Do Highly Sensitive People Feel Pain Longer — And More Intensely — Than Others?

You may have been told it’s all in your head. But what if HSPs really do feel pain more intensely?

I remember the look on my dentist’s face when I asked for yet another round of Novocain as he dug into my tooth, performing a long overdue root canal (thank you, COVID-19 lockdown!). He remarked that most people he treated never asked for the amount I needed. 

He was probably right — because most people he treated, around 70 percent of the population, are not highly sensitive people (HSPs). I, on the other hand, am part of the nearly 30 percent who do feel pain more intensely. This is likely due to the fact that we sensitive people feel things more deeply and extensively than non-HSPs. (In fact, our brains are still busy processing even when we’re resting!)

But what exactly does it mean to have a poor pain tolerance? What it does not mean is that someone cannot “handle” pain. Quite the contrary: When it comes to HSPs, many of us have been trained to “deal” with our pain by grinning and bearing it. 


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