IMO there are multiple factors that affect our ability to be attuned to our environ and the people in it.
…. needed definitions for the concept
highly sensitive person
…. the variations
Many people confuse these definitions of sensitivity (hyper/hypo) and some presume if you have one, you have all. You’re just untrained.
Many people “read” people and emotional and spiritual content like it’s a feeling, a natural state like any other.
Some people not only “read” but they also understand what is happening.
Some can experience it, some can emulate it. Some find it really hard to learn these skills, and some never have. Whether this is because they have no ability to or because they were never taught good social skills is being argued at present.
Some people can manipulate people and dynamic energy.
And some people actually absorb it.
Some can block it. Some can switch it on and off. Some appear to go thru life having none, and some appear to have too much. But if you remember that anger is a symptom and not a base emotion, you learn to read things differently. That is a mature ability.
Complete apathy and lack of bonding is virtually impossible for a living, sentient being.
Some people use their energy to avoid conflict, some to internalize the emotion, and some to act out/ to displace the energy.
Some people are more able than others to do the work required to attach to someone. Children attach easiily and frequently. Teens tend to be idealistic in their attachments. Adults are mostly situational. And jaded.
Some people hold grudges, and some move on.
Few are able to do all these, plus transmute this energy into a new form. That is the woo woo level of being an empath. Going beyond what is normal.
This might be due to having a close bond. (ie lovers, parent/child, old friends) , having had a similar experience/trauma and understanding the aspects better than anyone else could who hasn’t been thru it (ie two addicts talking, or people with some trauma syndrome) or something within you/your own spirit. Something that makes you almost like a radar or energy conduit.
Some people are born with it and some people learn it.
You walk into a room and within seconds/minutes, you know the mood and who is driving it.
There might be some variance in sensitivity depending on if it is based on fear or hurt. Or you might just read the anger that you see, rather than the reason why they are angry. eg Kids often read anger, but rarely go beyond that to understand it or properly place blame. They think it’s their fault, as a default position. Because kids are dependent on reading their caregiver’s mood correctly. But don’t have the experience to go beyond the surface.
The variance is personal. Everyone has some level of natural sensitivity, everyone is driven by needs to socialize and to bond. They are the first skills a baby has, some theorize it begins prior to birth. They are the base of your personality and your character. Both of these needs drive your need to be sensitive to your surroundings and the people within it.
You can only do so based on who you are. If you are inner driven or self directed, then you see the world from your POV. If you are outer driven or other directed, other people rule your world. Most people cannot survive at either pole of these. They would literally die. So there are few and rare people, if you believe there are any, who are true narcissists or dependents. Most people then are some mix of these poles. (If you follow me at all, you know I usually get mad when I see these words used on social media). Your proof of that? If they are breathing, they’re a hybrid of these two states or poles. Which is why the fields of psychiatry and psychology are now moving toward spectrum or continuum definitions, rather than the linear states.
Most people grow in their social and bonding skills thru their lives. Which is why, even if you begin as having flaws as a young child, even if you as a teen are very flawed, by the time you are 40, even without treatment, you can self correct.
Which is why personality disorders are often seen as extended childhoods. NOT lifelong diseases. Which is why the professionals are beginning to separate out psychotic/organic and psychotic-like conditions (such as addictions) from these personality disorders.
What they are are hyper-aware, hyper-alert states, due to being unable to properly process their home environ. Which is typically a problem zone. Children don’t have the skills to understand a normal environ, let alone a difficult one. Teens are more likely to get angry or sad than properly process conflict. Due to hormonal supercharged states of development. Not all/few adults develop beyond these states.
Understanding people with problems doesn’t mean you have to excuse them or their behaviour. But you do need to clear the emotion or you keep facing their issues over and over again in your life. This takes a LOT of work and time. It is called re-parenting for a good reason.
And that is just the surface. The things that have crept into the lexicon of lay people. To the point where these words get misused by them. Never mind that some professionals haven’t caught up yet.