Ethical Decisions and Highly Sensitive People

Twenty years ago, when I was starting a freelance career, it was difficult to get those first few customers. No one wanted to take a chance on a writer with no proven prior history. My heart took a jump when a man called me out of the blue asking if I would write content for their website. I was thrilled. Until he started telling me about the site. It was a company that was marketing pharmaceutical products online to the general public.

My enthusiasm hit the brakes. “These are typical products that require a prescription from a doctor?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. I followed that up with “What kind of validation procedures do you employ to make sure the products are prescribed by a qualified physician?” “None,” he said, “We don’t care.”

Red flag warnings immediately went through my mind. I thanked him for the offer, but declined working for them. He became indignant. “You’re a new writer. Do you know what kind of an opportunity you are throwing away here?” Yes, I did. that wasn’t enough incentive for me to violate my personal standards.

People have varying degrees of ethical standards they’ve set for themselves. As a highly sensitive person, I am very aware of my own personal standards and where they come from. Here are some of the HSP traits that form the ethical decisions we make:

Image courtesy of Tumisu on Pixabay.

Deep Listening

HSPs enjoy the intimacy of one-on-one connection with other people. We are interested in the lives of others and want to learn more about people. We employ our listening skills to deepen relationships with the people we are close to. These innate abilities help us build our critical listening skills.

Critical listening applies careful thinking and reasoning skills to analyze exactly what a person means by what they say. By listening critically, we can eliminate assumptions that cloud true meaning. Once we have the facts, we have a basis to make a choice.


After we’ve weighed the facts, we determine how our choices affect others. We are very aware of the feelings of those around us. We are deliberate in our actions, taking into account the impact our choices make on the future, making sure we land on the side of right vs. wrong.


Our conscientiousness goes hand-in-hand with our strong sense of responsibility. Our morals compel us to keep our obligations and perform our duties to the best of our abilities. This means that we must commit to only the roles and tasks that we feel comfortable in performing. We take this precept seriously.

Ethical decision-making is another trait that you can add to your HSP resume. It may cost you, as it did me, but in the end you can stand strong and know that your decisions are contributing to the welfare rather than the demise of our world.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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