A Highly-Sensitive Woman in Business
I'm a 50-year old woman who realized I am an HSP some years back. I process information kinesthetically, and I'm especially sensitive to temperature and social stimuli. I used to feel every emotion around me, heightened several degrees. One day I realized I was like a whole-body sieve. I imagined closing up some of the holes in the sieve because I didn't need to feel all the input, and it made me less tired.
I've worked in business for many years and I love it. However, in spite of my intelligence and years of experience, I'm not in a leadership position primarily due to one reason. Whenever I'm present in a group, I get overstimulated and it affects my communication. I'm perceiving all the interactions and body language and emotions going on in the room, and my nervous system gets overstimulated to the point where, when it's time for me to speak, I simply flood. It's not fear of public speaking, as I can do that well enough, even though it's not easy. It's that in any social setting, large or small, I am simply processing too much stimuli to the point where I can neither communicate effectively nor avoid the flow of information and just be present. I have to work so hard to be in social settings, I have to manage myself all the time, and it's exhausting. I envy people who love the give-and-take of social situations.
I am glad there is more research coming out on sensory integration, including for adults.