When people talk about (high) sensitive persons (HSP) today most people associate (high) sensitivity with the characteristics empathic, easily over-stimulated and very fond of slow living. However, there is also another “type” of HS that meets HS characteristics, but is not as easily ‘identified’ as an HS.


Because it also has a strong craving for ‘action-input-sensation’. Let me introduce you to the ‘(highly) sensitive sensation seeker’(HSS; also termed the extravert or strong-willed HSP). A type of HSP who loves to live on high adrenaline levels and ride the wave of buzz in his or her life.

HSS can be described as ‘living with one foot on the gas pedal and with the other on the brake’. Does that sound familiar to you? Then read on for more information about the highly sensitive sensation seeker.

1. Around 30% of highly sensitive people are extraverted (HSS). Do you like to be among people (albeit for a certain time)? Do you sometimes look for incentives in your life? Then the chances are high that you are an extrovert HSP/sensation seeker.

2. HSS search for incentives and contact with other people, but also need periods of silence and contemplation. The balance between the two can be quite a challenge. A classic HSS might automatically associate the feeling of ‘boring’ with the term balance … and avoid it as good as he/she can. Until their bodies tell them to slow down and take a break.

3. HSS is a relatively rare case of HSP. It is believed that about 33% of the population is HSP. Out  of these 33%, a third is HSS. This amounts to about 10 out of 100 people who are HSS. In public, these HSS often behave according to their HSS side (‘on the gas pedal’) and thus they blend in very well in our fast-moving society.

4. You need your freedom

5. Your emotions can change quickly

6. You’d rather be actively doing something than watch TV on the couch

7. You tend to be persistent

8. You are smart and cunning in arguing and thus get your way (anyway)

9. You can become rebellious if something is unfair or does not go your way

10. Your emotions can run high in no time. As a child you might have experienced tantrums

11. You can be very enthusiastic very fast

12. You can get very easily bored

13. You like being among people (if you choose to)

From this list you see that some of the HSS characteristics seem to oppose the classic HSP qualities. This is what can make life somewhat challenging for you.  An emotionally mature HSS with insight in him/herself may be the life of a party yet go home early; They might have an impressive CV which masks inner torment during periods when job satisfaction decreased to zero.

However many HSS, often ones who’ve learned about HSP and adjusted their lifestyle accordingly, do appreciate the introverted side within themselves.

Do you want to learn more about your HSS side? Take the HSS test here.