Do You Have the Traits of a HSP?



In recent times, more and more information has become available on the traits of Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP). But as little as ten years ago this wasn’t the case. Many Sensitive people struggled to understand who they were and why they had such powerful emotional reactions to life situations or when around certain people.

It is interesting to note how many Empaths discovered they were also introverts on their quest to uncover why they ‘felt’ so much when around people.  And a need for time alone was not just down to having been ‘peopled’, it is very much an introvert trait. But even the extrovert Empaths discovered, like introverts, they also need time alone to recharge.

During my many years of research I came across  Dr. Elaine Aron, a prominent research psychologist who wrote a book about HSPs. 


In her research, into the inner-workings and behaviour traits of Sensitive people, Dr Aron  interviewed 39 people who described themselves as either being introverted or easily overwhelmed by social stimulation, and queried their film preferences, creative activities, relationships with family and friends, and philosophical and religious views.

Based on these interviews, and further research, she came up with a compilation of 27 attributes of a Highly Sensitive Person.

Here’s a sampling:

  • Highly Sensitive People tend to be keen observers who look before they leap.
  • They arrange their lives in ways that limit surprises.
  • They are sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, pain, and stimulants such as coffee.
  • HSPs have difficulty when being observed or judged for general worthiness.
  • They have a tendency to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than being materialistic.
  • They dislike being engaged in small talk.
  • They describe themselves as being creative or intuitive.
  • They dream vividly and have good dream recall.
  • They love music, art, nature and physical beauty.
  • They feel exceptionally strong emotions, such as acute bouts of joy, sorrow, melancholy and fear.
  • They process information about their environments, both physical and emotional, very deeply.
  • They notice subtleties: such as another person’s shift in mood or a light bulb burning too brightly.
  • They have an  unusually strong conscience.
  • They dislike violent films and TV shows.
  • The are acutely aware of the consequences of their own behaviour.
  • In social settings they often focus on subjects like the personal problems of others.

Aron also found that many introverts tend to be Highly Sensitive…or Empaths!

Do you identify with any of the above traits?

It should be noted that because someone is an Empath does not always make them an introvert, there certainly seems to be more introvert Empaths than extroverts, but many introvert Empaths tend to be a HSP.

An introvert Empath or HSP has more chance of becoming excessively withdrawn, to the point of becoming a near recluse, especially if they’ve taken many knocks in life (read more about this here). 

If would like to discover more about where you sit on the introvert/extrovert spectrum click here to take the Briggs Meyers personality test. It’s quite an eye opener.

For more books on the incredible Empath traits and ways for the Empaths to harness their hidden power click here.

Hope all is really good in your Empath world…


©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered

Also posted on Awakening People

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20 thoughts on “Do You Have the Traits of a HSP?

  1. Pingback: Signs you are an Empath – Site Title

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  4. INFJ I’ve “known” I am an introvert empath for ages – even said it out loud yesterday but until this web site – was not Awake about it- If that makes any sense. It was a real light bulb moment, Thank You

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  11. Thank you for being you & helping all of us with your wisdom! I scroll through your blog soaking up all your priceless info! I found ” “Quite Revolution ” on your reference & it has given me some amazing ah-ha moments as well! 😁

  12. I’m a HSP, and an empath. My family, and I are moving from Atlanta to NZ in less than 10 days. It’s been crazy, and eventhough I’ve put on a good face, I feel like I’m completely shutting myself off from feeling it. I feel numb, and somehow shut myself off from feeling what’s really happening. Saying goodbye to my home, my friends, family, I suspect I should feel emotional, sad, but instead I’ve gone into autopilot mode.

    I imagine it’s a self defense mechanism, but I’ll admit it’s scary, and I wonder how I’m gonna get out of this place I’ve found myself in. Anyone have this happen to them? How did you come out of it?

  13. Why are some people bullied all their lives and others are not? And what about this type of bullying called gangstalking? How do they single out certain people and bully them all the time?

  14. INFJ – but with slight/moderate preferences my type changes through life & is fluid depending on the situation I’m in, but I think this is the most accurate so far

    • INFJ also. When I first discovered this test, I was totally amazed by how accurately it described me. I have taken it again after several years, and while the values changed, I was still a definite INFJ. Good to be here!

  15. I really enjoy reading your posts. I am 50 years old. It wasn’t until I went through extensive yoga training and working with marma points, chakras, etc…that I started to understand what and why I was the way I am. That was over 12 years ago.
    I don’t really speak to others about this because they don’t understand or judge.
    Now, my 23 year old son is exhibiting similar traits and having a difficult time dealing with all the emotions that come and go daily. I shared one of your posts with him. He was receptive but felt is could apply to many people. To me, it’s the beginning of teaching him about himself. I wish someone could have told me sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have suffered so much emotional stress over the years and questioned my sanity.
    Thank you for this great blog.

    • Aww, thank you. It’s always nice to hear others enjoy reading my posts.

      Your son is lucky to have you and your knowledge there for him (when he’s ready), which will surely make his journey less turbulent..

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