The HSP “Sixth Sense”

To you all, if you are like me whenever you come across a great article that seem to be interesting you want to share it. Well, this is why I like to share this article below with you it was written by Sean Nemecek you might enjoy it just like I did. Please note, this is not mine and I do not take any credit for it whatsoever. Enjoy!

The HSP “Sixth Sense”

Understanding my high sensitivity has been both liberating and confusing at the same time. It is liberating because I no longer feel ashamed of who I am but I have learned to see this trait as a gift. It is confusing because this gift is not easy to quantify or understand and it comes with some clear liabilities. In what way or to what degree am I more sensitive than most? How does sensitivity work? Even Dr. Aron does not seem to understand this trait fully but she does offer some help.

What this difference in arousability means is that you notice levels of stimulation that go unobserved by others. This is true whether we are talking about subtle sounds, sights, or physical sensations like pain. It is not that your hearing, vision, or other senses are more acute (plenty of HSPs wear glasses). The difference seems to lie somewhere on the way to the brain or in the brain, in a more careful processing of information. We reflect more on everything. And we sort things into finer distinctions. . .
This greater awareness of the subtle tends to make you more intuitive, which simply means picking up and working through information in a semiconscious or unconscious way. The Highly Sensitive Person, p. 7

I like to think that our bodies pick up the same things as others but we process what others discard. Our brains or nervous systems treat everything as important and useful. This gives the impression that we have more acute senses but it is how we use our senses that is more acute, not the senses themselves.

The result is that you “just know” without realizing how. Furthermore, this deeper processing of subtle details causes you to consider the past or future more. You “just know” how things got to be the way they are or how they are going to turn out. This is that “sixth sense” people talk about. It can be wrong, of course, just as your eyes and ears can be wrong, but your intuition is right often enough that HSPs tent do be visionaries, highly intuitive artists, inventors, as well as more conscientious, cautious, and wise people. The Highly Sensitive Person, p. 7
When I am careful about how I uses my intuition, it is rarely wrong. People will often ask me, “how did you know . . .?” If I am honest, my response will often be “I don’t know how I knew but I knew it with every fiber of my being.” When my intuition is wrong it really shakes my sense of reality until I can figure out where I made the mistake. This is especially difficult because I have to turn inward to make myself aware of thought processes that were previously semiconscious or unconscious.

This is the point where I usually lose my non-intuitive friends. They just don’t believe or understand what is happening. A problem that is compounded by the fact that I cannot explain how it works. Maybe I can illustrate it.

As a pastor, I am sometimes called on in emergency situations. Often I am en route to the scene, or hospital before anyone understands what is really happening. I just get a call that I am needed because someone has had a stroke, or has been in an accident, etc. While I am driving to the location, I spend the time in prayer searching for God to prepare me for what I will see. Most of the time (but not always) I get a sense of how things will turn out. It is either “everything will be okay,” or “prepare for loss.” This isn’t a voice from God (though I believe it is a gift from the Holy Spirit). Rather it is more like an impression that goes to the center of my soul. I know without knowing how I know. When I have gotten these impressions, they have never been wrong. I have talked with other pastors about this phenomena. Most seem surprised by what I say. Many are skeptical. A few can identify.

Some have called this a spiritual gift of discernment. I think that is just another way of describing the gift of intuition (maybe a Spirit guided intuition). Whatever you call it, it is real and it prepares me for the crisis before I get there – avaluable trait for a pastor to have at times.

This intuitive ability comes at as cost as Dr. Aron expalins:

The downside of the trait shows up at more intense levels of stimulation. What is moderately arousing for most people is highly arousing for HSPs. What is highly arousing for most people causes an HSP to become very frazzled indeed, until they reach a shutdown point called “transmarginal inhibitation.” The Highly Sensitive Person, p. 7
This means that when we become overwhelmed more easily and when we are overwhelmed we shut down. I find that I am very good in a crisis but once the crisis has passed, I am useless. In a crisis I am clear headed while others are panicking. I often know just what needs to be done and I can take charge and lead people through it. However, once the danger or crisis has passed and the adrenaline wears off, I completely shut down. My emotions overwhelm me and I often cry or shake uncontrollably. I stop talking and withdraw from people until I have recovered mentally, emotionally, and physically. If the crisis lasted an hour, it may take a day to recover. If it last a few days (like a sudden death followed by a funeral). My recovery can take a week or more.

Processing things to a deeper level makes me more aware, intuitive, and emotionally affected. Often the emotions hang on for a long, long time. When this happens, it can drain my energy in all areas of my life. I have not yet learned to fully “let go.” It is light bearing a burden that gets heavier and heavier. I hope that with time and hard work, I can learn to develop my awareness, intuition and emotional sensitivity without “holding on” to things so much.

More about this tomorrow in “My Life as an Emotional Sponge.”


Nemecek, S. (2013). The hsp “sixth sense”. Hsp & Me: The Musings of a Highly Sensitive Person, Retrieved from


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