Whilst doing a spot of cleaning the other day a book, I had read some ago and had the intention of writing a post about, fell open on the floor. The book in question is ‘Quiet’, by Susan Cain and it is her research and findings about the introverts of the world, famous and not so. It is a book I highly recommend to all you Empaths out there, as it gives a fair few ‘aha’ moments for many of our traits. It explains, for example, such subjects as to why introverts have the tendency to lose their short-term memory when overstimulated or by being put on ‘the spot.’
Anyway, getting back to what I was saying: I picked up said book and found it wedged open on page 136, which I duly read. Page 136 makes reference to traits of highly sensitive people as compiled by Dr. Elaine Aron, a research psychologist. This list will probably be of interest to the introvert Empaths of the world and gives a physiological basis for the traits of Sensitivity…
Whilst researching the inner behaviour of sensitive people, especially those who did not like to be in social situations, Dr Aron found out some fascinating tendencies. She interviewed 39 people who described themselves as being either introverted or easily overwhelmed by external stimulation and asked them many varied questions, such as their film preferences, creative activities, relationships with family and friends, philosophical and religious views. Based on these interviews and further research she came up with a compilation of 27 attributes of the ‘highly sensitive person’.
Here is a sampling of some of those attributes… see if you can lay claim to any, if not all of them (it is interesting to note that this list has some similarities to my 30 Traits of an Empath):
- Highly sensitive people tend to be keen observers who look before they leap.
- They arrange their lives in ways that limit surprises.
- Sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, pain, and stimulants such as coffee.
- Have difficulty when being observed or judged for general worthiness.
- Tendency to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than being materialistic.
- Dislike being engaged in small talk.
- Describe themselves as being creative or intuitive.
- Dream vividly and have good dream recall.
- Love music, art, nature and physical beauty.
- Feel exceptionally strong emotions, such as acute bouts of joy, sorrow, melancholy and fear.
- Process information about their environments, both physical and emotional, very deeply.
- Notice subtleties: such as another person’s shift in mood or a light bulb burning too brightly.
- Tend to have unusually strong consciences.
- Dislike or avoid violent films and TV shows.
- Acutely aware of the consequences of their own behaviour.
- In social settings they often focus on subjects like the personal problems of others.
Through Aron’s (and other scientists) research, it has been found that the amygdala (a part of the brain which plays a huge part in processing emotions) becomes strongly activated in highly sensitive people, far more so than those not of a sensitive nature, when exposed to other human suffering or pain (picking up their emotions), even just being shown pictures of people in pain is enough to trigger this response. Because of this, highly sensitive people have no choice but to feel what others feel.
Aron also found that most introverts, but not all, are highly sensitive…or in other words they’re Empaths!
To find if you are an introvert, and what type click here to take the Briggs Meyers personality test.
Here is another post which may be of interest on getting over-stimulated
Hope all is really good in your world…
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©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered
Also posted on Awakening People
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