One of the questions I have been asked a lot over the years is whether or not we get more sensitive, as we age.
It's definitely a worthy question, and many people I have talked to are convinced that their sensitivity has increased as they entered their 40's 50's, 60's and beyond.
Personally speaking, I don't really believe that we get more sensitive as we age. I think we just become more aware of our sensitivities. We also gain more life experience, meaning that we are more readily able to be tuned in to what's going on with us, in terms of emotions, stimulation level, and so forth.
To be a little more specific, when we start to feel overstimulated in a given situation we grow more aware of the fact that what's happening is overstimulation rather than something else like anxiety or nervousness. When we were younger, it was easier to just overlook or tune these things out. This heightened awareness doesn't necessarily mean that we are more sensitive it just means we're more tuned in to our sensitivity.
Since I have experienced that growing awareness in my own life as I have aged — I will turn 62, later this year — the outcome is that I tend to step away from more situations than I did in my youth. To the casual observer number that might look like I have become more sensitive than I used to be, because I am a less willing participant in what I generally think of as "noisy activities."
From the inside, however, I really don't feel any more sensitive than I ever was.
This particular topic has been discussed at great length at workshops and in a number of online HSP forums and other discussion groups and people never seem to arrive at a firm conclusion.
I am just not convinced that we become more sensitive as we age, I just think we become less tolerant of/willing to deal with overstimulation when we know we're facing a situation in which it is likely to happen.
I'll finish with the reminder that this is just my experience, and my opinion... and yours might be quite different!
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