Highly Sensitive People are perfect targets for sociopaths

Hispanic Nurse in a hospital or office setting

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a reader who posts as “emotionallyraped.”

I visualize a spectrum for ‘living beings’ on an emotional scale ”¦”¦ from the HSP (highly sensitive people) at one extreme, to sociopaths at the other extreme.

I’ve taken excerpts from some reading online.


The personality trait highly sensitive people, which was first researched by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the early 1990s, is relatively common, with as many as one in five people, or 20% of the population, possessing it. (Taken from Huffington post)

Psychologist Martha Stout — who was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for 25 years — estimates in her book The Sociopath Next Door that as many as 4% of the population are conscienceless sociopaths who have no empathy or affectionate feelings for humans or animals. (Taken from Washington’s Blog)


With that read, I think that the 4% feed on the 20% quite abundantly and efficiently.

It’s the snake eating its tail. The tail sustains the snake’s life.

If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, you are the easiest prey for a sociopath. You would also have more intense emotions from the experience and would be more susceptible to PTSD after a sociopathic encounter than the average person.

Just one HSP’s observation ”¦

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?  Read about HSP:

16 Habits of highly sensitive people, on

Signed: Emotionallyraped


Comment on this article

43 Comments on "Highly Sensitive People are perfect targets for sociopaths"

Notify of

I am most definitely a highly sensitive and intuitive person. I really feel the effects of it with my neighbors who are not the least bit sensitive. Whereas most other people would just blow off the neighbors’ insensitive behaviors, I am very affected by them. I live in a condo that is constructed like a townhome on two levels with no one above and no one below but two neighbors who share adjoining walls – one on either side. I have a neighbor who shares the front porch with me. The other neighbor’s porch is by my back patio and vice versa. She seems to think it’s okay to walk her vicious chihuahuas out of her back patio across my front porch 3 times a day, moving my chairs around in the process so she can get by (and not replacing them). We are currently embroiled in a battle with the HOA over my right to ask her not to do this. I did ask her very nicely, but this came after a year of battling with her to get her to turn her noise down so I could have peace and quiet in my unit. The previous owner had no problem with her noise levels or her intrusive dog walking. When I asked her to kindly use her own porch for dog walking, she came over and started verbally attacking me, calling me a racist. Rather than just blowing it off like most people would do, it affected me deeply. My first overwhelming reaction was to feel HER pain. I imagine what kind of life she must have / or must have had in the past to have so much hostility and mistrust of others from a simple request like “please keep your noise down” and what how lonely it must be for her to have the TV as her best friend and constant companion.

Her comments hurt me very deeply but not deeply enough to stop fighting for my rights, which has just incensed her. All of this stress has adversely affected my nervous system. I am on edge a lot and get knots in my stomach when I have to walk through my front entryway. None of this bothers any other neighbors, the previous owner of my unit, or my bf who spends a lot of time over here. Everyone thinks I should blow it off and not let it bother me. But I’m too sensitive to her hostile energy.

I am also an extrovert (ENFP) with a well developed introverted side. I am very sensitive to noises and energies in my environment. For this reason, I should probably live in a house, and I’m trying to find a small one I can afford right now. It’s very unfortunate. I just bought this condo a year ago and remodeled it so it’s totally adorable. It’s wonderful in every way except for this neighbor. And if I wait for her to move out, who knows what the next one will be like? I sometimes wish I weren’t so sensitive.

I also am extremely considerate to a fault and often feel let down when I see the masses having loud cell phone conversations in public, showing up late all the time, or cutting people off on the road. I’m always wondering why others are not as considerate as I am, and it really bothers me sometimes. I’ve had people tell me that this is my problem and that it stems from my childhood. But I think it’s just that I am highly sensitive and that HSPs are just like this.

The one thing that doesn’t fit is that I have a morbid fascination with horror films, especially cheesy ones like The Human Centipede, but even more macabre ones, even though I do get very affected. I think it’s all the Scorpio energy in my chart, for those who are into astrology. Because I respond deeply emotionally to films, I really resonate with Japanese films. The characters, themes, and messages seem to have more depth than American films.

Isn’t there a forum board to get on and talk with others? Where is it at on the site?

tarheels2133 – the conversation on Lovefraud takes place in the comments. Feel free to post!

I’ve read about Highly Sensitive People before.

Personally I would rather NOT have this trait, it has been a source of to much pain in my life, counseling has helped, medication worked wonders but now that Im off it, all the overwhelming “stuff” is coming back. Going to give it till the end of May, change my diet, increase exercise and better boundaries, if this doesnt work I have to go back on Sertraline, I just dont think my body keeps producing it? Also PRAYER helps. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Good boundaries are important.

Wow, I just took the self-test, and almost on every single criteria, I am a highly sensitive person!! (Yews, i am always aware of my grovery cart, lol!! I nevr want to be blocking someone’s access through an aisle!) That explains a lot. I was also raised by my mother to be uber-courteous, pleasing and accommodating to everyone. Fascinating article!! I am also a “perceiver” on Myers-Briggs personality test… this aspect was addressed in the article as needing more time to make decisions… And as a perceiver, I need a while to process this article! Whoa! Thank you for sharing!

I didnt know, (until I began reading books/articles/webpages) that not only was I an introvert (which I suspected was the case, rather than the ‘shy’ label I’ve been tagged with ALL of my life), also that Im an HSP..LOUD voices, LOUD noises, in your face odors, smells, tastes, scratchy fabrics drive me up a wall! I cant watch gory, bloody, violent movies or tv shows, or the scary, creepy movies that a lot of people adore, not me. When I am in the presence of some people, or in a new unfamiliar personal radar is OUT, and I literally soak up the atmosphere of the people in the room or just the place itself. Sometimes its overwhelming. Of course, the man I married often was LOUD, profane, moody, full of rage and anger (when he chose to blow), obnoxious to me, more and more as time went on. I would simply implode, want to go away, hide inside my head or physically leave if I was able to do so. Which is why, after 29 years, I had NOTHING left to give/fight back with/or deal with everyday living. It took me so very long (years) to come back. Im still re-finding who and what I am (an introvert with HSP); who HAS to monitor herself, say NO when overloaded and spend time alone to re-charge and energize. At 19, when I met him, I really didnt know any of this; I was ‘shy’ and didnt know what life was, anyway. It took years (and years of being with a psychopath) to understand and figure who I am. And I was a ‘perfect target’. He knew precisely what HE wanted, and the woman to get it from, and it was me. I was played like a fiddle, until the strings broke, and no more was left to play.

p.s. for introverts (especially HSPs) I recommend the webpage Introvert Dear. I’ve learned a lot from the articles posted on that website.

Send this to a friend