The first time I heard "Highly Sensitive" I also took it wrong, my impression was that they were talking about problematic people who take everything very heavily and are too emotionally. When they told me that I am also one, I was ready to explode, (well, maybe they are not completely wrong).
Slowly I understood the concept and the reasons HSPs are often too emotional.
Okay let's take things from the beginning.
Highly sensitive is someone who can feel, understand or sense much more than most people do. And HSPs are not rare, about 15-20% of the people and many animals share the same attributes.
Of course we are not talking about special people, every person in this world belongs to a group that has something more developed than the average people. Can have higher IQ, super memory, luck, beauty, intuition and I'm sure that in the future they will find more charismas that some percentage of people share.
But it sounds different to say "highly smart" than "highly sensitive". If I could only count all the times I heard the phrase "you are too sensitive" about me or others. And I'm sure that I have said it myself to others, meaning of course that someone is overreacting to something not so important.
But who am I, or who are you, to decide what is important for someone else? How can you know someone else's life, what is happening in their mind or why something so small, like a word or a gesture, can really change someone's reality? And often it can.
So let's find the real meaning of sensitivity since the term is already in use since long.
Sensitivity is the ability to understand, feel or sense, deeply, profoundly and with many details things most people don't even see. The ability to feel someone else's emotions and to be empathic even if they don't want to, to get messages from intuition if something is good or bad for them, to understand what's happening by observing just a few details. Often the ability to give solutions out of the box, just because they don't understand what this box is.
To understand the real meaning, imagine a very sensitive photo film that can function in very low light conditions, where other films just show darkness, or imagine a very sensitive radio receiver that gets signal from distant countries, something a usual radio receiver cannot do.
The reason why sensitivity has been connected with disorders is because it can turn to a disorder when someone has been abused, physically, verbally or emotionally. And if you observe around you, how sensitive children are being treated in schools or families, how someone with different ideas is considered to be stupid in a working environment, or how they have invented disorders and also have created medicines that kill the sensitivity and make a gifted person to act like normal, if it's ever possible.
So if you have people around you and you suspect that they are sensitive, help them to love what they are after learning how to recognize and how to do that.
If you think you are one, learn how to use your gifts the best way, for you and people around you.
Do you think you have a choice?