How to Deal with a Highly Sensitive Person

Learning how to deal with a highly sensitive person for the first time can be challenging. Just like learning to navigate any new experience, it requires patience and advice. It’s important to note that having these individuals in your life can be a blessing. They can be barometers for what is emotionally happening in their environment if they are resilient. However, if they are not it can be difficult and overwhelming. This blog post will provide you with six professionally developed ways on how to deal with a highly sensitive person as well as identifying characteristics of them.

A highly sensitive person overwhelmed in a crowd

What Makes a Person Highly Sensitive

A highly sensitive person (HSP) is someone who experiences acute mental and physical responses to stimuli. This can be shown through HSP’s feeling easily overwhelmed and wanting to remove themselves from hectic environments, or feeling emotions much more strongly than others seem to. Here are some of the most common characteristics of a HSP:

  • Prefers meaningful conversations over small talk
  • Reflects deeply
  • Tends to dwell on things
  • Takes their time to decide and respond
  • Requires lots of down time
  • Detail oriented
  • Prone to anxiety or depression

6 Ways to Deal With A Highly Sensitive Person

If a loved one, friend, or colleague, has a few of the characteristics listed above, chances are they are a highly sensitive person. To improve your relationship and better understand the HSP individual in your life, here are six ways to deal with a highly sensitive person: 

1. Provide Patience

It is easy for us to rush to judgement for what we do not understand. Take a moment to be patient and try to better understand the individual and their response.

2. Give Them Time and Space

When HSP’s feel overwhelmed they are likely to withdraw themselves. Try not to take offence to this but rather, recognize that this is them taking the time and space they need for their mental health.

3. Encourage Basic Self Care

It is important for everyone to practice self care and even more so for a highly sensitive person. Encourage and provide support for them to have healthy eating and sleeping habits, daily exercise, and stress management techniques.

4. Trust and Value Their Opinions

A highly sensitive person is extremely observant and detail orientated. They see things that a lot of individuals miss, this usually gives them a more accurate perspective or opinion in a situation. 

5. Authentically Apologize When Needed

It is inevitable that we make mistakes from time to time, especially when we’re learning to navigate new experiences. Apologize when a mistake has been made and learn from it, this goes both ways.

6. Ask for Help

If you’re not sure how to approach or handle a situation with the highly sensitive person in your life, ask them for help. This will lead to situations being better handled and show the HSP how much you care for them.

Individual learning how to deal with a highly sensitive friend

If You’re Highly Sensitive

If you are someone who is a highly sensitive person, there are many ways you can receive support from others. Working one-on-one with a counsellor is the best way to receive tailored support for your specific goals and needs. A counsellor will help you to become more resilient, better understand yourself, and discover new ways to live fully in a world that won’t always understand you.

Your high sensitivity is something that should be looked at as an asset rather than something to feel overwhelmed by. Working with a counsellor can give you the tools needed to achieve this. 

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