Did you know that around 15-20% of the total population are considered Highly Sensitive People (HSP)?
You read that right!
Sensitivity is a personality trait that both children and adults share. Individuals who possess it tend to be affected deeply by different sensations, whether it be noise from the city traffic or bright lights inside the house. These things might not be overwhelming for other people, but it certainly is for a highly sensitive person.
People with this personality trait are easily overcome by an uncomfortable feeling that urges them to become avoidant and prevents them from doing activities such as going out or striking a conversation with anyone. Others who aren’t aware of this trait might even label of highly sensitive person behavior as a downright overreaction.
Now, you might be wondering how this trait of being highly sensitive is different from shyness. The answer is simple: Sensory-Processing Sensitivity is genetic, and people are born with it. In contrast, shyness is a learned trait that a person picks up as they go through life and lived experiences.
That said, there are a few ways a highly sensitive person can practice their social skills. And this article will talk about six conversation starters or questions that can help a person with this trait to impart their insights and empathize with the people around them through conversation.
6 Ways to Communicate Better As a Highly Sensitive Person
1. What Do You Feel About the Energy of This Room?
The environment or the atmosphere in a given space instantly provides a topic that you and the person you are interacting with can talk about, primarily because it affects both parties. This question is a lot like creating small talk about today’s weather, but asking someone about energy in a room allows you to lead the conversation towards wellness.
What do you think about the vibe of this venue? What type of energy does the room emanate? These questions are perfect for having someone participate in a conversation about energy. You could have them elaborate on why they think the room you are in radiates positive or negative vibes. The lighting and layout of the place you are in are also helpful for leading this conversation.
However, you can also focus on other matters such as the people’s general mood and vibe inside the room. This allows you to showcase your capacity for sensitivity.
Instead of living inside your head, you can take a step back and ask people about the places that interest them the most. This is especially true for people who are drawn to the idea of traveling and immersing themselves in different and foreign cultures.
This conversation can also encourage them to share about their past travels as well. “What is your ultimate dream place to live in?” or “Where would you like to go after the pandemic is over?” are some of the best sentences to grab their attention or tickle their fancies.
3. Do You Meditate? What Does Your Typical Routine Look Like?
A lot of highly sensitive people practice meditation. It has grown popular within the community for the benefits it provides, including improved focus and clarity of mind. Additionally, it is popular outside the community as well with more than 500 million people practicing it globally.
Getting to know how the other party meditates and practices it can be a good topic. You can ask if they prefer doing the ancient practice outdoors, with the help of essential oils, or through other types of meditation rituals.
This question may urge the person you are conversing with to share something about their beloved family pet, their crush, or mundane yet meaningful things in their life. It is positive, cheery, and has a low risk of them bringing up negative thoughts or even sensitive topics.
Another thing that is good about this question is that the answer to it can genuinely vary and be unpredictable. It can be entertaining to learn more about what makes the person you are speaking to excited or happy.
5. What Do You Value Most In a Friend?
Queries such as this one let people create introspections of things that they do not usually think about on a regular basis. As simple as this question may be, it is one of the best questions to ask when trying to connect deeper with someone.
Their answer to your question isn’t just to let them open up to you more. This also makes them reveal to you how you can be a better acquaintance or friend to them.
6. What Do You Think About the Growing Popularity of Being an Empath Today?
Over the past few years, the word “empath” has become a buzzword used to describe an individual who is perceptive. This allows them to be more aware of the thoughts and feelings of people around them better than the average person.
This could be a talking point that can engage a person and allow you to gauge just how well the person you’re talking to can understand your personality. Questions you could ask a person include, “Have you ever heard of empaths?” or “Do you know that empaths are often mistaken as psychologically frail?”
From there, you can take the golden opportunity to educate them on what they don’t know about it and use this as a segue to introduce yourself further.
Know When to Decompress.
As much as it is good to practice your conversation skills, it is crucial to take a step back for yourself. You don’t want to overwork yourself and end up having a bad time when you are supposed to have a learning moment. It is essential to disengage and know when to disengage before you tire yourself out entirely. You want to take a moment for yourself in a quiet place and reflect on your experience.
When left unchecked, a highly sensitive person may find themselves in a shell, build a wall from their loved ones, and even affect their productivity. That’s why it is essential to commit to exercises that allow a highly sensitive person to socialize.
This list is a great resource for when you are trying to think of ideas on how to invite someone (a highly sensitive person or not) to talk without discussing sensitive topics and truly engage in a worthwhile conversation with them.
Something as direct as starting conversations can do wonders for a person with this trait to help them gain confidence and realize that they are just as capable of achieving their goals as other people.