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Here's a talk given by Highly Sensitive Person author Elaine Aron:


The important thing to understand is: while it's true that Highly Sensitive People suffer more than Less Sensitive People from negative stimuli, from bad environments and experiences, etc., they also benefit more than Less Sensitive People from positive stimuli and good environments and experiences. Hence it's correct to designate the Highly Sensitive temperament as equal to the Less Sensitive.

Four characteristics of the Highly Sensitive Person:
-Greater depth of processing, a brain that uses incoming stimuli in a more thorough, elaborate way, as opposed to a summarized way
-More easily overwhelmed or overstimulated
-Naturally high empathy
-Greater ability to detect subtle stimuli


I took the Highly Sensitive Person test for the first time when I was about 18 or 19 years old. I recognized many of the traits in myself (answering yes to 14 or more questions out of 28 makes you a HSP and the last time I took the test a few months ago I affirmed 16). At the time I viewed the designation purely as a disadvantage, like in order to do as well in life as most people, I would have to avoid many of things that they could engage in freely, with no problem.

Earlier research on sensitivity was conducted within the Diathesis-Stress Model. According to this model, certain people contain more "vulnerable" alleles than others, genes that would make this same person more resilient if they had the more common variety. It's often been used to explain why Person A will develop things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. when exposed to certain stressors while Person B, when exposed to the same stressors, seems not to suffer at all. The theory says that those with Vulnerability Genes will suffer tremendously under negative conditions, but achieve parity with the Resilient under positive conditions. If that were accurate, then no one on earth, given the choice, would choose to be Vulnerable rather than Resilient; Vulnerability would clearly be inferior.

350px-Diathesisstressdualriskmodel.JPG

Fortunately, we now know this isn't the case.

Aron has stated that about 20% of humans are Highly Sensitive. 20% is the same percentage of humans that a related group of temperament researchers now claim are equipped with gene variants that cause them to be much more sensitive than the other 80% to their environments, both for worse AND for better.
What's happened is that, over the last decade and a half, the Diathesis-Stress Model essentially has given way to the more accurate Differential Susceptibility model. New evidences indicate Diathesis-Stress only tells half of the story; these genes are only more "vulnerable" under negative circumstances; under more positive circumstances, they're more "vitalistic" and those who possess them achieve more than parity, they achieve superiority. Those who are most at risk for being the human race's worst wretches also are most likely to become its shining stars.

The pediatrician W. Thomas Boyce has described the temperamental difference between Highly Sensitive People and Less Sensitive People as the Dandelion - Orchid Spectrum, referring to how dandelions can grow in any environment but the end result is usually merely "pretty", while orchids wilt in bad environments but are outstanding when properly cared for. The "canary in the coal mine" metaphor also applies to the Highly Sensitive. If a society's Orchids tend to underperform or struggle in life in comparison with the Dandelions, you can be confident that this society is structurally and constitutionally suspect and the problems of the Sensitive will soon also be plaguing the Less Sensitive, hence it's in the best interest of Less Sensitive people to pay close attention to the well-being of orchids.

1-s2.0-S0262407912602498-gr1.jpg

To give just one example of a gene redeemed by this new research: scientists had previously identified the 7-repeating allele of the DRD4 dopamine receptor gene (known as DRD4-7R) as a Vulnerability gene that greatly increased the likelihood of antisocial behavior. "People had dubbed it the ADHD gene, the drinking gene, the bully gene, even the slut gene. Now Knafo, in effect, was calling it the snack-sharing gene." In an experiment at Jerusalem University, psychologist Ariel Knafo noticed that the minority of children who had the DRD4-7R allele AND had skilled, nurturing, empowering parents, were more much more likely to share their snacks with others. A team of Dutch psychologists at Leiden University achieved the same result; they had children watch an emotionally evocative UNICEF video urging them to donate to charity. Children with DRD4-7R and high quality parenting were the most charitable givers of all (conversely, children with DRD4-7R who had harsher, more distant parents were the stingiest of all, consistent with the Orchids tending to represent either the best or the worst of humanity, and being underrepresented in the midranges).

The serotonin transporter allele 5-HTTLPR (the "short short" version) and the 2-repeating allele of the MAOA gene have also been identified as being in the Orchid-Plasicity-Highly Sensitive category, and Differential Susceptibility's Wikipedia article lists several additional alleles:

Vantage Sensitivity is the term invented to describe specifically the advantages of being Highly Sensitive. These advantages appear in myriad performed experiments and surveys where sensitivity is a factor, whether the possession of a large number of Orchid genes, or a score of 14 or above on the HSP Test.

Research on Vantage Sensitivity is numerous and ongoing; I've selected three of what I think are the most noteworthy and important articles to share:

HSPs presented with positive stimuli experience greater happiness. Highly Sensitive and Less Sensitive people participated in an experiment where they were shown emotionally evocative photographs of people. Those higher on the HSP Test, while their brains were being viewed with magnetic resonance technology, displayed much more activation of numerous areas than the Less Sensitive, and this was especially the case if the HSP had a good childhood. It doesn't take much to make a HSP really happy.

HSPs seem to be better at detecting subtle stimuli. The German psychologist Friederike Gerstenberg had a test group divided into HSPs and Non-HSPs and each member of the group was given the task of looking at screens containing black letter Ls and determining whether or not a letter T was hidden among them. HSPs completed the task more quickly and more accurately than the Non-HSPs. The bad news is, their stress levels were also higher after the test was over; a high-caliber performance extracts a steep cost.

HSPs respond more positively to intervention programs. Michael Pluess had students undergoing a depression prevention program take the HSP test and then measured their depressive symptoms after the program ended. Those who scored in the Highly Sensitive range had far fewer depressive symptoms after completing the program; sadly those who were lower in Sensitivity hardly improved at all. This is consistent with a study on 136 orphaned Romanian infants, under the age of 30 months, who either stayed in the orphanage, or were adopted into highly quality foster care. The adopted children with an Orchid/HSP allele of the COMT gene showed much fewer depressive symptoms when reexamined at 54 months of age than children who lacked this allele. Aron has said such interventions should be targeted towards the Highly Sensitive because they receive the most tangible benefits.

In study after study, benefits to being Highly Sensitive were observed. So why was it that only the weaknesses of this temperament were discussed and not the strengths? Differential Susceptibility's main proponent, Jay Belsky (professor of psychology at University Of California, Davis), when asked about this, responded: "Most work in behavioral genetics has been done by mental-illness researchers who focus on vulnerability. They don’t see the upside, because they don’t look for it." Additionally, Janine Ramsey has lamented that the modern-day Western world usually casts Sensitivity as a liability, seeing the word as a synonym for "vulnerable" rather than being more susceptible to everything, good or bad, and preferring psychologies that are "tough, resilient, highly productive and expedient." (by contrast, China and Japan usually see Sensitivity as asset and might be more hesitant to see that it has a dark side too). This bias would explain why the only the disadvantages of sensitivity were researched first, and also might slow public acceptance of the idea, yet hopefully a widespread enough acceptance would eliminate that bias entirely.

To anyone who's taken the HSP Test and scored as Highly Sensitive, let me ask you: Do you see yourself as troubled, damaged or even broken? Is your normal day-to-day mood more glum than joyful? Are you suffering from a mental illness, an addiction, a developmental disorder, or even a personality disorder? Do you feel like you don't have a place you belong? Do you lack a sense of purpose? Do you feel like you're failing in life?

If so, I urge you to consider: maybe you're not constitutionally worse than anyone else. Maybe you were just planted in bad soil. Further, maybe if you could be replanted in more nourishing soil, not only would you usually feel decent, you'd shine with blinding beauty.



Think about it: from an evolutionary point of view, if there were genes that conferred only disadvantages, the people who had those genes would often end up less fit, and hence less able to reproduce, and eventually their genes would go extinct. Differential Susceptibility gives an explanation as to why we can't seem to escape those "bad genes"; they're the same genes that translate positive life experiences, or good soil, into the ability to achieve the most greatness.

The exact factors that constitute good soil for a Highly Sensitive Person are something that I'm not quite firm on yet. While exercising more than once a week, mental health improvement techniques like visualization, drinking enough good water, mutually loving relations with ones peers and family are a necessity for everyone, some other factors may vary from individual to individual. Ask yourself: what things do you do that make you grateful to be alive? Do those things, and do them often. Give yourself the good stuff. Take advantage of your temperament.

Learning of Vantage Sensitivity prompted me to express gratitude and count my blessings. It inspired me to adopt a life strategy of continually nourishing or building myself up, so if something unpleasant happens to me, I'll have plenty of positive stimuli to fall back on to counter and defeat it.

One final thought: Any skilled, experienced florist knows that different flowers require different care to thrive. People are the same. Current research on Differential Susceptibility deserves universal dissemination among doctors who care for children. It would be vastly beneficial for all if, at the earliest possible age, measurements were taken so that every child on Earth's levels of Sensitivity were known, and from there parents, educators, religious officials, etc. were given clear instructions on how to care for them, what to do in current situations, what to expect from them, and so on, depending on their temperament. The flourishing of so many people, and the alleviation of so much misunderstanding and sorrow depends on it.
 

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Only in western $ociety can so many things like this be cast aside as weakness and immediately shat on because of all the social programming favors some types over others. I scored 25 on the test.
 

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Only in western $ociety can so many things like this be cast aside as weakness and immediately shat on because of all the social programming favors some types over others. I scored 25 on the test.
Agreed, the Modern Day West is a house built some soft, soft sand, the technological and material brilliance of it only partially masks the rot, the scarcity of the transcendent or Divine is a blatant issue. Those who look nostalgically and romantically at centuries past don't always have the wrong idea.
 

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I'm both high on the HSP as well as a person who has sensory processing disorder. I agree that the things associated with HSP are things that are put in negative light which are really strengths in my mind.

The sensory processing disorder is a bit more difficult for me to see the positive in.

I appreciate the amount of time you took into making the first post.
 

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I also want to thank you for posting all the interesting information especially genetic and upbringing components. I watched the first movie by Dr. Aron, and i can relate a lot. I also took her test and scored 24. I did not grow up in the Western society; however, I was very much affected by physical and verbal violence at home. I could not stand too much noise in the kindergarten, and I would try to find a place to hide. I had an overactive imagination that would get the best of me. Anxious children with such imaginative experiences are not doing well. I almost got killed once.
 

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I also want to thank you for posting all the interesting information especially genetic and upbringing components. I watched the first movie by Dr. Aron, and i can relate a lot. I also took her test and scored 24. I did not grow up in the Western society; however, I was very much affected by physical and verbal violence at home. I could not stand too much noise in the kindergarten, and I would try to find a place to hide. I had an overactive imagination that would get the best of me. Anxious children with such imaginative experiences are not doing well. I almost got killed once.
That's very tragic, no child should ever be abused like that. How are you doing now? If your childhood's still affecting you, I think Highly Sensitive People should also be "easy to repair" because of our ability to benefit quickly from positive stimuli. Also curious, what non-Western culture are you a part of?
 

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That's very tragic, no child should ever be abused like that. How are you doing now? If your childhood's still affecting you, I think Highly Sensitive People should also be "easy to repair" because of our ability to benefit quickly from positive stimuli. Also curious, what non-Western culture are you a part of?
To be honest, I did not receive a lot of positive stimuli except from my mother. HSPs see too much and feel too deeply. I was an old soul type of a child, and always felt responsible for my twin as well as my mother. That is a lot of worry to have for a young person. I was too mature and too serious too soon. I did have time to enjoy childlike things but took a role of a guardian. I am from ex-Yugoslavia (culturally between West and East), and if it was not for a war there, I would be fine culture wise there once I gained my own independence because I felt better and started enjoying life after I left for college.
 

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Here's a talk given by Highly Sensitive Person author Elaine Aron:


The important thing to understand is: while it's true that Highly Sensitive People suffer more than Less Sensitive People from negative stimuli, from bad environments and experiences, etc., they also benefit more than Less Sensitive People from positive stimuli and good environments and experiences. Hence it's correct to designate the Highly Sensitive temperament as equal to the Less Sensitive.

Four characteristics of the Highly Sensitive Person:
-Greater depth of processing, a brain that uses incoming stimuli in a more thorough, elaborate way, as opposed to a summarized way
-More easily overwhelmed or overstimulated
-Naturally high empathy
-Greater ability to detect subtle stimuli


I took the Highly Sensitive Person test for the first time when I was about 18 or 19 years old. I recognized many of the traits in myself (answering yes to 14 or more questions out of 28 makes you a HSP and the last time I took the test a few months ago I affirmed 16). At the time I viewed the designation purely as a disadvantage, like in order to do as well in life as most people, I would have to avoid many of things that they could engage in freely, with no problem.

Earlier research on sensitivity was conducted within the Diathesis-Stress Model. According to this model, certain people contain more "vulnerable" alleles than others, genes that would make this same person more resilient if they had the more common variety. It's often been used to explain why Person A will develop things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. when exposed to certain stressors while Person B, when exposed to the same stressors, seems not to suffer at all. The theory says that those with Vulnerability Genes will suffer tremendously under negative conditions, but achieve parity with the Resilient under positive conditions. If that were accurate, then no one on earth, given the choice, would choose to be Vulnerable rather than Resilient; Vulnerability would clearly be inferior.

View attachment 823383

Fortunately, we now know this isn't the case.

Aron has stated that about 20% of humans are Highly Sensitive. 20% is the same percentage of humans that a related group of temperament researchers now claim are equipped with gene variants that cause them to be much more sensitive than the other 80% to their environments, both for worse AND for better.
What's happened is that, over the last decade and a half, the Diathesis-Stress Model essentially has given way to the more accurate Differential Susceptibility model. New evidences indicate Diathesis-Stress only tells half of the story; these genes are only more "vulnerable" under negative circumstances; under more positive circumstances, they're more "vitalistic" and those who possess them achieve more than parity, they achieve superiority. Those who are most at risk for being the human race's worst wretches also are most likely to become its shining stars.

The pediatrician W. Thomas Boyce has described the temperamental difference between Highly Sensitive People and Less Sensitive People as the Dandelion - Orchid Spectrum, referring to how dandelions can grow in any environment but the end result is usually merely "pretty", while orchids wilt in bad environments but are outstanding when properly cared for. The "canary in the coal mine" metaphor also applies to the Highly Sensitive. If a society's Orchids tend to underperform or struggle in life in comparison with the Dandelions, you can be confident that this society is structurally and constitutionally suspect and the problems of the Sensitive will soon also be plaguing the Less Sensitive, hence it's in the best interest of Less Sensitive people to pay close attention to the well-being of orchids.

View attachment 823381

To give just one example of a gene redeemed by this new research: scientists had previously identified the 7-repeating allele of the DRD4 dopamine receptor gene (known as DRD4-7R) as a Vulnerability gene that greatly increased the likelihood of antisocial behavior. "People had dubbed it the ADHD gene, the drinking gene, the bully gene, even the slut gene. Now Knafo, in effect, was calling it the snack-sharing gene." In an experiment at Jerusalem University, psychologist Ariel Knafo noticed that the minority of children who had the DRD4-7R allele AND had skilled, nurturing, empowering parents, were more much more likely to share their snacks with others. A team of Dutch psychologists at Leiden University achieved the same result; they had children watch an emotionally evocative UNICEF video urging them to donate to charity. Children with DRD4-7R and high quality parenting were the most charitable givers of all (conversely, children with DRD4-7R who had harsher, more distant parents were the stingiest of all, consistent with the Orchids tending to represent either the best or the worst of humanity, and being underrepresented in the midranges).

The serotonin transporter allele 5-HTTLPR (the "short short" version) and the 2-repeating allele of the MAOA gene have also been identified as being in the Orchid-Plasicity-Highly Sensitive category, and Differential Susceptibility's Wikipedia article lists several additional alleles:

Vantage Sensitivity is the term invented to describe specifically the advantages of being Highly Sensitive. These advantages appear in myriad performed experiments and surveys where sensitivity is a factor, whether the possession of a large number of Orchid genes, or a score of 14 or above on the HSP Test.

Research on Vantage Sensitivity is numerous and ongoing; I've selected three of what I think are the most noteworthy and important articles to share:

HSPs presented with positive stimuli experience greater happiness. Highly Sensitive and Less Sensitive people participated in an experiment where they were shown emotionally evocative photographs of people. Those higher on the HSP Test, while their brains were being viewed with magnetic resonance technology, displayed much more activation of numerous areas than the Less Sensitive, and this was especially the case if the HSP had a good childhood. It doesn't take much to make a HSP really happy.

HSPs seem to be better at detecting subtle stimuli. The German psychologist Friederike Gerstenberg had a test group divided into HSPs and Non-HSPs and each member of the group was given the task of looking at screens containing black letter Ls and determining whether or not a letter T was hidden among them. HSPs completed the task more quickly and more accurately than the Non-HSPs. The bad news is, their stress levels were also higher after the test was over; a high-caliber performance extracts a steep cost.

HSPs respond more positively to intervention programs. Michael Pluess had students undergoing a depression prevention program take the HSP test and then measured their depressive symptoms after the program ended. Those who scored in the Highly Sensitive range had far fewer depressive symptoms after completing the program; sadly those who were lower in Sensitivity hardly improved at all. This is consistent with a study on 136 orphaned Romanian infants, under the age of 30 months, who either stayed in the orphanage, or were adopted into highly quality foster care. The adopted children with an Orchid/HSP allele of the COMT gene showed much fewer depressive symptoms when reexamined at 54 months of age than children who lacked this allele. Aron has said such interventions should be targeted towards the Highly Sensitive because they receive the most tangible benefits.

In study after study, benefits to being Highly Sensitive were observed. So why was it that only the weaknesses of this temperament were discussed and not the strengths? Differential Susceptibility's main proponent, Jay Belsky (professor of psychology at University Of California, Davis), when asked about this, responded: "Most work in behavioral genetics has been done by mental-illness researchers who focus on vulnerability. They don’t see the upside, because they don’t look for it." Additionally, Janine Ramsey has lamented that the modern-day Western world usually casts Sensitivity as a liability, seeing the word as a synonym for "vulnerable" rather than being more susceptible to everything, good or bad, and preferring psychologies that are "tough, resilient, highly productive and expedient." (by contrast, China and Japan usually see Sensitivity as asset and might be more hesitant to see that it has a dark side too). This bias would explain why the only the disadvantages of sensitivity were researched first, and also might slow public acceptance of the idea, yet hopefully a widespread enough acceptance would eliminate that bias entirely.

To anyone who's taken the HSP Test and scored as Highly Sensitive, let me ask you: Do you see yourself as troubled, damaged or even broken? Is your normal day-to-day mood more glum than joyful? Are you suffering from a mental illness, an addiction, a developmental disorder, or even a personality disorder? Do you feel like you don't have a place you belong? Do you lack a sense of purpose? Do you feel like you're failing in life?

If so, I urge you to consider: maybe you're not constitutionally worse than anyone else. Maybe you were just planted in bad soil. Further, maybe if you could be replanted in more nourishing soil, not only would you usually feel decent, you'd shine with blinding beauty.



Think about it: from an evolutionary point of view, if there were genes that conferred only disadvantages, the people who had those genes would often end up less fit, and hence less able to reproduce, and eventually their genes would go extinct. Differential Susceptibility gives an explanation as to why we can't seem to escape those "bad genes"; they're the same genes that translate positive life experiences, or good soil, into the ability to achieve the most greatness.

The exact factors that constitute good soil for a Highly Sensitive Person are something that I'm not quite firm on yet. While exercising more than once a week, mental health improvement techniques like visualization, drinking enough good water, mutually loving relations with ones peers and family are a necessity for everyone, some other factors may vary from individual to individual. Ask yourself: what things do you do that make you grateful to be alive? Do those things, and do them often. Give yourself the good stuff. Take advantage of your temperament.

Learning of Vantage Sensitivity prompted me to express gratitude and count my blessings. It inspired me to adopt a life strategy of continually nourishing or building myself up, so if something unpleasant happens to me, I'll have plenty of positive stimuli to fall back on to counter and defeat it.

One final thought: Any skilled, experienced florist knows that different flowers require different care to thrive. People are the same. Current research on Differential Susceptibility deserves universal dissemination among doctors who care for children. It would be vastly beneficial for all if, at the earliest possible age, measurements were taken so that every child on Earth's levels of Sensitivity were known, and from there parents, educators, religious officials, etc. were given clear instructions on how to care for them, what to do in current situations, what to expect from them, and so on, depending on their temperament. The flourishing of so many people, and the alleviation of so much misunderstanding and sorrow depends on it.
I'm familiar with the DRD4 research, some of which you posted, but I haven't seen anything that correlates R7 with HSP or high sensitivity traits.

Sure there is overlap between the Orchid hypothesis and the Vulnerability Gene hypothesis, like there is overlap between HSP and ADHD, just like I can see how higher intensity in positive experience can relate to promiscuous (slutty if you will) behaviour. But they are a not the same thing obviously. It's actually not even a 'thing', like the 'HSP' gene or allele. How it is expressed, activated as a phenotype trait is the result of interaction with environment, or with other genes or traits.

For instance, Low Latent Inhibition is a trait related to HSP, ADHD, which can lead to depression or psychosis but also to creative achievement, and this may depend, as is hypothesized, on a person's intelligence and capacity to process incoming stimuli.

LLI said:
Low latent inhibition is not a mental disorder but an observed personality trait, and a description of how an individual absorbs and assimilates data or stimuli. Furthermore, it does not necessarily lead to mental disorder or creative achievement—this is, like many other factors of life, a case of environmental and predispositional influences, whether these be positive (e.g., education) or negative (e.g., abuse) in nature. (...)

Most people are able to ignore the constant stream of incoming stimuli, but this capability is reduced in those with low latent inhibition. Low latent inhibition (that may resemble hyper-activity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in early decades of the individual life) seems to often correlate with distracted behaviors. This distractedness can manifest itself as general inattentiveness, a tendency to switch subjects without warning in conversation, and other absentminded habits. This is not to say that all distractedness can be explained by low latent inhibition, nor does it necessarily follow that people with low LI will have a hard time paying attention. It does mean, however, that the higher quantity of incoming information requires a mind capable of handling it. Those of above average intelligence are thought to be capable of processing this stream effectively, enabling their creativity and increasing their awareness of their surroundings. Those with average and, less than average intelligence, on the other hand, are less able to cope and as a result are more likely to suffer from mental illness and sensory overload. It is hypothesized that a low level of latent inhibition can cause either psychosis or a high level of creative achievement or both, which is usually dependent on the individual's intelligence. When they cannot develop the creative ideas, they become frustrated and/or depressive.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_inhibition
Can't believe I'm actually linking to Jordan Peterson, lol.
http://talentdevelop.com/articles/CPMOTSFE.html

Although, in a similar vein you could imagine it could make a difference whether someone, or his environment has a conservative or progressive predisposition.

One interesting fact, regarding the allele is that the mutation coincides with the migration 'Out of Africa' and the rapid progression (or even revolution) to modern man.

Out of Africa said:
Marcus Munafò, a biological psychologist at the University of Bristol, UK, cautions that variations in the DRD4 gene are numerous and complex, making its exact behavioural effects hard to pin down. But he agrees that it is likely that some differences in behaviour have been generated by genetic selection.

Researchers are beginning to play with the idea that our culture could be influencing evolution, says Robert Moyzis of the University of California, Irvine. He has shown that 7R arose as a rare mutation 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, after we left Africa, then spread rapidly in human populations. The 2R allele is a modified version that arose in Asia less than 10,000 years ago.

He has also shown that people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are twice as likely to have the 7R allele. He thinks some of what we consider ADHD symptoms, like rapidly shifting focus and quick movements, are actually survival traits that were selected for during our migration out of Africa.
https://fli.institute/2011/05/06/out-of-africa-migration-selected-novelty-seeking-genes/
 

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I only read part of the OP for now. Posting to subscribe to read later. Thank you
 
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Did someone mention orchids? (big smile)

image.jpg

It doesn't take much to make a HSP really happy
Indeed.

I'm a HSP. I had a rough patch in my younger years. As soon as the hostile person was removed from my life, I felt great. I always wondered whether having seen the harder/darker side of things was what made me so naturally grateful/happy for 'normal'. Ironically one of the accusations muttered at me back then was that I'm "too sensitive".

I never believed being "too sensitive" was a bad thing (even though it does come with it's challenges -- I get urges to withdraw following overstimulation). I'm not surprised to learn that's what keeps me so buoyant emotionally. I really do get happy over the smallest things: it's a cloud! My earliest memory is feeling gratitude for being alive (while looking at a leaf, lol).

It's more a sensitivity in me to physical stimulation (beauty is very pleasing but loud sounds are highly unpleasant etc). Whether I'm sensitive emotionally depends on context. I'm low in emotionality in day to day/non personal things (INTJ 5 here) but then the opposite in highly personal matters (I score 5/5 on the HEXACO test for 'sentimentality').

I've always been 'different' in this regard and people do most frequently view it as a weirdness/handicap. It's gratifying to put more of the pieces together and to see that being a HSP comes with such a distinct emotional advantage (thank you for posting this OP :)

image.jpg
 

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To be honest, I did not receive a lot of positive stimuli except from my mother. HSPs see too much and feel too deeply. I was an old soul type of a child, and always felt responsible for my twin as well as my mother. That is a lot of worry to have for a young person. I was too mature and too serious too soon. I did have time to enjoy childlike things but took a role of a guardian. I am from ex-Yugoslavia (culturally between West and East), and if it was not for a war there, I would be fine culture wise there once I gained my own independence because I felt better and started enjoying life after I left for college.
Thank you for your perspective and I hope life is enjoyable today too. As for Yugoslavia, that could be one of 6 countries. I've noticed that the Eastern Orthodox culture (which would be Serbia) seems more HSP-oriented than Western forms of religion. Please though, it's a mistake to think you feel too deeply, the issue, as you yourself acknowledge, is that you didn't receive alot of positive stimuli at first. We should all be in places where feeling deeply is a blessing.
 

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In my personal experience, HSPs (and I find them quite rare) incline to have the tendency to reach out for a modest, simplified form of happiness. And its logical, as when one gets out so much juice from even the most apparently minor thing(s) why would the overwhelming state even theoretically be an amuzement park.
 

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Thank you for your perspective and I hope life is enjoyable today too. As for Yugoslavia, that could be one of 6 countries. I've noticed that the Eastern Orthodox culture (which would be Serbia) seems more HSP-oriented than Western forms of religion. Please though, it's a mistake to think you feel too deeply, the issue, as you yourself acknowledge, is that you didn't receive alot of positive stimuli at first. We should all be in places where feeling deeply is a blessing.
Thank you for understanding!
 
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In my personal experience, HSPs (and I find them quite rare) incline to have the tendency to reach out for a modest, simplified form of happiness. And its logical, as when one gets out so much juice from even the most apparently minor thing(s) why would the overwhelming state even theoretically be an amuzement park.
I agree. It takes a little to make me happy. I am a different person if I just a spend a few days in a different environment.
 
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Odetotrees.

Identifying with your observation. I too become different depending a great deal on environment. Theres a inhale of nature/atmosphere type of thing. And it comes in slowly, just as you said there. It surrounds one and then there you are reflecting back to it. Like a higher thing.

This HSP aspect is very helpful in building up EQ. In my opinion it forms a decent cataclysmic trampoline to perceive moods faster. So, in a way, it makes one a tuned up version of oneself as it helps concentrate both the focus and enlarged attention span on the details and nuances of expressions. Therefore Id say HSP persons could be excellent psychotherapists or HR managers as well as also great art criticism team members, if inclined to be naggy naturally. Lots of value in sensibility, if the perceiver is mature enough to be able to enjoy diversity. If the perceiver is HSP too, then you definetely have a match in highest possible form of compatibility socially speaking.

The main challenge for HSPs from what Ive noticed is how to integrate in a world where the exact opposite is idealized. But not professionally - but emotionally. Its really rough for me often to take in all the emotional turbulence, mental rigidity, preconceptions, levels of knowledge and plenty of other vectors and just joggle them in an arranged position so that it will then generate an outlook where then a sufficiently efficient functionality realative to the persons role or expected proficiency is achieved. Its a really draining experience to me, even if it might be just 30min per a day doing it with just one person per a that day. And occasionally I might need to deal with 50-60persons per a day, all inquiries included. Takes me a full month to recover from that suction, if its heavily tilted, even 2 months. And thats just for one single day of worth of experience. Suffocating is the right word here. Ownership is suffocating. Retirement is the opposite.

Its also extra HSP deal if one has any enneagram 1 influence in the personality. And if also sx first.. then its like HSP on fire. Its a combination that creates an endless stream of intuition that associates in a optimized construct quite literally everything there is or yet isn't but exists in the world of imagination or in reality but hasn't just been yet picked up by humanity. Its really odd in a way to be finetuned all the time, but it brings in a fair amount of 'living' and feeling alive, so we shall find it rather teasonable to accept it then. And its quite creative too so effortless solutioning process (w/o the extraction of energy that leads to draining) is rather .. natural?

Monadnock.

Feeling deeply. It took me ages to realize most people actually dont. Even more to realize most sx first dont too! Their in love with can oscillate from manipulative possession for own pleasure solo, to I buy you with money/info/thrill/sex/what ever else, to mutual benefits, to agreement, to friendship, to day to day operations collaboration, to cooperation, to synchronized merge, to caring, and to even mutual goal. But wheres the "Id die if you were gone just a day" type of depth? Maybe Im being too little E5 today and too much w4. Nontheless, the answer goes: At the HSPs head quarters, meaning here on this thread.

And monad. As an sxsp and trader. As an infp and HSP. As some one who knows mbti and I guess plenty more. Finding or being born into what you mentioned there.. I can tell you, you have reached the maximum of human life. Unless you wanna think about it the other way around; as it is just the beginning of anything worthy of our time. Congrats. You are A rich man. Just that your wealth will not be consumed by rust nor stolen by thieves. Id like to become a richer man too. Just that 1st I need to get permanently materialistically empty. The possessions drag me down, lots. Its like an aircraft inside a rucksack that makes me less sensitive, because I fall to the mental level istead of remaining in sentimental perception of goodness. Or even greatness. Compared to F types us T types have to make an extraeffort bc of slightly inferior genetics to reach and maintain stillness of bliss. We tend to loose the grip and fall off into rational realm. That level doesnt really make us happy, but w/o a external lift or at least inspiration I find it impossible for me to remain anything resembling true all-inclusive forgiveness and even .. total altruism. Im always inclined to be a bit egoistic. And as a HSP I can immediately sense that in me and that means Ive lost stillness of love. Which is always a heavy dissapointment for me personally. Its like I just lost everything that has any value at all. I really feel like a loser at that point. And then, the climb starts again.. and again.. and again. But its there, the permanent stillness at love. Ive witnessed it in people. It can be achieved.

Heh, I'd really, really like to see your reactions if you knew all the things I know about your dna's. :) I can tell you, you'd all cry.
 

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mimesis said:
I'm familiar with the DRD4 research, some of which you posted, but I haven't seen anything that correlates R7 with HSP or high sensitivity traits.

Sure there is overlap between the Orchid hypothesis and the Vulnerability Gene hypothesis. But they are a not the same thing obviously. It's actually not even a 'thing', like the 'HSP' gene or allele. How it is expressed, activated as a phenotype trait is the result of interaction with environment, or with other genes or traits.
It'd be easy to see if it correlates. We'd just have to gather a group of people who tested positive for the 7R allele and give them all the HSP test. Since about 20% of humans are HSPs we'd be looking for any percentage above 20%. But even at face value, the Orchids and the HSPs seem to be synonymous in the sense that 1. they're a minority of humans and 2. they exhibit heightened susceptibility to both positive and negative stimuli. So I'm confident in predicting that those who have the 7R allele, the 5-HTTLPR/short-short serotonin allele, etc. will be HSPs at a much greater frequency than 20% of the time.
 

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About this topic, I'm reading Elaine Aron's book The gift of sensitivity (I think it's written this way in English) and I'm founding it very interesting. Not only for Highly Sensitive People, but also for people who has a moderate/a bit high level of sensitivity. For example, this way I could understand why I have difficulties with saying no, why I need to withdraw after a busy day, etc.











 

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@Monadnock

Sorry for this long post, but the topic of sensitvity and HSP's really got me thinking.

The part where you said that hsp's are the one's most likelyto become the human races worst wretches or the human races shining stars wasreally interesting. I hypothesized that empaths were like this, but I'm unsureif the construct empath is real or not. It means that hsp's environments have abig effect on how they turn out.

It makes me think of some of the worst people in history andthe best people in history, like Jesus and Buddha for the best, and Hitler forthe worst. What if some of these people in history were hsp's and had vastlydifferent environments. I don't mean to offend, but could Jesus or Buddha haveended up as evil people. Could Hitler have ended up as a saint? Thesepossibilities make me think that people really need to look at things fromother peoples perspective, to put themselves in other peoples shoes. That meanterrible person who bullies you and others might have been one of the mostcaring persons if he or she had a better upbringing. Conversely, that nicegenerous moral empathetic person you see who is your best friend could haveended up being a monster if he or she had a different upbringing. Even ifeveryone isn’t an hsp and so can’t vary as much as them, upbringing andenvironment has some effect on how one turns out, unless you are extremely resilient.It also makes you wonder, for an hsp that became a star or a monster, whichversion of themselves is the real them? Or for anybody, is the person that youturned out to be the real you?

It also made me focus on a new aspect of sensitivity, whichI knew somewhat but hadn't thought deeply about. Sensitivity as someone havinga malleable "soul", if you will, as opposed to a "soul"that is more rigid. In terms of morality, it would be better for someone to berigid in terms of remaining a conscientious person regardless of one'senvironment and upbringing, so in that sense being an hsp seems to be a negative.Then again hsp's with their large amount of empathy have the potential to bevery caring, empathetic, conscientious people, that bring a lot of good to theworld, so it seems to be a positive in that sense. I guess one can concludethat being an hsp is a double edged sword, the possibility for high highs butalso the possibility for low lows. Perhaps some traits you would want to remainstable and other traits you would want to change or be more malleable dependingon one’s environment. Maybe some people have different combinations of stableand malleable traits, and its impossible to get the perfect mix because onenever knows what environment one is going to end up in. Unless one sees thebest combination is the one that can deal with any kind of environment.


Or more scientifically, sensitivity could be reconceptualizedas someone having a more malleable brain. If this is true, the idea of some brainsbeing more malleable for any reason, then it makes me wonder why some people’sbrains would have evolved to become more malleable, how that evolution occurred,and how exactly does having a more malleable brain play out. For example ifperson A has a significantly more malleable brain than person B, would A and B experiencingnegative feedback from caregivers make person A process the feedback in theirhead more, think about it more, have it effect their thoughts and actions more,and by processing and working on the feedback more cause their brain to changemore?
 
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