HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON (HSP)
Several years ago I posted something to my Facebook page about how I don’t like going to big shopping centres anymore. I explained that as I’ve gotten older I like crowds and noise much less and find shopping centres can be quite overwhelming and cause me anxiety and energy drain. Someone commented that it sounded very much that I was a HSP which is a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’. I was a bit taken aback until I realised this wasn’t a personal label put on me by this person but rather, a way of being that was well known of. She suggested I watch ‘Sensitive The Movie‘, a groundbreaking documentary about the temperament trait of high sensitivity found in 20% of the population in both women and men. It’s based on the findings of author-psychologist Dr Elaine Aron (“The Highly Sensitive Person”). I watched that documentary intently and knew instantly that yes, I am a HSP. I also learned a little about Empaths and my intrigue was piqued at that time because I had a sneaking suspicion that I could also be an Empath. However, I thought it all sounded a bit woo woo and people would think me crazy so I dismissed it, but the wonder about it lingered.
AM I AN EMPATH?
Following the passing of my Dad nearly five years ago, I was seeing a Psychologist for a while to help me navigate my way through my grief. I’d seen her before years earlier after I had left my corporate workplace so she knows me well. I spoke with her about this wonder I had about my being Empath. She told me that she most definitely believes me to be an Empath and that I needed to learn how to protect myself from absorbing all the emotions of others. So I was another step closer to accepting I was an Empath but still had some reservations and concerns about what others would think if I were declare myself an Empath!
I AM AN EMPATH
Time ticked on and now and then I’d read a bit more about empaths. I followed some empath pages on Instagram. I related to so much of what I read and saw. I noticed things about myself that were so very empath. Recently while I was having a brief holiday up at Mount Tamborine I was having a facial at the spa at place where we stayed. The lady who did my facial (which included glorious foot and hand and arm massages too) and I talked now and then about many interesting topics which all stemmed from the beautiful background music that I commented on. Somehow our conversation lead to me saying that I suspected I was an Empath. She knew a lot on the topic and suggested I get hold of this book: The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD. I ordered the book and read it. It included self assessments which confirmed that I’m a full blown Empath and much more about the type of Empath I am, but I’ll go more into that another time. There’s no denying it anymore. I am ready now to accept, embrace and declare the fact that I AM AN EMPATH!
WHAT IS AN EMPATH:?
In Dr Judith Orloff’s words:
Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualise feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners.
Other definitions I’ve come across:
Empaths are people who have a lot of empathy for others and good intuition, but who may have difficulty setting boundaries.
An empath is a person highly attuned to the feelings and emotions of those around them. Empaths feel what another person is feeling at a deep emotional level.
Empaths are highly sensitive individuals, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling. Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.
I’M A DISEMPOWERED EMPATH WHO IS ENDEAVOURING TO BECOME AN EMPOWERED EMPATH
Dr Judith Orloff explains . . .
SOME THINGS I’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY
- I don’t care what anyone thinks anymore.
- As we reach and traverse these mid-life years we seek to understand, accept and love ourselves so that we can live our best and most authentic lives for the time we have remaining, and that is what I am doing.
- I have learnt that I am an Empath and I embrace this knowledge as it explains a lot and allows me to better understand why I am like I am.
- I now have the understanding, resources and means to find the tools to enable me to become an empowered empath which means I will have a much better quality of life.
I’ll continue to post on a diverse range of subjects, but in addition to what I already post about, I’ve created a new category on the blog called ‘Empath Corner’. You’ll see it visible now to the right in the menu at the top of the blog. This is where you’ll find any empath related posts. I plan on sharing much more about my discoveries of being an empath and what it means. There’s a lot to take in, so small bits of information in a series of posts will be good for me and will be good for anyone else out there who might identify as a HSP and/or as an Empath and of course for anyone who is interested to understand the subject.
My blog has always been fluid as to what subjects I post on and mostly they have reflected where I am in life and my interests. Whatever the subject, there are usually readers that resonate and readers that don’t. That’s only natural. If the subject of being an Empath and what that means doesn’t interest you, please no negative comments, just don’t bother reading or commenting. Please come back again though when a subject that does resonate for you is posted!
Keep watch for next posts coming for ‘Empath Corner’ on what symptoms I’ve had that led me to believe I was an empath; the difference between HSP and Empath; what kind of empath am I, and more!
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics‘