The six core personality traits that highly sensitive people possess


Four of them are very positive attributes (Picture: Getty)

Highly sensitive people can get a lot of stick – often labelled as ‘too emotional’ or someone who ‘overreacts’ to things.

But a new study has found that they actually have numerous positive personality traits.

In fact, of the six key traits that make up a highly sensitive person, four of them are widely considered to be incredibly beneficial attributes.

The new research – which was published in the Journal Of Personality Assessment – asked 10,300 participants aged 18 to 87 to respond to a draft questionnaire, based on 60 traits they identified in other studies on the subject. 

After getting this data back, researchers noticed 43 common qualities – which they then grouped into six factors that make up a highly sensitive person (HSP).

Sensory and aesthetic sensitivity are two of them (Picture: Getty)

The first one was emotional and physiological reactivity – AKA being ‘too sensitive’ – so a tendency to get upset by external factors.

Sensory discomfort was the second attribute – so being bothered by certain smells, sounds or lights. 

The third is social-affective sensitivity, which means being a good reader of other people’s emotions. 

Next up is sensory sensitively, which refers to being aware when something changes in your body – and being in touch with your own health.

There’s then sensory comfort and pleasure, which means taking pleasure in nice feelings such as love, joy and relaxation.

The final trait is aesthetic sensitivity – so being able to appreciate art, music and nature on a deeper and more emotional level.



What are the six traits of highly sensitive people?

  • Emotional and physiological reactivity
  • Sensory discomfort
  • Social-affective sensitivity
  • Sensory sensitivity
  • Sensory comfort and pleasure
  • Aesthetic sensitivity

The final four traits are widely considered important and good ones to have – as people with these are often in touch with themselves and the world around them, with high emotional intelligence. 

Equally, highly sensitive people often face issues linked to the first two listed.

However, the research is an important reminder of the benefits of being a HSP.

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