If you are unsure whether you are a Highly Sensitive Person, the following tick list has been developed as a self-help tool to help you recognise if you are one. It incorporates the holistic aspects of the sensitivity trait - including the spiritual. (You can also use this tick list as an indicator if you feel that a loved one has lots of the traits listed and is maybe unaware that they are Highly Sensitive.)
TICKLIST FOR THE TRAITS OF HSPs:
Please answer each statement according to the way you personally feel. Either print this blog article out or on a piece of paper mark ' YES' against those statements that are at least somewhat true for you; or mark 'NO' against that are not very true or not at all true for you:
1. You have often had comments from those around you that ‘you are TOO sensitive for your own good’ or that you ‘need to toughen up or not be so sensitive’.
2. Experience emotions or feelings to a much stronger or deeper extent than other people seem to.
3. You often feel overwhelmed when around large groups of people or non-sensitive people and need to withdraw.
4. You are acutely sensitive to loud noises, crowds or negativity and often feel like you need to escape.
5. You are highly intuitive and pick up on subtleties with people or environments. You can sense if something is wrong, even if other people are unaware of it.
6. You feel completely different to other members of your family, or that you that you born into the ‘wrong’ family.
7. You are highly conscientious and take longer to make decisions due to any possible consequences.
8. You have deep concentration and focus.
9. You give attention to detail or you are a ‘Perfectionist’.
10. You have a strong sense of duty.
11. You have your own set of values and ethics.
12. You are deeply concerned about social injustice and tend to fight for the ‘underdog’.
13. You are affected by environmental issues and feel deep pain by the destruction that humans are doing to the planet.
14. You can see the ‘bigger picture’.
15. You ignore your bodies messages of ‘over-arousal’ or ‘over-stimulation’ and end up feeling frazzled, exhausted, burnt out or the opposite: restless, anxious, or unable to sleep.
16. You tend to ‘absorb’ or be affected by other people’s moods and can end up feeling drained whilst others comment that they feel better after they have been with you.
17. You have experienced a difficult childhood which may have included bullying issues, physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse, or abandonment/ rejection issues.
18. You struggle with ‘self-love’ and tend to ‘care take’ or ‘rescue’ others. Or you suffer or have suffered with low self-esteem, low self-worth or feelings of not being good enough.
19. You are a natural ‘giver’ and can often struggle to implement boundaries, which can lead to you being put upon or easily manipulated.
20. Can feel ‘wounded’, devastated and find yourself ‘closing off/down’ when criticised, judged, betrayed, cheated on or lied to. It takes a longer time for you to recover from these or you feel that you will never fully get over it.
21. Struggle to find the ‘right’ relationship or have a history of ‘failed’ relationships if your partner doesn’t understand your sensitivity.
22. You have a deep longing to find your Soulmate.
23. You have experienced ‘going out of your body’ (disassociating) in difficult emotional times or you ‘space out/’daydream on a regular basis.
24. You are extremely sensitive to pain and may have suffered with ‘energy’ disorders such as M.E, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia or Insomnia.
25. You have a history of addiction problems with alcohol, drugs or food which have enabled you to ‘numb out’ or been used as a coping strategy for your sensitivity.
26. You are creative, artistic, gifted or passionate about the arts.
27. You have a Humanitarian calling or an involvement in charitable causes.
28. You are deeply reflective.
29. You see Spirituality or a faith based religion as a fundamental part of your life which may involve daily practice such as prayer, ritual or meditation.
30. You have or had psychic or spiritual experiences which others around you haven’t experienced and you are/ were left feeling that there is something ‘wrong’ with you.
31. You believe in the ‘unseen world’, a Universal Energy, Angels or Spirit Guides.
32. You have a belief in Past Lives and have had or are drawn to having a Past Life Regression.
33. You believe in Fate and Synchronicity.
34. You often have vivid or prophetic dreams.
35. You feel a strong affinity to animals, nature or crystals.
36. You have felt like someone has switched on ‘a light in the darkness’ when someone really ‘gets you’ – whether this is a like-minded friend, another HSP/HSS, Therapist or Healer and you finally feel ‘seen’ and understood.
If you ticked between 20-36 you are definitely highly sensitive.
If you ticked between 10-20 questions you are probably highly sensitive.
If you ticked less than 10 but they are ‘extremely’ true of you, you may still be justified in thinking of yourself as a HSP, especially if the psychological aspects of the trait fit.
(Please note the self-test is not a diagnostic tool of any condition.)