A large flock of pterodactyls noisily erupt from the trees by the watering hole from where the hunter-gatherer tribe has set up camp and is engaged in their afternoon activities.
While the rest of the tribe doesn’t take notice of the noisy pterodactyls, two people in the tribe do.
They stop what they’re doing and exchange a look.
This is a different time of day for such a large flock of pterodactyls to take flight, and their noisy and abrupt flight is unusual.
This is a pattern inconsistency.
The two members of the tribe then determine the following:
- A large predator is heading to the watering hole nearby.
- The gatherers will need to take shelter.
- Smaller game they can hunt and catch will also leave the watering hole.
- The hunters must quickly take advantage and hunt the smaller game, leaving the watering hole.
The two people in the tribe who noticed the danger and opportunity?
They have the HSP Trait.
In this way, Highly Sensitives are flexible or adaptable. At least, they can be if they choose to.
The above example shows how pattern recognition relates to Highly Sensitives using their sensitivity to subtleties and depth of processing to protect themselves and their tribe and take advantage of an opportunity.
According to the researcher who discovered the HSP Trait, Dr. Elaine Aron, the HSP Trait can be categorized by the D.O.E.S. acronym – Depth of processing, Overstimulation, Emotional responsivity/empathy, and Sensitive to subtleties.
Noticing patterns and pattern anomalies?
Highly Sensitives naturally do this; it’s built into their nervous system.
Highly Sensitives continuously notice, interpret, and categorize information or external stimuli.
The HSP Trait (also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity) is a genetically inherited personality trait in 10-20% of the population.
It’s a trait built into the human condition to ensure the survival of our species.
It’s for this reason that Highly Sensitives are remarkably tuned into patterns.
And, while we no longer live in prehistoric times, there are many opportunities in the present time for HSPs to take advantage of the benefits of their HSP Trait.
A simple example is when a Highly Sensitive will notice a subtle difference in tone, whether by email, text, or a phone call, when communicating with someone they know well.
Their brain automatically detects the slight difference in how the person usually communicates.
Other examples Highly Sensitives are naturally attuned to are;
- Identifying common elements in problems or systems,
- Identifying and interpreting common differences in problems or systems,
- Identifying individual elements within problems,
- Describing patterns that have been identified,
- and making predictions based on identified patterns.
Patterns are found in nature, art, music, and math. This is why most Highly Sensitives are attracted to nature, art, music, and math.
Patterns are also found in human behavior, in ourselves, and in others.
Noticing patterns and anomalies is also related to inductive thinking or inductive reasoning.
What’s inductive thinking?
Inductive thinking is when you start with specific observations or facts and infer a general rule or conclusion.
Pattern Recognition and Inductive Thinking is a unique ability of the human brain to not only find patterns but also figure out logically what those patterns suggest about what will happen next.
Interestingly, pattern recognition and inductive thinking form the basis for all scientific inquiry.
And scientific inquiry is simply getting curious.
Why get curious?
Well, there are a lot of benefits to being curious.
For example, suppose you notice that you get a stomach ache every time you eat spicy food. So you get curious and wonder why.
In that case, you might use inductive reasoning to conclude that spicy food, for you, causes stomach aches.
Another example is that you spend a lot of time in a particular environment and it’s a loud environment. You feel drained after spending time there.
But you didn’t realize you have a sound sensitivity and didn’t know that particular environment was draining you.
This is why Week 1 of the HSP World Mastery Program begins with a Highly Sensitive beginning by getting curious and collecting and recording data on their sensitivities.
In other words, they begin by getting curious about how their HSP Trait works for them.
Then, based on the data the Highly Sensitive collects on themselves, they can begin to use their natural ability, not just to recognize patterns, but to recognize and understand how their HSP Trait works for them.
Then, they can use inductive thinking, adapt to this new information, and make positive changes that will benefit them.
Every Highly Sensitive is unique because the HSP Trait is on a continuum. You can have it to a large or small degree.
And every Highly Sensitive has unique sensitivities, sometimes even a combination of sensitivities, which can change over time.
This is why getting and staying curious about how your HSP Trait works for you is good.
Have you started getting curious about how your HSP Trait works for you?