Are You Highly Sensitive?

​15-30% of the population are born Highly Sensitive. Men and women equally.​Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) can present unique possibilities e.g. when working in teams. But it can also be stressful.

What signifies a Highly Sensitive Person?

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is marked by an increased sensitivity to external stimuli, which can manifest as heightened emotional responsiveness and overstimulation in response to their surroundings.

They have a more profound sensitivity to various stimuli, including those related to physical sensations, emotions, and social interactions.

High Standards and a talent for helping

Highly Sensitive People generally have very high standards as to how thoughtful, caring and resposible they are supposed to be. As a Highly Sensitive Person, you are wired to help and give.

They also have a very big talent for being very attentive towards others, both at work and in private relations - and don't have the easiest job not being it:

A client recently told me "It costs me more not paying attention to others than it does paying attention to them".

HSPs are often very good listeners and other people find it very rewarding telling their problems and struggles to them; 

Because of their very vivid ability to visualize, relate and mirror the feelings, the other person feels seen and understood.

What some people neclect to see is that the feeling inside the HSP afterwards can be as if they just went throught what was told to them...

And often the other person feels that they just had a really close talk, feels much more at ease, and wanders off feeling lighter;

But often forgetting to ask the HSP how they are doing (you might want to read my article on Talk-sick or Toxic people..)

Highly Sensitive at work - can be a challenge

Below are three areas where HSPs may experience stress in team environments:

Conflict and Emotional Atmosphere: 

HSPs often pick up on subtle emotional cues and can be deeply affected by conflicts or negative emotional atmospheres within the team. They may also absorb the emotional energy of the team, making it challenging to maintain a positive mindset.

High Expectations and Perfectionism

HSPs tend to be detail-oriented and have high standards for themselves. In a team, they may place excessive pressure on themselves to perform perfectly or to meet unrealistic expectations.


HSPs are more sensitive to sensory input, such as noise, light, and strong emotions. In team settings, particularly in open offices or high-pressure environments, the constant sensory input can lead to overstimulation.

HSP often don't speak up at work

It can be difficult for a Highly Sensitive Person to speak up when unhappy about something at work:

HSPs are often highly attuned to the emotions and reactions of others, and they may be more sensitive to criticism or confrontation.

As a result they may avoid speaking up about their dissatisfaction at work.


To address these challenges and reduce stress, HSPs working in teams may benefit from implementing strategies such as setting boundaries, practicing self-care, and communicating their needs to team members.

Team leaders and colleagues can also play a crucial role by fostering a supportive and understanding work environment that acknowledges and respects the unique traits of HSPs.

Highly Sensitive at work - can also be a super power!

Working in teams HSP can also be most rewarding - having the right circumstances.


  • "HSPs are skilled at spotting patterns, reading between the lines, and picking up on subtle cues, which makes them well-suited to identify opportunities or risks that others miss.​
  • Because HSPs are attuned to others’ emotions and needs, they can be savvy persuaders, influencers, and negotiators as well as experts at fostering teamwork and camaraderie.​
  • HSPs listen to multiple perspectives and find common ground, which can be invaluable during conflict resolution."   

(Curious to read more about the benefits?: Harvard Business Review)

Do you have more sensory impressions every second than others?

Don't you know if you're Highly Sensitive?

There are many characteristics - and of course varying degrees - of sensitivity.

Do you find any of the following problematic?:

  • Being around many people for extended periods, even if you enjoy it and like them?​
  • High noises, cold, hunger, or fatigue affecting your ability to handle what you're engaged in?​
  • Conflicts - or just a negative atmosphere - among others affecting you, even if it has nothing to do with you?​
  • Violent, scary, or psychologically disturbing films affecting you more than others?​
  • Quickly experiencing overload in your daily life and not knowing how to unwind – and sometimes adding more activities to try to help yourself, but it has the opposite effect?​
  • Often feeling guilty, having racing thoughts, and occasionally getting upset with yourself about it? (You might also want to read the article about Ruminations...)

Do you experience any of the following on the positive side in your daily life?:

  • Feeling sheer delight at the sight of a beautiful landscape and being in nature?​
  • Finding solace and joy in the company of animals, sometimes almost concealing it because others don't seem to feel the same way?​
  • Music you love deeply affecting your mood, either lifting it up or pushing your emotional buttons, sometimes leading to an overwhelming release of emotions?​
  • Being moved to the brink of tears by the happiness of others, romantic or joyful films, or even advertisements?

If you resonate with a great deal of the above, it's a good idea to learn more and acquire some tools for coping in a society that isn't always perfectly suited for HSPs. 

Mindfulness is a priceless tool when being HSP.

Benefits: A rich inner life and a good intuition

Many HSPs report having a strong sense of empathy and an ability to deeply understand and connect with the emotions of others. 

This emotional intelligence can contribute to intuitive insights into people's feelings, motivations, and intentions.

This is useful in relationships, in parenting and work settings, e.g. when working with people who are not thriving.

HSPs often describe having strong "gut feelings" or instincts that guide their decision-making. While this is subjective, these intuitive hunches may be based on their heightened awareness of subtle cues and nonverbal communication.

HSPs also tend to be more mindful and present in their daily lives. This heightened awareness of the present moment may allow them to notice patterns, connections, and information that others might overlook, contributing to intuitive insights and a rich inner life.

(Read more about Intuition in another of my articles)

All in all:

Being HSP is a gift. The gift is just not always nicely wrapped.

A lot of us are a bit worn on the edges before we realize what this is about and get the tools to navigate and learn to use it in the right, sustainable way.

Out of the 5000 sessions I have had in my clinic, more than 80% of my clients throughout the past 9 years have been HSP. 

Around 60% of them had no idea. They came because of stress and anxiety.

We need to talk more about being HSP. It's a super power when seen and treated the right way in our society.

Written October 2nd 2023

----- ----- ----- 

Curious as a company to learn more about HSP in teams, Stress prevention, Mindfulness and The Good Worklife? Curious on your own behalf? Contact me for Business Coaching, Supervision and Personal Development.

✓ Member of the Danish Psychotherapist association

✓ More than 6.000 individual sessions  

✓ 24+ years experience in professional communication


by Mette B.​ Lorenzen

​Cognitive Psychotherapist MPF


Contact information​:

Mobile: +45 71 75 81 26​

CVR: 35916202​