A highly sensitive person is characterized by his/her aversion for anything coarse or loud. The nervous system of such people is so programmed that they can pick up the most subtle behavioral or situational cues almost accurately. They know exactly what you have in mind, even if your mouth speaks something else.
This can be quite unnerving. They are often perceived as introverted and shy, although it may not be so―they open up once they get comfortable in their surroundings, the catch is that their nerves are so finely tuned that they can sense unpleasantness, conflict, aggression, disagreement, fear, suspicion, and all such complex emotions in the air around them.
Highly sensitive people make up about one-fifth of the entire world population, and these individuals process sensory information very thoroughly, and in much depth and detail. Such people are backstage technicians who do all the hard work but seldom get appropriately recognized due to their tendency of maintaining a low profile.
This trait is attributed to a different biological wiring of their nervous systems which impart an innate sensitiveness, as stated by Carl Jung, and, besides humans, this trait can also be seen in many animals that rank higher on the evolutionary scale.
Here are some questions you need to answer:
- Do you have an inner world and daydream of an alternative life?
- Are you good with details?
- Are you okay with last-minute activities?
- Do you like violent movies?
- Do you get easily affected by others moods around you?
- Are you often moved to tears by fine art or beautiful music?
- Do you feel bothered by loud music?
- Do you startle easily compared to others?
- Are you easily overwhelmed by bright light, strong odors, rough surfaces, etc.?
- Do you like to plan your life in advance?
- Do you often feel the need to shut yourself away from the world and go off by yourself for sometime?
- Does a lot of activity around you ruffle you?
- Does multitasking annoy you?
Actually, sensitive individuals are excellent employees, as they are deeply dedicated to their jobs, and are extremely focused on details. However, their personality quirk often makes them under-perform.
They may not be able to take the stress of working with five different people who give five different ideas, and may feel dejected on having to reach a compromise. In fact, in such situations, they are known to sacrifice their own point of views just for the sake of restoring order.
If such is the case, then employing such a candidate may prove more detrimental to the candidate than the employer. They work best when they work alone and are at liberty to achieve the results by following their own work methods.
These may seem taxing for sensitive individuals, who may feel mentally exhausted and stressed by such a schedule. By conducting tests, academic institutes can focus on such individuals and enroll them into many personality development and counseling programs, which can help them emerge from their shell and take stress in their stride.
Once assured that your child is among the still waters run deep kind, encourage him/her to be more open, talk to people more, make more friends, and partake in external sports and cultural activities. In very severe cases, experiential, cognitive and behavioral therapies can help such kids feel at ease with other kinds of people.
Before you reach any conclusion, understand that there is nothing wrong with this kind of personality―it just happens to be different of life.