Recently it seems like everywhere I read people are talking about the Highly Sensitive Person test. As an avid link-clicker and curious person of course I went and took it myself. It all seemed fairly obvious, I’m a sensitive person and this test would tell me “You’re a highly sensitive person” and I’d go YES I AM! I’m a HIGHLY SENSITIVE person! Then I’d get on with my life.
This wasn’t quite the end of it. I took the test… and I was flabbergasted! That test described me completely! Even things that I had not even connected together, like my unbelievably overwhelming hunger and my hatred of violence on tv, the way I’m easily moved by music and the way I’m easily startled, my ability to know how other people are feeling and my love for quiet rooms when it all gets too much. The tick boxes began to add up and up and in the end there was only one tick box I hadn’t ticked: I am not very sensitive to pain (this is quite an interesting one philosophically because I could be sensitive to pain but less reactive to it than others but this is a quibble). So in the Highly Sensitive Person test I got a 26… out of 27. I now crown myself Queen of the HSPs!
This test, although I was so dismissive of it as a cynical marketing ploy at first, has somehow seeped into my mind and my identity. I now think of myself as a HSP, I define others (temporarily I hope) by their HSPness or not-so-much HSPness. I have defined people as Highly Oblivious People (joking… sort of) And I’ve found that I like this new label, I knew that I was sensitive already but this new knowledge crystallises it. It makes it more definite. I’ve always thought that I feel more than other people, but I’ve always thought of it as a bad thing. Now I think that it’s not… it’s just a thing. Good sometimes, bad others. Good for when I’m listening to music I love, bad when I’m stuck in bad circumstances and getting my mind damaged. Of course there’s that downside, sensitive people are more susceptible to mind trauma. We feel more, good and bad.
Strange I should be writing about this now because for the past 10 days my world has been a little bit quieter and less overwhelming. My right ear has become completely overwhelmed with ear wax and I haven’t been able to hear out of it since. This lovely problem is genetic (thanks dad) and is a bit of a gift and a curse. I can’t appreciate music and I can’t follow easily in a yoga class but I’ve found that a certain amount of obliviousness is peaceful! If I can’t hear it, it’s not a problem. So things that would usually bother me; my dad swearing, my mum fussing, cars, loud tvs etc. are not at all a problem. Part of me will miss the peace when it’s over. Another indicator of my HSPness.
So I’m glad I took that test, I feel like it is now my job to nurture my sensitivity and protect it and value it. It makes life that little bit brighter and tastier. And noisier.