Things That Scare Us: Being Easily Startled


Things That Scare Us: Being Easily Startled

Let’s get into it. Last week, I brought up a topic based on this idea of things that scare us as HSP or highly sensitive, introverted women. Sensitive people in the world. We talked about scary movies. It’s something that’s been on my mind and I think it’s important to give permission for you to live life on your terms. As HSP women, you may not find joy, pleasure, or entertainment in the same things that other people find fun. For me, scary movies are a big one. Also, haunted houses. And, the 24-hour news cycle. But, we’ll discuss those later.

One of the things that are a little harder to conceptualize is the idea of being “easily startled” as HSP women.

Honestly, it sums up both the scary movie thing and the haunted house feeling. Some people must just love to be started! I don’t know if it’s the adrenaline rush…That has to be it, right? I don’t know. But, whatever the reason, some people enjoy it. And, just like some people enjoy it, some people don’t! And, my friends, I am one of those people. I don’t want to be startled. I’m pretty sure I don’t mind a fun surprise, but even then. I kind of need to know a little bit about what to expect. I know, maybe it just defeats the purpose of a surprise.

Maybe, I don’t like surprises! That, we can explore later. But, I know that being startled…The adrenaline rush…The feeling in the pit of your stomach…The feeling of not being able to breathe, and the tightness in your chest…It’s NOT fun! It’s not fun for me, and I bring it up because I’ve spoken to so many HSP women in Florida, Mexico, Missouri, the United States, Canada, and beyond, who don’t love this. So, I know I’m not alone!

Now, What does this look like in practice for HSP women?Woman peeking over another woman's shoulder while she's on the phone representing a person sneaking up on a HSP woman in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina or otherwise in the United States.

For example, don’t sneak up on me! Don’t even come up quietly behind me without the intent of sneaking up. Does that make sense? Definitely don’t hide to scare me on purpose. You do that, and I’m going to be anxious for a long time! I’m going to be so anxious. But, let’s go back to the sneaking up on. If you’re a quiet person, you know you’re quiet. Just like I know I’m highly sensitive.

You know you’re quiet! So, even if I know you’re in the house, or somewhere in the vicinity, I didn’t know you were THERE there. That’s the answer! People will say “well, you knew I was here!”. Sure, but I didn’t know you were right there behind me! I turned around and, BOOM, there you were. Even that feeling is too much. It’s too much for the highly sensitive nature. The way that my sensitivity and introversion present.

I was talking with a friend about this, another coach, another HSP woman, and a highly sensitive introverted woman. She felt very similarly. We were talking about the difference between hypervigilance from a trauma, a past traumatic event, or even a near-miss. The type of hypervigilance coming up as a result of something. Versus, these anxious feelings that come up as an HSP. We were talking about the difference and what this has looked like for us throughout our lifetime. Even the childhood games of hide-and-seek! Hide-and-seek can be super fun for kids, and I guess adults, but when I was hiding and they were getting closer to finding me, I would still get anxious and startled! Still! I was literally playing the game. But, I would still get anxious and startled. That’s how I know that this is way more deeply rooted than just having anxiety as an adult.

So, what’s the point? Why am I even bringing these things up?

Like I said last week, I think it is important to know that your preferences are your preferences. Your needs are your needs. Your wants are your wants. The bottom line: they are yours. You don’t have to apologize for them, explain them away, or cut them off. You don’t have to accommodate the world in order to fit into society’s standards of what entertainment and fun need to be. The point that I want to make very clear here with this whole post about HSP women feeling easily startled more often is that it doesn’t need treatment.

Woman looking concerned about someone else being in her space, representing the fear a HSP woman can feel by being startled.Hypervigilance as a result of trauma is a PTSD symptom.

That is something where if it is disrupting your life and keeping you from enjoying the type of life that you have enjoyed before, it can be treated. There are trauma experts throughout the world who can work with you to alleviate PTSD symptoms as a result of trauma. Or, a near-miss traumatic event. Anxiety, panic attacks…If those are disrupting your life and keeping you from doing the things you once enjoyed, you can get treatment for it. Anxiety treatment exists and can be so helpful in reducing your anxiety symptoms. Teaching you new coping skills. Helping with management or deciding if managing via medication would be useful.

However, being highly sensitive, being introverted, or being HSP doesn’t need treatment.Kids playing hide and seek, with a boy counting by a tree and a girl running away representing how kids can have fun when they want to play together. HSP coach Enid shares thoughts on being startled here.

You don’t need to be treated. There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t have to keep pretending that you like playing hide-and-seek. Or, that it’s okay when your partner sneaks up on you and grabs you from behind (*shudder*). You don’t have to act like the things that scare you are your problem. Because, quite frankly, they’re not.

So, perhaps go back and read my post on naming what you want as a sensitive, introverted woman. Learn more about what being HSP really means. Read about talking with your friends and family about being highly sensitive. Maybe, just educate yourself more and talk with an introvert coach, an HSP coach, *hint hint* someone like me who can help you get clear on how you want to move through the world. How to fully embrace your highly sensitive nature. Whatever you choose to do. You’re not broken. You are not the problem. It is not yours to fix. This is yours to own, embrace, and accommodate how YOU want to in order to live your best life. That’s what I want for you, my dear. You deserve that, and so much more.


As a fellow HSP and introvert, I understand how overwhelming the spooky season festivities can be. Especially, when people find starting others fun. But, for us HSP women? It’s terrifying! As an HSP, sensitive introvert coach, I help women all over the world find peace in this chaotic, spooky world. So, that they can accept their introverted nature and live radically, and authentically. Let’s connect! You can learn more about my radical introvert coaching program with this free, Radical Introvert Audio Training “How to Find Peace in This Fast-Paced World”. When you’re ready to take action, I make it simple to book a free, 30-minute consultation call with me. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Smiling Enid De Jesus, HSP coach for introverted women in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and more. Get coaching for sensitive, introverted women in the United States, including Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond.


Enid DeJesus is an introvert and HSP coach for women located in Florida, North Carolina, New York, and beyond. As a fellow HSP and sensitive introvert, Enid understands how spooky season is a struggle. She understands how you’re pressured into people pleasing but you want to live life in a way that is authentic to you. She GETS it! This is why Enid created a coaching program to help women live like the radical introverts they are. So, you don’t have to try to be different like the world wants you to be. Where Enid can help you can live your life that is designed to suit your sensitive, introverted nature.

If you’re interested to start the radical introvert coaching program, wherever you are in the world, let’s talk!


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