Directions

Ingredients

Pod Wisdom: What Parents Should Know About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)?

On episode 2 of the Yes Collective Podcast, Jenny Walters, LMFT said:

"I work with a lot of people who would identify as highly sensitive, which is actually a legitimate research classification, that some people are more sensitive and that they are receiving more sensory information in lots of different ways all the time. . . .

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

A trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

a trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

An HSP or HSC is attuned to subtleties in tone, body language, and environment—this sounds a lot like a superpower, but it also means that this person can get overwhelmed by intense, complex, or chaotic situations.  

Elaine Aron, PhD describes HSPs/HSCs with the acronym DOES:      

  • Depth of Processing: They’re deep thinkers that notice more and can make more connections—it can help them be more creative and thorough in their projects.
  • Overstimulation: They’re more easily stressed by chaos, deadlines, noise, or working in groups, but some HSPs are sensation seekers who will yoyo between looking for excitement and recovering from it.
  • Emotional Reactivity/Empathy: Their emotions (positive and negative) present strongly, and they are very empathetic.
  • Sensitivity to Subtle Stimuli: They are sensitive to subtleties in their environment and can perceive more in what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

It’s normal!

According to Dr. Aron, about 20% of the global population is made up of Highly Sensitive People, and there are over a hundred other species, including cats, dogs, and primates, that display these traits as well! If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of it, Dr. Aron coined the term in 1996 and it's only entered the research literature in the last 15 years.

Are you an HSP? Take Dr. Aron's self test here.

Is your child an HSC? Take Dr. Aron's parent-report test here.

What does this mean for parents who are HSPs?

In family, work, school, or community contexts that don’t value sensitivity, it’s easy for HSPs/HSCs to feel abnormal or a lack of belonging. If you sense that you, your partner, or your child is an HSP, consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on your family’s attitude towards emotions and emotional expression. Is it acceptable to feel big emotions? Are big emotions safe to express?  Is everyone allowed to have time to withdraw and recharge?
  • Allow yourself or your child space and time when new things come up (a new school year, a move, a vacation, a new sport). HSPs/HSCs want to and can do all the new things that come up in life; they just need more time and space to process and express big emotions that come up around new changes.
  • Use gentle, positive approaches for feedback and guidance. HSPs/HSCs are usually very aware of when they mess up. A firm but nurturing approach often gets the best results.

Pod Wisdom: What Parents Should Know About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Close
Theme icon

Podcast /

Content /

Flourish

Pod Wisdom: What Parents Should Know About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Understanding if you, your partner, or your child is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) can help deepen your connections and help your whole family thrive.

Join the Yes Collective and download the mobile app today

JOIN TODAY

Key takeaways

1

2

3

Low hassle, high nutrition

Fierce Food: Easy

Fierce Food: Easy

50/50 mixes of powerful veggies and starchy favorites

Fierce Food: Balance

Fierce Food: Balance

Maximize nutrients, minimize sugar and starch

Fierce Food: Power

Fierce Food: Power

Ingredients

Kitchen Equipment

Ingredient Replacement

View replacement list (PDF)

Reading time:

3 minutes

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)?

On episode 2 of the Yes Collective Podcast, Jenny Walters, LMFT said:

"I work with a lot of people who would identify as highly sensitive, which is actually a legitimate research classification, that some people are more sensitive and that they are receiving more sensory information in lots of different ways all the time. . . .

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

A trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

a trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

An HSP or HSC is attuned to subtleties in tone, body language, and environment—this sounds a lot like a superpower, but it also means that this person can get overwhelmed by intense, complex, or chaotic situations.  

Elaine Aron, PhD describes HSPs/HSCs with the acronym DOES:      

  • Depth of Processing: They’re deep thinkers that notice more and can make more connections—it can help them be more creative and thorough in their projects.
  • Overstimulation: They’re more easily stressed by chaos, deadlines, noise, or working in groups, but some HSPs are sensation seekers who will yoyo between looking for excitement and recovering from it.
  • Emotional Reactivity/Empathy: Their emotions (positive and negative) present strongly, and they are very empathetic.
  • Sensitivity to Subtle Stimuli: They are sensitive to subtleties in their environment and can perceive more in what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

It’s normal!

According to Dr. Aron, about 20% of the global population is made up of Highly Sensitive People, and there are over a hundred other species, including cats, dogs, and primates, that display these traits as well! If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of it, Dr. Aron coined the term in 1996 and it's only entered the research literature in the last 15 years.

Are you an HSP? Take Dr. Aron's self test here.

Is your child an HSC? Take Dr. Aron's parent-report test here.

What does this mean for parents who are HSPs?

In family, work, school, or community contexts that don’t value sensitivity, it’s easy for HSPs/HSCs to feel abnormal or a lack of belonging. If you sense that you, your partner, or your child is an HSP, consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on your family’s attitude towards emotions and emotional expression. Is it acceptable to feel big emotions? Are big emotions safe to express?  Is everyone allowed to have time to withdraw and recharge?
  • Allow yourself or your child space and time when new things come up (a new school year, a move, a vacation, a new sport). HSPs/HSCs want to and can do all the new things that come up in life; they just need more time and space to process and express big emotions that come up around new changes.
  • Use gentle, positive approaches for feedback and guidance. HSPs/HSCs are usually very aware of when they mess up. A firm but nurturing approach often gets the best results.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)?

On episode 2 of the Yes Collective Podcast, Jenny Walters, LMFT said:

"I work with a lot of people who would identify as highly sensitive, which is actually a legitimate research classification, that some people are more sensitive and that they are receiving more sensory information in lots of different ways all the time. . . .

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

A trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

a trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

An HSP or HSC is attuned to subtleties in tone, body language, and environment—this sounds a lot like a superpower, but it also means that this person can get overwhelmed by intense, complex, or chaotic situations.  

Elaine Aron, PhD describes HSPs/HSCs with the acronym DOES:      

  • Depth of Processing: They’re deep thinkers that notice more and can make more connections—it can help them be more creative and thorough in their projects.
  • Overstimulation: They’re more easily stressed by chaos, deadlines, noise, or working in groups, but some HSPs are sensation seekers who will yoyo between looking for excitement and recovering from it.
  • Emotional Reactivity/Empathy: Their emotions (positive and negative) present strongly, and they are very empathetic.
  • Sensitivity to Subtle Stimuli: They are sensitive to subtleties in their environment and can perceive more in what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

It’s normal!

According to Dr. Aron, about 20% of the global population is made up of Highly Sensitive People, and there are over a hundred other species, including cats, dogs, and primates, that display these traits as well! If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of it, Dr. Aron coined the term in 1996 and it's only entered the research literature in the last 15 years.

Are you an HSP? Take Dr. Aron's self test here.

Is your child an HSC? Take Dr. Aron's parent-report test here.

What does this mean for parents who are HSPs?

In family, work, school, or community contexts that don’t value sensitivity, it’s easy for HSPs/HSCs to feel abnormal or a lack of belonging. If you sense that you, your partner, or your child is an HSP, consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on your family’s attitude towards emotions and emotional expression. Is it acceptable to feel big emotions? Are big emotions safe to express?  Is everyone allowed to have time to withdraw and recharge?
  • Allow yourself or your child space and time when new things come up (a new school year, a move, a vacation, a new sport). HSPs/HSCs want to and can do all the new things that come up in life; they just need more time and space to process and express big emotions that come up around new changes.
  • Use gentle, positive approaches for feedback and guidance. HSPs/HSCs are usually very aware of when they mess up. A firm but nurturing approach often gets the best results.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)?

On episode 2 of the Yes Collective Podcast, Jenny Walters, LMFT said:

"I work with a lot of people who would identify as highly sensitive, which is actually a legitimate research classification, that some people are more sensitive and that they are receiving more sensory information in lots of different ways all the time. . . .

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

A trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

Only about 20% of the population has this sensitivity, and I don't think it's better or worse, it's just different. It's a different way of receiving and processing, we just tend to process a little more intensely, a little more deeply.

a trajectory for a lot of us is just a lot of anxiety, a lot of over-identifying, when we feel something, we assume it's ours."

An HSP or HSC is attuned to subtleties in tone, body language, and environment—this sounds a lot like a superpower, but it also means that this person can get overwhelmed by intense, complex, or chaotic situations.  

Elaine Aron, PhD describes HSPs/HSCs with the acronym DOES:      

  • Depth of Processing: They’re deep thinkers that notice more and can make more connections—it can help them be more creative and thorough in their projects.
  • Overstimulation: They’re more easily stressed by chaos, deadlines, noise, or working in groups, but some HSPs are sensation seekers who will yoyo between looking for excitement and recovering from it.
  • Emotional Reactivity/Empathy: Their emotions (positive and negative) present strongly, and they are very empathetic.
  • Sensitivity to Subtle Stimuli: They are sensitive to subtleties in their environment and can perceive more in what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

It’s normal!

According to Dr. Aron, about 20% of the global population is made up of Highly Sensitive People, and there are over a hundred other species, including cats, dogs, and primates, that display these traits as well! If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of it, Dr. Aron coined the term in 1996 and it's only entered the research literature in the last 15 years.

Are you an HSP? Take Dr. Aron's self test here.

Is your child an HSC? Take Dr. Aron's parent-report test here.

What does this mean for parents who are HSPs?

In family, work, school, or community contexts that don’t value sensitivity, it’s easy for HSPs/HSCs to feel abnormal or a lack of belonging. If you sense that you, your partner, or your child is an HSP, consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on your family’s attitude towards emotions and emotional expression. Is it acceptable to feel big emotions? Are big emotions safe to express?  Is everyone allowed to have time to withdraw and recharge?
  • Allow yourself or your child space and time when new things come up (a new school year, a move, a vacation, a new sport). HSPs/HSCs want to and can do all the new things that come up in life; they just need more time and space to process and express big emotions that come up around new changes.
  • Use gentle, positive approaches for feedback and guidance. HSPs/HSCs are usually very aware of when they mess up. A firm but nurturing approach often gets the best results.

Enjoying this article? Subscribe to the Yes Collective for more expert emotional wellness just for parents.

Discover Nourish

See more
Pod Wisdom: What Parents Should Know About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

Pod Wisdom: What Parents Should Know About Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

Podcast

Condimentum eu tortor bibendum.

By

Jackie Kovic

One Big Idea: Emotional Trauma

Podcast

One Big Idea: Emotional Trauma

By

Justin Wilford, PhD and Alicia Wuth, PsyD

Five Feelings Parents Don’t Want to Talk About (But Need to)

Podcast

Five Feelings Parents Don’t Want to Talk About (But Need to)

By

Alicia Wuth, PsyD and Justin Wilford, PhD

Podcast Ep. 42: Tammy Sollenberger, LCMHC, Shows us How Compassion & Curiosity are the Keys to Parent Mental Health

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 42: Tammy Sollenberger, LCMHC, Shows us How Compassion & Curiosity are the Keys to Parent Mental Health

By

Yes Collective Podcast

5 Things Friday: 5 Ways to Bring Your Kids Into the Meal-Making Process

Podcast

5 Things Friday: 5 Ways to Bring Your Kids Into the Meal-Making Process

By

Anne Watson

Podcast Ep. 41: Introducing the Monthly "Mom-isode" with Audra and Anne

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 41: Introducing the Monthly "Mom-isode" with Audra and Anne

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 40. Nadia Torres-Eaton, PsyD, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 40. Nadia Torres-Eaton, PsyD, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Breaking Generational Cycles of Disordered Eating and Food Shaming

Podcast

Breaking Generational Cycles of Disordered Eating and Food Shaming

By

Anne Watson

Podcast Ep. 38: Audra & Justin's In-between-isode on the Frank Anderson, MD, Interview

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 38: Audra & Justin's In-between-isode on the Frank Anderson, MD, Interview

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 35: Christina Furnival, LPC, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 35: Christina Furnival, LPC, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 37: Frank Anderson, MD, on Breaking Cycles, Generational Healing, and Parenting Under Pressure

Podcast

Podcast Ep. 37: Frank Anderson, MD, on Breaking Cycles, Generational Healing, and Parenting Under Pressure

By

Yes Collective Podcast

One Big Idea: Emotional Trauma

One Big Idea

One Big Idea: Emotional Trauma

By

Justin Wilford, PhD and Alicia Wuth, PsyD

Five Feelings Parents Don’t Want to Talk About (But Need to)

5 Things Friday

Five Feelings Parents Don’t Want to Talk About (But Need to)

By

Alicia Wuth, PsyD and Justin Wilford, PhD

Podcast Ep. 42: Tammy Sollenberger, LCMHC, Shows us How Compassion & Curiosity are the Keys to Parent Mental Health

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 42: Tammy Sollenberger, LCMHC, Shows us How Compassion & Curiosity are the Keys to Parent Mental Health

By

Yes Collective Podcast

5 Things Friday: 5 Ways to Bring Your Kids Into the Meal-Making Process

5 Things Friday

5 Things Friday: 5 Ways to Bring Your Kids Into the Meal-Making Process

By

Anne Watson

Podcast Ep. 41: Introducing the Monthly "Mom-isode" with Audra and Anne

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 41: Introducing the Monthly "Mom-isode" with Audra and Anne

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 40. Nadia Torres-Eaton, PsyD, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 40. Nadia Torres-Eaton, PsyD, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Breaking Generational Cycles of Disordered Eating and Food Shaming

Pro Perspective

Breaking Generational Cycles of Disordered Eating and Food Shaming

By

Anne Watson

Podcast Ep. 38: Audra & Justin's In-between-isode on the Frank Anderson, MD, Interview

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 38: Audra & Justin's In-between-isode on the Frank Anderson, MD, Interview

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 35: Christina Furnival, LPC, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 35: Christina Furnival, LPC, Leads the Yes Collective Therapist's Circle

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Podcast Ep. 37: Frank Anderson, MD, on Breaking Cycles, Generational Healing, and Parenting Under Pressure

Podcasts

Podcast Ep. 37: Frank Anderson, MD, on Breaking Cycles, Generational Healing, and Parenting Under Pressure

By

Yes Collective Podcast

Subscribe to get all the goods

Join the app
Login