I’ve mentioned, ok probably harped on, that I’m currently doing a lot of introspection and self-evaluation. Some of this has included Myers-Briggs (I’m INTP), and some has to do with learning about my PTSD.
Enter in a whole bunch of new letters! Specifically: HSP, for highly sensitive person. Apparently the term has been around for a little over 25 years, after the publication of the book named, oddly enough, “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron, PhD. I had heard of the term, and dismissed it as yet more eye-roll-inducing cringy New Agey self-help bull. (Tell us how you really feel?)
Turns out this is a real thing. I have it. It is not a disorder. It does not need to be treated or fixed. It does not mean that a person is a drama queen who goes around crying all of the time. This trait has always existed, but since it is an internal thing, it isn’t easy to spot, quantify, or study. People got labeled as shy or neurotic instead. Interestingly, Carl Jung (probably an HSP himself), wrote about HSPs without using that term. People going back further than him have described HSPs. Research in the last 25 years has been global. High sensitivity has been documented in over 100 non-human species. I used to raise Persian cats. My husband and I noticed different behaviors in a handful of our cats. I now suspect those cats were highly sensitive critters. We didn’t have the terminology.
HSP occurs at a rate of about 15% in the general population, worldwide. It occurs at rates between 15-20% in all studied species! (I find that fascinating.) It hits males equally with females. Not all HSPs are introverts. 30% are extroverts.
And on it goes. I’ll be writing more about these new letters, as well as the old ones, as time and my interests go on.
Why “ffs, world?” While I’ve been avoiding reading even the headlines in my Washington Post daily email newsletters because they upset me (very HSP, also a rational reaction to the stupid headlines that are stupid), I did choose to look at them today. The headlines were horrid. Political, hate crimes, worldwide idiocy… but it was this headline and photo that had me slam my hands down on the desk, exclaim in horror, swear, and swear to do something totally away from the computer and totally not gross thoughts for a while. This is actual mucus, people! What the actual fuck??? (Yes, I’m still not swearing.) I mean… nature, people, nature! This is just too much.