Do you know people with super powers

Did you know that high sensitivity is a superpower?

When I first heard the sentence, “I am highly sensitive”, I couldn't do much with it. In fact, I wondered what to do with this information. I knew that there are sensitive people, but I didn't know what being highly sensitive means. Normally I would have asked my counterpart what it was all about. But there was something that even to me, who usually does not notice such signals, said that the person on the subject had said everything there was to be said. And so I didn't ask any further. It took me a long time to find out that this topic is not just about being built close to the water, but that high sensitivity is a kind of superpower with side effects. But we'll get to that in a moment. In the first step, let's take a look at what the author of

Martin Wehrle: The wiser thinks about it. The art of being successful the quiet way - with anti-babble training

has to say on the subject.

What is high sensitivity?

At the beginning of the 90s, the US psychologist Elaine Aron coined the term high sensitivity and used it to describe a phenomenon that was long considered to be shyness or introvertedness. What exactly is high sensitivity is still difficult for me to put into words. Therefore, I have taken the liberty at this point to include a list of the things that our author mentions on the subject of high sensitivity.

Highly sensitive people

  • are very sensitive to stimuli,
  • have an intensive perception of all aspects of the environment,
  • think intensively about all aspects of the environment,
  • explore your own feelings carefully,
  • carefully explore other people's feelings,
  • have difficulty making quick decisions,
  • are quickly overstimulated,
  • are tired quickly,
  • cry more often.

I don't think this list is exhaustive, but it does give us a rough idea of ​​what we're up against. What amazed me a lot is the fact that 30% of all extroverts are highly sensitive. Until now, I always believed this phenomenon was reserved for introverts.

UPDATE 07/23/2020: If you want to learn more about the topic from the perspective of a highly sensitive person, I recommend this great blog post. Thanks @SvenjaLigness for the tip.

Why is high sensitivity a superpower?

I am one of those people who tend to talk first and then think. This characteristic ensures that a highly sensitive person quickly gets annoyed. Since I have known the subject of high sensitivity, I try to recognize whether people around me could be highly sensitive and do my best to be considerate, but now and then I am an absolute trample and in these moments I am happy when I I am pointed out to the fact that I am going to hell with someone who would like to work undisturbed. Because then I change my behavior in her presence. Since I have known the phenomenon of high sensitivity, I have been careful to be more considerate around highly sensitive people and to inquire about their observations with curiosity.

What fascinates me about highly sensitive people is that they perceive things that I do not even notice in the slightest. You have some kind of x-ray vision for details. Some highly sensitive people I know can even follow all the conversations in a room, while I and everyone else cannot understand the conversations that are going on in the room at the same time. If I were the team lead of a spy team, I would definitely make sure to have one or two highly sensitive people on the team. Every time I spend time with a highly sensitive person, I learn an incredible amount about other people's feelings. I value highly sensitive people as advisors when I cannot understand people's decisions or behavior. If I describe the behavior to a highly sensitive person, he or she draws my attention to important details that I have simply overlooked.

What about the side effects?

If we look again at the list for characterizing highly sensitive people, we notice some side effects of high sensitivity.

Highly sensitive

  • have difficulty making quick decisions,
  • are quickly overstimulated,
  • get tired quickly
  • cry more often.

Since I am aware of these side effects, I will make sure - if possible - that the side effects are minimized as much as possible by

  • give highly sensitive people time so that they can make decisions in peace,
  • make sure that the environment is as low-irritation as possible if you want to concentrate on your work,
  • accept that the other person's battery runs out faster than mine,
  • Leave highly sensitive people alone when I notice that they are fighting back tears and give me smart questions like "Why are you crying?"

In my experience, highly sensitive people thrive when they are in an environment that takes them and their special needs into consideration. Then you develop skills that are incredibly impressive.

Update August 3rd, 2020: A little bird tweeted to me that video conferences can be very pleasant for highly sensitive people, as the format transmits less information (e.g. physical signals). If you want to make a highly sensitive person happy with a video conference, here is another hot tip that should not be neglected: Messy backgrounds have a high potential for distraction.


It took me far too long to understand that, and I hope that this post will ensure that other people's penny drop faster and that they realize that highly sensitive people are not a burden, but rather the most valuable employees and in the perfect environment Are colleagues that a company can have.

At this point, as always, I'm curious. Do you know highly sensitive people or are you highly sensitive yourself? How are your experiences?

P.S .: If you are highly sensitive or know someone who is highly sensitive and have the feeling that something important is missing in this article, I would be happy if you send me this information on a channel of your choice.