16 Quotes Highly Sensitive People Will Instantly Relate To

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) are hyper-aware of subtleties in their environment. Their sensitivity gives them an incredible advantage, but it also means they can become easily overwhelmed by day-to-day life. About 15 to 20 percent of the population are highly sensitive—are you? If you are, you’ll instantly relate to these 16 quotes:

1. “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” ― Anthon St. MaartenDivine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny

2. “It seems my heart is made of tissue paper; I wish the world would handle it more delicately.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

3. “We are a package deal, however. Our trait of sensitivity means we will also be cautious, inward, needing extra time alone. Because people without the trait (the majority) do not understand that, they see us as timid, shy, weak, or that greatest sin of all, unsociable. Fearing these labels, we try to be like others. But that leads to our becoming overaroused and distressed. Then that gets us labeled neurotic or crazy, first by others and then by ourselves.”  Elaine N. Aron, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

4. “To be sensitive is fine, but it makes day-to-day living—life—rather painful.”  Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics

5. “How do you ever explain the feelings of anxiety and paralyzing fear? I can’t answer those questions. It’s just a feeling of ‘Am I crazy? Am I too sensitive to be in this world?’ A feeling that the world is just too complicated for me right now, and I don’t feel like I belong here. But it passes, and fortunately today I feel blessed for all the good things in my life.” ― Winona Ryder

6. “I’m extremely-extremely sensitive. I can cry at the drop of a hat…Anything upsets me. I cry all the time. I cry when I’m happy too.” ― Mandy Moore

7. “A teacher of meditation once told the story of a man who wanted nothing to do with the stress of life, so he retreated to a cave to meditate day and night for the rest of his life. But soon he came out again, driven to overwhelming distress by the sound of the dripping of water in his cave. The moral is that, at least to some extent, the stresses will always be there, for we bring our sensitivity with us. What we need is a new way of living with the stressors.” ― Elaine N. AronThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

8. “I am very sensitive to the interactions I have with people. Whether it’s a momentary glance in an elevator, or a deep philosophical conversation over dinner, or a brush-by in a café, I feel (sometimes exhaustingly) attuned and affected by the subtle exchanges that pass seemingly benignly between us as human ships. Being a sensitive empath is a beautiful thing as an artist, and it fosters a deep burning curiosity about why we do the things we do.” ― Alanis Morissette

9. “There is a common misunderstanding that emotions cause us to think illogically. But recent scientific thinking, reviewed by psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues, has placed emotion at the center of wisdom. One reason is that most emotion is felt after an event, which apparently serves to help us remember what happened and learn from it. The more upset we are by a mistake, the more we think about it and will be able to avoid it the next time. The more delighted we are by a success, the more we think and talk about it and how we did it, causing us to be more likely to be able to repeat it.” ― Elaine N. AronThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

10. “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” ― Pearl Buck, The Good Earth

11. “All HSPs are creative, by definition. Many have squashed their creativity because of their low self-esteem; many more had it squashed for them, before they could ever know about it. But we all have it…One of the best ways to make life meaningful for an HSP is to use that creativity.” ― Elaine N. Aron, Comfort Zone newsletter

12. “Oh please be careful with me/I’m sensitive/And I’d like to stay that way.” ― From the song “I’m Sensitive” by Jewel

13. “I get maxed-out more quickly than some, so it’s my responsibility that I schedule little mini-breaks throughout the day, and have enough sleep. It’s almost incumbent on me to make sure that I take care, in a very fierce way, in order to be able to continue to write and to be the person I want to be.” ― Alanis Morissette

14. “The real warriors in this world are the ones that see the details of another’s soul. They see the transparency behind walls people put up. They stand on the battlefield of life and expose their heart’s transparency, so others can finish the day with hope. They are the sensitive souls that understand that before they could be a light they first had to feel the burn.”  Shannon L. Alder

15. “Learning to thrive as a highly sensitive soul presents challenges. If you’re sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying to overcome the trait because you don’t ‘fit in’ with society. And yet being highly sensitive is a vital part of you. A first step toward thriving as a sensitive soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my clients says, being highly sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.” ― HSP life coach Jenna Avery

16. “The highly sensitive person has an important mission, which is to serve as a balance to the more aggressive behavior of some of the non-HSPs who advocate a less than nurturing policy toward humans, animals, and Mother Nature.” ― Ted Zeff, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World  

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