8 Signs You're a Highly Sensitive Person with a Strong Personality video


If you frequently have to listen to qualifications like "weak", "lazy" or "crying" ... maybe you are a HSP, which is nothing but someone who feels and empathizes more than the rest. The psychologist Sònia Cervantes helps us to identify and understand this personality trait, as well as to relate to this type of person.

" I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm not happy. I feel weak, coward, everything affects me and the others don't understand me ." After a long ordeal, he was finally able to express how a patient felt to Sònia Cervantes, a psychologist who has just published Intensa Mente (Grijalbo) , a book in which one of her chapters is dedicated to those who, like this woman , feel misunderstood and seeking answers that alleviate their anguish.

These people are not ill, nor do they suffer from any type of psychological pathology. However, his evident emotional distress was detected and labeled in 1975 by the American, Elaine Aron. This psychologist created the Highly Sensitive People (HSP) nomenclature to bring together the traits of individuals whose degree of sensitivity and empathy was clearly superior to the rest.

Since then, the concept was spreading and many people have found in its description a certain rest to their restlessness, since they have felt identified in the features that define it.


According to Sònia Cervantes, based on the investigations and observations that have been made in this matter, the HSP are characterized because:

  • They feel and empathize with greater sensitivity and intensity than the rest.
  • They find it difficult to make decisions , since they must spend a lot of time taking into account many variables that tend to go unnoticed by others.
  • They are very observant and thoughtful.
  • They feel misunderstood.
  • They are more sensitive to noise and intense lighting. Places full of people bother them.

They find it difficult to make decisions and prefer to work alone than in a team

  • They are highly sensitive to violence. Their pain threshold is also usually lower than in the rest of the population.
  • They suffer more than the others, since their excessive empathy sometimes plays a trick on them.
  • They prefer individuality to teamwork.
  • They are highly sensitive to criticism. They experience them as an attack or contempt.
  • They have a great interior life.
  • They are highly intuitive and creative.


If you have felt identified with some, with several or with all the features that define the HSP, perhaps you are.

If so, you have already taken the first step. The next is to accept it . This is stated forcefully by Sònia Cervantes, who maintains that " to cope with the situation, first of all you need to be aware of the possession of the trait, accept it without judging or blaming yourself and orient yourself towards change and learning strategies that can help in the school environment , academic, work, personal or family r ".

Acceptance and transformation of this trait is basic to overcome misunderstanding

As a result of ignorance and the low empathy practiced by society, highly sensitive people are often subject to unfair, wrong and cruel comments. According to the psychologist, "they are usually labeled as lazy, soft, crying and weak, when this is not the case at all ."

In fact, in Sònia's opinion, "it is preferable to feel than not to do it, but like everything in life, and as Paracelsus said" the poison is in the dose. "However, the worst enemy of the HSP is often not its highly sensitive trait, if not the insensitivity of the world they live in . "


The suffering of the HSP does not come directly from their degree of sensitivity, but from the treatment they receive from those who criticize them from safety and ignorance .

" Due to this social lynching in which they often live in subjection, their state of mind can be affected and in many occasions can lead to anxious or depressive symptoms that require psychological treatment, " says Cervantes.

The expert reminds us that the hypersensitivity of these people " is not a pathological characteristic of their personality, although it is a highly influential trait in their emotional well-being, since it requires a certain acceptance and adaptation in certain contexts and situations that, due to the high Sensitivity can be disturbing and may predispose them to anxiety and depression . "


Taking into account that 20% of the population could be classified as highly sensitive, it would not be strange that if you are not, someone close to you is. If so, there is no doubt that dealing with a HSP could sometimes be difficult.

The psychologist Sònia Cervantes suggests some simple guidelines for attitude and behavior that promote the right environment for a coexistence as harmonious as possible:

  • Provide understanding and acceptance .
  • A good dose of empathy .
  • Do not judge or label negatively.
  • Facilitate lightly loaded environments.
  • Respect their way of processing information.
  • Increase the sensitivity dose .


Studies suggest that there is certain scientific evidence that supports the hypothesis that this personality trait may "come from the factory". These investigations, pointed out by Sònia Cervantes, reveal that " the brain areas involved in the empathic response (that part of the mirror neuron system) show more activity in highly sensitive people ."

In addition, her conclusions confirm that there is greater blood flow, which means " that there is more brain activity in the areas related to the processing of sensory information, " deduces the expert.

  • However, Cervantes does not believe that biology determines this trait 100%, since he considers that " there are environments that can sharpen it and others that can favor adaptation by compensating for hypersensitivity ."

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