For almost my entire life, I have felt misunderstood, out of place… anything but normal. I felt very alone the majority of the time.
But come to find out… I’m not completely alone.
I am a HSP/HSS!
As I said, I have felt like an outsider all of my life. It wasn’t always how people treated me, but just how I felt in general. I didn’t feel like people saw the world the same way I did. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I just by chance, came across an article talking about Highly Sensitive Persons. After I read that article I felt… validated.
I always had a list of things I would rotate through, asking myself constantly…
“Why does it irritate me so much to go to the mall?”
“Why do I seem to not handle stress as well as others?”
“Why do other people NOT see what I see in situations or people?!”
Alright, the list is actually pretty long when I think about it, so we’ll leave it at those… point made.
I felt like there were so many things that bothered me or that I picked up on that people around me just seemed oblivious to. It’s almost like I had this super power of heightened alertness or intuition. Come to find out… it is somewhat of a super power.
Let’s just think about it for a minute. HSP is a survival trait. We are more aware than other people around us to the subtleties of our environment. We process things on a deeper level than most. So, yeah… it is like a super power. Unfortunately, having a super power means we have to have SOMETHING that makes us not so damn perfect. Since we think deeper, feel things more and have that heightened sense of our surroundings, we can find ourselves very overstimulated, overwhelmed, stressed out or depressed.
Now, I felt very validated on one hand, but it still didn’t explain the other side to me. I don’t like the mundane, every day “normal” lifestyle. Yes, I need my space, I need to not go to the mall, I have my subtlety super power, but I CRAVE change. I need something to get me out of my box and be exciting. So, being just HSP doesn’t fit that part at all. Well, that’s when I discovered something called HSS, High Sensation Seeking. Yes, that part sounds like the other side of me.
Yes, it is a contradiction when you read all the information out there about the two. It happens though… it happens. Someone made an analogy that involves cats… and I am a huge fan of cats so I’m going to use it. Your cute cat comes up and wants you to pet him. He’s paying attention to you finally, so you drop everything and love on that cute furry angel- SCRATCH, BITE, HISSSS! aaaaand the moment is over. What a jerk! Well, no… more than likely he just got a little petting aggression (not to say the other 98% of the time he’s not plotting yours or someone else in your household’s demise). He wanted some love, but found himself a little overstimulated and lashed out. If you’re HSP/HSS you can completely relate to that. We want something exciting, to be impulsive, but our other side is hesitant, needs some time to think about it. Or we go ahead and do it and then we’re over stimulated and lash out (in our own ways).
These two can compliment each other. We do exciting, yet calculated things. We take adventures, but also take the time to take it all in in a quiet place. We get to experience the world in different ways than most other people can. We think deeply and also challenge ourselves.
Once we learn to harness our super powers the possibilities are limitless!