The 7 Hidden Powers of Highly Sensitive People

A highly sensitive person looking strong

Sensitive people are often tagged as “weak,” but they have a fascinating and often brilliant world happening just under the surface.

As highly sensitive people, we’ve all heard things like “you’re too sensitive,” “stop being so emotional,” and “toughen up.” Sensitive people are often tagged as weak — even though they have a fascinating and often brilliant world happening just under the surface. This stigma often leads to sensitive people believing the criticism and developing a low opinion of themselves.

That needs to stop.

If you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), you are more than just an emotional person. You are more than just physically sensitive. You have hidden powers that you can turn into real strengths that will help you be better at your work and life in general. 

Below are seven hidden powers of highly sensitive people — and why they make us truly amazing. Not every HSP will identify with all seven of them, but all HSPs can harness these gifts — and if you’re sensitive, chances are you can see yourself in most of them. Identify your strengths and use them to improve your life and empower yourself.

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The 7 Hidden Powers of Highly Sensitive People

1. Empathy

“Sensitive people have empathy in spades” – Jenn Granneman and Andre Sólo

Empathy is the biggest superpower of a highly sensitive person. We HSPs not only understand what someone is feeling — sometimes even before they consciously realize it — but also feel their emotions ourselves

This is probably why people tend to come to us for venting out or if they need a shoulder to cry on. HSPs are good listeners and can comfort and calm people in the most stressful circumstances.

But that’s not all.

According to Andre Sólo, coauthor of the book Sensitive, empathy actually helps drive human progress. Empathetic people can understand others’ points of view (even if they contradict their own) and help bring together people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and skillsets. Sólo writes that this ability to unite different points of view actually is one of the drivers of innovation — so much so that academic papers with more diverse coauthor teams go on to generate the most innovative ideas, as measured by the how many other scholars cite their work. 

In other words, HSPs aren’t just good at working in groups or as part of a team. We are good at uniting those groups, and we can spur solutions and success.

(Empathy does have a dark side, of course. Is your empathy ever downright overwhelming? If so, read this.) 

2. Creativity

Research suggests that sensitive people tend to be more creative. And there are many reasons why:

  • Sensitive people notice things in more detail, whether it is brush strokes or musical notes. They’re more finely tuned to make sharp observations and are aware of more subtle sensations. In other words: HSPs have superior sensory intelligence.
  • Sensitive people are open to different perspectives and pick up more diverse ideas over time than anyone else. This gives them the power to create something new by merging different ideas.
  • Highly sensitive people have vivid imaginations, making them capable of creating things that no one can even dream of. This makes them not just good artists, but also great scientists.
  • Many HSPs can appreciate beauty more deeply than others.

Here’s the thing, though: Creativity is not just for artists and poets. As a creative person, you are more likely to come up with brilliant ideas and innovations at work or otherwise. 

Creativity is a superpower that comes in handy in a variety of situations, from finding innovative ways to teach kids to writing amazing marketing communications. So, use it to your advantage.

3. Deep Thinking

Highly sensitive people think deeply and feel strongly, two traits linked to giftedness.

Yet thinking deeply is a hidden power that many HSPs don’t even consider to be one of their strengths.

Why is it a superpower?

HSPs can analyze things in critical detail, imagining all possible ways of doing a thing and the different outcomes that may result from each. This level of critical thinking is coveted in many work scenarios for problem-solving, ideation, and process design.

HSPs tend to take in more information than others and also do more with it. They tend to do a little extra than is required, offering long-term solutions to a problem, not just a temporary fix.

In Sensitive, Sólo and his coauthor Jenn Granneman give a brilliant example: “Imagine two tax accountants: The first one drops in your numbers, makes sure they add up, and sends them off to the government. Done. The second one goes further. They check supporting documents to make sure nothing is missed. They walk you through extra ways to save money. And they screen everything for red flags that might trigger an audit. Who would you rather have do your taxes?”

If you’d rather have the thorough, deep-thinking accountant on your side, then you understand the power of being a highly sensitive person.

4. Emotional Sensitivity

You may have heard this phrase before: HSPs are human tuning forks.

But what does it mean and how is it a hidden power?

Well, HSPs pick on cues that are invisible to others. They take in more information both sensory and emotional. An HSP can recognize emotions in others and is well-tuned to changes in the moods and behaviors of those around them.

This hidden power makes them great at assessing a situation and responding appropriately. They can diffuse conflict situations, help people communicate better, and even act as a catalyst for a smooth and productive group discussion.

This ability to understand other people’s emotions helps them deal with people better in a multitude of situations. With some training, this emotional sensitivity can be developed into emotional intelligence, which is perhaps the most powerful skill of all. Emotional intelligence is what separates good friends from bad friends and great leaders from mediocre ones.

As an HSP, your emotional sensitivity also allows you to form stronger, more meaningful connections. You can warm people up even the people who are hesitant at first. And you cultivate those relationships to become extremely connected and emotionally close, turning people into great friends, partners, and even colleagues.

So, the next time someone says “You’re too sensitive,” just say, “Thanks! That’s my superpower.”

Need to Calm Your Sensitive Nervous System? 

HSPs often live with high levels of anxiety, sensory overload and stress — and negative emotions can overwhelm us. But what if you could finally feel calm instead?

That’s what you’ll find in this powerful online course by Julie Bjelland, one of the top HSP therapists in the world. You’ll learn to turn off the racing thoughts, end emotional flooding, eliminate sensory overload, and finally make space for your sensitive gifts to shine.

Stop feeling held back and start to feel confident you can handle anything. Check out this “HSP Toolbox” and start making a change today. Click here to learn more.

5. Adaptability

HSPs are great at understanding other people’s emotions and try to be respectful towards their feelings and opinions. This makes them more prone to adjust to different situations, work with different groups of people, and adapt to things easily.

Adaptability, as we all know, is a useful skill that allows us to navigate through life and take changes in stride. It’s what helps us get along with others, reduce stress in our lives, and appreciate the unexpected. 

6. Intuition

Yes, HSPs have a strong intuition and can often predict things to some level of accuracy. This doesn’t make them psychics, of course. They just absorb more information and analyze it to predict outcomes. It’s not mystical, it’s just analytical — even if we usually do it unconsciously.

Many HSPs are aware of their intuition but, all too often, don’t take it seriously. For example, you may be extremely good at predicting who’s the murderer in a murder mystery movie or tell your best friend that you have a bad feeling about their date. But you may not use your intuitive powers beyond that. That’s because we’re so often told to doubt them. 

But imagine if you apply your gut feelings to complex situations — like a work role where you need to predict how a marketing campaign will perform and choose the best ways to reach a specific audience. Or an immediate sense that a person you’ve just crossed paths with is worth getting to know — or must be avoided at all costs. If you apply your intuitive and analytical powers in such real-world scenarios, you will be nearly invincible.

7. Fairness

One of the lesser-known qualities of highly sensitive people is that they are extremely fair and believe in social justice. They are not the ones who’ll watch injustice happen and do nothing.

HSPs will stand for what they believe in and will fight against injustice, especially when it comes to their loved ones. We may not always be great at taking care of ourselves, but we’ll go out of your way to help others.

This hidden power makes HSPs the best friends or partners you can hope for. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the world is just a better place because of sensitive people. Even if we would almost never be willing to say so out loud. 

HSPs, It’s Time to Embrace Your Powers

It’s time we understand and utilize our hidden powers as sensitive people instead of thinking of them as weaknesses. The first step in doing that is to embrace your sensitivity and start to acknowledge your strengths.

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