Why are people so sensitive?

This article will explain why people are so sensitive. It will show you all about highly sensitive people, and the benefits that can come from it.

Why are people so sensitive? 

Some people may be so sensitive because they are what are called highly sensitive people. Others may become more sensitive when they are dealing with stressful situations, or an emotional time like the loss of a loved one, or a trauma.

But when it comes to being a highly sensitive person, this often means that you are a person that experiences emotions strongly, it can be negative, or even positive emotions. A highly sensitive person will also not only experience their own emotions, but they are more susceptible to feel what others are feeling, and how the environment around them feels.

But it is important to differentiate the people that are highly sensitive from the extremely emotional ones. The first one, as said before, can not only be attuned to how they feel but also to the world around them. An extremely emotional person is often one that will react more emotionally to things that happen to them, and not to the world outside.

It is also important to know that highly sensitive people will not only be like that regarding emotions. They can be sensitive to noises, lights, a crowded environment, or even to being hungry or feeling pain.

Another difference between being highly sensitive and extremely emotional is that being emotional can be a temporary situation, but when someone is highly sensitive it can be something that is connected to your personality.

What is known about highly sensitive people?

Nowadays it is thought that around 15 or 20% of the world’s population is highly sensitive. This term was created in 1996 by the psychologist Elaine N. Aron wrote a book about it since she was a highly sensitive person.

She described that people like her act as a sponge, and they have something that is called sensory processing sensitivity, which is a personality trait that alters how the person processes what happens to them, and the world around them.

Highly sensitive people will often absorb the stimulus easily. She also suggests that learning about this trait is a way that highly sensitive people can learn how to manage how they feel, so they don’t become so overwhelmed so easily.

It seems that it is not only humankind that can have highly sensitive beings, and this trait was observed in around 100 species. But what is known is that having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism can often cause a person to be highly sensitive.

In her book, Elaine defined the basic traits of a highly sensitive person. She established that they have empathy towards others, and are often people pleasers. They can be sensitive to loud and crowded places and feel overwhelmed when they are in a situation that asks too much of them.

Highly sensitive people can also be sensitive to what they eat, and drink, so they can experience strong effects from medications, or even coffee. They can be too self-aware but are also people that can deeply enjoy good moments.

Because of how they are affected by things, they can avoid seeing movies or shows, and listen to music that would trigger them too much. They can also avoid situations in which they would get overwhelmed, and often need time on their own to relax.

It is also important to know that not all highly sensitive people are introverts research has shown that around 30% of them are extroverts. And even though most people would think this is a negative thing, there are also positive aspects to being highly sensitive.

What are the advantages of being a highly sensitive person?  

There are many positive aspects of being a highly sensitive person. First of all, because they are empathetic people they can make deep connections with people. They are also people that will be extremely aware of what is happening to them, and others. 

Aside from that, their ability to feel everything deeply will also allow them to take the best of positive experiences like eating a great dish or having fun with friends. They can also be moved by a beautiful movie, and feel extreme gratitude.

How can I cope with being highly sensitive?

Although it has its pros, being a highly sensitive person can sometimes bring a lot of suffering to the person. Because of that, it may be important for you to learn how to manage your emotions. This is not something to be ashamed of, but simply to understand how to navigate it better so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

To help you through that it may be important to go to therapy to help you find better ways to deal with your sensitivity. In talking to a therapist you can learn how to deal with the challenges, and work towards highlighting the positive sides of being a highly sensitive person.

If you have come to realize that you are a highly sensitive person, and are wondering how you can begin to look for help, you should know that there are websites, and groups directed to highly sensitive people that can help you find professionals that can help you through it. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why are people so sensitive? 

Is it possible to stop being a highly sensitive person?

It may not be possible for a person to remove all traces of being a highly sensitive person in their life. But they can learn how to cope with it, in the positive, and negative moments, so they are not too overwhelmed.

Being highly sensitive can make you more susceptible to whatever is going on around you, so you can find your emotions more difficult to process, but receiving the proper treatment, which most times involves therapy, can help you through it.

Can highly sensitive people develop mental illnesses? 

Yes, highly sensitive people can develop mental illnesses due to their emotional sensibility. They can be so open to what the emotions and what is happening around them, that if they don’t develop a good coping strategy or ways to filter what is happening, they can easily develop a mental health condition.

Absorbing too many of the negative emotions around them can make them more susceptible to high levels of stress, and those can often lead the person to develop anxiety or even depression. This is even worse if the person has a family history of mental illness, which makes it even easier to happen. 

That is why caring for themselves is even more important to highly sensitive people. They need to find ways to manage their emotions so it doesn’t take the best of them.

What causes people to be highly sensitive? 

There may be some reasons why some people are highly sensitive. There seems to be an evolutionary part of it, but it also seems to be connected to the environment the person is in, their genetics, and how their formative years were.

It seems that is an evolutionary trait. It can be a weapon the species use to be constantly aware of and prevent them from putting themselves in a dangerous situation. But this surely can also lead them to develop anxiety, since it is not always that the person will be in immediate danger.

When talking about the experiences the person had in their formative years, it seems that having parents that aren’t affectionate, or warm can cause the child to become highly sensitive. It is also possible for it to happen when a child has gone through a traumatic or abusive experience.

When discussing the genetic aspect of it, it seems that being highly sensitive can be connected to the person’s dopamine system. This can affect the person’s personality traits, and since it can be connected to genetics, it seems that being highly sensitive is hereditary. 

What are the biggest difficulties of being highly sensitive?

To highly sensitive people, some things that would be easy for others can become a problem. Dealing with a lot to do is one thing. It may be simple to other people, but they may feel they need to juggle things around and do them with a lot of time so as not to feel overwhelmed.

Because they pick up on what others are feeling, they can also have trouble dealing with the expectations of others, and the fear of disappointing them. For them being compared to other people can also be extremely negative, and dealing with conflict can lead them to just want to run in the opposite direction.

They can also feel more dai ed by daily activities as other people would, and whenever they fail at something or feel like they haven’t done enough it can be so difficult for them that the toll it will take is a lot more intense than it would be on other people.

What are conditions that can be similar to being highly sensitive?

Some conditions can have symptoms that are similar to being highly sensitive. For example, introverted people can also feel overwhelmed by the stimuli around them. But while highly sensitive people are often overwhelmed by any stimuli, for introverts it is mostly related to social events.

People with sensory processing disorder (SPD) can also be extremely sensitive, but once again, differently from highly sensitive people, their sensitivity is mostly related to sensory stimuli. When a person has SPD they can also have a decrease in their motor function which doesn’t happen in highly sensitive people.

People with autism can also have manifestations that are similar to highly sensitive people. They can often feel overwhelmed by the information around them. But it is important to highlight that, in the case of autism people can be hypersensitive, or hypersensitive when they don’t react to stimuli.

And finally, people with ADHD can also be mistaken for highly sensitive people since both of them are overly responsive to stimuli. But differently from highly sensitive people, ADHD causes the person to also present cognitive symptoms.


This article showed why people are so sensitive. It explained what it means to be a highly sensitive person, and what are the advantages of being like that.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.