle the rest of the day. Then, at bedtime, I break down crying. I am 30 and I would like to have another child, but I feel if I cannot manage this life with one child, how could I possible handle another? Any advice for and HSP parent with a non HSP child? Thanks.

  10. Dr. Susan Biali says:

    Hi Meg and Janis,
    My heart goes out to both of you. At this point I don’t have children and I don’t know that I would ever choose to. I thrive so much in peace and quiet and being able to control my home environment (which is where I work primarily), that I don’t know what I would become , or if I’d be able to cope, if children were added to the environment. That said, I also know that the love one has for ones children is more profound than anything I’ve probably ever experienced, so most days I’d probably just be thrilled to have them in my life. I’d be at very high risk for being irritable and flying off the handle, though, if I didn’t have the down time that I know I need in my life to stay sane.
    My thought for both of you, which I constantly speak about to coaching clients who are mothers, is that it’s just so essential to do what you need to do to look after yourself. Your children will generally be ok with that (Janis just see how sweet your child is about your nap), and a mother who may give them slightly less time but is happy and balanced during that time is, in my opinion, a better mother for children to be around. It is so critically important to look after yourself as much as you can. Get enough sleep, eat well, find little pockets of time for yourself, get help from other members of the family (or sitters) to do so if you need to. And be confident knowing that you are setting a great example for your kids, especially if they are girls!

  11. Amy f;) says:

    Hey- I’m HSP and I have 3 boys:6, 3, 1…It gets pretty crazy around our small house- especially during rainy season, lol. I try to just block it out as best as I can and love them, remembering that it is only for a season. I also try to keep one area of my house clutter free and soothing- no one really understands my need for this, but it has such a positive effect on me. I recently discovered that while I do need breaks from the kids, it isn’t always helpful to be out of the home to get my break…I still haven’t found that perfect cafe or park to hide out at in this town, but if my husband takes the boys to the playground or the grocery store for an hour or so and I can just putter around the house by myself….this is amazing!
    I have been able to occasionally have some deep conversations with friends I’ve met online (usually after the kids go to bed) and that has helped tremendously too.
    One problem I’ve come across is that while I’m sensitve to my kids, if I try to discuss things with other parents they might just think I’m crazy because they don’t pick up on things like I do. Its tricky.
    Oh, and we homeschool, so that gives us lots of freedom in when we do what. I understand that does not work for every family but it is such a lifesaver not to have to be bustling out of the house every morning:)

  12. Ray says:

    I am a HSP and an introvert. Thanks for writing about your experiences. It is good to know I am not alone.
    Do you know of any statistics on what percentage of HSP/Introverts are male/female?

  13. Natalie says:

    For years I thought I was weird; I love helping others but majority of the time it’s draining.
    It is such a relief to finally see this after years of beating myself up, and I finally feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

    Thank you for writing this… I’d love to know, what do we do now that we know?

    Thanks again,

  14. Ariana says:

    Is it possible to be a HSP and to have Asperger’s Syndrome?

  15. Anonymous says:

    My friend is HSP and introverted and in his words, irritated by life and totally detached from people. We got to be friends when this wasn’t as much the case. At times he says I am his only friend. Now it is 4 1/2 years later, we share a dog and I am at my wits end. So is he. I am an introverted extravert that does everything I can to understand his need for space. When I do, he says my face showed disappointment or my voice did so he feels guilty. I guess I am tried of being the one who has to understand he doesn’t have it in him. And, understand his every need. The last straw was last week-it was my birthday-and an anniversary of our dog’s death. He said I didn’t allow him the privilege of being alone that day so he just worked. In my mind we had worked out that he would take our current dogs, spend the day alone and we would hook up later for sometime together. He said that would be ok-to me it was understanding his need to be alone even though the day was very painful for me as well. I felt that I compromised and put his needs on the forefront and it was fine. And although he said that would work, it really made him so angry-he said I made the day stressful and more awful and that I didn’t understand at all. He just wanted to be alone. Then for my birthday he said he didn’t think about it. I was hurt because he couldn’t make an effort. Not even for a nice card. Am I supposed to understand that my birthday came at a time he just didn’t have it in him to make an effort? This is just indicative of where we have come to. He thinks I am a bull in his china shop. I should mention that he only does well with people that he keeps at arms length. He is not understood at work or in places I take him to. When I introduce him to people they all think he is weird and strange. I looked past that 4 1/2 years ago and have been beating my head up against the wall for the past year as our friendship has progressed. You sound like a lovely person that knows your boundaries and try not to cross them. Is there a way that two very different people can handle this condition with love and respect? Right now I feel like I am supposed to understand his needs and that he is HSP and introverted, but he understands my needs but doesn’t agree with them. And, I certainly don’t feel loved and respected. Is this just his HSP and introversion or is this more his detachment and anger. He wants us to see a counselor, but I don’t think he would really make the effort. Thank you for your help!

  16. Judy says:

    Finally, a name for what I’ve know I had for years…HSP. My doc told me years ago that I have a very strange physiology, this is all so very interesting..Dr Biali, what you have described as HSP fits me to a tee. As I age, now 70 years old, I need my quiet time even more than I did when I was younger. I love to be around those close to me, family, very close friends, having meaningful conversations…but I also love to kick up my heels and have fun and dancing and music are definitely a passion. Thanks so much for your blog.

  17. Nina says:

    When I read your article, I felt a light come on and a tremendous weight off my shoulders! For a long time, I’ve identified myself as being weird, antisocial on the phone, and struggled with this sensitivity. Even a coworker humming to a song across the room was enough to trigger a migraine for me! Now that I have a 3 month old daughter, I’ve become more focused on being the best mom possible and, as they say on the airplanes, “to don my own mask first” without the guilt.

  18. Carol K says:

    Hi, Im a clinically depressed person who takes medicine and apparently, have been highly sensitive as well, all my life. Having just found and read this because I have felt so upset with the way my relationship has been going with one of my grown children, this has been a relief. I googled my feelings in desperation and came upon your blog. In saying that, the grown child does not have HSP and is accusing me of being judgemental, threatening and unsupportive. I truly dont fell I am and certainly dont mean to be but…how do I handle the way I feel? I want to be supportive, non-judgemental, and non threatening but dont know how to change the way I’m perseved. Any help would be appreciated. I feel this is why I want to introvert myself from the world and people but I want to be a part of their lives.
    Thank you, About to give up!

  19. marsha says:

    I was literally in tears this morning wondering what was wrong with me. I’m a stay at home mom of 3 and i struggle to find time for myself. I often wondered why i coldnt just snap out of the need for solitude.
    Thank u so much for this, i feel validated.

  20. Linda D says:

    I’m reading the book “The Highly Sensitive Child” by Elaine Aron, PhD. Amazing book that explained so much about my childhood, my difficulties as a mother, and now my need for peace and quiet as I start my second journey. Great book for parents of HSP children, or if you are an HSP parent, and how to deal with HSP or non-HSP children. Highly recommend it. Thank you for this post, as it’s great to know I’m not weird, and that there are so many others out there who are part of this amazing “club”.

  21. Pauliina Muller says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It describes me down to the ground. I feel like I can relax and that I’m ok not a ‘weirdo’… And not so alone!

    Thank you!!!

  22. Moira Lauren says:

    It is wonderful to know that I am not alone as HSPs. For years people at work have told me that I am “too sensitive”,and I would think…”What, should I be a person with no feelings at all?” Now I recognize and appreciate that I am sensitive, and I try to guard my sensitive spirit against rude and toxic people. I try to minimize my time with them., if I cannot totally avoid them. I am so affected by even the moods and nuances of others. I have always hated the telephone (and I hate the vaccuum cleaner–I prefer the robocleaner), but never really knew why. Emails and bloggers are preferable.It’s good to know that HSp represent 15-20% of the population. We are not alone.I do like to spend time with friends, but I always treasure my time alone. Moirra Lauren[EMAIL]null[/EMAIL]

  23. Michelle says:

    Thank you.
    This article was in front of me just when I needed it.
    It is difficult in this extroverted world with an extrovert husband and daughter. I think my son has more of my temperment but too young to tell. HSP is me. It is a blessing and a curse.

  24. Karen says:

    What a curse. I really wish I wasn’t a HSP. I find you can’t be caring, or you are too sensitive. I envy people who have a good collection of my friends. Me being a HSP makes me run to the hills when too many people are around. I cannot relate to those with narcissistic personalities. Wish there were local groups for HSPs, that would be weird since people see us as weird. Are we here for a reason?

  25. Lisa says:

    I have known I was different for a very long time, found Dr. Aron’s book well into my 30s and was relieved to find I was not alone in the sensitivity thing – very relieved. Not in the majority, but not a completely incorrect person, either. I have learned to keep my life even and steady, get the sleep and other basics that I need to be pretty darned content in my day to day. However, I still struggle (after 25 years of marriage) with any contact at all with my husband’s extremely extroverted family. The amount of dread I feel when an event is coming up (and one is coming up now – two of them fairly close together) is amazing. I am like a cornered animal looking for a way out of a trap, hoping for some act of nature or God to cancel the thing – thinking I’d rather be sick or some other thing so I have a good reason not to go. These people are VERY loud, very talkative, very opinionated, and so on. They love to tell you what you should do about everything. They also have money, which makes them even more controlling. They are not unkind people, but are the kind who I cringe at being around. It’s been one overwhelming get-together after the next for years and years and I guess I have suffered long-term effects. Every visit is too long (they all live out of state), just plain too much, too noisy, too many hours, dinner is too long and too late, what they want to do lasts too many days (once we had to go on a week-long cruise!), costs too much money (ex. the cruise!), and I end up being my worst possible self. Meltdown? Oh yeah. In tears, every single time. Over the years I have come up with coping strategies to minimize these events, (over time a lot of avoidance, which is a strain on my marriage) using all of the coping strategies you list in your articles. But I guess nothing will ever work because I am definitely introverted and do not enjoy these kinds of gatherings at all. Not even when it is my own family. Enough is enough, and that usually means a few hours and then I want to go home. I definitely prefer one-on-one, quiet communication. If i am with a like-minded soul, I can talk and talk and talk. Small talk is grueling. Pretending to be having fun when I’m not – painful. I know it is hard for my husband because I dislike these things so much and have so many special needs when we are in them. I need a hotel room, can’t stay at someone’s house. I need to leave when I need to leave, can’t stay even one more minute. I’m hungry NOW and need something to eat and I mean something good. He is thinking; why can’t I just get along, just put up with it for one weekend? We hardly ever see them, it’s “only” – whatever it is. Can’t I just suck it up and be a good Christian person and be nice? He even gives me scripts of things to say to them – totally not ‘me’ things to say. Obviously these tactics haven’t worked, put strain on our relationship, make me feel like he is not ‘on my side’ – put my bad feelings on the in-laws, etc. It seems there is no solution. I have to put up with things a couple times a year and I suffer and am no fun, have no fun, and get to feel all kinds of dread before hand for weeks. Or I get to feel guilty if I skip something.

    I was grateful to read your statement about introverts disliking the phone. I HATE the phone! Especially those ramblings small-talk talks. Love email and other writing type communication!

    Speaking of rambling, this was a very rambling message!

    I am hosting my mother and father-in-law next weekend – only from Friday evening to Sunday noon. It sounds like not much, but I am going to be so relieved when it’s over. Then, in July, there is a family gathering for their 50th anniversary, and the whole noisy bunch will be there – squeeing with joy about being together – and there’ll be me – in misery – trying to escape. I wish I knew how to make it better. All I can think of is escape, minimize, grit my teeth, hang out with my daughter (15) who is as like-minded as anyone in the world. But that is not acceptable because they want a piece of her – and she is ‘supposed to’ hang around with her totally unlike-her noisy insensitive cousins.

    Thanks for listening and for putting out articles about HSP.

  26. Shiba says:

    😕 How about that… All my life, I’ve thought I was being weird, antisocial or socialphobic and it turns out, I’m probably just a highly sensitive introverted person. I’ve been doing some research and this article confirms what i’ve been suspecting. I can stop feeling guilty about how I am, always feeling a need to be different. Also don’t need to feel particularly guilty about not always thinking it’s the best to be around my husband and child, needing my own space. Now if I could only get him to understand it. He is the exact opposite of me, and I somewhat suspect he thinks I’m an alien, or a bad person who needs to pull myself together and BE DIFFERENT! Any advice as to make him understand?

  27. Dr. Susan Biali says:

    I can relate to what you’re saying about your husband…I believe that many sensitive introverts end up with extraverts. Opposites do attract, and I think this is a good thing! I know my extraverted husband helps me be more social and get out and enjoy activities when I might be tempted to just hide at home…
    I’ve found it really helps to explain that I’m an introvert (this is easier to explain and more understood than HSP). Introverts get drained by people and like quiet and space. It’s a well-known personality phenomenon. I often point out that my personality differences (and need for quiet etc.) are because I’m an introvert. I find it helps! And I don’t apologize who I am and I don’t feel bad about it. It’s how you’re made – you’re not wrong, or bad, just different. And neither is he!

  28. Jai says:

    Years ago after reading Elaine Aron’s book, I realized that I was highly sensitive. I cried the first time I read her book because it described everything I had felt throughout my life. It changed my life, yet I am constantly dealing with being a male and having this rare, genetic trait. It is a daily challenge to hide this part of me, which I have to do often. I can’t say that I feel confident about myself knowing I am this way. However, I have learned to accept the positives and live with the limitations of being highly sensitive. It has been a big relief to find out that I was highly sensitive and have tailored my life around it. Finding the right people has been the biggest challenge though. It’s good to see so many others recognizing high sensitivity. Thank you for spreading the word on this unique trait so that more people, including non-hsp’s, can learn about it.

  29. Rosalyn says:

    I came from a family of ten children, and grew up as a JW. It has been so terrible for me. I was always called, evil, mean, nasty, and www before the www existed, weird, white (I am African American) and wrong. Everything I felt, everything I said was never right, any and everything bothers me; the smell of just about anything, including my own body odor. My husband continues to tell me he doesn’t smell anything, he feels like I have a nose like a dog. The sensitivities to smells are so bad, that it triggers these depressed feelings. Since I lost my job, I have secluded myself in my house, in my room, which is where I stayed as a kid; it was the most comfortable place in the world, as it is today. I have what were once friends but little by little I disconnected myself from them; I found that much of the conversations were people telling me what I needed to do when I never asked what I should do. I find that those that were my friends were never listening to what I was trying to say. I have actually come out and explained that I am a introvert, that I don’t like… I would get specific but again; they think I should do this, do that, be this and be that. I have never read anything regarding this thing (that I realized about a week ago), I have had therapist give me all types of medication but nothing seems to help what I am. I do realize, I was born this way, no don’t like it, but I have to learn to come to terms with it and step back out into the world. I am sacred, angry, upset, frustrated, it’s so much. Right now I feel like a mouse that has been backed into a corner and when anyone comes never me to help, I reach out with a huge claw and try to them… I’m actually stuck; I can’t have anyone who doesn’t understand come near me, and believe me with those sensitive antenna pick up very quickly when a person expresses any type of negativity and if they try to pretend to be anything other than real with their feelings, I pick that up as well. I hate all of this, it’s like hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, seeing, everything through waves that my mind picks up. I want so bad to shut is off but I can’t seem to control. It hurts and it won’t go away.

  30. Adelante says:

    Thank you so much! So now I know I’m not weird for not talking on the phone, even though people insist otherwise rsrsr It’s so damn awkward

  31. Debbie says:


    I am a HSP and do find relief it finally understanding that there are other people like me. I need my own space and quiet time or I have a meltdown. I can only take so much socializing (I am talking about 1 to 2 hours) and then okay that is enough, quiet please. I now understand why as a teenager I would get irritated with my girlfriend if we spent the weekend at each other’s houses. It was too overwhelming for me. I also cannot take listening to tv playing or music playing. It distracts my brain from my peaceful being and pulls me into chaos. That makes it difficult for others to understand.
    Also, extremely fragrance sensitive.

  32. Sandy says:

    I became more of an introvert after I married an extrovert man and extremely extrovert family. They are CONSTANTLY on the run and planning get togethers. I am made to feel bad for not going with and get extremely stressed out when I know I can\’t avoid a gathering. It causes alot of strain between my husband and me and his family must think I don\’t like them. I have tried to explain how I am and if anyone would like to do some one on one things great but never happens always has to be a group and always overnight crap. They live 20 min away and think they need to spend the night. I hate overnight deals I can do a few hrs thing but evenings r MY time and I need it quiet. I feel bad I have a 6yr old that I don\’t know if I have made like me or not. He loves to go do things but gets over stimulated and has a hard time and i see this in school to. What 6 yr old asks to be homeschooled? I have never mentioned this to him. I\’m tired of been drained and stressed out by husband and inlaws.

  33. Carmen says:

    I’ve always wondered why I was so sensitive to things now I’m so happy that I’m not the only one like this that there’s actually a reason for it and a name :eek

  34. Zoey says:

    At first I thought maybe I was weird like how I can’t stand to use the phone or go to crowded places! I can’t even stand my own family (they are very loud and overwhelming) and as a 14 year old there’s no way out! Along with that I have to go to school and at first I’m exited, you know the quiet classrooms and if I’m lucky I can sit in the back and not feel overrun my the other students, but then there’s the forced social aspect which I can’t handle and then when I finally get home I have to deal with my family’s mixed up emotions (I’m an empath too)! So my moms always stressed and I feel that and then there’s the loud tv when my step dads home and I’ve got nowhere to go and reboot ever!!! if I’m lucky I get an hour of alone time per day but its not enough!! I get so angry and overwhelmed I can’t do anything! I can’t breath or enjoy what I used too! But i feel alone too i have none to talk to n haven’t my entire life!! i mean you’d expect at least one person in your family to share a common interest but NOBODY does!!Can someone give me some advice cuz I can’t ask my family to tone down or give me space cuz they won’t care! They won’t even go around my odd inability to eat pork without getting sick! Anyhow help please!

  35. Adrienne says:

    I am so relieved to find this information. Beyond words. I googled “I am so sensitive to others” in a bid to try to understand how I’ve been feeling. I thought something was wrong with me!
    I find the ‘noise’ of the world, or rather people too much and even recently scaled back my work to 3days/wk to allow me quiet time away from the workplace and people.
    I too have this super-sentitive antenna that can feel people’s negativity etc. I find it overwhelming and just love being at home in my quiet sanctuary. Others wouldn’t know that and would probably see me as very outgoing but it can be too much ‘blah blah blah’. I won’t go on because having read your articles I see – you get it. I think I’ve found ‘my people’. Thank you javascript:ac_smilie(‘8)’)
    8) 8) 8)

  36. Jeanne says:

    Thank you, I had always thought that depression was the reason for so many things, and though I do have a chemical imbalance and am depressed it is so nice to read this and to understand more of my personality. I can understand now why with my experiences in life why I cloister myself away, do not go to huge events, and always prefer one on one conversation plus a host of other things. Thank you so very much I now know there are others like me and I am not weird

  37. Tom says:

    So nice to have read this article and not feel so alone. But I do feel alone in my feelings when I’m around other people. It seems like everyone else that I come across are not HSP & introverted like I am.

    I am 56 years old and felt like I’ve been introverted all of my life. I’ve also felt sensitive, but I feel a lot more sensitive these days. Especially about health issues. I have been in great health all of my life, but lately there are some possible issues that are upsetting me.

    If I hear of someone having a health problem, or read about one, I get very upset. It’s like a sick feeling in my stomach. It would be that way even if it happened to someone I didn’t like too much.

    I guess I can handle the part of me being introverted. So many times I’ve wanted to change but never did. But it’s nice that these days, there’s so much being published about introverts. In the US the culture encourages being extroverted while it discourages introversion.

    As far as being a HSP is concerned, I wish that I can turn that off. Because I really hate it. I didn’t used to be highly sensitive. But, on the other hand, I have become more sympathetic towards others than I used to be. In the past I used to think that if someone were going through a hard time, it was all of their fault.
    I don’t think that way anymore because I have seen bad things happen to good people. Of course, we are all not perfect.

  38. Husband of an HSP says:

    This was a fantastic article as I am the complete opposite of you. I am an extrovert and thrive off of stimulation. However I married an HSP and we have kids. We struggle with family events, but these comments were awesome as it it not only helps me protect her, but also ways that can help her thrive and for my family to love her. This stuff is so hard to understand when it’s not you and all of these snippets of life found in these comments were extremely helpful

    • carla says:

      thank you for posting. it’s nice to hear that you care about protecting your wife and helping your family understand each other. rare and lovely.

      having just finished a three day family event and hearing, over and over that i am too sensitive and feeling the strong disgust in my mother’s voice, it is refreshing to read your comments. thank you again.

  39. Libby Walkup says:

    Thanks for this. I definitely relate. I moved to Chicago two years ago and bah. All the noise and smells. I’m going crazy and hope to move in the summer. I’ve also sabotaged many relationships with roommates. Thank god for the resilient friends. Based in my readings of women with Aspergers, who can be highly sensitive to a person’s energy and the ways in which girls with aspergers learn to function in the NT world, I don’t know if I’m just a HSP introvert or have aspergers. But there’s def something going on. (Help4aspergers is a great website to find out how aspergers develops in women under the different social expectations of women to boys.) the real question is – it’s my birthday tomorrow and I don’t know how to celebrate. I’m miserable at the moment because after two masters degrees I can’t find work and won’t be able to pay rent. The only job I’ve found is a 15 hour a week job at a restaurant that – well – you can imagine makes my head explode. So part of me doesn’t want to celebrate for fear that I bring the whole crowd down. then I think that’ll only make me more miserable. So I start to think of cheap, free things that I’d like to do, but start thinking the few friends I have here won’t all want to do what I want to do whatever that is. And then I realize I spend too much time accommodating others. And go back to wanting to be alone. So basically I’m a miserable mess at the moment. Not generally. But now.

    So how do other introverts spend their birthdays?

  40. Leigh LaRue says:

    I sometimes worry about myself. Going out into public is so rough for me. I am so happy being at home with my cats, listening to soothing music in the background, etc. It seems like everything and everyone annoys me. I avoid most social gatherings and turn down invitations and barely communicate with most people unless I have to. And, I’ve even turned my best friend into a phone friend instead of hanging out. I’m not married and don’t date. And, as of recently I’ve also been spending A lot less time at my computer, and I never watch TV. I’ll watch a movie off Netflix most nights before going to bed. I’m self-employed and work from home and wouldn’t have it any other way. And, instead of handling the phones myself I’ve hired someone else to deal with the customers, as I just can’t stand dealing with them. LOL. Wow, I sound pathetic and crazy, but that’s the way it is…

  41. Good says:

    :p I find it hard even to have a relationship, let alone entertain the idea of kids. I never felt comfortable at school, in jobs or any place where there was enforced jollity and people tried to push me to “join in”. I make my own fun, generally by creating my own music and performing it – I am a compelling performer onstage but a computer geekoffstage, who sits in a darkened room mixing backing tracks. I was married for 7 years and I don’t know how I did it. Whilst part of me wants a committed relationship, the other half shudders at the thought.

  42. Janelle says:

    Well I’m the minority minority… The extravert highly sensitive person… Only now am I starting to recognise and accept the sensitive traits without trying to hide from the world and fix myself, while I appear so social and confident on the surface… It’s hard with a foot in each world / I love working with people and helping them but after time with my clients and absolutely drained… Previously I formed unhealthy food and alcohol coping skills to allow for time out and escape from a deeply processing mind and a very active dream life….
    I’ve now moved to a quiet creek location where home is my quiet haven… I go fishing and meditate and much prefer ALOT of time to myself and NEED it. Least now instead of feeling neurotic by needing quiet and dim lights… I can embrace it, learn to manage my agitation with unchosrn sensory input… And enjoy being sensitive and also needing outgoing fun at times…. Trying to focus more on the positives… When I feel joy I feel it heightened, my appreciation and connection in nature is amazing and I can embrace all my intuition and de ja vu.

  43. Joel says:

    Not to be a wet blanket but little comfort comes from knowing many are similar. Three decades of being the man, the leader, the executive, the manager, the provider all while there has been no room for telling the truth. Can’t tell a colleague or subordinate the REAL reason why I’m tearing up inexplicably in a one-on-one meeting, or why I flew off the handle another day, or why I needed to ask if it was ok to have curtains installed on my office window-wall, or why I need to ‘detox’ alone from the sounds and smells of events I have to attend. I needed to know about HSP 30 years ago so I could have chosen to become a writer. Thanks anyway.

  44. Joel says:

    Not to be a wet blanket but little comfort comes from knowing many are similar. Three decades of being the man, the leader, the executive, the manager, the provider all while there has been no room for telling the truth. Can’t tell a colleague or subordinate the REAL reason why I’m tearing up inexplicably in a one-on-one meeting, or why I flew off the handle another day, or why I needed to ask if it was ok to have curtains installed on my office window-wall, or why I need to ‘detox’ alone from the sounds and smells of events I have to attend. I needed to know about HSP 30 years ago so I could have chosen to become a writer. Thanks anyway.

  45. Steph says:

    This describes me so well, I would love to have a little advice from you, since we share similarities.
    I just realized I am HSP introvert, I already knew I was an introvert. I am having such a hard time in my new job. All my coworkers are extroverts it’s a nightmare and I seat besides the most extrovert woman of them all. I am getting acne and feel drained, I don’t do so much work but just knowing all those people never keep quiet makes me so stressed out. Now even more since I do writing projects too. I am thinking of telling my boss if I can seat elsewhere but I need to find a valid excuse. They don’t understand the concept of introversion they just think introverts are weird. They even say it and ridicule anything there is to exist, including introversion, since those are the type of conversations they have, out loud in the fabulous open plan office lol and small number of employees, so it’s quite informal. Please give me some advice to reduce my social anxiety, I try to talk but it’s so hard and working from home is not an option for me right now I just started working there. I use earphones, will start using earplugs. I am in my 20s and single, I have only dated introverts but lately all I meet is extroverts, I can’t stand them. I would rather be alone than with an extrovert. I don’t want to have kids, since they irritate me. I can go out and socialize with friends, I have periods of extroversion but I end up drained for months so I don’t attempt to utilize my energy long periods of time, trying to be an extrovert. I hate being like this but I can’t help it. At work they might think I’m weird, good thing I don’t care. I go there to work not to talk nonsense. Please help, I need to stop this stress :cry

  46. HSP spouse says:

    Is there a forum for spouses of HSP people? It can be a very lonely life. Very.

  47. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this , am really learning to accept me. People think am wierd and they feel awkward around me, so they dont visit me often. Even if they do, they don’t stay long. They feel i can’t do some things, they underestimate my worth and capability. Also, i’ve got very few friends,am shy, indecisive. It can be depressing sometimes. I don’t get much respect that i deserve because i can be too nice and not stand up for myself. I’m really trying to improve .
    I will be getting married by the end of the year. It was so funny when People tell me that they were surprised and could not believe i could get married to a very tall, handsome, responsible guy and a Doctor for that matter. He loves and understand me.

    Help me Lord to be the best I can be!

  48. 1 INTJ WOMAN says:

    just sad that it is life including the one’s that write about it! :cry

  49. Lucy says:

    This was very interesting as i would class myself as quite extravert with an introvert side. My mother is definitetly HSP introvert but she’s becoming more and more extreme. I understand her somewhat so I never pressure her into anything but it was pretty difficult growing up with her ‘rules’ … no noise, having to leave her alone, generally being loving but then turning for no apparent reason … if you are an HSP mother, I can only suggest you discuss this with your children in age appropriate ways because it is quite disorientating for children … I’m only just discovering and understanding my mother but I’m 45 and she’s 72 … so we’ve wasted a lot of time and had a lot of heartache along the way ….

  50. Kimberly Joy says:

    Great article and very informative.

    I feel like I’m half and half (half introvert, half extrovert) depending on my mood. For example, back in high school, I was the super loud-hyper-comedian in the hallways at recess or lunch time with the other students. I would talk to almost anyone and it didn’t bother me if they were part of the “popular” crowd or the “nerd” crowd. I believe that was my extrovert side. But if I had Anxiety about something, I would worry and over-think E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. and I wouldn’t want to be around people. And of course, being loud one day and then super quiet the next, people, teachers, etc would always think something terrible has happened to me. I finally “learned” to just say, “I’m okay, I’m just tired.” I only learned (through a psychologist) that I have medium to high Anxiety at age 24 when I would start crying at work and it wasn’t even lunch time yet : / I’m not completely sure what triggers my Anxiety, but now if I have negative thoughts, I just have to find my headphones and listen to music or sing. Recently a friend on Facebook told me that she hummed a tune to feel better and that helps too. Anyway, I’m on this never-ending journey on keeping myself on a positive track through eating healthy, exercising, reading books and hanging out with loved ones. It’s a process, but once we are aware of it, nothing can stop us 😀

  51. Nids says:

    I feel so relief when i read this.. So happy, that I know that I’m not weird.. I know that i’m an introvert person, and now, i know i’m hyper sensitive too.. It’s not really hard now that i know what is happening to me.. But it’s still hard when your friends know that you are an introvert but still treat you as an extrovert.. And you know that was a mistakes, and made me stress easier.. One of them studied psychology and the other had a very vast knowledge about human behaviors, why they still treat me like that? Like i was one of them? (They’re extrovert, btw) I love them very much, but i don’t know what to do, because i feel like they started to leave me. And i know they think that i have such a low self esteem and can’t stand for myself, even when they didn’t mean to, but i can feel it. It’s really hard for me.. Thank you.. Sorry if my English is bad.. It’s not my primary language..

  52. nids says:

    I feel so relief when i read this.. So happy, that I know that I’m not weird.. I know that i’m an introvert person, and now, i know i’m hyper sensitive too.. It’s not really hard now that i know what is happening to me.. But it’s still hard when your friends know that you are an introvert but still treat you as an extrovert.. And you know that was a mistakes, and made me stress easier.. One of them studied psychology and the other had a very vast knowledge about human behaviors, why they still treat me like that? Like i was one of them? (They’re extrovert, btw) I love them very much, but i don’t know what to do, because i feel like they started to leave me. And i know they think that i have such a low self esteem and can’t stand for myself, even when they didn’t mean to, but i can feel it. It’s really hard for me.. Thank you.. Sorry if my English is bad.. It’s not my primary language..

  53. Kate says:

    I have known I was an introvert, but it wasn\’t until today that I learnt of the \”energy\” thing associated with that.
    I have been beating myself up for years over my \”symptoms\” because I didn\’t understand them. Thank you for sharing. It really bridges a gap (well, more like a massive chasm) I have felt between myself and other people. Knowledge is power!

  54. Aubrey says:

    For me, knowing is not comforting enough. Life still continues to go on and all you get told is that your too sensitive…. its too much to deal with. I honestly dont even wnt to be me anymore. Its too painful.

  55. Florina says:

    From my childhood I knew that I\’m very introvert an highly sensitive person. On top of it, my personality is very timid and dull. My way of talking is , what people consider to be \”sweet\” , but not \”smart\”. I am too much soft spoken and generally my speech sounds like lack of confidence. My nature is \”conflict avoiding\” and I generally avoid confrontations and argument until I find the issue extremely important to me. I feel uncomfortable even if someone else in my apartment fights or argue even if I am not involved in those fights! However, this kind of nature gave me an impression of a weak person. I have been bullied by many of my roommates and colleagues. People just love to make fun of me on my face or even insult me because they know that I am not going to insult them back nor I can be rude. What they call as \”sense of humor\” to make fun of me, if same words someone else tells them, I bet they can not tolerate them. It\’s not that I don\’t have self respect but I feel very -VERY uncomfortable to speak rudely or even little loudly. I gradually hated my personality and tried to change it badly. Now I somewhat ACT as being confident, smart, try to speak loudly and answer people on their face. But in deep down I feel so uncomfortable, my heartbeats and breathing increase like anything, and I can\’t tell you how much stress I experience in my mind when I have to tell someone that I feel offensive when they insults me and when I have to argue back when people try to bully me. The world will be a really better place to live when people understand that an introvert who doesn\’t like to talk and argue much is not a weak person and it\’s not OKAY to bully him/her just because he/she will not answer back in the same rude way.

  56. Maggie says:

    I am an introvert and have been for as long as I can remember. Spending hours upon hours as a child in my room alone. My father being concerned about it once came and asked me, if I would not join them all watching tv, but long story short, I was not only needing the time to be alone but also hiding from my mother who in many words told me on many occasions that I was stupid, ugly and wished me dead! :sigh I remember after he left feeling so worried that I may have hurt his feelings but I just couldn’t force myself out of the room my younger sister and I shared ( which was trying as well since she was my mother’s favorite! )
    I find it odd that I LOVE Christmas, but the thought of having to go to family functions petrify me! Of course I was trying to convince myself I didn’t have to go this year if I didn’t want to but duty called! Not wanting my family to think I wanted nothing to do with them I felt I must go! So I did! It was pure hell. Sitting between an aunt and cousin who would not look at me directly , but chose to talk around me ( if there is such a thing ) made me feel ……….I have no way of describing how I felt because there are no words that could explain it. I’ve always had the feeling that my family endured my presence but if it were possible would not have me there at all. I found it hard to speak, and when I did, I came off sounding like a fool. It was the worst time of my life. Three days of socializing , today ,has me hiding in my home, phone disconnected, blinds drawn, should anyone knock I will not answer! I didn’t go last year to the Family Christmas because my mother keeps inviting distant relatives whom we haven’t seen or heard from in years. It use to be just the immediate family, My siblings and I and our off spring, but since my fathers passing she has taken this journey of asking every single relative she can think of to join in our once a year get together, which I use to like ( until the children started reaching adult hood and then a whole new crop of problems arose for me ) but not dread!
    I like facebook because I can take the time to express how I feel properly. Words do not fall from my lips ( or type ) without proper contemplation., which cannot be offered on a one on one conversation! But find that I also can be hurt easily by what others say or just totally ignore me.

  57. HM says:

    “introverts prefer meaningful one on one conversations to large group experiences”, this is the one part I disagree with in your post, but the remainder describes me extremely well. I get more stressed out in one-on-one situations than I do in groups, because then there is so much pressure on me to keep the conversation going. It makes me draw blanks, not knowing what to say next, and it’s highly embarrassing. In a group, at least I can “switch off” from time to time and just watch everyone else interact. Not a big, loud, partying group, but at a coffee shop or restaurant, I’d much rather be there with 3-4 other people than just one.

    • Crystal says:

      I thinkfeel this same way, HM
      I wonder what it is that differs us from them.
      Any one else agree? I do see this post is from 2014 (lol) 2 yrs later, better late than never I am 42 & still learning abt myself.

  58. Eccentric says:

    I have been learning alot in this subject area in last few years…as far as factual information.. from birth I always knew I was different than most… I presume the 15% & the 70% of introverts.. There is HSP, there are Highly Creatives and there are some that have one of these traits… and there are even fewer that have both. I can tell you.. I am highly creative, I am an introvert, I can deal with an occasional gathering here and there. When i was younger I just hid behind my extroverted friends…. As I have gotten older… I don’t have tolerance for any of the drama…. In fact the post about how introverts love FB and whatever else that was……… well i disagree… I hate social media displaying your life etc… So I have to say in my opionion if you like facebook with a few friends then that is one thing… but an Introvert is not going to become friends with 100 + strangers on Fb to play farmsville or share their life……….lol this is hilarious……extroverts play farmsville, and possibly a bored introvert…….. that is clearly not me…….. happy blogging….. happy 2014 all
    peace all… :zzz

  59. Laura Smith says:

    I love people, and am not shy when it comes to talking with strangers, co workers, executives, etc. But I don’t think any of these items classifies anyone as being strange.

    But why do people think you want to share a hotel room. Unless you are one of my sisters, or my husband, I do not want to share with you. There’s nothing wrong with some away time from other people. I had slumber parties as a kid. I’m an adult. I want my own room. Sometimes I feel it’s just the other person wanting to save money.

    As far as number 2 goes, communication means different things to different people. It’s good to know how people like to communicate. I too would rather email or text, and I’m from the baby boomer generation. But I know my Aunt loves phone calls and cards. I will make an effort for her to do both of these items. My sisters have always hated the phone as I also hate the phone. I finally brought both of them into the tech age by doing a family share plan with smartphones. One sister is not technical at all, but she loves it. And to my surprise will text me all the time when in the past, would almost never call. So, it’s fair to say I like to do it one way or another, but it doesn’t hurt to try another method once in awhile. Get out of your comfort zone.

    To me, my idea of people not caring is when they never make an effort for any type of communication and expect me to do all the communication legwork. I’ve dropped friend do to this. They never call, write, stop by. Oh, I’ll try for awhile, but when it’s always me, I reevaluate and then just drop them. I figure if they give a crap, they’ll reach out.

    I can’t relate to number 3. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, but it’s more of an annoyance than anything. I’m not afraid of being in one. I just like them less as I get older.

  60. Sonny says:

    Thank you so much for the article and the FB page! This is me through and through – especially the part about picking up on emotions and moods and crowds. “I’m extremely sensitive to other people’s moods; when someone is angry, judgmental or irritated, those emotions come through my skin and into my cells.” I tell people coming into my life this up front, but they can’t even begin to comprehend and then when you have someone who is a good projector on top of it – double the effect. I didn’t know there were so many of us out there or about HSP, but now I have a name for it and know I’m not so alone as I feel. Thank you, I look forward to reading more and having more to share with others so they understand better.

  61. LovesCrowds says:

    I just hope HSPs understand, when they suggest “let’s go out for a lovely dinner” that, just because this is a popular social activity doesn’t mean that it’s one that’s comfortable for everyone. I for one get very restless stuck in the dinner-drinks-brunch-lunch-coffee-dinner cycle revolving around food and beverages. 1) having that stuff in my face gets me anxious about dietary choices so much that I end up eating responsibly beforehand and then just sitting at the table later 2) as a highly creative person I find it frustrating that we can’t come up with anything more original and 3) barring a truly unique dining or bar experience, the food and beverages are really just facilitators for conversation, and I just don’t enjoy having to sit across from someone for an hour feeling pressured to constantly converse, as I’m not comfortable with meaningful one-on-ones with any more than maybe 2 people in my life anyway. It’s fine if others like that, but I don’t think society realizes just how much some people absolutely hate this and would rather be engaged in actual activity of some kind that doesn’t require so much gabbing.

  62. Lisa says:

    This article is very interesting and describes me to a T! I have always thought of myself as weird, but now I know I am not alone. I especially found it interesting that you are highly sensitive to other people’s moods, that is exactly how I am!!! I work in a grocery store part time, and if I’ve had a busy day, I have to go into my room, shut my door and be alone so I can regroup. People tire me out!! I can feel the moods of different customers as soon as they push their carts to my line. (I’m a cashier). Also, I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed when plans change. It is so weird, not only do I hate being rushed, but I get really agitated when I have to go from one activity to another, like for example, if I am at work all day, I just have to stop home first to change my clothes and regroup before I go somewhere else. I get overwhelmed, I am not one who can be on the “go” all the time like other people. I just completed student teaching, and it was extremely difficult for me. I am ADHD on top of being an extreme introvert. I was not comfortable teaching in someone else’s “classroom” “space”. I didn’t feel comfortable being myself when I knew I was being “judged” or “graded,”. It was a stressful fifteen weeks:), but I did it. If the teacher was nervous, I got nervous. If the students got upset, I got upset, it was so overwhelming. I am glad I read this article, maybe I am not so weird after all!

  63. Mario says:

    I believe the biggest relief for a highly sensitive person comes when he/she finally understands that there’re other people out there who are just like you, and that there’s nothing wrong with you! It definitely was for me. Great to read this article – we’re simply different than the rest of the world. (Hope that doesn’t sound too arrogant!)

  64. Dennis Teel says:

    i’m a male and also am a HSP.. i’m wondering if other HSP are like me are s into the holidays as I am-I don’t know about most HSP’s but i’m a Christmas fanatic.I love the Christmas season and begin shopping in the summer and I always put my tree up Thanksgiving night or later that night in the a.m side of the following day.i also prefer one best friend as opposed to a group of ‘good ‘friends..i’m mucha loner but not by choice.it has to do with my being an HSP. I seem to be one of the few if not only people in the area I live in that really enjoys Christmas and the entire season through.it actually overwhelms me..the music and lights and feelings..are there other HSP’s out there that feel that way about that time of the year ?

  65. Anon says:

    This article really help me identify my certain behaviour. It certainly helps me get over myself of being left out by people or being out of place by being more self-aware and self-accepting of my certain behaviour. Honestly, this help me breathe. I’m in a certain time where I got to be with lots of people. I will come to a level where I will not just be with many different types of people, but I got to actually talk to them. Talk means understanding them, talk means got to connect with them – and how can I understand and connect with them when all I really want to do is to get out of the place I am in, go to a place where I can be alone and be energized. This get me free from guilt of being called arrogant, snub and selfish – that is why there were times I compromised talking to people even when I really do not want to, and honestly those moments suck. Instead of remembering those people best because I certainly care about those people, all I had was that guilty feeling of wanting to be more alone than being with them. I wished I had asserted myself more at that time of backing off from them. If I may had done that, I would have been in better shape of talking with those people. Lesson learned in life.

  66. Anon says:

    Wow, relief just flooded over me as I have been so stressed this morning wondering why I feel so stressed for wanting to be on my own when someone close really wants to spend time with me. I have been feeling so guilty and now I get it. It’s not forever, even 24 hours would be nice. Not sure how to explain it to them as I feel I have to justify myself but the whole article you wrote rings true. Thank you on so many levels and hello to all you other hsp introverts, maybe we should hang out, occasionally obviously;)

  67. Jae says:

    Wow! This is me to the T. I thought maybe I just had intimacy issues or something. I love my own space and stay to myself. Its such a comforting thing.

  68. Montana says:

    Oh gosh finally. I’ve always tested 50:50 or 49:51/51:49 for introvert or extrovert but this article tells me (because i am HSP too) that i really am introvert, all these hings in the article are how those circumstances make me feel! Gives me some great peace of mind, thank you.

  69. Pamela says:

    I am so glad I found your blog. I really enjoy your articles and they are so reassuring. I’ve always felt like maybe there is something wrong with me because I know I have these traits. I am a highly sensitive introvert and I experience all of the things you mention. Auditory stimuli can be extremely distressing, especially after a long day of being around people. Peace and quiet is like medicine to my soul!

  70. Kim says:

    I stumbled across this article today. It may have been written in 2010, but this will always apply. I have owned being an introvert for a long time now, I’ve even embraced it and love it. I mean, it’s what makes ‘me’…ME. However, I’ve always gotten frustrated with how sensitive I am. Being an introvert is one thing but add in a huge dose of high sensitivity and some days I feel like a powder keg about to explode. I pick up on everyone’s feelings and emotions, and it’s exhausting. I get angry at how people act and how RUDE they are. Can we talk about rudeness? I’m so sensitive to it and can easily find it twenty times a day. I’m not close with many people. If you were to ask someone in my very small town, most would say they never heard of me. Others would say, “yeah, I know her but I don’t really KNOW her”. Then there are the people (mostly women) who would say I’m weird or strange. I am a good person. I’m kind and caring and would go to the ends of the earth for people who deserve it. But I just get exhausted with the high school attitude of many women in my small town. Many of them still have their little groups just like high school, the only difference is that we’re all too old for acne. I use humor quite a bit. I always have. I think it was cultivated in me from the time I was a child and dealing with some heavy things. That’s another thing that many women fail to get about me, my humor. I will joke about things that many of them take way too seriously. Anyway, I could go on and on. I swear I could write a book about struggles in this extraverted world but I simply want to say, thank you, Dr. Biali. Your article almost made me cry because I have been so frustrated lately about all of this. I don’t want to and never will be an extravert. I like who I am, some days I LOVE who I am, but it seems that the world is always turning their back on us Intros and making us out to be the weird ones over in the corner. I never see the opposite happening. Why can’t EVs realize we don’t need to be them? Your article just touched that place deep in my soul today that needed a little pat on the back. My faith tells me to reach out to people and to do good. I feel that I do but there are times where I struggle to even like some people. I also haven’t been getting a lot of precious quiet time lately, so that could be aggravating this situation too! haha. I definitely need to refuel and recharge. Thank you so much for all of this great information!

  71. Ruth says:

    I truly relate to this. Thank you : ) I had a similar experience to staying with a friend as you did. Actually a few times. But one time stands out the most as not only was I was a more extroverted friend but it was just a couple of months after my father had passed away so I needed more space than ever. At that time I was younger and I did not understand my needs, let alone my friend and I was deeply judged for ‘not being myself’ and ‘being negative.’ I was dealing with tons of thoughts and feelings to process and it didn’t take long to realise that I had invited hell through sharing space with another at that point in my journey and I was vilified for it by another, through what I now see was a lack of understanding the grief process and my introverted nature, leading to more personal confusion. But even now I wouldn’t share space with many people, except perhaps my sister now that we have worked through our differences and respect each other more. The older I get, due to my highly sensitive nature, I’m not even sure if I can have a partner. I love and enjoy the company of others and can be extroverted if I have time and space to recharge, but I would definitely need to communicate and be understood in being an hsp/total introvert and creative/writer, and needing more time and space than most to write, create art, think and feel without the intrusion of the thoughts and feelings of the world. I’m learning to understand myself better and feel less ‘weird’ thanks to open sharing like this. Thank you.

  72. MC says:

    I am visiting my in laws in Poland as I sit here. I love them. They are extremely kind and fun people. They would do anything for me. At the moment I have earplugs in and am in a bedroom upstairs “hiding”. My heart rate is racing and I am very stressed out. Why? My mother in-law walks around talking very loudly non-stop. She must speak more words in a day than anyone on the planet. To make matters worse, I don’t speak Polish so this loud noise is just that, noise. She will literally walk from room to room talking to apparently nobody. I feel horrible cause I can’t control my reaction to this over time. Maybe for a few days but then I go crazy. She must think I am an angry crazy person. I think she is a walking and talking zombie. Another thing that sets me apart from other people is smell. I am highly sensitive to certain smells. Chemicals, perfumes and cigarette smoke. Some perfumes are ok but some will burn my nostrils and give me anxiety making me feel crazy. If stuck in a room, I will become a monster. I shared an office with a woman who downed herself with perfume that bothered me. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I know I should have told her that her perfume was killing me but I did not have it in me. Instead, I just acted crazy. In my head I am thinking “why does she put so much on”, and “how can she like this smell” and “she is invading my right to breath fresh air”. Meanwhile the fact is she does not know it bothers me and why am I so moody around her. I learned to put ground coffee in front of my keyboard which would help a lot. I also always have earplugs with me. It is sad that it can affect my relationship with people I really like but I think the blame can be shared. People need to constantly self evaluate as I often do. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the ability to consider and evaluate everything like I think many introverts can. I believe nobody is perfect including my self. If I am doing something strange or annoying, please let me know. If I am driving I want my passengers to be comfortable. Am I hitting the breaks too hard. Am I jerking the steering wheel? Is my music too loud for you? I wish everyone was like that! Great article! I am feeling calm enough to go back downstairs now… I think! Wish me luck!

  73. Kathy says:

    I just read this article and it makes me feel very relieved. I enjoy my time at work but when there is a social gathering I sometimes go but dread it and leave as soon as I could or make an excuse as to why I can’t go. There are times when I feel left out if I’m not invited to an event but then I realize the reason I’m not invited is because people assume I won’t go. I have about 3 friends I enjoy being around plus my family. When my kids were younger and they wanted friends over I couldn’t wait until they left. I enjoy my quiet, relaxed family time. I am on Facebook but sometimes get annoyed when friends post all these pictures of events and gatherings they are attending. I wondered why my live was so boring. Now I know. It’s my choice.

  74. Christopher says:

    I am a little late to the party, but I just found this article today. It really spoke to me in so many ways. For years I felt something was wrong with me because I didn’t like large groups or concerts and because I hated small talk and much preferred deep conversation. This thinking of being weird or messed up has made for a painful decade of graduating high school, going to a large college, dating someone with children and various other things. I tried to fit into the extrovert ideal, thinking that I just needed to change and that something was wrong with me and then I would be happy. To top everything off, I also consider myself a HSP because of articles like these and the book by Elaine Aron. These articles and comments on blogs like this have helped me so much to realize that I am not a failure. There is nothing wrong with me. Unfortunately, the pain is real. The past 10 years of beating myselfself up has left some scars, and the pain of the breakup has made me afraid to ever try again. I find solice in these blogs, at least knowing I am not alone. That I can heal. That I am not weird. That I am surrounded by those who are like me. Thank you.

  75. Vicky says:

    I find that I love being around people and do get energised by them, but then too much I begin to feel overwhelmed, emotional and withdraw. What does this make me?

  76. ARANTXA says:

    THANK SO MUCH! YOU HELPED ME A LOT! I was thinking if I had metal diseases or social anxiety but I didn’t fit with the terms.
    I LOVE being surrounded it by funny/smart/sensitive/spiritual/honest people and who have the same beliefs than me (stubborn,maybe?) I LOVE having funny, deep and meaningful conversations, I love to talk (a looooot hahaha) but when I’m surrounded it by people who don’t share my beliefs or when I am with people for a long time… I freak out and stress myself so much that sometimes we end up discussing (this happens with my parents)… HOW CAN I DEAL WITH SITUATIONS LIKE THIS? IT’S A HSP THING??? WHAT CAN I DO???
    THANK U, I WOULD LOVE YOUR HELP! So much love!

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