Characteristics Of The HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)

By: Lisa Philippart
The purpose of my previous article was to introduce you to the trait of high sensitivity. If you completed the self-test at and decided you were not highly sensitive, the chances are that you know someone who is. This article is part two of three parts designed to present you with specific characteristics to hopefully give you a clearer picture of yourself or the HSP in your life. We will look at the mental, physical, sensory, spiritual, and psychological/behavioral characteristics in an abbreviated form.


  • Better at spotting errors and avoiding making errors
  • Highly conscientious
  • Able to concentrate deeply (better without distractions)
  • Often thinking about our own thinking
  • Deeply affected by other people’s moods and emotions


  • Specialists in fine motor movements
  • Good at holding still
  • “Morning people”
  • More right-brained
  • More easily affected by stimulants
  • Nervous systems are designed to react to subtle experiences

Sensory: (sensitivity to)

  • Touch—fabrics, water, temperatures
  • Sound—loud noises, music, white noise
  • Sight/Light—visual beauty, fluorescents, bright lights
  • Taste—warm foods, textures, alcohol, caffeine
  • Smell—chemical sensitivity, aromatherapy


  • Meditative, prayerful, soulful
  • Intuitive
  • Search for meaning, purpose, and wholeness
  • Vivid dreams and active imaginations
  • Visions, divine intervention, miracles


  • Empathic
  • Affected deeply by environmental stimuli
  • Big picture/serious thinkers
  • Conscientious, methodical, perfectionist
  • Boundary difficulties
  • Avoid conflict and criticism
  • Require meaningful work and personal relationships

So, what do you think? Do you see yourself or someone you know with most or all of these characteristics? The next step is for HSPs to figure out how to function in a non-HSP world. I’ll share some tips and ideas in my next article. Until then…..Take time to appreciate the HSP!
By: Lisa Phillippart
Licensed Professional Counselor