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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, everything is too much, much of the time.

Going into an unfamiliar environment that is unappealing to me paralyzes me to the point where I become completely uncommunicative, totally absorbed in the deep stress I feel internally.

Certain environments, oftentimes places that are covered in brown flatness, deep shadows, and sometimes neighborhoods where all the homes look very "cute" and nice, but everything feels somehow too open and bright, these kinds of places and others fill me with a puzzling, acute sadness/a twinge of some pain I can't really describe.

Loud noises, coarse materials (even light boxers bug the hell out of me -- severely), too many details, people, options, I can feel the emotions of everyone in the room -loud-and-clear-, I feel things incredibly strongly but I almost never express myself because I am too aware of all the potential problems that may cause and so choose to be completely unobtrusive and inexpressive, heck... I could go down the list of any HSP test and have lots to say about each characteristic.

I become so overwhelmed... This relegates me to publicly appearing as basically a robotic, tight-lipped, dry pod. Of course, there is much else that I wish I could express/be but this extreme sensitivity sort of boxes me in. It's not all bad, but I'm just wanting to spread it out here so as to garner some likeminded attention.

I could have a whole hell lot of stuff to say but I'll just cut it here and state that having all these HSP characteristics is rough but somehow I do find some pride in there somewhere, and I want to open this space up for other folks identifying, wondering, whatever about HSP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My sensitivity prevents me from forming lasting friendships and participating in a classroom discussions. This in par with paranoia I feel because I fear I would look ridiculous or odd.

Those symptoms you feel are similar to me. My eyes hurt when I see abhorrently bright colored clothing and I feel the same way about perfect cookie cutter neighborhoods. I always feel dread or a twinge of sorrow because I feel that behind closed doors is a different picture than the one shown by the houses and the neighborhood itself.

Loud noises really hurt my ears and for some reason, the way people talk can also irritate me or enthrall me easily. Excessive use of certain words will annoy me and profanity as well. Oh, and if something is different or out of place, I can sense it and it will bother me.

I do end up appearing cold or uninterested, but to be really honest, I'm quite fearful of opening up to others too much, only to be left alone and hurt in the end.
Might I say... We are kindred spirits in this. I understand all of what you express here. INFPs are often said to correlate strongly with HSP, as well as Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvP). This isn't to say we all have that or come anywhere close, but characteristics like fear of rejection when faced with potentially opening up and other things of that nature are reminiscent of AvP. My ENTJ girlfriend recognized and pointed out to me that in the way I approach social norms, I am basically responding through a deep fear of rejection. Because of this, I hide, stay a bit distanced from people. Too many times (only a couple, really, but that was more than enough) I tried to be polite and authentic, only to rub someone the wrong way and have them react negatively towards me. Such a horrid experience, that is. I understand that it really shouldn't be such a big deal, but for some reason, when my efforts to promote/preserve social harmony backfire, I feel severely disturbed/hurt/defective/rejected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The biggest for me is noise. As a child, the sound of a baby or a small child crying (not including newborns) would literally hurt my ears. I couldn't understand why. My sister use to have this annoying snore where she gurgles her saliva in her throat. (Gross) I had to use ear plugs just to get some sleep.

I'm also sensitive to smells. For example, I can tell when someone has just eaten garlic without even smelling their breath. All they have to do is walk right past me or I could be sitting next to them on the bus. It's like the smell is coming through their pores.

I've been in situations where I walked into a room full of people and immediately felt the tension in the air. It turns out that a huge argument/fight just took place minutes before.

I take constructive criticism personally even though I know it's to help make me a better person.

I can't watch horror or gory movies because it keeps me up all night long and sometimes for weeks. Those images just keeps playing over and over in my mind.

I can't stand clutter. Not in homes, offices or cars. Either you clean up the mess or I will. Otherwise, I'm gone. I knew a neighbor who was a hoarder. She would invite me into her apartment and I would politely decline and speak to her from her door.

I can go on some more but I'll stop now.
Yep, I relate to all of those as well. The clutter part can be especially hard because, while I vastly prefer a tidy space, I am by nature reluctant to engage my environment, and so I can sometimes be surprised as overtime I accumulate clutter and find myself feeling gross, boxed in, and depressed in my messy digs. So, when I do clean, I eliminate everything indefatigably to the point where my dwellings look very minimalist and sterile. Ahhh... Much better...

As for horror, I actually become very angry when watching certain types of horror. If the intensity reaches a point where it just looks like what I might call gore/violence "porn" I feel almost enraged, because I cannot stand watching people being senselessly victimized, brutalized, etc. I think the extent of horror that I can handle without getting angry/upset/sick is stuff like vampire flicks (Interview With a Vampire). Beyond that... it ruins my day. :-( And don't get me wrong, Interview With a Vampire also upset me because of the blood but it was manageable such that I didn't have to tell my girlfriend to turn it off. I just had to try to detach from myself a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have all the characterstics of hsp. I find many who are hsp seem to think of it as a gift, however I have yet to find it as one.
True, all of my days are made more painful than they would be otherwise because of it. I suppose I have to cultivate some sense of pride, perhaps simply because I am driven to find/create meaning.

And I actually do appreciate being able to know how people feel, even though it usually just makes me nervous. My ENTJ girlfriend always thinks it's scary when I read her, and I find that very funny. She also uses my empathy as a tool to navigate social dynamics.

But yes, generally speaking it causes me to be constantly anxious, stressed, and prone to strong empathetic sadness.
 
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