The symbol for highly sensitive people and what it means

Anne-Kathrin Walter
The Symbol for Highly Sensitive Persons

When I searched for a symbol for highly sensitive people, I could not find any. So I drew one myself! This article explains the meaning behind it.

Key Points

  • Why I drew a symbol for highly sensitive people
  • The next steps
  • The meaning of the symbol
  • What happened after I shared the symbol?
  • And now...?

Why I drew a symbol for highly sensitive people

In 2018, I decided the time was ripe to get a tattoo. For years, the idea of getting one played in my head, but I did not know what to put on my body. After I knew for a few years that I am a HSP, i decided to get a tattoo that represents this trait. Ideally, I wanted a symbol that stands for highly sensitive people. I searched the entire internet, but could not find any. At that moment, I decided that I could draw one myself.

I took out my notebook and started to experiment with potential shapes. It was a fun process and actually quite exciting to design my own tattoo! Eventually, after a lot of trial and error (see picture to the right), I managed to finish the symbol.

The next steps

After I designed the sign, I was curious to hear what other highly sensitive people thought of it. Therefore, I did share it in one of the Facebook groups for HSP's that I am part of. The feedback that I got there, was overwhelming.

Love it's simplicity yet beauty. Gorgeous idea! HSP creativity strikes again!!! - One of the members of the group

It seemed like almost everyone loved the symbol, and I got so much feedback on how to improve the design! Some loved it just the way it was, some wanted it to look more extensive, but in the end, it felt like the overall feedback was mainly positive.

I love it. I see the H, S & P. I also see the ‘i’ as an exclamation mark, a joyous exclamation and celebration of who we are! - One of the members of the group

Ultimately, almost 400 members liked my post and almost 90 commented upon the topic. I felt amazed by the enthusiasm of everyone. It actually motivated me to start this brand together with Riny. This positivity was just what we needed to start HiSensitives!

The meaning of the symbol

As you can see, both the letters 'H', 'S' and 'P' are incooperated in the symbol. Obviously, this stands for highly sensitive person. In addition, I added a dot at the bottom of the 'P'. For me, it is a turned around 'I', which means that the trait is a part of my identity. Some of the highly sensitive people who gave feedback saw it as an exclamation mark. They saw it as a celebration of the trait, which in my opinion is a beautiful interpretation.

The symbol stands for acceptance and identification with the personality trait. It aims to connect people with the trait and bring them together. When I designed it, I was inspired by symbols such as the peace sign or the breast cancer awareness symbol. I wanted to create something similar for HSP's. Many people still don't know of the trait, and I hope that this symbol can help to create more awareness.

What happened after I shared the symbol?

The response that I got after designing the symbol, was overwhelming. In fact, a few days after I shared it, somebody got a tattoo of my drawing! The feeling that somebody uses your artwork on their body, is amazing. I thought that I would be the only one to get it inked on my body, but I am glad to see that this symbol reasonates with more people.

In September this year, I also got a tattoo of it. My tattoo artist Ad, from Rising Sun Tattoo, gave my symbol a more feminine touch. It turned out like this:

My mother made a beautiful painting of my work, and my parents-in-law gave me a necklace of it. I am amazed by their support, but more astonished by how the symbol is implementable into other artwork than tattoos as well:

And now...?

I implemented the sign in our business logo, so that more highly sensitive people will see it. It inspires me every day to grow our community and to connect more HSP's with each other. Let's hope that in time, more people will see it. Maybe, this symbol ultimately will increase awareness about the trait and hopefully also acceptance of sensitivity. We will see what the future brings. I am excited. And you?

We are curious to receive even more feedback upon this new symbol! What do you think of it? 

If you'd like to hear more about how I designed this symbol and why, feel free to watch this interview with HSP coach Tiara from HSPeace coaching.

Anne-Kathrin Walter
Written By

Anne-Kathrin Walter

Co-Founder of HiSensitives
Anne-Kathrin Walter is a writer, social media expert and the co-founder of HiSensitives. HiSensitives is a personal growth brand for highly sensitive people and empaths. Many highly sensitive people and empaths still see their trait as a weakness, and HiSensitives wants to change that. Therefore, Anne-Kathrin and her partner Riny have made it their mission to make the world a better place for highly sensitive people and empaths. With HiSensitives, they want to inspire HSP's and empaths worldwide to invest more time in themselves and their personal growth.