Do you feel different?
Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel different than other people? Maybe you have noticed that it is harder for you to adjust to new circumstances, especially after moving abroad as an expat? Or perhaps you tend to get overwhelmed more easily than others? Do you seem to notice that you have an exceptionally rich and complex inner life? You might have been called “too sensitive” before, but have you ever wondered why? If that sounds like you, I want to introduce you to a concept called the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). It is a term that has been first used by Dr. Elaine Aron. Do you wonder if you are a Highly Sensitive expat? Let’s find out!
HSPs comprise only 15 to 20% of the whole population and tend to feel and think about things more deeply. They’re much more sensitive to stimuli, and it can be external or internal stimuli. Unfortunately, these unique people more often than not, think that something is “not quite right” with them. They feel different and very often receive a negative reaction from others towards their feelings or behaviors. Therefore, they tend to undermine themselves.
Highly Sensitive Person Abroad
This tends to especially show when a HSP moves abroad. They will need more time adjusting to these big life changes and can be frustrated with themselves. The Highly Sensitive Expat is exposed to a lot of stimuli and he or she needs to learn to go through these experiences with patience. HSPs also need to fully embrace and understand their differences so they can fully realize their potential.
You might need some time to warm up to understanding that you are a HSP. Especially if you’ve been criticized for being “too sensitive,” it might take some time to start seeing it as a strength. You might also wonder if it really defines you because you don’t feel introverted, or shy, but Highly Sensitive People can be extroverted as well, and some like to be exposed to new stimuli and even get excited about changes (they also fit the definition for “High Sensation Seekers”). Being a HSP doesn’t mean you need to avoid life changes or not take risks, it just means you need to find what balance and self-care mean for you and how to best recharge your batteries.
I love working with Highly Sensitive expats. Especially because during my own time living abroad I found out that I also identify as a Highly Sensitive Person! Please watch my video below and dive deeper into understanding what it means to be a Highly Sensitive expat is and what are their traits and superpowers!