Saturday, January 11, 2014

About being sensitive, food, and horror movies

A new place is an open space for making discoveries. For me, one of those discoveries has been realizing that the things I like are very different from the things that I “think” I like.

Take food, for example. As an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), I am very sensitive to tastes. Synthetic ingredients in food really bother me. 

I can immediately tell while eating outside if something is sub-standard. But although I am tuned in to these nuances, I am realizing that food, in itself, is not a big source of pleasure for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love chocolate as much as the other person. But the times that I really enjoy going out to eat is when it’s part of an experience like when there is great live music. As an HSP, I deeply value beauty, and so, the aesthetics of the place – how harmonious or imaginative it is – add to the pleasure.

What doesn’t give me pleasure is discussing fine food – the tastes, the textures. I definitely don’t enjoy watching most cooking shows. I think that has something to do with being an HSP – we need simplicity and an over-abundance of things – images, possibilities – can be over-stimulating. So, I like to cook, but like to try new recipes once in a while, and not too many one after the other.

Maybe the greatest pleasure is slowly eating simple, yet delicious food. Recently, an old post by Gretchen Rubin (who I suspect is an HSP) jumped out at me. She talks about how she can only wish that she enjoyed fine food here.

Another thing that I’ve changed my mind about lately are horror movies. I had always thought that I wouldn’t be bothered by them (although I had seen very few). But I find them very enervating. HSPs are easily startled, so it stands to reason that we would be very alarmed by what goes on in a horror movie. I found a kindred spirit in Kelly who writes about this here.

What about you? Are there any things you thought made you happy? And they don’t?

15-20% of the population are HSPs. If you are wondering whether you are an HSP, you can take Elaine Aron’s self-test here.


  1. which movies did you watch ??? horror that is??

    1. and food that made you feel HSP.. ??

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    3. It was the Paranomal Activity Series. It's not that I always feel scared, although in one of them I did. It's that I find it enervating and over-stimulating.

      As for food, I don't have any particular food sensitivities. But I am very sensitive to ingredients in frozen and highly processed food. I think that's a good guiding system to have though. Your body gives you signals about what's good and bad for you.

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  2. Do you feel that you are sensitive of personal space???