Are you a sensitive person?

Are you a sensitive person? Then you are not alone. Many people are sensitive, and I don’t mean in an emotional sense(although they sometimes go together), or sensitive to chemicals, I mean when it comes to outside stimuli.

For a lot of people, noise is the bane of their existence It is almost like torture to them, or at least very distracting. Others don’t like to be touched. Numerous people have a very sensitive sense of smell, to the point that they can’t stand perfume. People who have very sensitive taste-buds tend to avoid spicy, bitter or sour foods. At least a few have sensitive eyes, and avoid sunlight unless they wear very dark sunglasses. It’s rare, but some people may be universally sensitive to the point they wish they could live in a protective bubble.

In the very least, very sensitive people do need a lot more time to be alone and unwind. While it’s not the same thing as pain sensitivity, the two are probably linked.

But what does this even mean? This is an under-explored area of psychology, in part because it isn’t necessarily a condition or something that can be diagnosed. But it is one of those things that you know if you have it or not, especially when you realize most people don’t react the way you do to certain things. It may or may not be linked with certain disorders, but it is not, in and of itself, a disorder.

Due to noise sensitivity, I for one find it impossible to go to nightclubs. The music is way too loud to the point that I can’t function in such an environment. I similarly can’t go to most sporting events or concerts. I sleep with ear-muffs. I don’t necessarily see this as a limitation since I don’t care for these kinds of things anyway.

Being sensitive to noise may help me appreciate music and may have even helped me develop the rhythm necessary for joggling long distances. It may even be useful for creativity. It’s not well understood what ultimately causes some people to be more sensitive than others, but it is definitely at least partly genetic in origin. Some “normal” people may not understand that not everyone is wired the same way, and can’t understand why us sensitives don’t enjoy the same things they enjoy.

If you are extremely sensitive and wish you weren’t, there isn’t a whole lot to help you unless your sensitivity is linked with some kind of anxiety or medical disorder, or you alter your life to avoid certain triggers. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “switch” that we can turn down to make us less sensitive, except perhaps through drugs which I do not recommend.

If you are sensitive, how do you deal with it? What are its main drawbacks for you? And what are its advantages, if any?

6 responses to “Are you a sensitive person?

  1. I have somewhat sensitive tongue and weirdly some body parts.My face and my hands are very sensitive to hot temperatures.Also i have noticed,i am from North India where people eat less spicy food but i live in central India where they eat more spicy food than probably any other place in the world.I mean really hot food.I can’t eat in a restaurant even after telling them not to put spices.

  2. I’m sensitive to low frequency noise. The kind that you hear when people’s radio go boom boom. It isn’t even a music sound, it’s just a boom. My husband doesn’t even hear what I do, and sometimes thinks I’m nuts! Since I can’t run up and down the street, asking people to turn down their bass, I try to deep breath through the agitation it causes. My ears ring constantly, so I don’t know if that heightens the sensitivity or not.

  3. I get where you are coming from; I have the noise thing where I get distracted easy, and can’t concentrate; however, I have been tested and diagnosed as sensitive to certain chemicals. It’s not the same as not liking it or being sensitive in the sense that it’s like an emotional reaction. No, it’s a physical reaction, that can be duplicated in an immunologists office (or Doctor of Environmental Medicine’s) with the actual dose of chemical placed under the tongue or injected.

    I used to wear a ton for perfume; I loved it, then, after an accident with swimming pool chlorine, I became ‘sensitive’ to many chemicals, including my beloved perfume, which now causes symptoms such as swelling, pain breathing, and fatigue. You don’t mean to say that is psychological do you? If so, with all due respect, show us a peer reviews medical study to back that up. Chemical sensitivities can impact on people’s live beyond the ordinary person’s comprehension – until it happens to them. I have to wear a mask because it compromises my immune system that much. Please share your view on that, I’d be interested to hear it.


    Miche @ the labyrinth ~ and finding my way out

  4. Welcome to my blog, Miche, and thank you for your informative comments.

    I hope my post didn’t sound like I was being dismissive of chemical sensitivities or that I think they are “psychological”(I understand that it is totally physical). I mentioned chemical sensitivities in passing, so that I could put it aside as it was beyond the scope of the post, but definitely worthy of its own post.

    I am sorry for what you are going through, and hope you can get through the labyrinth. I react really badly to some chemicals, but it’s nothing like what you have. Second hand tobacco smoke for instance makes my eyes water, my nose stuffy, and gives me a headache. I also prefer using vinegar for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens instead of those bleach-based chemicals.

    I’ll read through more of your blog to help me better understand your condition. I may do a blog post about chemical sensitivities in the future, but I don’t think I can do justice to the subject right now. If I need help, I know where to turn. I really really hope you get better, I feel bad for how my post may have come off, and for what you are going through. Take care.

  5. We live in a noisy world. It seems to get noisier and noisier! That’s one reason we seek solitude. It gets to be too much sometimes.

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