HSI – Highly Sensitive Individual

HSI – Highly Sensitive Individual

This category of individuals does exist around us — and I am one of those who admittedly belong to this breed. For instance, while many of us seem to be able to withstand emotional pressure fittingly, others may not be truly tolerant against it. And this high degree of sensitivity is not limited to just emotional pressure. Several other contributing factors do make up a HSI. Nevertheless, it is quite unfortunate that this very group of people are often misunderstood and their behaviors or reactions are often overlooked and dismissed as simply a negative trait.

In order to learn about this elevated sensitiveness, I will list down some of the more prominent characteristics and habits of a HSI:

  • Easily overwhelmed by things or situations that are too intense, complex, chaotic or novel for a lengthened period of time.
  • Tend to be more observant than others and more aware of subtleties.  This is mainly because the brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply.
  • Enjoy delicate things, like fine scents, works of art, the feel of fabric/skin, tastes, sounds.
  • Is heavily connected to their feelings and emotions and almost always reacts according to their emotions.
  • Needs to withdraw and be alone after a long day/period of interaction with others.
  • Adequate in sensing emotions in another person.

So is high sensitivity a bad thing? Well, not necessarily.


Everyone is made different. And although individuals may share similar traits, characteristics, personalities, behaviors, it is extremely important to be able to do these three things:

  1. Understand
  2. Accept
  3. Adjust/Adapt

Understanding one another goes without saying – it applies to everything in every situation. Ignorance is never a virtue. If a person you just met is entirely different from you, it is best to take the time to learn about him/her. Be it culture, religion, personality, mind, goal(s)/vision(s), it always helps to clear any speculations or misguided thoughts you could have about them. It is the same vice versa – I’m sure you would want others to understand you before actually judging you right away.

HSIs tend to be hurt much easier and faster than others. This is normal. There is absolutely nothing abnormal or weird about a person who is poles apart from you. This just means that they need a different approach & treatment towards, in terms of verbal(words) and non-verbal(actions). You just have to be more sensitive and careful in your words while still being able to make your point across. Find that balance between sensitivity and impact. While this may not come naturally to some, it is a skill that can be mastered with practice. Truthfully, there are chances that you might bump into a HSI in school, at work, etc. So instead of avoiding HSIs completely, why not give this skill a try? It will only serve as a win-win situation for both parties involved. Neat, huh?

As for my own personal character, I do get hurt now and then, especially by those who may be unaware of how to act/behave towards HSIs. Of course, I do not hold grudges to every single person that hurt me; that would be irrational haha. For my own part, I will let out my feeling of sadness/anger in isolation; cry it out, and then return to my normal state. One fact about me is that I cry very easily.  I’m a super emotional person but I have learnt to fully accept that about myself. I used to hate that part of me when I was younger; always deemed myself as awfully weak and helpless. But I soon realized that I am just very in touch with my emotions and it is not a bad thing. Over the years I have learned how to detach myself from my emotions and forgive easily. (oh, I might write about that in another post, hopefully!)

My only wish is that more people would be aware of HSIs and understand us as well as accept us for who we are as part of an unexceptional society. Same goes for all other categories of misunderstood groups of individuals out there. There are so many of these groups. To easily name a few – the blacks, the Muslims, and others.

With this brief post, I have touched on one part of my trait – high sensitivity – and hope that the bits and pieces of information had come off as a sensible and noteworthy enlightenment.

To find out if you are a HSI or not, you may take this Highly Sensitive Person Test!

For the readers out there, your feedback is always welcomed. Thanks for reading! 🙂


Nadira Shirlonna


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