Meet Daisy Gumin

By Daisy Gumin

I’m a 17-year-old homeschooler named Daisy, living in New York City. So far, I’ve been a writer, a reader, a dyslexic, a dancer, a unicyclist, a truth teller, a liar, a listener, a talker, the bullied and the bully, the designated friend, the emotional friend, the caretaker, the problem, the odd man out, a backpacker, a leader, a follower, an artist, a lover (well, kind of), a Catholic, a Jew, an atheist, a yogi, a seeker, and a mad-good gluten-free baker. Today, I’d say I’m a mostly grateful, highly sensitive introvert.

Until recently, I didn’t know I was a Highly Sensitive Person or that I was an introvert. For a long time, all I knew was that something felt very, very wrong with me. Throughout my life, my highs seemed reasonably high, and my lows seemed deeply and painfully low. Growing up, I was impulsive and jealous and ruminated on “serious things” too much. I became a daily crier in my early adolescence and couldn’t understand why things just seemed to hurt so badly.

All it took was a gesture, a facial expression, a slight downward inflection in someone’s tone, and I was seared. I could not think. I was restless, unable to make sense of why my reactions seemed to come on so heavily. It looked like I was drawing absurd conclusions from what seemed to most people fragments of nothing.

And I wasn’t sure if it really was nothing because maybe those obsessions were just anxiety or surfacing insecurity. But I wanted to find something concrete, simple, fixable—anything to explain why I always felt the way I did. I needed an answer as to why I walked through life analyzing everything, thinking about everything, and why I felt so misunderstood and frustrated yet so transparent—exposed to each person I let in, which shrunk in number with each passing month.

Maybe I was just discerning, my mother said.

Somehow that word felt terribly invalidating—”discerning.” I thought she had given up searching, for merely discerning was too normal, and in no way did I feel normal.

Then at 17, I read two books that suddenly clarified every question, each inkling of helplessness I couldn’t seem to comprehend on my own. Quiet and The Highly Sensitive Person filled me with tears with each page I turned, flagging and highlighting, nodding my head in agreement from the overwhelming sense of understanding I felt.

In all of the efforts to diagnose myself, I realized that I was trying to “fix” something that wasn’t really a problem.

I realized that the whole time I thought I was crazy, I was just sensitive. I was just really, really sensitive. I took on what people were feeling around me as if they were some extension of my body and my own emotional mind, and these feelings were real, undeniable, and uncontrollable. I was overwhelmed and tired of feeling exhausted by the constant shifts of my moods, and other people’s too.

Being a highly sensitive introvert is a double-edged sword; on the one hand, I feel everything 30 times more than everyone else, and on the other hand, I feel everything 30 times more than everyone else.

However, each time I picked up these books, I felt relieved to know that I was okay. It was now okay to be who I was, my ephemeral mind and fragile feelings included.

What I didn’t expect was the emergence of a completely new perception of myself. I came to see that maybe it was all for a purpose—my feeling this way and my sensing this way. I began to see that my empathy ran deep, and my connections were rich. I came to terms with the fact that yes, things hurt, but not all the time. I learned to understand that I wasn’t sick or beyond repair. I even learned that I wouldn’t need any repairing. What a revelation!

I discovered that when I listened to my voice, my highly sensitive, touchy, delicate soul, I stopped quitting, I stopped failing, and I stopped judging myself and questioning my every blink and ability, or, shall I say, inability.

I began to appreciate my unique strengths—qualities I could now list proudly. I was a brilliant listener; I was a validator too; and I was able to be open, to connect, and to understand and help others.

I was a highly sensitive introvert, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

I’m writing for the Quiet Revolution for anyone who feels they’re strange, wrong, or on their own. There are days when I wake up and think I’m awkward and strange and dark and emotional and unwanted or judged, but that’s the best part about being a feeler. You get to feel things that most people don’t. You see things; you get to hear things; you get to notice things every day; and that is absolutely a gift—a frustrating, exhausting, but powerful gift. Whoever you are: highly sensitive, introverted, or extroverted—you are not alone.


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85 responses to “Meet Daisy Gumin”

  1. nando says:

    I am so glad you found out about who and how you are at the age of 17. I also did find out who and how I was by reading the same books… but at the ripe age of 65. The road had been rather long by then but it now feels it was so long ago.
    Me too. I’ve also finally found my tribe.

  2. Natalia Rincon says:

    I just couldn’t hold myself. I just cried one more time. It is just amazing. Your words just transported me back to my teen years. I used to wrote a lot. Actually, I still have some of those writings in a blog. I hope you never stop writing because once I found problems in my development as an adult I was trying to change myself and I stopped writing and all the things I used to do that helped me to handle my strong feelings.
    Now after reading Quiet, I found that I have sabotaged myself just because I thought there was something really wrong with me.
    I wish you the best on your life and I have to say that the 20’s are much better than adolescence. I wish to keep in contact with you and learn more about your journey as HSP.

    I apologies for any spelling or grammar mistakes. I am a native Spanish speaker and English is my second language.



  3. Samantha Ong says:

    Thank you for sharing Daisy. I hope more people read this and feel the same acceptance about themselves 🙂

  4. Daisy says:

    Hi Jody — Thanks for writing! You can email me at [email protected]. I would love to help in any way that I can.

  5. Jody Boyd says:

    Hi Daisy,
    I am a mom of a preteen who is as special as you. This is all new to me and I am trying to find ways to be able to help my daughter cope. Any suggestions you would give to a mom trying to help her sweet daughter navigate through this?

  6. Mind Fuel says:

    I checked and it is a medical scientific thing, it’s called ‘sensory processing sensitivity’ (SPS). Also I’ve found 3 Facebook groups on HSP and 2 facebook pages, which I’ve asked to join and liked, thought you guys might want to also?

  7. Mind Fuel says:

    Also, if you’d like to chat about stuff, email me at [email protected] 😀

  8. Mon says:

    I’m a little bit like you Mind Fuel, I haven’t fully seen the full positive side of being HSP yet. And I’ve burnt myself trying to do it all too. I’m 34, and still learning of how and when I can do things. But it’s hard when you feel so much and people around you don’t understand why, or even how. My partner is learning, but I don’t think he will ever truly understand exactly how much it feels whenever anything feels. But slowly I’m realising that he doesn’t have to understand, as he accepts it, and me myself are getting there. But I think having people to relate to helps enormously, and I’m on a quest to meet these IRL.
    Good luck and know we’re out there.

  9. Mon says:

    Steven! Nice to know similar minds get to similar conclusion. Growing up I never thought I’d find myself in the emptiness and quietness of nature, as I was a city-girl. But the first time I encountered the vastness of nature and a quiet that hurts your ears I fell deeply in love with the feeling of peace. I am currently living in a major city, due to lack of freedom to move where I want (visa issue) but well into the process of sorting it out. Country is where my soul and body loses it tenseness and can breath and be me.

  10. Isabelle says:

    I really want to recommend to read ‘The Empowered Empath’ by Rose Rosetree. It has helped me so much. You might aswell be a highly, highly sensitive person (empath). The book is written by someone who REALLY knows what she is talking about. No new age blah blah, but truly wise and human.

  11. AJ Melvin says:

    I wonder how many HSP/introverts who, in late adolescence, feeling the same things Daisy described so eloquently, (as I did many years ago as well) suffer on, eventually ending up turning to other, less wholesome ways, to blunt that pain. This excerpt could have been almost verbatim from some of my early writings, minus the sense of resolution. I went on to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, or, also known as emotional intensity disorder. Granted, there’s a myriad of factors that contribute to the evolution of something as complex as a personality disorder, but fundamentally, I wonder if we could be looking as a maladaptive attempt to deal with something as simple as our basic nature? Incidentally, my son, who is now 10, has been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. This is a neuroprocessing disorder, usually adjunct to other primary dx, like autism, that makes someone more or less responsive to sensory stimuli. He displays sensory avoidance, and becomes overstimulated very easily. Again, I have to wonder if this is merely another interpretation of the exact same thing.

  12. Lily Argus says:

    Thank you for writing this!! I’m on the same journey at the moment trying to come to terms with myself and your story mirrored my own. I also found those books to be very helpful in realising who I am and that I’m okay. I’m not like a lot of people but that doesn’t mean I’m broken and need fixing. I’ve been told I’m too emotional, too caring etc. I had a well meaning friend tell me that I need to stop caring so much because its clearly hurting me and I said to them that feeling intensely is how I know that I’m alive, its apart of who I am. I’m so happy that there are more people out there who are like me!

  13. Ema says:

    Thank you for this Daisy… You are so lucky to have learned this at a young age. I too felt like you when I learned I was an HSP – suddenly my ENTIRE life made sense – only I was about 40 years older than you when it happened…. Still, I am so grateful for being so sensitive to the beauty that is around me and try to remember that when a simple word with a slight inflection can cut me in two…. Signed, a member of your tribe. xx

  14. Ron Murphy says:

    I always need to hear this. I remember breaking down and crying in my high school, just sobbing into my desk, and my teachers did nothing about it. It wasn’t until recently (I’m 47) that I discovered I wasn’t broken, and more importantly, I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. Thank you for your wonderful words, Daisy!

  15. Lou Pare-Lobinske says:

    Wow. I’ve read Quiet and have The Highly Sensitive Person in progress. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  16. William Muller says:

    Absolutely wonderful! Your words have life and as I read them I see my daughter, 16, a junior, and trying to be comfortable with who she is and what wonderful things she is yet to discover that she has to offer others. Please, please, please write a book becaus eif it is anything like this brief, beautiful passage I just had the priviledge of reading, it will help so many young ladies experiencing the “double-edged sword” as you do.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! ~ Bill

  17. I used to long to be like “most people” whom I assumed were “normal.” Now, at age 61 I’m so glad that I’m NOT! Yes, I’ve been misunderstood, but now that I’m older, I see that the qualities I have are greatly needed and appreciated by those I serve.

  18. Hannah Miner says:

    Your words resonate with me so, so much. Thank you.

  19. Vienna Vance says:

    Daisy, you and I are so alike. I’m 15, a former homeschooler, an introvert and a highly, highly sensitive person. My entire childhood, being sensitive was an advantage for me. I excelled in schoolwork and reading, and I could be a better friend because of my deep level of understanding. In adolescence though, being sensitive is tough. Adolescence is already a time of instability and low self-confidence, but for me the teenage years have been harder than most. Even on a good day, when someone looks at me weirdly or says something snarky, it affects my feelings for days afterward. It gives me so much hope to see someone similar in age and temperament succeeding as an introvert and HSP. Thank you for all the encouragement. And thank your mom for the SAT tips too. 🙂

  20. Mind Fuel says:

    Thanks for your comment. I haven’t seen much of the positives of being a highly sensitive yet, but I think it will come with time.

  21. What a beautiful piece from such a wise soul! I’m so happy to hear you’re discovering this world at 17. As someone who learned she was a highly sensitive introvert in college, I know this knowledge can make a world of difference. You’re just where you’re meant to be, acting as a lighthouse for the world. Sending love!

  22. Hello, Daisy. Hello, my sister. Yup. You nailed it. I’m 57 and probably realized this 10 years ago, and sometimes still think something’s wrong with me when I interpret a facial expression, or mull over a downturned lip for hours. You stated it so eloquently. Godspeed. My Twitter handle is @salescallcoach. Let’s stay connected, beautiful soul.

  23. Jas Hothi says:

    Great, you found me! I must admit, I’m wishing I had had the option myself! Definitely check out @IsaacMorehosue and @LuminaraKing on Twitter too, you might like some of their stuff; they both blog.

  24. Daisy says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out!

    And oh boy…me too… Homeschooling was an incredible experience for me, and I wish that I took the plunge sooner.

    My twitter is @DaisyGumin

    Again, thank you so much for your comments. I’m so glad it resonated!

  25. Jas Hothi says:

    P.S. I’m quite interested in homeschooling – I think the school/education system is in need of a big change – check out Ken Robinson’s TED Talk if you haven’t already! He has some interesting books too. Isaac Morehouse & his organization Praxis might also be worth exploring…

  26. Jas Hothi says:

    Daisy – no problem at all! And thank you again. I think you can see by all the comments how much your words have ‘rung’ with so many of us. You really are an awesome writer. You ought to get yourself on Twitter, there’s a whole amazing introvert/HSP tribe on there, and I think people would enjoy having you there 🙂

    I’m @jasrajhothi if you ever are tempted…

    Jas 🙂

  27. Daisy says:

    Dear Linda,
    Yay!!! I’m such a booknut and I’m itching for my next read… so, THANK YOU.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for these suggestions and for your lovely response.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed,

  28. Daisy says:

    Thank you for reading/sharing/enjoying!! I cannot begin to list the number of times I have had mini-breakdowns in cars, stuffy restaurants, or walking down the sidewalk. It happens. I think it comes with the territory.

    I also cannot begin to list the number of times I’ve felt deeply, viscerally connected to others or to an experience.

    An overwhelming blessing, but a blessing, indeed…


  29. Daisy says:

    Mind Fuel,
    With heightened sensitivity comes heightened sadness. There is no way around that. We feel, a lot… Allow yourself to feel that sadness. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in embracing my highly sensitive nature is that when I sit with feeling uncomfortable, granting myself permission to feel uneasy and depressed and horrible is when the shift happens. There is no overcoming feelings of depression, or at least there hasn’t been for me. What I have learned to do is be still in those moments, letting myself cry ridiculously long and ridiculously loud. After a while you discover that these feelings are normal, and are a part of living fully as your highly sensitive self. You begin to see that all of those feelings come with the cards you were dealt, and that you are one of the special ones… Know that you are not alone, and that you can accept being an HSP before you think you are ready. There will never be an a-ha moment when someone tells you it’s okay. Learn to cry. Learn to feel terrible, and learn to desire and manifest the beautiful highs of being a feeler…

    I’m with you!!!

  30. Patrick Wellons says:

    Very poignant! It took me until 45 to start understanding this. However my son is now 16 and shows some of the signs of introversion. I also have daughter who is 10. I’m grateful for what I’m learning about myself. Hopefully it will help me to help them be secure with who they are.

  31. Joye says:

    So encouraging, thank you so much. I wish there was a group near me that was an “introvert” group to discuss things and be with people who understand. This article was great though! (Age 24)

  32. Amy says:

    Just like Steven before me, it has taken me a long time to figure out I am an introvert. Thank you Susan and Daisy. It is because of people like you, and this beautiful communication vehicle called the internet, who allow us to more readily identify ourselves and ease ourselves from confusion to congruity. We each take our paths. I am so glad mine brought me here.

  33. Laurie Buchberger says:

    I want more of you. You are a part of me. Thank you.

  34. Mind Fuel says:

    It’s amazing that you’ve discovered this at 17. Saved yourself years of pain there! I discovered it at 26, but by then it was too late. I’ve burnt out and become depressed and now I realise why that happened. I somehow need to overcome this depression before I can live fully as my highly sensitive self.

  35. Laura L. Evnin says:

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! : )

  36. Mary Kelly says:

    It appears as though you have such a sweet spirit and a kind beautiful soul. I felt the same way when I was your age and I understand how difficult it can be. (now I am mother of two introverted teenage boys!) You are a wise young woman. Please keep shining your light for others to see. And if you are interested, I have a handsome, brilliant 17 year old son that sounds a lot like you and doesn’t have a girlfriend yet b/c he so shy…Wink..wink!

  37. Jas Hothi says:

    Wow Steven, thank you for sharing this. As a fellow introvert/HSP living in Greater London (and having worked in the crazy inner-city for 4 years), you’ve certainly given me something to think about!

  38. Angela Wilcox says:

    Daisy, firstly I would like to congratulate you on realising who you are at such a young age and also for so eloquently putting into words how I have felt my entire life. You have a real gift with words. I have never read a more accurate description of being an introverted HSP. Like a lot of others it has taken me until nearly the age of 39 to understand myself and why I am like I am, and to accept that. Thank you again, your article moved me to tears in a good way.

  39. Lisa Smith Williams says:

    So well said! I can only imagine what it would be like to discover HSPs in my teenage years. I was 40 when I stumbled upon the concept. I, too searched constantly for an explanation or really, a diagnosis, to define what was wrong with me. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on starting your adult life armed with the knowledge that you are perfectly who you were meant to be. I always felt very different and very much flawed for having difficulty in what seemed to be normal situations for “everyone else”. Sending you a huge hug!

  40. Brighid Ryan says:

    Daisy, I applaud your article. Such words of wisdom at such a tender age resonates especially for those of us who have only recently discovered that we are HSPs at a more seasoned time in our lives. We have battled our way to and through these discoveries in our adult years while also navigating the tumultuous waters of careers, hoping upon hope we are currently in or will discover a position where we are able to thrive contributing to the betterment and success of others.

    You, my dear, just lifted the fog for so many young adults and adults alike who have been wrestling with the same questions you have. Brava! I see many successes in your future.

  41. Susan Roberts says:

    Thank you for these book referrals! I have moved from extrovert jobs to introvert jobs, but still haven’t found the one for me. As I near retirement, I want to be sure I get it right! 🙂

  42. Mateusz Haruza says:

    I eyes welled up half way through reading. I recently found that my capability to feel was a good thing. I try to talk to my friends and family about the way the world feels to me and most times it feels like I’m addressing an empty space. I don’t want to call them ‘normal’ people but I guess they are not as emotionally sensitive as I am. One time I was entering a room quickly just the grab something and I said hi to people in the room as I was crossing it grabbed what I needed and left. Then I realized I said hi to everyone except one person so I sent an email to him apologizing for not saying hello and then I felt like I was crazy to do that. I spend so much time apologizing and it feels like I’m apologizing to a deaf audience and each apology takes a little bit away from me. Each apology almost like a rejection of myself because I’m being kind to people that show me no kindness in return. Almost like thanking the darkness for being dark. Thank you for this article. It spoke to my spirit and resonate in the most powerful way imaginable.

  43. Brenda Metz says:

    Daisy, I have felt the way you have felt for a very, very long time. Like you, when I read Quiet, I was relieved that I was actually normal. Also, as a highly sensitive person, I am constantly plagued by fear: of being misjudged, inadequate, and a failure. This in spite of having traveled the world, having a master’s in elementary education, working with bilingual (Spanish speaking students). I am happy that you have found out about being an introvert early in your life. For me, it took a physical breakdown due the stress and lack of sleep to realize I had to find out who and what am. Thanks to you for bringing the words I struggle to say every day in written form.

  44. Dalon says:

    so beautifully written – and so easy to relate to 🙂 thanks for sharing your perspective!!! and for being so real and honest

  45. Gerry S says:

    I want to thank both you and Quiet for opening up such space for other HSP’s and introverts to share. Such honesty, in itself, creates these openings – and it is so connective to read so many others… I wonder what forms we can create to further allow the emergence of this quiet expression…. Together. Sharing. Listening.

  46. Liz Aarestad Luster says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story, Daisy.

  47. Teto85 says:

    Thanks Daisy. I did not figure it out until I reached my 40s. It is so liberating. Keep at it and know that you are not alone.

  48. Karen Guertin says:

    I cannot express accurately through words alone how deeply your words have affected me. I too am highly sensitive and an emotional sponge, which is why I’m crying after reading your essay. It has taken me close to forty two years to accept my state of being, and to no longer try to change. Through the years I have heard countless reasons and “solutions” for my sensitivity, and now reject (almost)all of them. Being highly sensitive and introverted has enabled me to become a vocalist, performer, mother, and wife that I otherwise could not be. I channel those intense feelings to energize my vocal interpretations of classic songs, to compassionately mother my four incredible children, and to be the life partner of my introverted husband.
    You are an inspiration to so many of varied ages and backgrounds, and I have been inspired by the intensity of you words. March onward, my highly sensitive, introverted compatriot! I truly hope other young souls who feel “wrong” will read your essay and grow to appreciate their unique role in the world. Thank you! I wish I could have read them at sixteen……

  49. zeuss says:

    thank you, i need this more than words can express… decades of what you’ve described, now i am set on reading those books, – although your post is plenty for me, personally.

    from the books I hope to learn how to cope with others being not as sensitive, and thus placing demands on my behavior/manner/sensitivity, which violate me.

    TY, TY, TY.

  50. Wendy Inman says:

    I am so happy you discovered this so young. I just discovered i was an introvert and hsp recently and, at 39, feel like i wasted so much of my life trying to fix myself. I am excited to be free to be me now and excited you get to do the same!

  51. Jas Hothi says:

    Currently reading ‘A Whole New Mind’, it’s amazing! I strongly suggest that all introverts read this book, I reckon quite a number of us can relate to being creative, right-minded, etcetera. This book will therefore serve to many as a huge inspiration (like it is to me!), in similar ways to ‘Quiet’ has done. Would love to know what others think…

  52. Sukriti says:

    For one thing, I have always felt the same. The only difference: I have always been too much aware of myself, which is sometimes highly, highly irritating…. Plus, I am too much of a thinker…. excessively sensitive (much like the author herself)…. highly imaginative, always not understood (= subversed) or misunderstood (= felt prejudiced). I came to know of the Quite revolution only yesterday (am I late in knowing about it?), and I cannot express how elated I felt to know of such a thing. For the first time I feel that there are people who might understand and people to whom I can express myself. It’s amazing to know that people are finally beginning to understand what introverts really are like.

  53. Sallie F Arnoult says:

    You described me quite eloquently!

  54. CanadianCountryWoman says:

    Thank you, Daisy! Finally, an explanation.

  55. Daisy says:

    I don’t know how many times I need to say this for it to fully express how grateful I am, but, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thankyouthankyouthankyou. Your stories are humbling and your words of encouragement are inspiring.

    I cannot begin to tell you how incredible it feels to read that there are others out there– others who see the world and feel the world like we do.

    I’ve finally found my tribe.

  56. Absolutely love this article. I too am a HSP introvert and I can so relate to what you describe. Amazing you found out at such a young age. I am 40 and it took me so much longer to realise my true voice and character: intuitive healer 🙂 You’re right, there’s nothing to fix, only to embrace our true nature. Amazingly written Daisy. Thank you for sharing!

  57. Michele Harvey says:

    Yes, Andrew.
    At the heart of it, ego is a self-made fiction.
    To think one is better than another, folly.

  58. Andrew Milne says:

    What a lovely insight to gain. We all need to start working on understanding ourselves. Once we start that , everything starts gets to get better. But the work is on ones self, and is only the start.
    The biggest step is not forgiving ones self and accepting who you are, the biggest step is compassion for how you treat others as they exhibit their limitations, and struggle with their own issues.
    The ego loves to think it is better than others, when it is actually just at a different point in the journey.

  59. Romeo Antony says:

    Like your way of writing Daisy…

  60. Ray Doraymefa says:

    Daisy, I echo the unanimous sentiments of other comments here, that you are to be commended (and envied 😉 ) for discovering and affirming your Self at an early age. I further laud you for your writing: your wordcraft, focus and passion are undoubtedly magnified by your gift of sensitivity.
    Permit me to add my forecast, that through the simple habit of living in a basically self-aware manner–as I’m sure you do–your perseverance through accumulated experiences will enable you to more easily weather life’s assaults and readily harness the powers and gifts you have already discovered. For you, inner and outer accomplishments will be inevitable, and, I hope, with minimal struggle. I would love to read your blog post from July 2035; it will inspire!

  61. Alex Willging says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Daisy. Having come to terms with being an introvert, I’ve also begun to wonder if I’m not an HSP, too. Reading about your journey of self-acceptance is a huge source of inspiration and comfort right now.

  62. Jas Hothi says:

    Wow, Daisy – first of all, you really are a natural writer, you have a lovely writing style. Secondly, I can relate to so much that you have said here, especially so because I am also a highly sensitive person and introvert.

    My school days consisted of plenty of happy memories, but also regular feelings of confusion, frustration and a wishing that I was a little more “normal”. For example, I got along with absolutely everyone (bar the exceptions who really went against my personal belief system, of course!); I also even – for the most part – a small close circle of friends. However, even with that close group I don’t recall once doing much with them outside of school, inviting them over to my house, etcetera – thinking back, I was actually fine with that, but I remember wishing I was “cooler” and that I had lots of friends who I did “cool” (i.e. extroverted!) stuff, with, large parties, etcetera. But it just didn’t happen for me.

    “Quiet…filled me with tears with each page I turned, flagging and highlighting, nodding my head in agreement from the overwhelming sense of understanding I felt.” – Me too! Only I read this just a couple of years ago, I think I was 24 at the time. However, I’m grateful I have made this realisation now, at still a relatively early stage in my life.

    “Throughout my life, my highs seemed reasonably high, and my lows seemed deeply and painfully low. Growing up, I was impulsive and jealous and ruminated on “serious things” too much.” – This is also quite powerful to me. Largely because, thinking about it now, my life has been very much the same… I’m so deep in thought all of the time that I often don’t realise the most obvious things about me / patterns that I find myself in. I find that I gain clarity of thoughts with writing, and also when I verbalise by thoughts (alone and to myself, obviously!), I must start doing more of that…

    “Being a highly sensitive introvert is a double-edged sword; on the one hand, I feel everything 30 times more than everyone else, and on the other hand, I feel everything 30 times more than everyone else.” – Yes and yes! (I remember a specific time last Summer, I was on a road-trip in Sweden with my parents and younger brother; after a particularly long day of sitting in the back of the car, in that confined space, listening to the same songs come on the same CDs repeatedly, I found myself particularly over-stimulated – and probably tired from lack of sleep the night before – the family were quite surprised when I had a mini-mood-meltdown in the car, haha!). I would also add that people who are highly sensitive / empaths have the advantage of being particularly skilled at writing (novels, films, poetry, music, etcetera) and/or dance, and/or other forms of creativity which involve a deep level of empathy and human understanding. A blessing and a curse, but I see it mostly as a blessing 🙂

    In summary, I really enjoyed this article and I find it incredibly inspiring, I wish I had been as talented and insightful when I was seventeen. I look forward to the next post 😀


  63. Kris Sandwell says:

    I applaud you for discovering yourself at the age you are. Too many of us don’t discover this incredible person until we are much older. I am just discovering myself as a HSP/introvert. It is challenging, but oh so rewarding. Thank you for being our voice and sharing your journey with us.

  64. Michele Harvey says:

    Yes, indeed! I will always be profoundly grateful for her insight and understanding.

  65. Cristina Rose says:

    thats the sign of a good therapists/psychologist… they aren’t meant to fix you (as the one person who coerced you into going to wanted) they are there to give you insight, tools, and at times wisdom to help you find your true self, at you best congrats for healing and embrace your worth

  66. LMJ says:

    Congratulations for finding out so young. Outward expressions of emotion were frowned upon in my youth, and there were so many things I found upsetting, but couldn’t begin to explain why. I test as an INTP, but I’ve often wondered how much of that is nature and how much is nurture (F vs T question – no question in the other three).

    I’m not typically an outwardly emotional person, however if someone’s giving off strong emotions, or the room I’m in has them, I will feel it. Mine tends to express itself in the regular five senses – sound, light, texture, smell. Makes life more interesting than it ought to be. At least now I know what I’m dealing with, and can adapt accordingly.

  67. Michele Harvey says:

    Interestingly, I was coerced into seeing a therapist, by someone (an extreme extrovert) who thought I “needed to be fixed.” Fortunately, it was a therapist who saw exactly where I was (being of similar sort.) She simply helped me see my error, and encouraged me to fully embrace the personality I was born with. The person who thought I ‘needed to be fixed’ was disappointed at this turn of events. It’s wonderful to see this realization continues to heal so many, from all points on the personality spectrum!

  68. Jason DeMartino says:

    Daisy, you’ve written a remarkable piece here. It’s clear, insightful, and reaches across generations. I have twenty years on you, and your essay described my teenage years exactly, as I’m sure it did for most readers here. I am pleased that you are coming to understand yourself as early as you are – it will make all the difference as you navigate your life. And for what it’s worth, you have a very lucid and well-organized writing style. If it’s something you enjoy, I would encourage you to continue writing.

  69. Dear Daisy:
    Thank you for bravely sharing your story. I’m so glad you have arrived at this place of self-understanding and acceptance early in life. It took me until my mid-forties to understand my highly sensitive and introverted nature. I’m so grateful because this understanding also revealed the creativity and spirituality I never knew I had. Today, I enjoy being me and using my gifts to make a difference in the world.
    I imagine you will be thinking about your work life soon, if you haven’t already. I spent over 20 years in work that had no meaning for me until I grew to understand myself and was able to retrain for something new. So I want to share with you two books that helped me tremendously, plus a new one I just read that I think is fantastic advice for the 21st century.
    #1 “The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People” by Carol Eikleberry, PhD
    #2 “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” by Daniel H. Pink
    #3 “The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do” by Jeff Goins
    Be well, Daisy. You are a gift to our fragile 21st century world. 🙂

  70. Steven Barer says:

    beautiful. many of us were much much older by the time we figured these things out. (I’m 56) I also hope you get to discover that not everyone was meant to live in the intensity of a high population density location. I’ve come to cherish how much less of a struggle life for hsp/introverts can be when you centre your life in a calmer place. I now spend a great deal of my time on a little rural island off the west coast of canada, a small town and surrounding countryside, without a traffic light! city life to this day creates for me a constant state of overwhelm, the stimulation is boundless – I encourage you to try some time someplace profoundly quiet, with only the sounds of nature, waves lapping, birds in the trees… so pleased you’re finding ways to love yourself, and so thankful for the authors of HSP and Quiet – helping so many of us be 100% OK with ourselves just how we are. Bravo.

  71. Susie Rose says:

    Yes congratulations on finding out so young, everything you said reminded me of my youth and why I chose to spend time with horses instead of people. Only in my late 30’s did I understand enough about being a highly sensitive person and have gone on to become a healer and coach where the gifts are extremely useful. Good luck you lady 🙂 xx

  72. Terry says:

    You could be telling my story. Thank you. You have found at an early age what I have been trying to figure out most of my life, and still am trying to come to terms with it at 61.

  73. Marvin John Lopez Sasan says:

    I salute you Daisy!

  74. MartyFairy says:

    I totally understand you! I found out that I was a highly sensitive introvert at 21-22, now I’m 23. I would have liked to find it out earlier, at 17 like you, because I would have saved my tears. Be so sensitive it’s both a curse and a bless because I can understand so well the people who sorround me to the point that I see things I shouldn’t have seen. Things that could hurt or embarrass. Thank you for sharing. It’s like I’m not the only one.

  75. Marvin John Lopez Sasan says:

    positivity right here. I like it!

  76. Marvin John Lopez Sasan says:

    very true but most people misunderstood it, “We are the healers, the artists and the “ministers” of the world.”

  77. Marvin John Lopez Sasan says:

    nicely said.

  78. Marvin John Lopez Sasan says:

    Heart Warming Story. I salute you for discovering your unique gift (Highly Sensitive Person/Introvert) at age 17. You have your life ahead of the world. As for me, I came to find out about everything at age 30 years old. It was overwhelming, shocking and draining to know that I’m not broken. With the help of Quiet by Susan Cain and Facebook groups for Introverts, I found out that I am perfect with my imperfections. Imagine, a Highly Sensitive Introvert in the world of loud and out going extroverts (talking about my friends during and after high school) ? To sum up my entire life.

  79. DeK says:

    Thanks Daisy. It feels good to be reminded that there’s nothing wrong with who you are, especially when people you let very close try to concince you of the opposite.

  80. Girl Phoenix says:

    Daisy, I have never read a more compelling or accurate description of what it means to be an introvert HSP. Like other commenters, it took me decades to not only discover this about myself but to be able to embrace these qualities for the amazing gifts that they are. You are an excellent writer and in discovering this at such a young age and being able to articulate your experience with such clarity, I know you will help many others struggling with these complex feelings. Keep up the excellent work!

  81. Rodalena says:

    Daisy, your words here are both empowering and uplifting. Thank you for so effectively communicating what it is like to discover that being a highly sensitive introvert isn’t always a curse, that it’s definitely a blessing as well.

    I’m an INFP, and relate to much of what you’ve written. I appreciate you taking the time. In the Language of Flowers (an introvert communication tool if ever there was one), Daisy (my favorite flower) means “happiness” and “innocence.” Be happy, Daisy; all the best to you.

  82. Beautiful Daisy. Thanks for sharing your story.

  83. Daisy, I congratulate you on discovering who you are at such a young age. People who are HSP’s and introverts have a powerful gift. We are the healers, the artists and the “ministers” of the world. For a long time I despaired of ever finding kindred spirits – people like me- but as soon as I accepted myself and started honoring my introverted, sensitive nature, I seemed to attract more of the same. I don’t need alot of people in my life, so I am highly selective of the ones who I allow into my inner circle.

  84. Sharon McRae says:

    I loved this, Daisy. I am glad that you discovered the truth about yourself at 17; I was in my late 40s. Had I known in my teens that I too was simply a highly sensitive introvert and not a difficult, faulty person, things would have been much different. But then, those past experiences now inform my work, my connections, my worldview. Thank you for sharing.

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