What do highly sensitive people need for happiness?

15 March, 2021 / Mateusz

They can listen with attention and interest and provide advice and support in difficult moments, so they make great friends. However, they themselves bear a considerable cost for this. Highly sensitive people feel the world a little differently than others – more intensely, deeper, and definitely, more emotionally. As a result, the needs of highly sensitive people (HSP) and their definition of happiness look slightly different from most people.

Out of Sight

“Am I going to look stupid in this dress? Why did I actually buy it? Oh, I didn’t notice it had pockets! Maybe I’ll stand out too much! I don’t think I bought anything for breakfast.” – This example is what an HSP’s morning might be like. Multifaceted analyses and considerations take time, so HSPs can seem slow or seem to have their heads in the clouds. They ask a lot of questions, mostly privately in their minds, regarding what others might think about them. It’s exhausting, so after a day of seemingly ordinary activities, they feel as if they have just run a marathon. Getting to work using public transportation can be quite challenging for them, especially since highly sensitive people do not like to get the attention of others, thereby exposing themselves to a possibly negative assessment.

So, what do HSPs do after a hard day or week? They certainly do not subject themselves to another portion of exhausting stimuli and instead turn on the cave mode. Silencing the phone and going out into nature outside the city seems to be their salvation. Nature is like a non-prescription drug for highly sensitive people.

Slow lifestyle

The cave we mentioned is a very important element that most people with high sensitivity use to rebalance themselves. Why? Imagine a day at an amusement park – loud music, flashing lights, crowds of people, and squealing children. Sound exhausting? For HSPs, a simple visit to the mall or a meeting with a group of friends can trigger highly intense emotions. That’s why their vision of a happy life is living a slow lifestyle, in silence, in a limited circle of friends or alone, and preferably somewhere where it is calm and aesthetically pleasing.

Aesthetics and a sense of beauty are other important elements that contribute to a happy life for almost every sensitive person. HSPs feel good in art galleries, museums, theatres, and wherever they have the chance to surround themselves with what is beautiful, tasteful, and inspiring. Your friend is often emotional when listening to music but can’t stand scenes in a movie where you can see, for example, violence? That person could be an HSP!

To the rescue of emotions

It is estimated that people with above-average sensitivity account for about 15% of the world’s population. Very often, they have a sense of otherness or alienation, which negatively affects self-esteem. HSPs, therefore, need a lot of empathy and understanding, as well as space to express their much stronger emotions. According to Elaine Aron, a psychotherapist dealing with highly sensitive issues, such people tend to cry more than others and are unable to express what they feel. They show both their anger and their happiness. It is very important to appreciate this!

Although they may seem withdrawn, highly sensitive people crave closeness and deep ties with others. While they can quickly get bored with relationships that lack deeper interactions, that doesn’t mean they quickly get into relationships. Quite the contrary, HSPs put a lot of effort into building an intimate and romantic relationship, so they choose more carefully the partners they let into their lives. If you would like to build a more substantial relationship with a highly sensitive person, give them time and allow them to look deep into your soul.