Simply Nahala

Writer. Photographer. Soul Traveler.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Intuitive-Sensitive

A few months ago, I was visiting my physician regarding Post Concussion Syndrome. We were discussing side-effects I was experiencing from the medications I was taking. He said, "You're a delicate flower aren't you?" "Well yes, I guess I am," I replied. I have always been extremely sensitive to physical and/or emotional stimuli and can become overwhelmed in a highly stimulating environment. I've also had premonitions my entire life. The irony here is that I would consider myself one tough cookie. If someone is hurt or in a traumatic situation, I'm calm as can be and would risk my life for another. Consequently, I love emergency medicine and hospice work.

My dear friend, Tara is also highly sensitive and currently working on a Masters of Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She's my go to gal when I need to talk about things that others may not relate to and has kindly allowed me to share the following post from her blog The Savvy Sensitive:

Subtle Differences; The Intuitive-Sensitive
by Tara Farley 

What is an intuitive-sensitive person? If you have been reading this blog or have been researching HSPs then you are probably familiar with the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). With a finely tuned nervous system and a brain that processes and reflects more deeply, HSPs make up about 15-20% of the population. The research, originally conducted by Dr. Elaine Aron, has sparked extensive research in recent years, and a list of HSP subtypes has surfaced since the original research hit the scene. One of the major “types” to recently grab my attention is that of the Highly Intuitive-Sensitive. I found a book by Heidi Sawyer written about Highly Intuitive People that has both validated and captivated me.
Heidi describes in her book that while Intuitive-Sensitives are all HSPS, not all HSPs are Intuitive-Sensitives. She says that Intuitive-Sensitivity is an exaggerated form of HSP that seems to be developed early in life. It is also a trait that we tend to hide from others. One of the keys to this subtype is the development of extra-sensory skills and intuitive instincts. They often show up during childhood and can disappear for a while through emerging adulthood. About the time that other HSP sensitivities become apparent, these other “extra” skills make their comeback. Many of the Intuitive-Sensitives Heidi has worked with reported experiencing premonitions, or knowing things before they happen. This can be in a waking or sleeping state and is generally very detailed and in depth. Personally, I have experienced this and I can’t describe how great and validating it feels to read in this book that SO many other people have experienced the same thing. It also feels amazing to know that there is a title to this “thing”; other people are Intuitive-Sensitive too. Heidi describes how this ability to know the reality of situations and the outcomes before they happen can often cause us to feel like we need to rescue others or warn them. Unfortunately, they do not always appreciate this. We can also tell in the first few seconds of meeting someone whether we like them or not. This is not a snap judgment based upon the way a person looks. We are very perceptive and sensitive to energy and we decide if we like someone by what we “feel”. We are so tuned in to energy and other people’s feelings that we are often terrified of offending others. This can lead us to feel actual physical pain when we find ourselves in any sort of confrontation. In these situations we have to process our own emotions as well as those of the other person, quickly overwhelming us. Just as with all HSPs, Intuitive-Sensitives are prone to sensory overload. This is far worse, however, for the Intuitive-Sensitive. From avoiding strong scents like perfumes, to feeling very uncomfortable in a restaurant with our back to the door, and even feeling uncomfortable sitting at a table full of people when we are sandwiched between others, the information overload that we pick up from the people around us can be over-stimulating and exhausting.
Another trait is that of feeling different from others and often being viewed as a “mini adult” at a very young age. Heidi describes this as “subtle, natural wisdom” that we often disregard or compromise in order to fit in with others. This is why this group of people is great in a crisis situation, we don’t panic. The only problem is that we have a very good memory that is impacted deeply by emotional situations. We have a constant internal pressure that can cause a lot of stress; however, Heidi says that the factor that tends to cause us the most stress is when others are not honest. We can’t help but constantly interpret the energy around us and when others are not honest about how they are feeling or are in denial, it puts more stress on us. We also worry that our intuitive side is really us losing our minds, and Heidi reported that every Intuitive-Sensitive has a distinct feeling of wanting to “go home” that they cannot really describe. 
That about sums up the introductory chapter of Heidi’s book on Intuitive-Sensitivity. If any of this is striking home with you, like it did with me, then I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Heidi Sawyer’s book, Highly Intuitive People. If you need a little more information, Heidi describes what she calls the “Opening Signs” that do not necessarily happen in any order or all have to be present. According to Heidi:
- “In childhood you knew, but didn’t know how you knew, about the secret parts of other’s lives."
- “You’ve always been highly perceptive: you can see that the outside of a person doesn’t always match the inside. It’s obvious to you."
- “You know when someone is emotionally upset, even if their outer appearance is happy."
- “You find it difficult to compromise yourself, you like the truth of a situation."
- “You’re very honest and a hopeless liar."
- “You’re inexplicably drawn to the colours pink, lilac or white."
- “You wouldn’t define yourself as religious, but you have an interest in something that embraces life in a spiritual way."
- “You find rollercoasters and other high-adrenaline activities stressful."
- “You’re uncomfortable with surprises."
- “You’ve experienced an increase in allergies/food sensitivities, especially gut related issues."
- “You like fine, beautiful things to look at."
- “You never, if you can help it, sit with your back to a door."
- “When visiting places such as restaurants you always know exactly where the exit is."
- “You’re completely exhausted after returning home from a shopping trip, yet your companion seems fine."
- “You find yourself for no particular reason, suddenly irritated in the company of other people."
- “You find that high impact exercise wipes you out for days afterwards."
- “You have a strong need to find purpose. You can’t rest without it."
- “You have a large stack of books by the side of your bed that never seems to go down. For important books you’ll always have a hard copy; kindle is for light reading."
- “You find that strangers tell you their life history."
- “You find the truth falls out of your mouth before you can stop it."
- “You avoid confrontation at all costs, unless it involves, someone/something incredibly important to you."
- “You prefer to observe first and talk later."
- “You’re not very good at small talk- you prefer deep conversation."
- “You’re extremely sensitive to others’ moods."
- “You’re highly productive in a crisis, when a deeper sense seems to kick in."
- “You’re exhausted around others, yet people are stimulated/animated by your presence."
- “You’re sensitive to medications/have unusual sensitivities."
- “You’re desperate for your work to be of service. If it isn’t, you start to feel an urgent need to leave."
If you find yourself checking off most of these, then you are probably a Highly Intuitive Person, as well as an HSP. 


Much Love, 

Photo Location: 
Iron Mountain, Oregon
Bead Lily (Queen's Cup)
Clintonia uniflora

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