We, as HSPs, need solitude. We thrive in solitude. There is research-backed evidence that shows that solitude is essential to an HSPs wellbeing in the areas of emotion, cognition, spirituality, and social/relational life.
Seclusion is great most of the time, but we are also wired to need an emotional connection. We crave this connection on an emotionally deep level. Imagine you are at a party, who do you gravitate to? A crowd of people sharing surface bits of information about themselves? The “chit-chatters?” Or, do you find yourself seeking out someone who is interesting and immersing yourself in really getting to know them? You will find HSPs choosing the latter.
A defining trait of highly sensitive individuals is their extreme empathy. Science has found that HSPs have more activation in their mirror neurons. These are the tiny brain cells that fire when we both perform an action and also when we see it performed. The observed action or emotion triggers our minds to mobilize the neurons that produce empathy. Since we “feel” within ourselves the action or emotion, we have the ability to empathize strongly with that person. HSPs are especially empathetic because our mirror neurons are more active than non-HSPs.
Another trait that defines the HSP is our desire for authentic connection. We enjoy diving into life’s great mysteries. We love nature, seek to understand human behavior, and wish to expand our personal growth. This desire to take an essential part in life and to understand the lives we live means that we seek out sources for our knowledge all the time. Connection allows us a means to do this.
When we connect on this level, we become vulnerable. That vulnerability is a component of another HSP trait – authenticity. We crave connecting with those people who allow us to share without judgment. Where we can be ourselves with total acceptance.
And the best place to find this total acceptance – where we can be vulnerable, authentic, free to share without judgement – is in other HSPs. Our closest friends tend to be other HSPs. This need is so vital that we crave relationship with each other to help us navigate a sometimes-cruel world.
I urge you to nourish this vital requirement in yourself. It is part of your self-care program.
Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson
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