top of page

How to explain that you’re Highly Sensitive?

So you saw the title of the post, and maybe you’re asking yourself this question: How to explain and when to tell people close to me that I am a Highly Sensitive Person? This question always makes me sigh because I’ve had too many people asking me about it. Behind this question, there is a sense of shame, a notion of justification you feel the need to give to others. Can you feel the underlining of this question? Something like: “Sorry for being different, but let me explain why?”… Can YOU feel it?

Just pause for one second… Are you ashamed? Maybe even feeling like a burden for those around you?.... Let that sink a little… and just ask yourself.

Telling that you are highly sensitive

So there is no straight answer to the question “when and how”, but let me ask you…

Do you think that by hiding who you are is going to make your sensitivity, and all what comes with it, go away? Do you believe you will resolve any eventual issues of communication if you avoid talking about the unique way you perceive the world?

Let’s face it! People will eventually call you out about your over the top sensitivity. You’ve been there more than once. Eventually they will tell you that you are too hard to handle, and you will end up getting hurt. So don’t try to go undercover, you will get caught up, I can bet on it.

I have also witnessed too often another sad case scenario… dismissing yourself by trying to adapt to those around you at any cost, and first of all at your own cost. Do you really think it is going to work for the long run? I don’t think so or at what price? I did it many times and the results were always the same, I would get hurt because I didn’t speak up.

So yes, at one point, you will have to open up.

Of course I would never recommend writing that you are a highly sensitive person on your CV or your business card, neither would I tell you to say on your first meeting: “Hi! I am highly sensitive!”

First of all, because the chance that your interlocutor doesn’t know what you’re talking about is pretty high, which could easily make them imagine that you have some kind of mental condition or something.

So if the person you want to confide in is someone close to you, maybe your new partner, a friend or a colleague, I would open the subject, not on the first round of a challenging situation, but after a few ones, when they make an observation about the fact that you overreacted to something. Let them be the one to observe first.

It won’t take long for them to see that you’re not a big fan of violent scenes in a movie or that you get emotional when watching a sad event on the news. They will also probably pick up fast that you are moved by many things, that you always try to make people feel good around you, that a smell can bother you, that you have a very deep empathy … You know what I’m talking about...

So let them observe first, then, when you feel safe that you can trust the other, you can start to share what you are all about.

And please, when you open the subject, explain it with positivity, make it fun, concentrate on the great things about High Sensitivity, and laugh at the downsides of it. Don’t make it look like it is a burden or a handicap. Another thing… I wouldn’t go too deep or into detailed neurological explanations at first. Let them know that the discussion stays open, and if they want to know more, you will always be happy to talk about it.

And if another issue comes up, tell them a little more, like : “See, this is another little characteristic of mine” and just explain it… give examples.

But don’t use it as an excuse or a weapon. Don’t either throw the word “sensitive’ in all your conversations, just let your actions and reactions speak for themselves. But don’t victimise yourself. Just explain what kind of situation can be overwhelming or a little more difficult for you. If you expect someone to respect that you feel the world a little more intensely, try on your side to show that it is a wonderful gift, even if it has some downsides sometimes.

Be an ambassador for the Highly Sensitive People, and show the world your unique qualities!

Discovery Call

I hope I helped you with this short article, because too often, people are asking me about “when and how to tell someone that they are highly sensitive”. So besides everything I told you, go also with your intuition. And don’t be too emotional when you talk about it. You know, the more you learn about your personality, the more you will feel empowered, and better prepared to tell your story. So yes, let the world know who you are.

Take away tips for explaining being a HSP:

  • Learn as much as you can about your personality. Before explaining it to anyone else, you must first know your character trait and therefore know more about yourself. The more empowered and informed you are, the more ready you will feel to tell your story.

  • Validate yourself first. We want to be accepted but first and foremost, accept yourself, be proud and claim your sensitivity.

  • Share the facts and possibly research on the HSP trait. Some people, like me, like that science explains our particularities. Offer them to read articles and research studies.

  • Give examples (even in real time), but don't focus on the "bad", "not so sexy" sides, attract their curiosity with the unique and very good sides of your sensitivity.

  • Don't victimize and don’t use your sensitivity as an excuse or a weapon. You would only confirm their possible preconceived opinions.

  • Be patient. Often those around you have been conditioned to think that being sensitive is a weakness and a flaw, so be understanding. It may take a while for them to understand.

Before I wrap up this post, I wrote a text a while ago which was very personal, but when I was preparing this text, I thought I could share it with you. It is an open letter I wrote to someone dear to me, maybe you can recognize yourself in it. If it resonates with you, feel free to send it, share it with whomever you need to transmit this message.

You will find the link here.

Thank you for your beautiful presence and… Be you… always.

Take this short quiz (below) if you want to know if you are a highly sensitive person.

test : are you highly sensitive


You want to share your story, your struggles and the battles you won, and be part of our circle of sensitive and intuitive people. Come with us and let's chat with other highly sensitive people! Join the Highly Sensitive Empaths community:

Sign up for our newsletters to receive information and stories for highly sensitive people.

Join us on: Instagram and Facebook (private group)


What is your biggest struggle?

  • Feeling emotionally drained

  • Moving on and letting go

  • Criticism and conflict

  • Being under pressure

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page