We feel love and hate, joy and sadness, hopeful and anxious, peaceful and distraught, and countless more emotions.
While some people come across as stoic, others seem to take it all in (maybe even right on the chin).
Hence, the perennial stone-faced poker player verse the person who seems to show every emotion and just can't hide it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, about 20% of both men and women are what's called highly sensitive people (HSPs).
HSPs simply feel everything more!
These are the people who are crying at the movies and so on.
They can also be extremely empathetic and caring--because they just almost intuitively understand.
I think they are also deep thinkers, they are watchers of people, taking in the stimuli and processing it in terms of their feelings.
I remember as a kid sitting with my sister and her friends who were considerably older than me--8 years--and I would listen to their "mature" girl conversations go on and on, and then at the end, I would just sort of say my sensitive two cents, and I think more often then not, I got a lot of surprise looks at a young boy who seemed a lot older and wiser than his age.
In retrospect, I think that I was always just very sensitive to people, their plights, their hurt, the injustices in the world, and sought to understand it and try to make it right.
The flip side is that one schmuck of a manager years ago said to me, "You need to get a thicker skin!"
But you know what, I like feeling, being very human, and deeply experiencing the world.
I would imagine (having never tried drugs, true) that perhaps people who get high either are running away from some feelings or running to others--but as a HSP, you just feel it all straight up.
Being very sensitive to the world can almost be like extrasensory perception...sometimes you can see what others don't, but you also have to learn to cope with the firehose flood of feelings--sometimes even having to tune some of it out.
Cut me and I bleed, caress me and I am comforted. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)