Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?
Those of us who fall into the category of “Highly Sensitive Person” often get a lot of flack for being “too sensitive” or “fragile.” It’s commonly seen as a flaw to correct — you must learn to “toughen up” to get ahead in the world.
This attitude toward sensitivity is hurtful to boys and girls who are sensitive; it’s also incompatible with evolution and the science of how our systems work.
Being highly sensitive is actually a gift; in fact, being highly sensitive — or what I prefer to call “energetically attuned” — is an evolutionary advantage.
The Evolutionary Advantage
Let’s look at the nervous system. When you see a bear approaching in the woods, your nervous system kicks into sympathetic mode. Also known as the “fight or flight” response, sympathetic mode puts your body in a position to get to safety. This system is vitally important to keep us alive.
It’s one thing to have a system that can kick into gear when it sees the bear, or the enemy army, or some other danger approaching.
But what if you can’t see it? What if it’s coming from behind you? Or if you’re back at the camp and don’t know it’s coming.
If you could sense — i.e., use your senses — to perceive the subtle shifts in energy around you, you could kickstart into action before danger approached. If you were back at camp with your tribe and felt that danger was approaching, you could mobilize before receiving the official word.
The more attuned you were to what was happening around you, and the farther outside yourself that sensitivity (i.e., ability to perceive with your senses) extended, the more of a head start you would have at getting to safety, whether that meant gathering more supplies before others realized what was happening to leaving camp before the attackers came.
This would be a tremendous advantage.
Being energetically attuned — i.e., “highly sensitive” — is therefore a trait that aids our survival.