Highly Sensitive People are the kind of people to be mainly introverted – a researched statistic of 70%. Last week I started reading Highly Sensitive Person (E. N. Aron, 1999) and to my surprise I learned that highly sensitive people can also be extroverted. So, how does an extroverted HSP look like?
Extrovert is defined as an outgoing and socially confident person. It is also widely known that extroverts gain energy through socialising, rather than loosing it as introverts do. There is indeed a very rare type of people, who are highly sensitive extroverts, and they make up just 6% of the Earth’s population.
Highly Sensitive Extroverts have more in common with introverts, but they are also more eager to be positively stimulated by the external environment. This means, that they live their life on the thin line between ‘being out there’ and getting overwhelmed.
For example, an HSE might love to go for an evening stroll around the town or even to go out with their friends for the night, but then they would retrieve back home earlier than others in order to process the experience thoroughly in their highly sensitive manner.
Elaine Aron also mentions in her blog (2018) that as much as HSE’s still need to regain their energy by being alone, for their wellbeing they also need to get energy from the external world. Because of this an extroverted highly sensitive person might be:
- Conflicting in their needs for socialising (feeling lonely) and needing to stay home (fearing overwhelm).
- Pursuing a career or purpose in life by being an activist, humanitarian, spiritual teacher, or counsellor.
- Very picky in their social activities and the amount of people involved.
- Getting tired of getting people to join them in different activities all the time.
- Yet, enjoying little but regular adventures alone instead.
- Craving novel experiences for inspiration and motivation.
- Experiencing contagious enthusiasm and get overwhelmed by it.
- Switching to relaxation mode from a day/night out in no time.
- Having a very warm personality and be able to connect with people on the basis of small things they notice.
- Thinking thoroughly before they speak.
In the very first chapter of Highly Sensitive Person book this is explained by a metaphor of royal advisors and warrior kings:
“The most long-lasting, happy Indo-European cultures have always used two classes to govern themselves – the warrior-kings balanced by their royal or priestly advisors.” E.N. AronTweet
Who are the highly sensitive people in this scenario? I think both. You see, as much as highly sensitive person evolved through the years of humanity’s need to have someone in the tribe to constantly look out for threats, they are also some of the best leaders.
What makes Highly Sensitive Extroverts good leaders is their passion to their chosen cause. HSE’s don’t like the spotlight, but their drive to ‘make the world a better place’ puts them in there. And, frankly this is also because no one else in their surroundings is speaking up. But, their straightforwardness, if not compromised by resistance of others, can create a power to push their ideals forward, while caring for and inspiring others at the same time.
Highly Sensitive Extroverts exist, they are small in their quantities and ,therefore, are easily misunderstood. They are caring deeply for everyone and everything like a highly sensitive person would do. But, they are also the first ones to ‘test the waters’. They are truly the warrior kings of the HSP world.
Featured image source: https://hinhin.com/blogs/the-trove/succeeding-as-an-introvert-in-an-extrovert-world