Chances are you have at least one highly sensitive person in your surroundings. It’s not always easy to understand them, which can lead to conflicts in both personal and professional lives. Even if that doesn’t happen, though, we can still be there for them and make them feel good by interacting with them a bit differently.

Let’s explore 10 ways to handle such people well and make sure the communication is a positive experience for both sides.

1. Know what’s different about them. 

A little research never hurts. In this case, you’d want to know the main signs of such a person so you can easily spot that.

These range from being detail-oriented, having deeper thoughts and taking their time when having to make a decision, to reacting emotionally, and being sensitive to criticism.

2. Embrace their individuality.

Highly sensitive people, or HSP, are different in many ways. For a start, they interact with the world in a unique way. They often prefer to do things on their own, but that doesn’t always make them introverts.

Working well in teams but also struggling with anxiety, having impeccable manners but crying easily and often taking things personally even if they are told not to. All these make each sensitive person a unique individual and you should cherish that if you have one in your life. 

3. Show understanding.

The highly sensitive brain operates differently. It’s genes we’re talking about and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

While making such people feel comfortable, thinking before speaking and saving them some unnecessary pressure and harsh truths might help, it’s all about showing understanding. We, as human beings, can all do that by being compassionate and trying to find out what the other person is going through.

The next time you interact with a highly sensitive person, try to stay away from judging or making conclusions. Instead, just understand they are a bit unusual.

4. Let them do it their way.

It might be a friend, coworker, employee, relative or even your partner that’s more sensitive than anyone else you know. Make sure you give such people some quiet time as often as possible and let them do things their way.

That might mean knowing an employee has a calm working environment, not observing or micromanaging them, but trusting their intuition and only assessing the end result.

5. Speak softly.

In order not to make them emotional, be sure to keep your voice down. Be calm around them, as they will feel anything you’re not saying.

In addition to your voice being quiet, ensure that you’ve taken a few deep breaths before that and your body language doesn’t show any signs of pressure. Look at this as a mindfulness exercise that will also make you more relaxed in general, and which can turn you into a more patient person and a better communicator.