As a highly sensitive person, you’re acutely aware of others’ emotions. This tends to be true for better or for worse. You notice unpleasant emotions and pick up on pleasant vibes, too. So when a situation is so stressful that you lose sight of the people around you, it’s especially shocking when you tune back in. Anything could trigger an emotional survival mode in which you disconnect from your social world: grief, marriage, graduation, coming out, divorce, the birth of a child, insert big life change here.
If this description fits a recent experience, remember it happened for a reason. Give yourself permission to temporarily let go of others’ needs from time to time. Everyone requires periods of time in which they focus solely on themselves. You’re not being selfish! You’re adapting to change. Life unfolds, chapter by chapter, and some chapters involve socializing and caring more than others.