Intuition is one of the many good traits of highly sensitive people. My intuition is a huge part of who I am, and it is so powerful. The gentle hunches, tugs, and unexpected connections are welcome visitors that give my life a sense of direction and vibrancy. Being intuitive is exciting. Every day brings a chance to uncover subtle details that others miss.
I like to think of intuition as enhanced pattern recognition fed by the information I absorb through my senses. This recognition happens so quickly, that it can be subconscious, showing up as a gut feeling, being tugged in a certain direction, or a sudden ah-ha moment. All humans are capable of intuition. However, highly sensitive people tend to be extra intuitive because they process more sensory information.
Information is fuel for intuition. And by information, I don’t mean simply books and articles. Any experience that we take in with our physical bodies is information. Conversations, music, flavors, scents, textures, facial expressions, emotions, visual compositions–all of this is information.
The intuition of the highly sensitive person forges connections between all of this sensory information, creating new insights. These connections can also create recognizable patterns, which makes it possible for HSPs to accurately predict what is most likely to happen in certain situations.
Many highly sensitive people identify as being INFPs or INFJs. What I love about the MBTI is that it accounts for two types of intuition: extraverted and introverted intuition. Everyone uses both styles, but we often prefer one over the other. The one we use the most is reflected in our personality type code. INFPs prefer to use extraverted intuition, and INFJs prefer introverted intuition.
As an INFP, I have more experience with extraverted intuition. If I could think of one word to describe extraverted intuition, it would be exploration. It’s all about taking in new things from my environment. Extraverted intuition can be messy and distractible because it’s always on the lookout for what’s fresh. But despite the chaos, it channels all that life experience and newness into creative work.
Another facet of extraverted intuition is that it is an idea machine. I enjoy remixing things and having new ideas. Sometimes this intuition is conscious, but other times it’s not.
INFJs often describe their intuition as a deep sense of knowing without fully understanding how. The mind jumps from A to D without letting you in on all the steps in-between. I get the impression that for INFJs, the way their intuition works is very subconscious.
If you are neither an INFP nor an INFJ, take a moment to do some internet research to see what kind of intuition comes the most naturally to your type.
Benefits of having the trait of intuition as a highly sensitive person:
Highly sensitive people are creative thinkers, and intuition is essential for idea generation and selection.
Since HSPs are more in tune with their environment, they give attention to details and concepts that others may overlook. Noticing the details is the stuff that creates talented musicians, writers, poets, artists, designers, and even entrepreneurs.
The highly sensitive person trait of intuition also gives HSPs the gift of insight. Intuitives work with webs of information all the time. As a result, people come to them for recommendations and advice. When people ask for your opinion on something, not only do you see the meaningful details, but you also see how things are connected and the impact of that. You may even identify with the Sage Jungian archetype.
Highly sensitive intuitives also are aware of patterns of information. Some of it you can process consciously, but much of it you can not. The result is that eventually, you start to sense where different events and actions can lead. You gain the ability to predict outcomes.
Sometimes this shows up as clearly visualizing cause and effect. Yet, other times it comes as a nagging gut sense that something isn’t right or that you’ve seen this situation before, but you’re not able to sort out why you feel the way you do until what you suspect happens. It can also manifest as a strong feeling of moving in the right direction, although you don’t know why.
Your foresight enables you to spot red flags, obstacles, and consequences more quickly than others. You can also sense the most effective and safe paths toward success.
This is my strongest area as an intuitive. If you’ve taken The Strength Finder test by Gallup, this aligns with the Strategic strength. It’s a skill that cannot be taught. Intuition drives it.
As a side note, I recommend that HSPs take The Strength Finder, even if it’s the basic version that comes with The Discover Your Clifton Strengths book. Seeing how my strengths intertwine with my sensitivity has given me a greater awareness of my HSP gifts.
Seeing People As They Are
Sometimes I feel like my brain is a library of human interactions. I may not be able to quote a funny line from a movie I just saw, but I can recall conversations in detail, including time and location.
The minds of HSPs are constantly processing the details of interactions with others. This can make social situations exhausting, but the upside of this is that HSPs can pick up on subtle social patterns because they process so much information when they’re with others.
HSPs who are in touch with this part of themselves are skilled at seeing people for who they are. They can tell in a heartbeat when someone is lying or being inauthentic. They can see straight through you.
I suspect this is because the actions of an inauthentic person don’t match with the social patterns of someone who is being real, and the difference can be felt, even subconsciously.
As an intuitive, I see my entire life as a puzzle with interlocking pieces. It’s exciting when I discover things that are the perfect fit. It’s that internal, Yes! feeling. But this feeling isn’t just for problem-solving. It’s the key to knowing where you end and others begin. It’s personal resonance. You can tell what feels like you and what doesn’t.
Intuitives can deeply feel when something is just right for them and when it’s not. And when that sensation is acknowledged instead of ignored, you start to see more clearly the boundaries between yourself and others. You also begin to notice the difference between the image you wish to project and who you honestly are. Being able to see those lines creates an authentic way of being.
By the way, trying to project a certain image of ourselves isn’t always bad. Sometimes this serves as a necessary shield in a tough world. However, we can’t live with our guard up all the time. We have to be aware of who we are without the extra protection. Meaningful relationships can only be formed with our shields down. We lose our authenticity when we confuse the shields we carry with who we are. Intuition points us to our true identity without all the mechanisms we use to hide it.
When we are authentic, others can sense that too. People may even tell you that they feel like they can be themselves around you.
Sometimes highly sensitive people can struggle to have a good relationship with their intuition. Signs of trouble include burnout, loss of identity, and chronic indecision. Also, you may feel like you’re striving all the time. Intuition is very gentle and tends to show up more when we’re relaxed. It’s natural problem solving, not forced. So if you see these signs of trouble in your life, you need to take a moment to slow down and check in with yourself.
I hope you now know why your intuition is awesome.❤️
Enjoyed this post?✨ If so, you’ll probably also appreciate my latest book, Love Your Sensitivity:7 Essential Life Changes to Make After Learning You’re a Highly Sensitive Person