How to Explain Your HSP Need for Alone Time to Others

When I first entered into a relationship with the man that would become my husband, I told him that there was something he needed to know about me. I needed time alone. It had nothing to do with him, or was a signal that I was angry, or was a sign of a relationship problem. It was a necessity for me because that was something I needed to effectively cope with daily stress.

Image courtesy of Renan_Brun on Pixabay.

This admission took place early in my knowledge about my high sensitivity trait. I barely understood it myself. All I knew was that it was vital to maintaining my sanity. I was relieved when he accepted my explanation, and believed me.

If the situation happened today, rather than decades ago, I would have a much more concise answer. One that has a science-backed, logical, and much more persuasive premise. Whether you are in a personal or professional setting, there are solid points that you can use to help non-HSPs understand your absolute need for solitude.

I’ve created a bullet list of points, that when applied to your own situation, make a solid explanation for your very real need for alone time.

Image courtesy of 0fjd125gk87 on Pixabay.
  • I am a “highly sensitive person.” This is not a random designation – it is based on scientific research. The research shows that people with this characteristic have very different traits that require different needs than the typical person.
  • The most distinctive difference between myself and a non-HSP, is that I have a “sensitive” nervous system. This nervous system is constantly on the go.
  • Due to this revved up nervous system, I have a very active mind. HSPs process information deeply. This means that my mind is full of a constant barrage of thoughts, feelings, and imaginings. My brain is always working on several things at once. And I take a deep dive into making connections to my life.
  • Another trait is extreme empathy. Because of this, I “feel” other’s emotions. Non-HSPs must experience and deal with their own emotions, and this can overwhelm them at times. As an HSP, navigating my own as well as others’ emotions means that my load of emotional contact is doubled or tripled. I become emotionally exhausted much sooner than a non-HSP.
  • These traits, as well as my other positive HSP traits of attention to detail, conscientiousness, and high emotional quotient, make me both a compassionate partner and a desirable employee.
  • As a romantic partner, I am highly empathic and motivated to work on the relationship.
  • As an employee or businessperson, I am creative, work well with people, and customer-oriented.
  • I am sensitive to environmental stimuli. Lights, textures, sounds, smells, and weather conditions are just some of the sensitivities that cause me problems.
  • With the above beneficial qualities and environmental sensitivities, I must take appropriate time to “rest.” Time alone is the only way to rejuvenate myself. Without this required rest, I become overwhelmed, distracted, irritable, impatient, and subject myself to developing or worsening health conditions. I am unable to be at my best.
  • In order to recuperate, I typically need X number of hours per day or X number of hours per week, etc. Replace the “X” with your specific requirement. Recommendations for HSPs is a minimum of 2 hours per day.

These bullet points are the highlights for a thorough understanding as to your very unique need. Customize them to your situation. They will help form an explanation that non-HSPs can understand.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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