Another excellent article, this time on highly sensitive persons (again, unfortunately only in German, try the big Google machine for translation, should provide at least a gist of its contents). In a nutshell and to summarize it: This article points to some of the common issues and challenges in a highly sensitive person with particular regard to finding a life partner.( I prefer to call them “hypersensory”, there’s less of a potentially judgemental connotation in that wording IMHO ). Self compassion, self care, energy management in regards to one’s own needs may be mentioned as some of the stronger tenets as provided in above text.
As for myself, I’d rate myself a sceptic when it comes to the hypothesis of HSP being a genetic trait as posited by Elain Aron. In my view, being easily overwhelmed by external stimuli and the missing filtering system in an HSP could very well be traced back to unresolved material from one’s past, be it (developmental) trauma, shock trauma (trauma type I) and|or subsequent loss of identity due to needing to compartmentalize the outcomes of trauma and|or a blend of both (and potentially further aspects that I’m missing). In my experience and analysis as well as personal research, there seem to be strong indications that link a small window of tolerance to one or more traumatic events early into one’s biography. In other words and to explain in a bit more detail: I find it very likely and almost common sense that a need to discern incoming stimuli in terms of their potential existential threat due to previous trauma creates a stress level per se that is higher as in any other person. (with equanimity being a rare experience for people dealing with the outcomes of trauma; I can say from experience that I haven’t experienced anything like it – i.e. equinimity – until very late into my adult life. In particular, I remember an itinerary in 2007 that took me to some of the deserts in the US – and how surprised I was to have the experience of being completely relaxed and feeling safe and sound within my own skin for what felt like the first time ever – and being aware of that state of being as it happened..).
So profound and new seemed this experience that I knew I had discovered a resource and source of self care. But without digressing too quickly again and in coming back to the subject at hand (HSPs): I am not aware of any scientific studies that have examined a different stimuli-response-processing pattern in HSPs vs. non-HSPs/people in general and I’d assume the former to be the core assumption to test when coining a category like Elain Aron did. Her own research appears a bit incomplete in my view and I’d find it a lot more convincing, if there was research that e.g. tested and – ideally – corroborated a neurologically different response to any sensory stimuli in HSPs vs. the general population – and put some numbers to the findings. Maybe I’ve lost track of the status of research in this area (in which case feel free to fill me in) as I’ve looked into a number of phenomena over the past 10-12 years in hopes of tracing back my own losses in the past and the former in an attempt to better identify exactly what I’d need help with and where to find it.
Whether or not I’m overgeneralizing from my own findings here I have to leave to the inclined reader. In any case and with all due respect: I’m not all convinced yet by Ms. Aron’s findings. But again: Those would be my spare 2 cents (if anyone needed them, that is 😏)