If you tend to feel things on a deep level, you just might be an HSP - a Highly Sensitive Person.
If you’re not sure what the definition of an HSP is, there are many indicators - feeling vulnerable to high sounds and chaotic situations and/or feeling every emotion on an intense level. It can feel like you’re going to extremes - so sadness can verge on depression and happiness can create feelings of euphoria. With HSPs, there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. Therefore, life events like breakups and troubles in relationships can feel almost earth shattering.
If this resonates with you, you might want to check out The Highly Sensitive Person In Love which draws upon the author Elaine N. Aron’s research and offers practical help for highly sensitive people who want happier and healthier romantic relationships.
Aron reassures you if you are an HSP, there is nothing wrong with you. People who are highly sensitive often feel different, alone, or like there’s something wrong with them. They can be told, especially in relationships that they’re way too sensitive, which can be hard to deal with because that response can suggest the other person doesn’t care as much. It’s not that though - HSPs just feel things on a higher level than someone who isn’t.
A great quote from the book says “We are a package deal. Our trait of sensitivity means we will also be cautious, inward, needing extra time alone. Because people without the trait (the majority) do not understand that, they see us as timid, shy, weak, or that greatest sin of all, unsociable. Fearing these labels, we try to be like others. But that leads to our becoming overaroused and distressed. Then that gets us labeled neurotic or crazy, first by others and then by ourselves.”
The book is a real comfort to people who might have previously felt like there’s something wrong with them. And also for those who want to understand a highly sensitive person better. It can help you see why certain things might have played out as they did with an ex, or why you couldn’t get your head around the emotional dynamic.