How to Stop Being a Highly Sensitive Person

The suggestion is that roughly 20 percent of people have the personality trait referenced as “HSP” or being a highly sensitive person. This part of the personality dictates that an individual will react more intensely to triggers in a physical context, emotionally, and mentally. 

It’s not a concept readily understood, but it is one those closest to you will need to accept because it comprises a vital component of your personality. 

While people might expect you to stop overthinking, being entirely too overly sensitive, or becoming emotional in virtually any situation, the trait is not always the burden you usually find it to be. 

It has positives in that it allows empathy for others. Your conundrum is you want to tone it down by a vast margin, so how can you curb some of the sensitivity plaguing you? Let’s look at some strategies on coping with being a highly sensitive person.

Strategies for coping with being a HSP

When each social situation you attend leaves you feeling emotionally stung by someone’s words, whether they were meant to hurt you or are simply misunderstood, you’re likely exceptionally sensitive or enduring the personality traits of a highly sensitive person. 

Based on that characteristic, you will take things much more personally than anyone else and recognize this unfortunate circumstance. The thing is, you don’t want to let go of your sensitivity entirely because there are positives, including your care and concern for others. 

Still, at the same time, there needs to be a method for coping, so the behavior doesn’t continue to impact your life so drastically. Let’s look at a few strategies meant to help navigate the highly sensitive persona.

Journaling

One coping skill for anyone sensitive is writing their feelings down, emptying out those negative thoughts and ideas in a journal, notebook, or diary. In a highly sensitive person, emotions can become overwhelming and distorted. 

Whether a person is genuinely targeted against you or misreading the circumstances, the situation can become destructive as you continue to mull it over in your brain. 

On the other hand, if you write how you’re feeling and read your thoughts, it might occur to you that things aren’t as you’re imagining.

Recognize the triggers

The more comfortable you become writing your thoughts and feelings in the journal, you’ll begin to recognize patterns or ideas that seem to repeat. What needs to be determined is the trigger for these results. 

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The patterns will continue until you find the root or underlying cause for your reaction. It’s the same as with mental unwellness or a physical ailment; you can’t curb the sensitivity until you learn what might be creating the issue.

Find a way to designate constructive criticism from those who intend you harm

We can do the best for everyone we run into in our lifetime, and still, there will be people who are not fond of us. Some people want to see the worst in others, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, nor should we dwell on that. This is their issue and has nothing to do with you personally.

In contrast, constructive criticism is meant in a kind or loving context in an effort to help, not intended to be taken personally. The words might not always come out in an ideal way because not everyone can articulate themselves perfectly, but the meaning is where the intention should be derived.

The tricky part for highly sensitive people is they’re unsure of the difference between constructive criticism or ill-intentions and usually take any sort of opposing ideology directed toward them as personal. 

How do you separate the two? An HSP needs extra time to assess the situation and their relationship with the individual. If it’s good, it makes sense that there’s no ill-will, and it’s wise just to take a look at what they’re trying to tell you.

Keep negativity to a minimum

Keep those consistently negative in their assertion of you away from your social circle. That doesn’t mean anyone who might now and again have an opinion you don’t necessarily agree with but, instead, those who are constantly putting you down.

The only ones someone with this trait needs to have in their circle are those who mean well, are accepting of the person you are, and even occasionally have an opinion you might not like but need to hear anyway. 

When you recognize someone who only wants to create challenges for you, it’s better to not engage with them and avoid the discussion, but if one has already started, it’s wise to find a way to navigate to the end and move on to the people who do mean well by you.

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Don’t attempt to be a mindreader

When you speak to others, you cannot know how those people will decipher your behavior or words. You can only be responsible for the things you’re able to control. That includes how you feel, what you’re thinking, and your behavior.

In saying that, it also means that you won’t know what’s happening in someone else’s mind either. To assume that someone has bad intentions focused toward you is somewhat arrogant because, as a rule, most people are centered on their own difficulties, feelings, thoughts, and ideas, with you being merely a tiny piece in their storyline.

That means if their words happen to “smart” or come across in any way as judgmental or critical, often the reason is due to the fact there’s something personal happening in their own world causing them pain or distracting them.

Avoid controversial conversations as much as possible

The indication for a highly sensitive person is generally to avoid what might construe as a controversial topic when in a social situation. These can include religious issues, politics, and others. 

When groups become overly opinionated, people can grow verbally abusive with those opposing their viewpoints. Highly sensitive people don’t need those incidents to dwell on repeatedly. 

If the conversation is happening and you can’t avoid it, busy your mind, so you don’t have to participate actively. If the individuals attempt to drag you into the mix, politely decline the invitation by indicating you’d like to remain friends with everyone, so you don’t join in conversations like these.

Expose yourself to others’ perspectives

Sometimes it’s important to step outside your comfort zone to look at other people’s perspectives. That doesn’t mean engaging in controversial topics as was just mentioned or getting into unhealthy debates. It’s simply considering the subject from another person’s point of view. 

Opening your eyes to the fact that there are other possibilities than your own will prevent you from jumping to conclusions or making assumptions that might typically make you feel like people are thinking negatively about you.

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Time and patience are key when making changes

New habits and behaviors take substantial time to cultivate. You didn’t become highly sensitive overnight. It was likely something you were either born with or happened over a significant period of time. 

It will take a conscious effort to recognize you take things personally that aren’t meant to be or that the negative ideas should be replaced more with gratitude and positivity. 

Still, even after recognizing these things, acting on changing the ideology to a completely different mindset is a lot easier said than done.

In many cases, it might genuinely take reaching out to a counselor to obtain the necessary tools to cope strategically where you might otherwise not know how on your own. 

Once a behavior becomes a part of your personality, perhaps one you might have been born with, undoing it can be tough without some assistance.

The priority is to be patient, especially understanding that it won’t happen overnight. There will be moments where you slip back into the pattern with a need to be reminded what your goals are and how to reach them.

Conclusion

A highly sensitive personality is essentially one with heightened emotions, a tendency to overthink or over analyze situations or other people’s words or comments, and someone with exceptional empathy for everyone. 

The person usually finds the care and concern they carry for other people a positive aspect of the personality trait. Still, the individuals feel burdened by the over-sensitivity and elevated emotional state they experience on the regular.

The goal for many enduring this characteristic is to establish a strategy to cope with the trait so that they can experience a rational thought process instead of believing negative ideas and dwelling on these as a rule. 

With time and patience, any personality can overcome dysfunction. It’s essential to recognize when you might need some extra help to do so. 

Sometimes a counselor or professional therapist can offer tools to guide us through situations we’re not always equipped to handle alone. If you’re not coping adequately or don’t know how to develop an adequate coping strategy, reach out for help. You don’t have to do it alone.

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Our writers share the same interests, which is the passion for writing based on in-depth research and helpful information. We're a team of writers in the social media world, so we know how to deal with common issues on dating and friendship, and we share tips and tricks for everyone.

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