As promised, I’ve delved into the numbers concerning Highly Sensitive Creative persons. It’s surprising.
Here we go!
How unique are you? Are you as rare as a white moose?
If you are a “Creative”, that is, an inventive person in any field, you are already unique. If you are smart enough to complete a graduate program at a university, you are in even more exclusive territory. Your ‘working style’ or ‘worker personality’ will put you into one of four groups. But if you are also a true Highly Sensitive Person then you are in very rare company. AND, if, let’s say, a natural extrovert as well, you could be the poster child for the HSP-Creative Awareness Telethon that I just made up.
Now, Please please PLEASE remember that there are many other completely valid and important ways to identify and validate your personal self and every path to fulfillment is different. I am NOT saying that being unique also automatically makes a person more valuable or worthy. Value and worth come from what you DO and how you treat others within the context of your community and culture. I’m talking about rarity. Like a white moose.
And a note about IQ. As we know, the old fashioned IQ score is quite limited in describing human intelligence. Traditional IQ alone is no magic bullet for success, not in any aspect of life. Not in business, the Arts, relationships. However, in the simple measure of ‘processing power’, a higher IQ means that your brain simply has more horse-power to work with: better memory, quicker recall, easier learning (barring learning disabilities), and a better ability to solve problems. We will go with that.
Another caveat. Why these categories? Why not include other psych evaluation criteria, or the Myers-Briggs personality profile?
The answer is because these categories make unique differentiations. There is no overlap. A true Highly Sensitive Person is born that way. So too, in a completely different measure, is innate and developed measurable IQ. Worker personality types are also something you are born with. One cannot go to a special class and change from a primarily compassionate feeling person to a rip-roaring risk taking people-bullying empire builder. Similarly the proposition that 22% of the population at most thinks in a creative way means there is a distinct group of people born with a brain that works in a different way. Are these “types” additive, as I suggest? That’s for some PHD candidate to figure out. But for our purposes here, the answer is “YES”.
Now, keeping in mind this is also an exercise an expert in statistics could probably poke holes into, lets break down the numbers.
Let’s say you have an IQ of 120 or above, you are a true Highly Sensitive Person, you tend towards extroversion, you are part of the ‘Creative Class’, and your ‘worker colour’ is Blue (you are primarily compassionate and social in your focus). Where does this place you in the culture?
Assuming that distribution is even across all aspects of society, here are the percentages:
IQ 120 and above = 8.9 % (sub-genius and higher…)
People who are part of the ‘Creative Class’ = 22%
People who are Highly Sensitive = 15 – 20 %
Highly Sensitive People who are extroverts = 30%
Highly Sensitive People who are introverts = 70%
By Worker type: Blue – 15 % , Green – 23%, Orange – 27% , Gold – 35%
Let’s crank the numbers based on the population of the United States (330 million in 2019):
Number of people with IQs 120 and over: 8.9% of 330,000,000 = 29,370,000
Of that, the number of people in the Creative Class: 22% of 29,370,000 = 6,461,400
Of that, those who are truly Highly Sensitive: 15% of 6,461,400 = 969210
Of those who are Introverted: 70 % of 969210 = 678447
Of those who are Extroverted: 30% of 969210 = 290763
By ‘Worker Type’ , Introverted HSP Creative:
Blue (compassionate and social): 15% – of 678447 = 101767 or 3.0 in 10,000
Green (analytical and inventive): 23% – of 678447 = 156042 or 4.7 in 10,000
Orange (leader and risk taker): 27% – of 678447 = 183180 or 5.5 in 10,000
Gold (dependable and practical): 35% – of 678447 = 237456 or 7.2 in 10,000
By ‘Worker Type’, Extroverted HSP Creative:
Blue: 15% – of 290763 = 43614 or 1.32 in 10,000
Green: 23% – of 290763 = 66875 or 2.03 in 10,000
Orange: 27% – of 290763 = 78506 or 2.38 in 10,000
Gold: 35% – of 290763 = 101767 or 3.08 in 10,000
These estimate numbers are for the ENTIRE United States. Even before breaking down into ‘introvert and extrovert’ and Worker Types, there are fewer than a million at least slightly above ‘above average’ intelligence, naturally creative, Highly Sensitive persons out there. And even fewer – not even forty five thousand – extroverted and socially oriented persons of this type. Just 43,614 in all of America, in a population of 330,000,000! Just 13 for every 100,000 persons.
Now consider that a quarter of these people are teenagers and younger, and a quarter are over 55 years (early retirement/late career). This would be ‘normal distribution’. In terms then of HSP-Creative-Introverts available for employment in all of America there are only 169,611 between 20 and 35 years, (early career) and 169,611 between 35 and 55 (mid career) out of a workforce of 125,000,000.
And with HSP-Creative-extroverts, the numbers are smaller. There are only 72,690 persons available in each category. Again, out of 125,000,000 workers. Less than 6 (5.8) for every 10,000. And if you are a socially compassionate, relationship focused “Blue” HSP-Creative, there is less than one (0.87) of you in every 10,000 of each of the two categories! Or 8.7 for every 100,000 (really? Who is the unlucky .7? 87 in every million).
Green extroverts = 13 in 100,000 of each working category
Orange extroverts = 15.7 in 100,000 of each working category
Gold extroverts = 20 in 100,000 of each working category
The numbers for HSP-Creative introverts are higher per 10,000 workers, but in the big picture, not really different. So there are 2 Blue HSP Creative introverts instead of less than one.
Still as rare as snow in Phoenix.
So you are a white moose!
What do these numbers mean?
In the seventh largest high school district in America, Huston TX, there are maybe 4 or 5 of you in the entire system of 38 high schools. Likely you are the only one in your school. You may know two or three other HSP-Creatives who are in the other work type groups. In a city of 7,000,000 people!
In Nebraska there are only 132 employable, intelligent ‘blue’ HSP Creatives in the entire state! If they haven’t left yet.
In a big State University (around 60,000 students) there might be only 10 or 11 like you – in a school as big as a small town. In a typical head office of a biggish corporation with 3 to 5 thousand people, you will be lucky if there is one other person like you. Likely you are working in Human Resources or labor relations.
Can we say that the huge cities of the world attract both outgoing and introverted, ambitious, creative, sensitive, intelligent people? We probably can. This would be where one finds community. If you are in any university with a graduate program in fine arts you will also find those like yourself there. And you don’t have to use your creative skills just to make fine art. Creativity is needed in computer programming, in design of all types, in architecture, in PR, in advertising, in ‘human relations’, in performing and entertainment, even in politics. Anywhere difficult and unusual problems need solving. The list goes on.
Does such uniqueness translate into dollars?
Ah, this is a sore point for anyone with unique skills, abilities, talent. You know you are different, in some ways better, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy path to success. Guess what? That’s life.
As Malcolm Gladwell explores in his books, life’s journeys are complex. Life is not ‘fair’. As the late Michelle McNamara famously said, “It’s chaos; be kind.”
Should businesses want you as an employee? Of course there is the rest of your personality, education and experience, as well as where you live and so on that factor into your ‘employability’ but the short answer is “Yes, if they know what’s good for them.”
Entire books examine what makes modern businesses successful. Clearly the old models of a successful business are no longer useful. Nor the old models of public education. The world is changing faster than ever before and business is not immune. A business that does not evolve will quickly be eclipsed by competitors. And they will do that not just by investing in hardware and software, but first investing in creative, unique people.
This means that if you are unique you have opportunities to find an organization that you can fit into, where your skills and abilities are rewarded and you feel fulfilled.
This might mean that you will have to travel a long way from your home, both physically and intellectually. So be it. Have courage.
In the least, if you are an intelligent, highly sensitive Creative person you will have an interesting life.
Here are numbers for other English speaking countries:
UK, pop. 67,000,000 (2018):
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative extroverts: 78, 711
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative introverts: 183, 660
Canada, pop. 37,000,000 (2018):
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative extroverts: 43,467
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative introverts: 101,424
Australia, pop. 25,000,000 (2018):
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative extroverts: 29,370
Highly intelligent HSP-Creative introverts: 68,530
Here is the formula:
Introverts: (((( population # x 8.9%) x 22%) x 15%) x 70%) x worker type %
Extroverts: (((( population # x 8.9%) x 22%) x 15%) x 30%) x worker type %
The Creative Class
https://www.crop.ca/en/blog/2017/178/ ; and, Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class, 2002
Blue green gold orange – work-types by “colours of work personality”
Highly Sensitive People