After taking the Highly Sensitive Person test (or HSP for short), I found out that I can class myself as a highly sensitive person. Subsequently, this means I have a pretty fair chance of having Sensory Processing Sensitivity, which, in the wise words of Cracked.com, comes with “a whole laundry list of effects that sound increasingly like the definition of spider-sense as you check them off: greater awareness of subtle stimuli, more attentional vigilance, and greater sensory reactivity.”
Oddly enough, this is considered a social defect by many, despite the myriad of mental and emotional advantages that come with it. This is perhaps because of the fact that only a minority of people have it (15-20% of the first world population), but not too few for it to be considered a disorder. More likely, however, it could be due to the fact that common side effects are introversion and shyness, which are considered bad things within today’s society. Of course, as SPS (and Cracked.com, linked above) proves, this is certainly not the case.
The long and short of it is, if you feel like you were or are shy and that gave you some sort of disadvantage in life, try taking the HSP test. Perhaps it might give you that boost in self confidence you need.
Read more about SPS here: http://www.hsperson.com/index.html