The Highly Sensitive Person Test

    I am hypersensitive and have just recently learned that this is a part of my personality that I should not be ashamed of. I have been in relationships that start off great but then I’m accused of being too sensitive. I now embrace it and let people know that being hypersensitive is not a bad thing. I mostly had to learn this on my own but not without being riddled with pain, isolation and feeling there is something really wrong with me.

   It’s like hitting a milestone in that journey of self-discovery. I am from Kenya and it’s nice to know that this personality is global. I wish more people would read this article and know what we know now.

   Maybe they would find it easier to understand themselves and the people around them. It would surely improve a lot of interpersonal relationships. I have nothing but gratitude, keep doing this.” ~ Elie, reader at Live Bold and Bloom It is hugely liberating as an HSP when you finally realize you aren’t crazy or abnormal and that there are other people who share your highly sensitive nature. 

      Many HSPs(highly sensitive people) live through most of their adult lives not understanding themselves and feeling different and isolated. So many readers on my blog expressed their relief and appreciation in the comments of posts I’ve written about highly sensitive people. 

    They didn’t know what was “wrong” with them until they learned about the trait. Unfortunately, many highly sensitive people have experienced depression, anxiety, and relationship problems as a result of not understanding themselves, being maligned by family and others in their lives, and by making poor choices that don’t support their sensitive personalities. 

  In their struggles to conform or protect themselves, they have lived compromised lives. Through a lack of awareness and understanding, they’ve failed to create coping strategies or build a life that works best for their innate natures.

 They choose relationships with people who are on the far end of the sensitivity scale, leaving both people confused and unhappy. They’ve tried to shove down, diminish, and hide their sensitivities and have essentially denied who they really are in order to fit in. All this is so unfortunate and unnecessary, when the highly sensitive nature should be celebrated and respected.

 The first step toward changing your self-perception and the perceptions of those around you is awareness. As you are reading this article, you likely see yourself as a highly sensitive person—or maybe there’s a highly sensitive person in your life. Dr. Aron has developed an assessment to confirm whether or not you are a highly sensitive person. You can take the assessment by answering the questions at this site : highly sensitive person test .

  If you are just discovering that you or someone close to you is a highly sensitive person, the good news is that you now have unlocked the door to understanding more about why you (or someone you know) react and behave the way you do. It’s true, HSPs are the minority, and, as such, they might consider themselves “abnormal” or different. 

  •  The reality is that HSPs have many wonderful, positive qualities due to the makeup of their nervous systems. These include the following traits: 
  •   Creativity 
  •   Compassion 
  •   Empathy 
  •   Focus 
  •   Thoughtfulness
  •   Loyalty 
  •   Attention to detail 
  •   Awareness of subtleties 
  •   Calmness 
  •   Spirituality 
  •   Contemplation 
  •   Diplomacy 
  •   Intuition 
  •   Sense of justice 
  •   Harmony 
  •   Purpose-oriented 
  •   Idealism 
  •   Innovative 
  •   Collaborative 
  •   Wisdom 
  •   Gentle strength 
  •   Peacefulness 
  •   Insightfulness 
  •   Conscientiousness 
  •   Reverence for nature and beauty 

 The best thing you can do for yourself and the people in your closest circles is to educate yourself about your unique personality and processing preferences and why you are as “normal” as anyone around you. Then you’ll be prepared to educate others and to make the life changes necessary to allow you to thrive and feel confident about who you are. Who you are is NOT an aberration.

In fact, a large body of research has confirmed that innate sensitivity is found in 15 to 20 percent of the population. According to Dr. Aron, this percentage is too large for high sensitivity to be classified as a disorder. Unfortunately, it’s just small enough that it’s not well understood or accepted by the majority of other people.

  As you address some of the more difficult aspects of being a highly sensitive person, remember you have some extraordinary traits that more than make up for the difficulties. When you learn to manage your environment, daily choices, and lifestyle, you can choose to play to these strengths in order to optimize them and your enjoyment of life.

  All people, whether or not they are highly sensitive, have strengths and weaknesses. Choose to focus on your strengths as a sensitive, while you build strategies to manage your weaknesses. 

  To summarize, I want you to be clear that being an HSP doesn’t mean you have a psychological disorder. High sensitivity doesn’t make you shy or neurotic, nor does it necessarily indicate introversion. To clarify the differences in these conditions, let’s examine them more closely: 



  Shyness is a feeling of timidity, apprehension, or discomfort in some social situations, and it’s a learned behavior. HSPs are often labeled as “shy” because they prefer to observe and hold back before entering new situations. However, this isn’t caused by fear or aversion but rather the need to process new sensory data more deeply than most. 


  Neurosis is a mild behavior disorder that isn’t caused by an organic disease. People with neuroticism tend to suffer with a number of affective disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive states. HSPs are susceptible to some of these disorders as a result of the overwhelm they feel to past events or current stimuli. Other people might not understand this underlying cause and will view the HSP as neurotic, but the condition has a real and physiological cause to the HSP. 


  Although the majority of HSPs are introverts, the two are not the same. Introversion is a personality trait in which people are focused primarily on the inner world of the mind and enjoy exploring their thoughts and feelings. Introverts need to spend time alone to energize them. Too much time with others is draining. They tend to be quiet, reserved, and introspective.

  Not all HSPs have this trait, and even those that do might desire to be more social, but they feel overwhelmed in certain social situations. So going back to the question, “Am I normal?”—the answer is an unqualified “Yes.” High sensitivity is part of the normal spectrum of human responsiveness. 

  You are as normal as any of your less-sensitive friends, although they outnumber you. That’s why it’s so vitally important you embrace yourself as a highly sensitive person and educate those in your personal and professional life about how the trait is beneficial to you and to them.

You might like:

The Highly Sensitive Person Traits
What Is a Highly Sensitive Person? 

Highly Sensitive People