What Does It Mean to Be a Highly Sensitive Person?

What Does It Mean to Be a Highly Sensitive Person?

Do you feel things more deeply than others seem to? Are you easily overwhelmed by crowds and stimuli? Do you at times need to hide away and escape for some needed self care? If so, you might be a highly sensitive person—a term for those who are believed to have a deeper central nervous system sensitivity to emotional, physical, or communal stimuli.

The term highly sensitive person (HSP) was first coined in the mid-1990s by psychologists Elaine Aron and Arthur Aron and since then both interest in and further verification of their findings has grown exponentially.

A highly sensitive person is someone who is deeply affected by his or her environment. That can include sounds, crowds, and especially the actions and emotions of other people in close proximity. While being an HSP can mean one gets more easily hurt or offended, it can also mean the opposite: that the HSP is more in tune and receptive to positive subtleties as well.

"By incorporating my caring and empathetic nature into my work, who I am and how I live are in alignment."

Most highly sensitive people correlate being a HSP with having a higher degree of empathy, compassion, and intuitive connection with others. Most say they can feel people’s feelings — even if they are a continent away. They are sensitive to other people’s experiences in a heightened way — including feeling for them when they witness negative talk towards them.

HSPs are all too familiar with a daily life bathed in stress, emotional taxation, worry, and experiences of overwhelm. But their heightened emotional and social sensitivity is not a weakness. It’s a strength. There are immense advantages to being a highly sensitive person:

  1. HSPs often have an uncanny ability to relate to creativity and community building. Many HSPs choose to channel their sensitivities into making art — whether that means a piano composition, a speech, a sketch, a poem, or a book. Many HSPs have also been gifted with the ability to connect with others at a very deep level and empower them to embrace their own stories and gifts.
  2. HSPs see the world through tri-color lenses. Their ability to see degrees and depths of emotions that no one else sees enriches the world—elevating everything around them.
  3. HSPs are huge proponents of self love and self care. They feel the emotive and personal lack in those around them, making them the best arm bearers in the fight toward more empowering self love and self care disciplines in the lives of those around them. 
  4. HSPs make the best leaders. Their ability to see and feel at a level so few have allows them to lead from wells of compassion, insight, and instinct that few can boast of. 

There’s no harm or shame in being a highly sensitive person or an empathetic person. The harm comes from judging oneself (or others) for being one, the other, or in many cases, both. It might not always be easy being a highly sensitive person, and many will have to find ways to cope and thrive in this often overwhelming world. But I assure you, your sensitivity is comprised of great beauty that the world earnestly needs.

As a case in point, our founder Melody Godfred is a highly sensitive person, and credits being an HSP with empowering her to launch her self love movement, Fred and Far. “By incorporating my caring and empathetic nature into my work, who I am and how I live are in alignment. As a result, I no longer worry that people may consider me to be overly caring or empathetic because my livelihood literally depends on me embracing these parts of myself,” Godfred shares. 

“I’m lucky and proud to say that I’ve already started this movement with the Self Love Pinky Ring and Fred and Far. I truly believe that if every woman went into her childhood, adolescence, and beyond knowing that she was whole, worthy, chosen and loved — regardless of her relationship status — we would alleviate a lot of trauma and pain in this world. To create a generation of self-loving women: this is my mission and life’s work. And it’s all been made possible through my HSP gifting.”

For the full interview with Melody Godfred about being an HSP visit thrive global.


Want to learn more about our self love sisterhood? We invite you to join our Self Love Movement and experience the magic that choosing yourself will bring to your life, and into the lives of everyone around you, because self love fuels all love. And if you need a sparkling daily reminder to choose yourself by practicing self love and self care, make sure to check out the one and only Self Love Pinky Ring.

Shop Self Love Pinky Ring