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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought Elaine Aron's book, The Highly Sensitive Person. From her self-test and trait description, I know I am definitely an HSP. It seems like most INFJs are. I wonder if it's possible to be an INFJ and not be highly sensitive?

In case you're interested, here's the online self-test: Self Test

So, do you have this trait, and if so, how do you cope with it?
 

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As a young kid growing up...yes, very much as a kid. The older I get the less sensitive I am, most people when they hear the term "sensitive person" the first thing they think of is one who's feelings are easily hurt or maybe one who cries at the drop of a hat, or fly's into a rage.

I can blow my top on some things, and get angry quick. The older I get the less things bother me that once used to bother me. I don't like bright light, I prefer dark rooms even have black plastic taped over my bedroom windows and sleep with ear plugs in my ears and run a fan and an air filter in my bedroom just to drown out outside noises.

My hearing is so sensitive I can't stand being in a small crowded place for too long like a packed restaurant with everyone talking because it's like a roar of sound, I end up picking up the voices, the clanging of silverware hitting and scraping plates , the footsteps of people walking , the music coming out of the ceiling speakers,ect All that is exhausting if I have to deal with it for more than an hour.

This is one reason why I like living deep in the mountains where its quiet and not that many people around. A real loud TV or stereo irritates me. If I go to a movie theater I take ear plugs because the sound is always too loud. I'm sensitive to other people's feelings only if I care about them, and there aren't many people I care about. I'm more sensitive to the welfare of animals than I am of most people.

I would say I am sensitive but a different type of sensitivity than the normal catchall meaning of the word.
 

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Hi Soul Searcher- Most of the things on the list I can relate to also. My way of dealing with it has been to minimize my exposure to a lot of that stuff. I particularly hate crowds, loud places, etc so you will not find me going to concerts or subjecting myself to overwhelming stimuli unless I have absolutely no choice for some reason. At the very least, I give myself a lot of time to 'recover' if I do find myself in situations that leave me overstimulated. Having some kind of routine helps, as does limiting caffeine intake (failing miserably on that one lately) and not eating a lot of junk, lots of fresh air and exercise seems to help too. If I find myself coping by over-eating or doing unhealthy things, I know it's time to step back for a while and try to figure out what's agitating me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As a young kid growing up...yes, very much as a kid. The older I get the less sensitive I am, most people when they hear the term "sensitive person" the first thing they think of is one who's feelings are easily hurt or maybe one who cries at the drop of a hat, or fly's into a rage.

I can blow my top on some things, and get angry quick. The older I get the less things bother me that once used to bother me. I don't like bright light, I prefer dark rooms even have black plastic taped over my bedroom windows and sleep with ear plugs in my ears and run a fan and an air filter in my bedroom just to drown out outside noises.

My hearing is so sensitive I can't stand being in a small crowded place for too long like a packed restaurant with everyone talking because it's like a roar of sound, I end up picking up the voices, the clanging of silverware hitting and scraping plates , the footsteps of people walking , the music coming out of the ceiling speakers,ect All that is exhausting if I have to deal with it for more than an hour.

This is one reason why I like living deep in the mountains where its quiet and not that many people around. A real loud TV or stereo irritates me. If I go to a movie theater I take ear plugs because the sound is always too loud. I'm sensitive to other people's feelings only if I care about them, and there aren't many people I care about. I'm more sensitive to the welfare of animals than I am of most people.

I would say I am sensitive but a different type of sensitivity than the normal catchall meaning of the word.
You sound very much like my dad. He wears earplugs whenever sounds get overwhelming. I'm not quite as sensitive in my hearing as he is, but I can't tolerate concerts without plugging my ears. Movies can be overwhelming too.

I tend to be really sensitive at night also. I've I'm really keyed up, every little noise will hit my nervous system like an electric shock.

I would love to live way out in the mountains! I am moving, so maybe I can somehow make it happen.
 

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I'm a lot like Werewolfen in this regard.

Bright light really -- well let's just say I hate it - especially flourescent lighting. Oftentimes I'm sitting at my desk with sunglasses on. It's tough to be around, as is loud unpredictable noise. If I'm cranking my own music, it's fine... otherwise I'd rather not be around it. Chaotic things happening around me tend to be unsettling. At work I make order out of chaos - so it's actually somewhat satisfying in that regard.

At home it's better. I have shades down most of the time to rest my eyes, and fans going to block out any outside noise. People dragging me to a club is like taking a trip to the 7th level of hell, though I can grin and bear it. I'd much rather go to the mountains. Eventually want to go on a trip to Mongolia, and perhaps a bit later buy or build my sailboat to just cruise the open waters for a few years. I'm totally fine in a natural environment.

It would be difficult to describe me as "sensitive" to other people. Some few, yes.. I can be very much so. I can be generally pleasant, but really don't care what most people think about me. I did score as HSP on the test, but it seemed to me more on the external stimuli stuff than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow, i too am also HSP and HSS!
additionally i happen to be a HBP (Highly Bitchy Person) as well...
:crazy::laughing::laughing::laughing: Bitchy and sensitive seem to go hand in hand for some of us!
 
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If I was comfortable in the situation and those things occurred yeah I'd probably be one. If I was already dealing with something else or in some kind of working mode then it probably wouldn't bother me.
 

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wow, i too am also HSP and HSS!
additionally i happen to be a HBP (Highly Bitchy Person) as well...
:crazy::laughing::laughing::laughing: Bitchy and sensitive seem to go hand in hand for some of us!
lol Yeah!

and the HSP says "no that hurts!" and the HSS says "but I wanna do it!" and the HSP says "but it feels so strange!" and the HSS says "but I am bored!" and the HSP says "I am going to get over stimulated and freak out!" and the HSS says " we will never figure out the meaning of life and why everyone else likes it so much if we don't!"

and it is settled.
 

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It was a relief for me to find out what this was.. I've only known for about a year. I like to think of it as an extreme form of introversion^^ They seem similar. My theory is that my HSP left untreated manifested into a chronic illness I have now and have had since I ended high school. They say there is no cure, no cause, so I assume it's all emotional. I'd always thought there was something wrong with me, like being anemic or that I had anxiety/fears about being out in the world.. I guess when you get tired from stimuli so quickly, you associate a bad meaning to it and it turns into a fear --so I was questioning things like shyness, etc.

How do I cope with it. Diet helps tremendously :p The smaller and more often meals I have the better. I also don't do well on things that take more work to digest like certain starches, breads.. I can literally feel an energy difference and sense of clarity when I eat my vegetables raw than cooked (depends also what vegetables). Constant taking the time to rest and enjoy life, going out into the air, nature, like R22 says. And getting acquainted with the arts. I guess these all tie in with sensual experiences, extroverted sensing. The senses wearing you down in life and yet to heal, you look through the senses again but instead find ways to use it to enjoy life.

At the moment I'm still figuring out myself career-wise. I started off going into something with quite a bit of manual labour. I enjoyed studying it but it took a toll on my life, both during school and when I started working.. I was exhausted even if I wasn't doing much. And I remember even the commute would tire me. I'm currently a little worried since I have found something in "theoretical studies" but it requires a Masters in order to get a good job or so I've heard.. The worry part is that this means there may be a lot of volunteer work, and for the time being I'd have to work at a restaurant, Starbucks, who knows and I'm pretty terrified of having to do that. I've already experienced these and they don't work out for me. I don't really want to go into a fall-back career like Accounting, as not only does physical work drain me but also repetitive :frustrating:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was a relief for me to find out what this was.. I've only known for about a year. I like to think of it as an extreme form of introversion^^ They seem similar. My theory is that my HSP left untreated manifested into a chronic illness I have now and have had since I ended high school. They say there is no cure, no cause, so I assume it's all emotional. I'd always thought there was something wrong with me, like being anemic or that I had anxiety/fears about being out in the world.. I guess when you get tired from stimuli so quickly, you associate a bad meaning to it and it turns into a fear --so I was questioning things like shyness, etc.

How do I cope with it. Diet helps tremendously :p The smaller and more often meals I have the better. I also don't do well on things that take more work to digest like certain starches, breads.. I can literally feel an energy difference and sense of clarity when I eat my vegetables raw than cooked (depends also what vegetables). Constant taking the time to rest and enjoy life, going out into the air, nature, like R22 says. And getting acquainted with the arts. I guess these all tie in with sensual experiences, extroverted sensing. The senses wearing you down in life and yet to heal, you look through the senses again but instead find ways to use it to enjoy life.

At the moment I'm still figuring out myself career-wise. I started off going into something with quite a bit of manual labour. I enjoyed studying it but it took a toll on my life, both during school and when I started working.. I was exhausted even if I wasn't doing much. And I remember even the commute would tire me. I'm currently a little worried since I have found something in "theoretical studies" but it requires a Masters in order to get a good job or so I've heard.. The worry part is that this means there may be a lot of volunteer work, and for the time being I'd have to work at a restaurant, Starbucks, who knows and I'm pretty terrified of having to do that. I've already experienced these and they don't work out for me. I don't really want to go into a fall-back career like Accounting, as not only does physical work drain me but also repetitive :frustrating:
I've had a very similar experience. So has my dad, who is also extremely sensitive. My dad is diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and that is on top of a hereditary disorder which I also share called Spondolo Arthropathy.

I have tried for years to figure out why I'm so very tired. But I really do think it all started with being super sensitive both physically and emotionally. I think if i was able to live the life of a writer recluse in the mountains I would probably be fine.
 

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I've had a very similar experience. So has my dad, who is also extremely sensitive. My dad is diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and that is on top of a hereditary disorder which I also share called Spondolo Arthropathy.

I have tried for years to figure out why I'm so very tired. But I really do think it all started with being super sensitive both physically and emotionally. I think if i was able to live the life of a writer recluse in the mountains I would probably be fine.
The most recent thing I have done that gave me a significant increase in energy was buying natural whole food freeze packed vitamins & holistic meds from my chiropractor. You can't order them unless you are a practicing nutritionist, chiropractor or something of the sorts. I filled out a questionnaire about weird health things, like do your ears itch and how often. It came up with the result that I had low functioning liver and pancreas. So the vitamins are tailored to my specific problems.
 

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And Ping goes the (not very loud) noise, for me it seems to be mainly a hearing thing, generally i would consider not to have the greatest hearing, often people close by who are talking seem to be drowned out by the crowd of noise that may be going on around, but either way i still find i can hear conversations from far away, i also don't like sudden sounds, they are extremely uncomfortable, say like a balloon popping, i just hate that possibility, and my vision is very focused on certain areas whilst fairly weak the further outward it goes. Infact with the latter it ends up with me getting the feeling that someone might think i was staring, so i tend to shift my eye movements alot also, eiher way, the environment is certainly quite apparent sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad, for these reasons i think it may be possible i may be some sort of HSP.
 
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Soul Searcher,

Thanks for putting this on.
I am gradually feeling less and less like a misfit and more like me - and some of you. This site has been a good thing.

Self-Test Results

You have indicated that 21 of the items are true of you.

Scoring:
If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. We psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.

If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The most recent thing I have done that gave me a significant increase in energy was buying natural whole food freeze packed vitamins & holistic meds from my chiropractor. You can't order them unless you are a practicing nutritionist, chiropractor or something of the sorts. I filled out a questionnaire about weird health things, like do your ears itch and how often. It came up with the result that I had low functioning liver and pancreas. So the vitamins are tailored to my specific problems.
There are definitely foods and supplements that make me feel better, but I have to be careful because I'm so sensitive that even supplements can mess me up. I've been researching the feild of alternative healthcare for years, and hope to become a nutritional therapist. Unfortunately, I don't always apply my own health knowledge to myself. The age old story of the shoemakers children going shoeless I guess. :dry: Even at my most negligent, I probably eat much better than the average westerner.
 
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My first introduction to personality tests was when the HSP book grabbed me from the bookshelf at the natural food store. Click - the light went on! I cope by limiting the degree of noise, wearing sunglasses and a broadbrimmed hat in the sun, low lighting at home, and running a fan at night and closing the pets out of the bedroom so I can sleep (strange how difficult it is to sleep with a cat running across one's head. Cats are the biggest bedhogs, too). When there has been especially a lot of noise during my workday, I don't even turn on music in the evening. Don't have pay TV. No noisy movies. However, since I recently came out of my cave after divorce, I go dancing with the girlfriends - we have a blast. It's noisy, but the energy of the crowd is almost intoxicating and of course, the companionship of like-minded women is very good for me. Then I spend the next day in a dimly-lit house with soothing music to drown out the street noises. No TV. No movies.
 

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I about go bonkers with it.

I have to wear sunglasses under fluorescent lights (& with anything else that flickers at 60 Hertz). It's great for when you're trying to fit in at work as you sit in a darkened office with sunglasses on.

I have to be VERY mindful of my diet - it's exhausting trying to find something that doesn't make me react violently.

If I get over-exposed to things I'm sensitive to (everything) my skin feels like it's nothing but exposed nerves from head to toe, and I would love nothing more than to crawl out of my skin.

Besides my eternal quest to understand why/WTF/how to deal with it, I deal with it by sheer will power, sometimes on an hour to hour basis. Some days I feel great, which causes me further confusion. If I wasn't concerned with providing for my son, I swear I would've called it a day already. But, I have unsuccessfully figured out how to support me and my son without extensive exposure to the very things I'm freakishly sensitive to.

I SWEAR it has to be much more than a human body's nervous system was EVER meant to be capable of dealing with. Argh.

I'm also writing this post while highly frustrated & agitated with a huge cycle I find myself stuck in, in which this plays a large part. So keep in mind it's tinted with my "angry" perception of it.
 
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