The Quiet Superpower That Comes With Being An Ultra-Sensitive Person

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Sensitive woman holding her cat looking out window

In psychology, resilience (the ability to bounce back from adversity) is a crucial aspect of emotional stability. Generally, when we are young, a strong sense of self held by protections in our environment helps us to develop resiliency later in life.

As children begin to devise their worldview, they see the world as a generally safe place to live in, and they project this belief into their adult lives. In other words, be it through nature or nurture, they exhibit resilience when the going gets tough. Some of us, however, are not so lucky.

Whether it is due to the lack of strong protections from the outside or the inside, some of us seem to be of the ultra-sensitive variety. As a therapist, I have heard numerous stories of adult clients who have poor resilience due to the impact of childhood experiences.

If this is you, do not feel defeated. You actually may have an advantage over others in a few specific ways!

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The silver lining of being ultra-sensitive?: Intuition 

While it does appear that sensitive people seem to be at a disadvantage when it comes to resilience, that is a skill and trait that can be developed. The special sense of intuition that we have, as sensitive people, is unique and powerful.

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As a child, when my father was angry, I would retreat into my closet and play with my toys while I listened intently to what was going on around me. I did not know this intense listening was training for highly developed intuition.

I learned to sense when it was "safe" to come out when the coast was clear and the storm cloud was gone. Over the years, this ability to sense situations and people has held me in good stead, particularly when difficulties came my way and I was unsure which way to turn.

A common scenario of discord in the family is when the ultra-sensitive children attempt to help the adults by absorbing the negativity in the environment into their psyches. They are deeply affected by the lack of safety in the environment and tend to develop a worldview that there are few safe havens in the human experience. And because of these beliefs, they attract people and situations aligned with this worldview.

RELATED: 9 Rare Traits Of Highly Sensitive People Whose Emotions Can Feel Overwhelming

The quiet power of intuition 

Your intuition may tell you to take a turn you do not understand. Listening to my intuition has taught me that there is a flow to allowing those waters to sweep you into a mysterious world where things somehow work out in surprising ways.

A few years ago, my husband lost his job just at the start of the economic downturn. We were able to sell our house, but the next step was unclear. We put our belongings in storage and took a road trip, looking for work and for signs that would indicate our next move. Gradually, as we considered various options, a strong feeling I could not shake came over me: our next move would be to Colorado.

The rational mind was able to explain this by the fact I had an offer to open a private practice in a colleague's therapy office. But that was little to go on. We sensed this was the right thing to do and settled down near Denver. I was able to establish a thriving practice there, but my husband continued to struggle to find work in the poor economy. However, we had the sense we were where we needed to be, and it gave us comfort.

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What we did not know was a dear friend of my husband was in the last years of her short life. This woman lived very close to our home in Denver, and in the two years that we were there, we bonded with this brilliant but unusual woman who had few friends. When she died of a brain aneurysm, my husband was the one who found her body. When our friend's brother came to settle her estate, he told my husband about a job in the Boston area that seemed right for him. He got the job, and we moved there a few months later.

While the financial situation did not improve in Denver, I believe if we had known this woman was going to die, we would have chosen to be with her. And a blessing came for us as a result. I have easily re-established a thriving practice in our new location, and we feel very much at home in Boston. Our journey was not logical, but it brought us great gifts we continue to treasure. And our sense that we were where we needed to be helped us to cope with several challenges.



Learning to use intuition to aid your resilience is truly empowering 

It is important to learn to listen to your instincts. It helps to take quiet time every day and set an intention to receive the information you need. Then, open your mind to the information that comes, whatever it may be. I have found that if the information is valid, it presents itself over and over until I acknowledge it. Another way to expand intuition is to listen to the body because it constantly provides subtle cues to tell us the truth. Feelings of calm or upset can act as signposts in times of confusion.

Intuition is a gift many of us ignore. Yet, when life throws us challenges that we cannot work through with the logical mind, intuition can be a great friend, a tool to provide comfort, understanding, clarity, and support to our resiliency in times of trouble.

RELATED: The 6 Real Reasons You're A Highly Sensitive Person

Rosemary Eads, LMHC, is a mental health counselor who received her Master’s Degree at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a specialty in Grief and Loss. She is certified in EMDR, Hypnotherapy and Gestalt Therapy as well as life coaching.