Highly Sensitive Refuge
A highly sensitive woman with secret powers

9 Secret Powers of Highly Sensitive People

You’re a human tuning fork: You can pick up on how someone feels before they even realize they’re feeling that way.    

When you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), sometimes it feels like the world is set against you. We live in a society that often favors the less sensitive: the bold, the loud, and the extroverted. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of personality, but there’s also nothing wrong with our HSP personalities. 

In fact, a large part of the population, around 20 percent or more, is made up of highly sensitive souls just like us. Being an HSP is not a disorder; rather, it means we have many unique strengths — and secret powers — to bring to the table, like the ones below. 

(Are you an HSP? Here are 21 signs that you’re a highly sensitive person.)

9 Secret Powers of Highly Sensitive People

1. You just get it — you automatically provide people with the dose of empathy they need.

How many times have you had a friend or family member (or maybe just a random stranger) come to you, needing to vent or unburden themselves of a secret? Probably too many times to count. 

Ever wonder why that is?

Our sensitivity means we are extra capable of providing that dose of empathy people need. It’s easy for us to place ourselves in someone’s shoes and see things from their perspective — often, without even trying. When your friend had a lousy day at work, we feel genuinely bad, as though it happened to us. And people can sense our ability to be empathetic, which is why they are so often knocking on our door, looking for a hug and a listening ear.

2. You’re a human tuning fork: You can pick up on how someone feels before they even realize they’re feeling that way. 

Ever feel like an antenna for all kinds of vibes and energies? Can you pick up on the subtlest shifts in emotion and moods from the people near you? Yep, that’s a trait of a highly sensitive person — and while I won’t lie and say it can’t drain our energy, it can also be useful at times. 

Highly sensitive people are natural lovers of peace and mediators of conflict. After all, when you know where the wind is blowing, you can make better-informed social decisions. 

You will often pipe up with just the right words for the moment, diplomatically smoothing over tensions or salving hurt feelings. Sometimes it even seems like you’re picking up on how someone feels before they realize that they feel that way. Like when you detect hints of moroseness, anger, or sadness in your friend, who is then startled to find that they were emitting any signs of this at all. But as a highly sensitive person, the clues were there for you all along.

With this kind of knowledge, it’s easy for you to sway the mood of the room in a positive direction. 

3. You can see the future: Your intuition doesn’t lie.

Just kidding … or am I? 

One of the most amazing things about us highly sensitive types is our intuition. Our enhanced sensitivity means we pick up on almost everything. All that info goes into our subconscious HSP brain, which is constantly working to integrate and process everything it receives. The end result is an intuition so powerful that it often looks like we have psychic powers. 

For example, you may find yourself making startlingly accurate predictions about a movie — 15 minutes in — much to the chagrin of your friends and family, who wanted to savor the film, spoiler-free. Or, you may find yourself warning others about certain situations or people, warnings which fall on deaf ears, only for them to inevitably come back to you, tail firmly between their legs and humbled.

People are often shocked at the intuitive power of a highly sensitive person. Sometimes we ourselves don’t even understand it! 

4. You write like Shakespeare and use colorful metaphors and figures of speech. 

If you’re a highly sensitive person, you understand the nuances of human language and emotion well. You probably also have a high sense of creativity, or an artistic streak. You may like to express your feelings with colorful metaphors and figures of speech; pursuing words that really grasp at the meaning and the beauty of the universe. To you, the world is a surreal and wonderful place. For example, I keep a list on my phone called simply “Beautiful Words,” which I have been compiling for years. 

Thanks to our keen insight, many of us highly sensitive types are excellent writers, whether we’re writing fiction, poetry, or even an email. After all, our sense of imagination and attention to detail is second-to-none.

5. You love hard. You’re there for others, no matter what.

A lack of empathy? Never heard of it. 

Highly sensitive people are naturally loving and nurturing. The thought of causing other people pain or discomfort is completely distasteful to you. 

You might be picky about who you share your sensitive soul with, but when you get into a relationship, you give it 110 percent. Nothing brings you greater joy than knowing the special people in your life, be it friends, family, or a lover, are cared for and happy. You’ll be there for them, making sure their safety and happiness are well-guarded.

There is one exception to this rule, though …

6. You fight for others — when an injustice is being committed, you take action.

Highly sensitive people absolutely cannot stand bullies. Too many of us have been in the victim’s position, so when we see it happening to someone else, we are quick to jump in and stand up to the abuser. 

When an injustice is being committed — whether to individuals, a disadvantaged group, or society at large — highly sensitive people are some of the first people to raise their voices. Since we feel the pain of others as if it were our own, this motivates us to do whatever we can to alleviate that pain. For example, if a highly sensitive person sees bullying or discrimination at work, they may be the first to come to the victim’s aid, regardless of the personal cost.

Many highly sensitive people are also active in their communities, whether it’s volunteering, working for a non-profit, or engaging in activism. The desire to make the world a better place is close to our deeply concerned hearts.

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7. You build people up — you encourage and inspire them to be their very best. 

To you, so many people are diamonds in the rough who just need a little polishing. You see right through all the rough edges and tough exteriors to the good-hearted person inside. 

When someone is having a bad day, you can sense that, too, and you know just what to say to make them feel better. Are they sad? A hug, a warm cup of coffee or tea, and a listening ear do wonders. Are they anxious or worried? Take them out for a day of silliness — dance in the rain or create a scavenger hunt. Are they nervous? Kindly remind them of all the potential they possess. 

Nobody sees the best in people like a highly sensitive person. And as one, you are uniquely equipped to encourage and inspire people to be their very best. 

8. You have a built-in BS detector. If someone is lying, you can detect it almost immediately.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a good person at heart. Most HSPs have had unfortunate brushes with narcissists and psychopaths, who like to prey on their kindnesses and giving nature. 

But when it comes to highly sensitive people, the old saying is true: “Once bitten, twice shy.” We don’t forget old traumas easily, but with that comes a heightened awareness of what to look out for. If someone is lying, manipulative, or unsavory, we can often detect it almost immediately. 

We’ll give anyone a chance, but if someone starts ringing the danger bells in our head, we’re hitting the road. Catching them in a lie (or worse, two!), a whiff of self-centeredness or cruelty, or a narcissistic lack of empathy: These are enough to raise the alarm bells for many HSPs. Not to mention, we usually figure it out far faster than the average person.

9. You make the world a better place.

It’s cliché, but it’s true. Highly sensitive people are unparalleled in their selflessness and desire to give back to others. The world may seem hostile and difficult sometimes, but every highly sensitive person makes it a little kinder, a little friendlier, and a little more welcoming. 

Highly sensitive people see the needs of others and go out of their way to meet them. Sometimes, it’s as simple as actively listening to someone, making their favorite comfort food, or the simple effect of putting your hand on their shoulder. But, other times, it’s the big things, too: the endless fight against wrongs done, the epic poem that moves a nation, the call for peace and love to prevail everywhere.

Fellow HSPs, you are deeply needed. Keep leaning into your strengths and never be afraid to embrace your status — and secret powers — as a highly sensitive person.

Want to reduce stress and thrive as a highly sensitive person? We recommend these online courses from psychotherapist and sensitivity expert Julie Bjelland. Click here to learn more.

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