Are you someone who blocks your ears when you hear the emergency services drive past? Are you someone who gets freaked out in crowds? Do you seem to intuit and understand other people and all of their problems in a very sophisticated way, without really trying? Do you easily take on the energy of other people and find it heavy and tiring? Well you might be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), like I am.
This documentary film Sensitive is all about being a highly sensitive person. This idea of doing a documentary about being sensitive may seem like hippy-dippy mumbo-jumbo, symptomatic of the way every human quirk seems to be pathologised and given a name nowadays.
But before you get all cynical about it, you should give it a watch. The documentary film presents a lot of evidence-based research about high sensitivity to external stimuli and how this is really a thing and around 20% of people in the population. It has a genetic component, but it’s also partly a learnt coping mechanism as well.
Being highly sensitive is not actually a pathology, disease or condition. Rather – its simply a personality trait, that can be either be harnessed to make you mentally healthy, or when it’s misunderstood or mismanaged by you – it can also make you mentally unwell.
This documentary blew my brain apart. I find it immensely comforting knowing that there are other people out there who are just like me. In fact about 20% of all people are highly sensitive. Being a highly sensitive person and socially anxious and introverted are all uncomfortable bedfellows.
However, as the documentary explains. Highly sensitive people can frequently excel in many areas including the arts and leadership, because they are naturally empathetic to others’ emotions, are good listeners and can read complex relationships and provide well-thought out solutions.
Highly sensitive people are also frequently artists, musicians and writers because they have an intensive and brilliant insight into the emotional landscape of people.
Also, you will get to see Alanis Morrisette talk about being highly sensitive and how she coped with being mobbed constantly by people in the 90’s.
This is a fascinating documentary, you can watch it for free on Kanopy. You may be able to access this free streaming film service using your library card. Some libraries offer it, some don’t. I hope you manage to watch it, it’s well worth it!