HSP? Or not?

As I’ve been learning more about what it means to be an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), I’ve started examining pretty much all of my little quirks under a highly-sensitve microscope.  Everything I do, I think, “That must be because I’m an HSP.”

Here are a couple of the suspects:

1. Soggy food:  I absolutely cannot eat soggy cereal or waffles (or any other soggy thing) without feeling ill.  Even as I type this, I feel a little creepy.  Once, when I was young, I put too much syrup on my waffles.  As a punishment, my mom made me finish them anyway.  It probably took a half hour.  It was awful.

2.  Oatmeal and grits:  I think it’s safe to say that I have issues about food texture.  Oatmeal and grits just feel awful in my mouth.  Can’t eat them.  Can’t be near someone eating them.  Can’t think about them for too long. Oatmeal more so than grits, but grits are yucky, too.  They’re all grainy, and then they get hard and flat if they start to cool off.

My dad recently told me that he also can’t be around people eating oatmeal.  I didn’t grow up with my dad, and I only see him once or twice a year.  So, making that little discovery was fun.

3.  Nuts or fruit chunks in food:  Okay, this one might not be as legit, but it still bothers me.  Aside from the fact that I don’t like the taste of nuts, I can’t bear to be eating a nice chewy (NOT soggy) muffin, or something, and “crunch!”  There’s a nut.  If you’re going to be crunchy, be crunchy.  If you’re going to be cake, be cake.  You can’t be both!!!

As for the fruit chunks…when I make a smoothie, I use mango and peach pieces, along with yogurt, ice and some other fruit.  On occasion, the fruit will not get thoroughly blended.  When I drink my smoothie, then, there will be slimy surprise-chunks of fruit, destroying my ability to enjoy.  I can’t just eat them.  Oh no… those things get thrown out.  Blah.

4.  My cat:  I love my cat.  I have always been a cat person.  Even so, I do not appreciate when she rubs all up against me, trying to force me to pet her.  For that matter, I don’t even like to see her rub all over the side of the sofa, the door, or any other object that she deems worthy of petting her.

There are a few others, but I’ll just keep those to myself.

Seeing these in writing kind of makes me aware of how silly they are. I’m curious, though:  do any other HSPs out there get bothered by the same types of stimuli?


Ron Burgundy’s Finger on the Pulse of Highly Sensitives

I know everyone has seen the Will Ferrell/Ron Burgundy memes.  I mean, they are everywhere.

That’s kind of the feeling I get when faced with, well, any kind of stimulus.  One minute, pretty much okay.  Next minute, tears may be forming, voice may be shaking, heart may be beating.  This is what probably seems to the untrained eye to be an overreaction.  Really, it doesn’t matter how strong the thought might be.  The body just takes it upon itself to behave as if the world might be coming to an end at any moment.


My HSP “Symptoms”

I wanted to list some signs that led me to seriously consider that I may be an HSP, Highly Sensitive Person.  Here you go:

1.  When I get angry or upset, it takes me a long time to calm down.  Even if the conflict was satisfactorily resolved, I am still reacting physically.  I may have tears in my eyes long after the event; my chest gets really red – even to the point that people ask me about it; my heartbeat remains high; and other symptoms.

2.  I cry or get choked up very easily about things that other people wouldn’t.  Once I was talking about how several kids I knew were graduating, and my voice started to shake, and tears formed in my eyes.  Mind you, this was at a statewide service-provider meeting…

3.  I overthink.  Everything.

4.  I can never let go of worrying about what people think about me, or worrying about someone’s reaction to something stupid that I said.  I’ll ruminate on it for long after the moment has passed.

5.  Though I said I’m not sensitive to light and sounds, there is a major exception:  in the bathroom closest to my office at work has an alarmingly loud flush.  It reminds me of the toilet at school in kindergarten.  I hated to use that particular bathroom, because it was so loud.  I am also really unnerved by the loudness of my workplace toilet.  It’s not just like, “Oh, that’s loud and annoying.”  It makes me uncomfortable. Again, this is not usually an issue.  My favorite place in the world is New York City.  I have been to, and enjoy concerts.  I just can’t get past that toilet…

That’s all I can think of right now, because it’s late.  I’m SURE there are more.

What are you sensitive to?  What led you to explore what it means to be an HSP?