Over the last few years, the labels introvert, HSP (highly sensitive person), and empath, have become increasingly popular in blog-land. Social media quizzes, memes or listicles of top ten traits pop-up in my feeds almost daily. I check all the boxes for all the lists, which explains A LOT about my childhood, my lifelong temper tantrum tendencies, my sleep habits, my need to have a dog by my side, and just my life in general.
I have yet to find on the inter-webs a simple and clear definition that differentiates these labels in a way that really makes sense to me. Yet, thanks to an overabundance of bloggers offering top ten lists of traits and characteristics, I have found a growing number of people who claim to be each of these.
I'm all of them.
So I made my own definition & differentiation.
(30-50% of population)
Introverts are people with a naturally inward MENTAL FOCUS.
recharges energy in alone-time
prefers small social gatherings with deep intimate conversation
does not enjoy small-talk or large social gatherings with superficial interactions
The word introvert means 'turning inwards'. We thrive in mentally processing information in DEPTH. In fact, depth is one of our favorite words. We like to take things in, churn them around, take them apart, put them back together, and ultimately figure out FOR OURSELVES what they mean to us personally. In order to do this, anytime we gather information from the *outside world* we need large amounts of alone-time and quiet-time to process that information in our own *inside world* to make sense of it for ourselves.
HSP ~ Highly Sensitive Person (BODY)
(15-20% of population)
HSPs have a heightened awareness in one or more of their five SENSES.
has a seemingly super-human ability in one or more of the five senses
tends to experience sensory overload (like a sea anemone
often wince and recoil to otherwise *normal* levels of stimuli
HSPs super power is that their nervous systems are highly developed. They may be able to smell food going rotten a couple days before it goes bad. They may see colors within the human energy field (auras). They may hear subtleties of sound imperceptible to average ears. In rare cases, HSPs may have the super power of synesthesia, which is the ability to merge senses and use two or more senses in conjunction with each other. For example, a person with synesthesia may know what specific sounds smell like, or what each color tastes like.
(2-5% of population)
An empath is someone with heightened EMOTIONS.
uncanny ability to identify moods and emotions of other people
extremely sensitive to the tone or mood of a room
experiences mood-swings without being able to identify reasons and triggers to cause the change in mood
Empaths feel their own feelings more intensely than most. Happiness is brighter and fuller, sadness is deeper and darker. As a result, empaths are often diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Many empaths are also sensitive to feel and absorb the feelings and emotions of other people (or places) as well. In rare cases, empaths with highly developed empathic skills are intuitive, clairvoyant, and even psychic.
MINDFULNESS ~ The Secret Weapon
Any one of these labels comes with its own tightly packed suitcase of gifts and curses. When we work with these traits instead of against them, their gifts serve as our human super-powers. But when we ignore them (or resent them), their curses become intolerable, unbearable, and make life utterly un-liveable.
I've lived my entire life with an introverted MIND, a highly sensitive BODY, and an empathic SPIRIT. I've lived their curses and turned them into my gifts. Simple MINDFULNESS PRACTICE is my secret weapon that helps me to embrace my introverted ways, manage my HSP symptoms, and share my Empath wisdom with the world. I've helped hundreds of clients claim their super-powers and turn their monsters into mentors.
If you suspect you are suffering the curse of introversion, HSP, and/or empath, Book a Mentoring Appointment to learn mindfulness to manage your symptoms and claim your super power.
Start learning MINDFULNESS now. Take our most important and most basic mindfulness online course FOCUSED BREATHING.