Highly Sensitive Extroverts excel in unique areas. Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash
All the kids are backstage, made up and ready to go on. The director announces “It’s a full house.” All the kids nervously groan. Except mine.
My daughter is an extreme extrovert. She loves being on stage. She’s been on it since she was four and she never gets nervous. In fact, when the director announced that it was a full house she cheered. According to her, the more people watching the better. Personally, I generally join the rest of the population who rank public speaking as their number one phobia. This is one of her super powers.
My daughter is also a highly sensitive person. It’s a common misconception that highly sensitive people are shy or introverts. In her research, Dr. Elaine Aron found that 30% of HSP are actually extroverts.
Could your child be one of them?
Signs you have an extroverted HS child
- Social and would rarely turn down a chance to be with friends.
- Intense, deep thinking, and has big ideas.
- Kind, gentle, empathetic, creative and observant – notices subtle things about people, art, music or the world.
- Seems to always be wanting to go to social events and gets energised while at out and about with people. However, especially after a busy day, still needs alone time or a nap.
- Doesn’t prefer to be alone. Becomes bored, tired or even feels a bit depressed if alone for long.
- Often engaged in new, interesting, creative activities outside the home especially with others.
- When out they often spark up conversations with others even strangers and are happy, smiling, open and engaging.
- Easily makes new friends.
- Loves working in a group or team.
- Emotional — Feels things deeply and cares deeply about others and the world at large.
If your child fits a lot of these they may be a Highly Sensitive Extrovert.
Super Powers of an Extroverted HSP
Highly Sensitive Extroverts have unique abilities. Photo by Steven Libralon on Unsplash
- Acting ability
The HSPs ability to notice things others don’t makes it easier for them to imitate others or develop characters. Being able to pick up on subtle body language, quirks and mannerisms makes for effective acting. Add to that HSPs extreme awareness of feelings and you’ve got a powerful combination. HSP who are introverted can obviously be actors too and many are, but the added extroversion brings a confidence that makes it very easy for these children to enjoy the stage.
If your child shows an interest, encourage drama classes or any opportunities to act, dance or sing.
2) Making Friends
Wherever we go my daughter makes friends in seconds. She makes each new friend feel special and it’s not hard to see why they enjoy her company. Her bubbly, extroverted personality makes her great to be around and her HS awareness of feelings means she is kind and shows empathy. Extroverted HSs can build rapport quickly, tuning in to people and getting on with them at their level — adjusting the way they interact with people depending on their age, interests, personalities and moods.
And they make great friends too! Their HS side is reflective and empathetic. And because they feel emotions so deeply, when you’re loved by a HSP you really are loved! And an extroverted one will let you know it!
Talk with your child about their friends as they will be a very valued part of their lives.
Extroverted HSP can often get very passionate about a particular cause — they will think deeply about human rights, feel strongly about animal cruelty or damage to the environment. News items or documentaries about these types of issues tend to affect HSP deeply. And with the outgoing nature of an extrovert — people are going to hear about it!
Highly Sensitive Extroverts will fight for justice. Photo by Jessica Podraza on Unsplash
Encourage your child to think about a cause they want to support and help them come up with an action plan of how they can contribute or promote it. My daughter went shop to shop with free chocolate cake promoting Red Panda Day one year and raised money to support a Red Panda for a year.
4) Handling crowds and parties
HSP tend not to handle crowded spaces or parties all that well, but the more extroverted they are, the easier it is! Some even thrive on it! They might start planning their own parties and events, and with their tuned in HS side they’re great at thinking about what their guests will enjoy and how to make them comfortable. My daughter started planning her own parties at age 11!
But remember, even if they really want to, planning a party will probably be overwhelming for a HSP and they’ll need your support to handle this — it’s a good opportunity to learn stress management. After any busy event even extroverted HS kids need quite a bit of down time. And don’t expect them to go to sleep easily that night!
Of course, other non-HSE can be great at all of these things too! But perhaps you recognise your child here? I’d love to hear about them.
Until next time,
To find out more about Highly Sensitive Extroverts read Introversion, Extroversion and the Highly Sensitive Person by Liscensed Professional Counsellor, Jacquelyn Strickland.