Highly sensitive people do things differently, especially when we’re talking about relationships.
Be it romantic or platonic, highly sensitive people tend to have their own set of rules and insecurities that made them so unique.
Of course, we can’t choose to be sensitive or to toughen up. It depends on different things that happen throughout our lives.
From what I’ve seen, people tend to think that someone who’s highly sensitive is also weak. In reality, highly sensitive people are the strongest individuals out there. They go through so much on a daily basis.
Because of that, I have compiled a list of things highly sensitive people do differently so we can understand them better.
This list can also serve to better understand yourself and figure out if you’re one of these sensitive souls.
1. They process emotions differently
This is a given. Highly sensitive people experience every emotion on a greater scale.
They cry more easily, their emotions can linger for days, and they get triggered in the wink of an eye.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to see these changes in their heart. They are very silent hurricanes.
Having said that, someone who’s highly sensitive won’t want to show those emotions so freely.
They’ve been criticized by society and believe that it’s wrong to do so.
The truth is that these people are more empathetic and thoughtful, which leads them to a very unique experience of emotions.
You’ll know if this is true for you if your friends don’t understand your perception and experience of emotions.
To them, you’re probably overreacting, even though you know that your emotions are valid.
2. They get overwhelmed easily
The higher their stress level becomes, the easier it is for them to become overwhelmed by stuff.
For example, when they have a lot of tasks to do, they have a hard time figuring out what they want to do first.
That’s why they appreciate it when they can follow a leader who can give them some direction.
They can get easily overwhelmed by other things as well.
For example, when they’re in a crowded space and there’s loud music, it can become too much for them very quickly.
The higher their stress levels become in these situations, the harder it is to talk to them.
They’ll become visibly affected to the point where they might even have a panic attack.
3. They need time to adjust to change
Change isn’t easy for anyone.
We all struggle with change in different ways, but highly sensitive people have a much bigger problem when it comes to this.
Change makes them highly uncomfortable because they have established a specific lifestyle that favors their sensitive nature.
Even positive changes, such as getting their dream job or moving into their dream home, makes them feel miserable.
They get all shook up and want their old, comfortable life back.
Negative changes can even activate their fight or flight reflex to the point where they will either want to do something about it right away or run out of the situation and never look back.
For us, that sounds a little bit overly dramatic, but for someone who’s highly sensitive, it’s quite a common occurrence.
4. They grieve differently
As I mentioned at the beginning, the emotions of highly sensitive people tend to linger for a longer period of time.
That’s one of the reasons they’re also more prone to anxiety and depression.
There have been studies that show how people who are highly sensitive are more prone to mental illness in general.
Imagine having your natural response to loss linger inside you for weeks, sometimes even months or years.
Depending on the person, they may handle grief by either confiding in someone or by holding it all in.
People who opt to grieve on their own tend to feel a lasting influence of that grief. Their entire life can transform from the impact of that one loss.
5. They’re able to recognize other people’s discomfort
Because of their obvious empathy, highly sensitive people are more likely to recognize the discomfort of others.
Without saying a word, they can sense when someone isn’t feeling well.
They can discern when someone needs to head out for a breath of fresh air or if they need the lights dimmed. Things like these aren’t obvious to others.
That’s why it’s so important to have highly sensitive people around us. They understand things without having to ask.
So the next time you see someone wordlessly stand up and turn down the volume, just know that they’ve probably sensed someone else’s discomfort.
If you’re a sensitive soul, you might even be able to detect when someone’s hurt. They don’t even have to tell you anything, you just know it.
6. They manage conflict differently
Have you ever heard of someone who starts crying when they’re angry? Well, those stories are of highly sensitive people.
They get overwhelmed by emotions the very moment they get mad or when someone else is mad at them.
People like this tend to avoid conflict at all costs, but some go straight into them to challenge themselves.
You’ll find that sensitive people tend to take more time before fighting their battles.
If they get sucked into a conflict before they have thought about their emotions and every else around them, they freeze up.
Situations like these aren’t easy to handle for them, that’s why they may come to you to talk about an issue that happened weeks before.
7. It takes them longer to make decisions
Highly sensitive people never let themselves fall into a bottomless pit of all-consuming emotions.
Instead, they are constantly weighing their options between logic and emotion.
The process of making decisions is especially hard for them because they really want to make the right decision.
The thing is, they don’t just think about their own issues or what the outcome could mean for them.
They’re considering how it might impact everyone around them as well.
It takes them so long to make a decision because they have everyone’s best interest in mind.