Is it a disadvantage in life to be sensitive?

Feeling More Than Others - Blessing or Curse?

EMOTION.DE: Simply sensitive or at least highly sensitive - how can someone recognize what they really are? Are there any typical features?

Anne Heintze: Sensitivity and high sensitivity are terms that are often used in the same way. Both are present in all people in different intensities. Unfortunately, there are no scientific tests for high sensitivity so far. However, essential characteristics are strong smell and taste intensity, sensitivity to noise and light, overstimulation, image thinking, high empathy and much more.

In your book "I feel what you do not feel" you write that there are different areas in which high sensitivity is more noticeable. Which areas are these?

In my experience, it makes a lot of sense to make a distinction between high sensitivity and high sensitivity, especially since both groups of people have different needs. Those who are highly sensitive have more finely developed five physical senses than others. He or she hears, sees, tastes, feels and smells more differentiated. Those who are highly sensitive do not necessarily have to have this sharpening of the five physical senses or this sensitivity. Instead, a person who is highly sensitive has a "sixth" or "seventh" sense. Highly sensitive are what is called clairvoyant or clairvoyant. You are extremely empathetic, sometimes downright medial.

It is likely that women are naturally more sensitive than men. Is that feeling right? Are there more highly sensitive women than men?

No, there are just as many highly sensitive men as women, they only recognize it much less often and do not show it so clearly. It is really difficult for men today to stand up for their subtlety. Because even small girls are more likely to be sensitive and sensitive, women probably find it fundamentally easier to admit their high sensitivity.

And what about gender anyway? Are there different effects in men and women?

While it is socially accepted for women to be subtle and sensitive, these qualities are frowned upon in men. They should still be rather cool, i.e. insensitive. Strength, resilience and a thick coat are widely believed to be desirable and "normal" qualities for a man. Highly sensitive men often find it difficult to hold their own with their peers. "Wimp", "Memme" or "Understanding women" are the more harmless insults for men who do not correspond to the stereotype of the tough guy.
Women don't always get along well with sensitive men either. Of course, many women want a tender and sensitive man. Nevertheless, somehow he should be a protector.

Is a person born so sensitive or can this extreme expression develop over time?

There are people whose high sensitivity only developed in the course of life. The more stressful situations or traumatic experiences you have, the finer your sensory channels become. A deeply useful protective mechanism emerges, the effects of which are similar to those of innate high sensitivity. In my experience, there is probably as much acquired sensitivity as it is innate.

What do you advise these people to do on a daily basis?

It is important for all highly sensitive people to train their senses, because that is the key to a better quality of life. A very simple comparison: every craftsman becomes an expert in his field if he has mastered his tools with virtuosity. The better he can do that, the better the results of his work. It is no different with our senses: the better we can deal with them, the more finely we can use them.
My tip, which is helpful for highly sensitive people in all everyday situations: Listen to your intuition! Because it is precisely this that is well developed in highly sensitive people and can support them wonderfully because their intuition is absolutely clear and incorruptible.

In your book, one paragraph revolves around the strengths of highly sensitive people. Which ones are they and are there certain advantages?

Oh yes, there are many wonderful strengths and advantages. Highly sensitive people react intensely to all mood swings, their own and those of others. You can empathize with others very well and feel very deeply. Such sensitive people discover details in the environment that remain hidden to others. Because of their sensitivity, they are often very creative.
If you have a sensitive body system, you have the opportunity to avoid diseases or to treat them very early on. As they get older, most highly sensitive people are more lenient with their body's reactions and have learned to handle it well.
One advantage of the high physical susceptibility is that many highly sensitive people react more strongly to drugs and their active ingredients. They therefore often only require small doses and respond well to gentler methods such as homeopathy, herbal medicine or acupuncture.

Anne Heintze is a leading expert on giftedness, high sensitivity and high sensitivity in adults in Germany. She has been working with people as a naturopath, coach and trainer for 25 years. As the founder and owner of the Open Mind Academy, Anne Heintze advises and supports people with special personality traits in fully exploiting their potential. Anne Heintze lives and works near Frankfurt. Go to your website here: