high sensation seekingSo along with introverts, extroverts, and HSPs, there are also High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive People.

Elaine Aron calls them HSP/HSSs.

High Sensation Seeking means a person seeks out activities or behaviors that allow them to reach a high mental or physical arousal level. This does not have to be a thrill-seeking activity–like base-jumping or sky diving. It can simply be seeking out new experiences, new things to do, and craving excitement, novelty, and change in their lives. (source) It can be exploring a new part of town, visiting an exotic country, learning about taboo or controversial subjects, taking classes about things you know nothing about—taking mental, emotional, intellectual, or physical risks.

What I like about the concept of HSP/HSSs is that the HSP part of the personality will be careful, plan things out, and research…you know how we roll! They lay the groundwork for the sensation-seeking side to do its thing—but in a calculated, safer way than jumping in blindly. The HSP allows the HSS to have their arousal/risk/excitement, but thoughtfully.

But HSP/HSSs balance on quite the tightrope! They may crave stimulation and excitement, but fear/avoid becoming overstimulated. That’s a tough balance.

Another fascinating part of HSP/HSSs is how they desire to work. An HSP might crave a comfortable, familiar routine in their job, whereas a HSS will be bored doing the same thing every day! (source: hsperson.com)

Take the test on Elaine Aron’s website to see if you are a High Sensation Seeker. 

Personally, I’m not sure if I’m an HSS. I do love to travel to “exotic” places—when I first arrive in a new (to me) country, I feel like I’m on a high. The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to explore, learn, and soak everything in—However, I’m worried that since I get easily overwhelmed, my introversion and sensitivity will force me to take it slow. This aspect definitely sounds like HSP/HSSs. But other than travel, I’m not sure the rest of it applies to me. Hmm….

What do you think? Are you a high sensation seeker?

photo credit: darkday. via photopin cc