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Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Are you sensitive? If so you might be in the range of a HSP. Studies show up to 15-30% of people could fall into this category. And I thought I was alone!

Have you had the comments

”you should toughen up”

”don’t be so sensitive”

Yet these people don’t realise that your sensitivity is part of you, your personality. It’s like you suggesting they grow shorter as “you are too tall” How absurd.

Sensitive people have strong inner feelings, can be creative in things like writing, like to help other people or animals and generally care deeply in their convictions.

So people that criticise us are in effect bullying us to be someone we are not. If possible stand up for yourself because sure as yabbies bite your toes, if you don’t then you’ll be walked over.

We cant all be without sensitivity, we can’t all be low in emotion... not everyone is a highly sensitive person, if they were they’d understand how our world is full of inner feelings and also wonderful in a strange way because we “feel” and that my friend is priceless...


128 Replies 128

Community Member
Hi Tony!!

This is so true. I haven't really officially found out if this criteria fits me, but I have heard so many times throughout my life the same things! "You're too sensitive", "you don't take criticism well", "get over it", etc etc.... It really bugs! I feel like I often wear my heart on my sleeve, so I tend to get hurt easily because I try to be as genuinely supportive of other people as possible and get inspired by the smallest and weirdest things. I cry listening to songs a lot and I sometimes feel overwhelmed and need to be on my own.

I have always read that being so sensitive, although people do make fun of it sometimes, is actually a really great gift. I truly believe this! It is a strength and gift that can make all the difference to the world around us.

Lovely words!! I feel inspired!!


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Thankyou Nimi

I too have deep feelings for life and things like baby animals. Tugs at my heart strings.

We are constantly put down by others, then typically go away and cry our hearts out.

Not any more of that for me Nimi, I’ve fought back and feel so much better for it.

You can’t develop standard answers to these people without being nasty like-

“why don’t you stop wearing glasses”?

”you are too tall, have you tried shortening yourself”?

please google

beyondblue topic wit the only answer to torment

beyondblie topic depression and sensitivity- a connection?

beyondblue topic fortress of survival

its great talking to you


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Nimi (with a wave to TonyWK)

Yes it is a gift, I share it.

There is a thread at:


If you scroll down to 18 December you will see White Rose has given a description of the book

Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand

I manged to find a copy on line for I think it was $14. Money well spent, it has a lot of sense and explained many of my thoughts and actions. Your own state library may have an electronic copy you can hold and the download (just like a regular hardcopy book) for a couple of weeks.


Community Member
Hi Tony,

I like what you’ve written here and it resonates with me.

Not sure I’d label myself as highly sensitive, but I have often received such comments. First time I went to a GP for help with depression I was literally told to “take a shot of cement and harden up” and it took 7 GP’s to get a different response. I’ve been told in jobs I’ve had previously to “care less”. I have a deep sense of wanting to be just and of seeing fairness flourish. I take it quiet personally when I’m put in a position where I’m told to suck it up, cut corners or act amorally.

I too like Nimi would describe myself as wearing my heart on my sleeve. For me I love emotional movies and letting the feels that arise from them envelope me. Will Smith in “pursuit of happiness” had me in tears. I see my sensitivity as a way to connect, understand and better. Among a few individuals whom I’ve met and truly connected with, I know my sensitive nature has been a conduit to engaging more deeply. I believe our sensitivity gives us an uniquely different experience of the world which can be harnessed positively.


Hi Nye

totally agree, “engage more deeply”

For me, my high sensitivity is triggered depending on the state of my bipolar. Eg I write highly emotional poetry. If not emotional I can’t write it, it is a place dictated by mood.



"Don't be so sensitive ok"
Is enough to start life's delay
Into my shell shut up shop
The life of a forget me not

It could be a bully passing by
A spouse, a friend and I'll never know why
Crushed by a comment so divisive
"You should not be so highly sensitive"

And they should be more careful
As to the feelings of the soft and lovable
To throw rocks and be invasive
Not a care in the world being abrasive

Most times all is well
Then point their finger and it's hell
Out comes a comment harsh and divisive
Then "you should not be so sensitive"....


Hi Tony WK

So soulful are your words.

Imagine a world where all folk are sensitive, sensitive enough to spot the slightest hint of sadness on a person's face, so as to gift a smile, sensitive enough to hear the slightest tremor in a person's voice, so as to gift courage in a time of fear and self doubt, sensitive to never use the words 'Toughen up'.

In reality, how beautiful it is the way HSPs share their gifts with each other. Everyone else remains a challenge.


Indeed "the rising", your words are comforting


Been having a read of this thread, and your answers are simlar to how I think (when my bipolar takes me to that place), being able to draw, write, sing etc etc, feels great. Other days just can't do these things.

Your words have just really struck a chord. I'll also see if I can find an electronc version of this book to rent.

Take care White Knight. Thanks for sharing it was great to read.