Saturday 10 December 2016

Back off. I'm a Highly Sensitive Person

Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30

Stan Laurel: Highly sensitive people feel more deeply and cry a lot.
Stan Laurel: Highly sensitive people feel more deeply and cry a lot.

Allow me to beat the rush here and be among the first to declare myself a HSP. HSP, for those of you who haven't heard of it, is the new thing. It stands for Highly Sensitive Person.

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I know. Even the title is brilliant isn't it? I'm just annoyed I didn't think of it myself years ago. Not just sensitive, mind you. Highly sensitive. It's the highly that does it. Highly elevates it from a neurosis to an actual condition. And the Person bit helps too. It lends it an air of officialdom. And it also says, I'm not just claiming to be sensitive. It's not just a kink in my character. It is who I am. It defines me. You wouldn't get far going around telling people, "Sorry. Back off. I'm sensitive." But announce " I am a Highly Sensitive Person" and it actually sounds like you have a diagnosis.

Now before all the HSPs out there get upset and offended and start crying, let me assure you that while I am being jokey about this, I am genuinely a HSP. That, in a way, is what allows me to be jokey about it. It's like young black people reclaiming the N-word. I am also doing all of us HSPs a service, by showing people that we have a sense of humour too, that it's not all intense emotions with us. We can laugh at ourselves, in between crying for ourselves.

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