Ever wonder how to deal with a highly sensitive person? A great majority of suggestions out there work – if you’re not highly sensitive too.
If you’re highly sensitive, knowing how to deal with another highly sensitive person can be …. challenging.
It can be confusing when it comes to understanding what you’re bringing to the interaction and what they are.
Let’s unpack this.
As a Highly Sensitive Person, you are very aware of what is going on around you. You feel your own and others’ emotions deeply. Both of you have a knack for being able to identify subtleties and have been referred to as deep thinkers. You are used to being called “intense”. And maybe even ‘too sensitive’.
You know that your shared high sensitivity trait is based in biology, hard wired from birth.
Your experience of how to deal with a Highly Sensitive Person when you’re highly sensitive too will include ease and challenge. Be it in the workplace or a social gathering. Or with your child or parent. Or even in your relationship with your partner,
Taking time to reflect on how to deal with a highly sensitive person when you’re highly sensitive too makes sense.
The million dollar question is, does having this trait bode well for 2 HSPs in a relationship with each other?
In a dating or marital relationship, talking with your partner about how to deal with a highly sensitive person when you are one too is essential. Especially if your partner is not familiar with the trait despite having the trait.
Both of you appreciate intimate conversations, value intimacy, and detest small talk – so this is right up your alley.
Here are 5 ways dealing with a highly sensitive person when you’re highly sensitive too may be tricky.
- You are both prone to stress and overwhelm due to your high levels of awareness of nuance and deep processing of information. One overwhelmed person in a relationship can be taxing to both parties. Have a general plan for how to handle both of you feeling overwhelmed at the same time.
- You two are aware of subtleties that other people completely miss. Examples include tone of voice and facial expressions. Add to this the naturally high level of empathy you both have. The result? Emotional exhaustion. Feeling your own AND the other person’s emotions so intensely is very tiring! Just recognize and remind yourselves of this tendency.
- Deep processing of information is the hallmark of being an HSP. This means you both do a lot of reflecting on your experiences. It also means both of you are prone to overthinking. Negative overthinking in particular. You may both obsess over events and spiral into worry thoughts. Give each other space to process thoughts and feelings and permission to provide feedback if welcomed.
- Conflict avoidance is common among HSPs. Why? One reason is you feel your own and the other HSP’s emotions. As a result, you may end up doing or saying things to keep the other person happy – because conflict hurts and you both prefer to avoid it. However, swallowing your true feelings and thoughts will backfire. Your partner will likely sense it anyway, and a worse conflict could then ensue.
- In dating or marital relationships, knowing each other’s love language is a good idea. For HSPs, it is especially important so that each of you feels understood and validated by the other, especially if you two have different love languages.
Talking directly about potential areas of conflict with one another means your relationship is less likely to be derailed by any of them. Even if neither of you is a fan of confronting potential conflict.
Here are 5 ways dealing with a Highly Sensitive Person when you are highly sensitive too might just be natural.
- Intense emotions, including love, passion, and integrity go hand in hand with being highly sensitive. You will never have to worry about his loyalty because his love runs deep.
- You two share common experiences and approaches to life and to problem solving as Highly Sensitive People. At the end of the day, humans tend to seek a long term partner who thinks and even acts like them. Having a partner with similar underlying personality can translate to greater relationship satisfaction.
- HSPs are used to being thought of as quirky, and maybe even weird. Being in a relationship with someone who totally gets you is one of the most refreshing gifts. You may feel a levity and sense of connection to yourself that is unprecedented as a result of the validation your partner provides.
- Strong couples share many similarities and nuanced differences. Even as HSPs, there are differences. One of you may be extraverted (as are 30 percent of HSPs) and the other introverted. Or you may be a high sensation seeker HSP (30 percent of HSPs are), and he is not. While you two may have slight differences, your overall wiring is similar and you naturally ‘get’ each other.
- Both of you benefit from downtime and self care activities after socializing. You know this about each other and are thus less likely to take the other’s need for ‘me time’ personally. Both of you recognize the other’s need to regroup and recalibrate because you have the same need. And your partner taking time to unwind on their own makes it easy for you to do so too, sans guilt or justification.
How to deal with a highly sensitive person when you are highly sensitive too is often easier once you have an understanding of how you are similar and what the differences are.
You more often than not intuitively ‘get’ each other, and you know when you don’t. At the same time, when in doubt, ask your partner.
For HSPs, authenticity and consistency are two predictors of long term satisfaction in a relationship. You share this understanding, which protects again feelings of rejection or doubt.
You two have a history of experiencing the world differently than non-HSPs. Now you can share the exquisite gift of High Sensitivity.
You both value understanding and appreciating your partner’s traits, the things that get in the way, and what you need to thrive.
An extraordinary, passionate, satisfying relationship. With humor, gratitude, and awe.
I am a clinical psychologist specializing in helping Highly Sensitive People flourish. If you would like to learn more about me, please visit me here.