Are You Highly Sensitive, Too?

Have you ever heard of the term HSP (“highly sensitive person”)? This predisposition can manifest itself in different ways, like being bothered by loud noises, scratchy sweaters or crowded rooms.

Why do I even bring this up? Because my suspicion is that a good amount of people who like ASMR and have a rich inner life might be highly sensitive – and many creative types like musicians too, as it turns out.
You could try this test if you’re unsure (my score was 17). I don’t think we need to let this define us, but to me it was a great relief that there’s a name for my “weirdness”, and it allowed me to learn about myself and connect with similar people.

This HSP topic came to my mind when I watched an interview with Outkast’s Andre 3000 (he made one of my all-time favorite songs), where he opens up to the legendary Music producer Rick Rubin (he has a great ASMR voice, too).

It was sad to hear that Andre hasn’t been making much music and struggles with mental health issues. How can a musician that everybody loves have struggles like that, you might think? I get it, though.
Andre 3000 openly talks about “not being in a great place”, his self-confidence-issues, social anxiety, being too judgmental of his craft and being hyper-sensitive.

It’s heartbreaking when Andre says “There’ve been times that I prayed and prayed (to god) I’d rather you take my voice and my career away, if I could just feel normal.

There are many other quotes that I wrote down, because they hit so close to home: “I don’t even know what I am and maybe I’m nothing … maybe I’m not supposed to be anything” “I feel most comfortable when I’m isolated, I spend 95% of my time by myself (…) And the brain loves to find problems, even if they’re not there.”

According to Rick Rubin, who seems to have a similar personality, this “hyper”-sensitivity might be what makes Andre the artist he is. It can be a gift and a curse. And it’s why a lot of artists overdose: They are sensitive people who “just don’t wanna feel everything all the time” and experience tremendous pressures at a young age.

They also talk about childhood, and how hard it is if your parents aren’t as sensitive as you are. “They’re the adults, they’re supposed to know everything, but they don’t even understand, and you can’t explain it.”

Nowadays, Andre plays the bass clarinet and wants to get back to creating music without overanalyzing and isolating himself – I hope he makes it.

💤 What helped me find calm this week

There’s a good number of new Unintentional ASMR which I put on my second Unintentional ASMR channel (it’d be cool if you subscribed):

Here are some cool intentional ASMR videos that I added to my “ASMR Favorites” Playlist

  • Just watching Ephemeral Rift makes me happy and relaxed, and the triggers in his recent video (e.g. sticky leather gloves, shaving foam or wood blocks) are amazing!
  • Matty Tingle’s First Class Flight Attendant Roleplay is great (even though it’s quite similar to part one)! Personal attention roleplays in a professional setting may be my favorite setting for ASMR, and Matty with his patient, positive attitude is one of the best for this, I think!
  • This Turkish hairstylist Anil Çakmak has been creating incredibly relaxing Barber Massage videos with shampooing, head massages and more (I’m sure they are inspired by the great Indian Barber Baba, but he takes it to another level)
  • Gotta have one woman in there too: Madi ASMR has become quite popular recently, she has a good whispering voice. I probably like her older doctor exam roleplay the most

💎 Hidden gem ASMR channel of the week

I’m not that much into children making ASMR, but one exception is Nia Mccree’sPerfume Seller Roleplay which I regularly rewatch (the video is actually quite old but got reuploaded). Nia has newer videos, too (I just wish she had better audio equipment – should I buy her a mic?:)  

💜 Something I’ve been enjoying

I finished the Witcher series on Netflix. I think Henry Cavill is a great Geralt, and many things were good. But I realized something: I liked playing the videogame (Witcher 3 and the Blood and Whine DLC) much more than watching the series!

The great music, the storyline around the Bloody Baron, arriving in Skellige, playing Gwent, and so much more; To me, the game beats the series by far, and I might just prefer videogames as a medium to movies. I just like to take my time and really explore and interact with a world instead of just consuming a pre-defined story.   In any case, if you enjoy videogames and haven’t played this one yet, give it a try! To me, these games are the definition or art (and pretty good for relaxing, too:)