While the two traits often share overlapping characteristics, not all HSPs are introverts and vice versa. I do not want to overgeneralize or oversimplify, as there are also differences within and between groups of introverts and HSPs. The main differences between and among HSPs and introverts tend to be:
- 70% of HSPs are introverted, while 30% are extraverts
- Not all introverts are HSPs
- Introverts have wide variety of preferences regarding how much time they spend with other people
- HSPs have sensitivities to many different types of stimulation and are not all affected equally by the same situations
Keep in mind that you might be BOTH an HSP and introvert. Please use these lists as general guidelines rather than strict “rules.” See my diversity policy in the middle of this page for more information.
AM I AN INTROVERT?
You may be an introvert if you
- Prefer one-on-one conversations over interacting with groups
- Seek quiet environments
- Tend to be self-reflective and analytical
- Have been referred to as “shy”
- Are often uncomfortable meeting new people
- Feel small talk is labor intensive and unrewarding
- Value transparency and authenticity
- Are energized by and enjoy downtime
- Feel misunderstood or lonely while simultaneously craving alone time
AM I A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON (HSP)?
You may be an HSP if you
- Are easily overwhelmed by loud noises, strong smells, rough textures, bright lights, violent movies, temperature changes, crowds, and other intense stimuli
- Struggle to manage stress when overstimulated; angry outbursts or uncontrollable crying may result due to unmanageable anxiety
- Become noticeably calmed by pleasant stimuli, such as comfortable temperatures, certain types of music, soft textures, fine art, or quiet settings
- Value personal growth
- Have an active mind
- Consider others’ feelings, which can lead to being taken advantage of or overextending yourself
- Feel others’ emotions, particularly pain
- Are intuitive, which makes you a great listener but also requires strong boundaries
- Self-medicate with substances or impulsive behaviors when overstimulated
- Experience anxiety in a variety of contexts
- Thrive remarkably in familiar, controlled environments
- Fall ill often due to chronic stress and/or immune dysfunction
- Have a hard time accepting criticism
- Believe you feel emotions stronger than others do
- React strongly to low doses of caffeine
See Resources for additional information on introverts, HSPs, relationships, anxiety, and more.
Still not sure? To find out whether you or your child are an HSP or introvert, contact me via email today or click I’m Ready to schedule your free 15-minute consultation.