During a recent visit with a single, forty-something friend of mine, the following question came up during our discussions (as I knew it would… as it always does…): “When you met your future husband, did he meet all your preconceived requirements for a perfect life partner?” Of course, I tried to steer the discussion in a different direction, evading the afore-mentioned question. Our talk veered off to more philosophical topics, resulting in an ample amount of introspection and self-discovery.

 

On my way home that afternoon, my friend’s question got me thinking about searching for “Mr. Right”. After careful consideration, I realized that it is of utmost importance to first know yourself well enough before searching for your life partner. It is crucial to know what your own preferences and pet peeves are, how you cope with stressful situations, what makes you tick, which environments you enjoy most, which qualities in others you struggle with and/or admire… the list is endless.

 

Our behaviour is often the result of our reaction to situations, environments and sensory input that needs to be processed by our brains. Processing of sensory information happens on a primitive, neurological level; it is not a conscious decision on how we’ll react to sensory stimuli but rather a subconscious one… it just happens.

 

Every person is unique in the way they process this information and therefore no two persons’ reactions will be identical in a given situation.

 

In general people react in one of three ways:

  • People with a low threshold can easily be over-stimulated by sensory stimuli
  • People with a medium threshold are not severely influenced by sensory stimuli
  • People with a high threshold need extra sensory input

 

Because of these varying sensory profiles, we all prefer different types and amounts of input:

  • Low thresholds prefer predictable input
  • Medium thresholds are not severely influenced by sensory input
  • High thresholds prefer adventurous input

 

… and different environments:

  • Low thresholds prefer calmer environments
  • Medium thresholds cope well with most environments
  • High thresholds prefer more stimulating environments

 

So, coming back to my friend’s question, I’d have to be honest and say that finding my perfect life partner started with me figuring myself out first.

 

If you would like to learn more about your own sensory profile, do our FREE Sensory Quiz and get a quick overview of your sensory thresholds.  For a comprehensive 25-page report, contact us info@sensoryintelligence.co.za.

 

By Marieta du Toit, a qualified Occupational Therapist with an interest in sensory integration, neurology and human behaviour in the modern world. She is based in St Francis Bay, where she manages her school-based practice dealing with children, parents, teachers, principals and health profession colleagues. Marieta is also a regular blogger and is our Eastern Cape co-ordinator.

 

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