According to researcher and psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, one in five people is a highly sensitive person (also known as a HSP). On her website, she explains that such a person is easily overwhelmed, avoids conflict, works to find calmness in stressful situations, and has a rich inner life. More often than not, such a person may be seen as “shy” – yet there is much more to being sensitive than a single personality trait. In fact, here are just a few things every super sensitive person may want to tell you…

1. Just because I’m sensitive, that doesn’t mean I’m weak. 

In fact, just the opposite. My sensitivity has paved the way for my intuition to flourish, acting as my suit of armor while I make my way through this beautifully chaotic world.

2. “Grow a backbone” is not a helpful response to my problems.

I have a backbone, thank you very much. It’s just hard for me to use it, but that doesn’t make me any less of a person. It simply means that I don’t like conflict; that I would prefer to take a deep breath, handle a situation calmly, and move on when faced with negativity.

3. I can’t help that I feel everything so deeply. 

There’s nothing I can do about this fact. No matter what the emotion – joy, sadness, anger, fear – I can feel it travel all the way to the center of my soul. It’s a seriously powerful part of me.

4. Yes, I will notice subtle changes and I will be affected by them. 

If you’re talking and your tone even slightly changes, I will notice it. In fact, it might even throw me off and cause me to forget what I was going to say. While this is happening, my brain is likely trying to assess the situation and figure out what such a change means.

5. Overthinking everything is just a part of who I am. 

Especially when it comes to the realm of emotions, I will firmly evaluate the who, what, when, where, and why behind any and every circumstance. That’s because I like to have a deep understanding of everything around me, since it affects me so easily.

6. I crave meaningful relationships in my life because they offer stability.

Being able to trust and depend on someone takes a lot of the guesswork out of a relationship. If I can trust you, I don’t have to overthink everything you say and do, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. As a result, I won’t have any superficial connections with people. I much prefer profoundly significant relationships with a few people over flippant relationships with a large crowd.

7. Change, I hate you. 

Remember how I said that I’m affected by, like, everything? Well, just imagine what happens when something major (or even minor, tbh) changes in my life. Yeah, it’s basically an emotional rollercoaster.

8. My sensitivity is my superpower, since it makes me more sympathetic to your feelings. 

Before you even tell me how you’re feeling, I’ll likely be able to pick up on it and adjust accordingly. If you’re sad, I’ll feel sad. If you’re worried about a certain event, I’ll suddenly feel anxious. When you’re happy, I can’t help but smile. It’s almost as if your emotions permeated the space around you and seeped into my being.

9. Though I may be sensitive, that doesn’t automatically mean I’m an introvert

Just because it’s hard for me to deal with change and conflict and certain emotions, that doesn’t mean I like to hide under the covers 24/7. I like to be around those I love, to have a good time, to go on adventures, to make memories. It all depends on the day.

10. I hate to be overstimulated and prefer calm, low-key environments. 

If you invite me to your raging house party and I politely decline, please don’t think I don’t like you or that I’m antisocial. It’s just that I’ll likely feel overwhelmed in a cluttered, loud environment – especially if I’m feeling emotionally drained that day.

11. Conflict seriously sucks. 

I despise making snap decisions that could potentially have lasting repercussions, which is exactly why conflict and I aren’t exactly meant to be. In other words: If someone approaches me with anger and dramatics, I will 100% shut down. That’s because I’m trying to protect myself from an emotional avalanche.

12. I’m sensitive, but that doesn’t mean my feelings and thoughts aren’t valid. 

I am not a girl crying wolf. I do not “take everything personally.” My sensitivity does not make me unreliable.

13. I can’t just stop being sensitive. 

I’m sorry (not sorry) to say that my sensitivity is here to stay. It has made me stronger, more creative, greatly sympathetic, and has helped me fine-tune my instincts. Though it may make my life difficult at times, my sensitivity is part of me and that’s pretty awesome.

BONUS: Being sensitive is a different experience for everyone, since we are all unique snowflakes. This is just one personal take on sensitivity.

 

This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com.