My little guy is HIGHLY SENSITIVE. So what does that even mean? Well in recent years i have learned that high sensitivity is a personality trait and anyone with this trait has a very sensitive nervous system. In other words, my little guy processes information from the senses more deeply and more thoroughly than those without this trait. Research shows that 1 in 5 people have this personality trait, and MY LITTLE GUYS IS ONE.
He has a KEEN AWARENESS about what is happening in the world around him. Things that others are able to ignore, he can’t . He sees more, feels more, smells more and thinks more than the rest of us. I still remember when he was about 4 years old and he would walk by the bushes in front of our house and all he could think about were the bumblebees making that buzzing sound. He couldn’t walk by without making it known that those bees were there… and we quickly responded with “there’s nothing there.” It wasn’t until months later that we found a huge bee hive in one of the bushes. We never heard it, but he did. Having a keen awareness also means having the ability to think deeply about something… making him a deep, intelligent, intuitive child.
He EXPERIENCES INTENSELY. He feels very intensely. HSPs experience amazing HIGHS and challenging LOWS. Something that may worry others or make them sad for a bit is overwhelming for my little guy. And when something happens to him or others, the feeling WON’T GO AWAY. It practically ruins his whole day because he can’t shut that feeling off. And pain, oh he feels it! More than others do! I still remember a trip to the beach about 4 years ago and he got a sticker on his foot. He yelled so loud and shed so many tears over this teeny tiny sticker. He felt the pain intensely. And the rest of us, we couldn’t figure out how that small little thing could make him feel so much. Experiencing intensely only leads to compassion and empathy for others… characteristics shared by many wonderful leaders.
Being highly sensitive means “OVERLOAD.” He is so aware of his surroundings and feels intensely so of course he is going to get overwhelmed. And so, HSPs like to retrieve to a quiet space. They like to TUNE OUT the world to get rid of the overwhelming feelings they experience. Now it makes sense why my my little guy always has his headphones on. His reason… he doesn’t have to hear everything else. And this is probably the reason why he prefers time alone in his room than being at a busy mall. He is happy on his own.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME? The truth is that I always knew that my son is highly sensitive. He didn’t become it, he is that. I just didn’t know there was a name for it. And so, now that I know I am a much better parent to him. I do my best to understand him and not expect him to be like someone else. IMAGINE how wonderful the WORLD would be if everyone understood highly sensitive people. Chances are there is someone close to you that has this trait too!
Our world needs well-raised HSPs. “WHAT COULD WE NEED MORE RIGHT NOW THAN PEOPLE WHO THINK CAREFULLY, FEEL DEEPLY, NOTICE THE SUBTLE DETAILS, AND END UP HAVING THE BIG PICTURE?” (E. Aron 2002)
I know how much our world needs people like my little guy. And I can promise you that I will do my very best to raise him well. I’m sharing this with you so that you know. So that you know what it means to be highly sensitive. And so if you know of a child like mine, you know they have this very special trait, one that you may not know much about YET, but once you do you will know how truly wonderful they are to KNOW.