Highly sensitive people are not OVERLY sensitive. They are highly sensitive, which means their central nervous systems are more attuned to the environment than most other people's. Here is a short list of HSP traits:
Sensitive to noise, lights, proximity/personal space
Notice details in their surroundings that others do not notice
Feel their emotions very deeply
Sense and feel other people's emotions and can be very impacted by them
Absorb the energy in their surroundings - sometimes going to loud or "buzzing" venues can exhaust HSPs more quickly than others
Can readily make plans and think them all the way through - good at predicting how things will turn out
It is estimated that 15-20% of the population are born with highly sensitive nervous systems and therefore have highly sensitive traits. Which means that if you are highly sensitive, 80% of the people you encounter in the world are not highly sensitive and may not understand your needs and preferences. I find that many of the couples who see me for couples counseling are relieved to learn about the HSP trait in one or both of the partners. When fully understood, the HSP trait can be managed optimally and relationships improve.
Please check out the following link for more information:
At the website above, you can take an HSP self-test developed by the woman you will see pictured there - Dr. Elaine Aron.