A Blog about Sensory Processing Sensitivity from the Worldview of a High Sensing Male
Throughout my life, I have learned many things about being a highly sensitive man. I have chronicled many of them in my upcoming book, Confessions of a Sensitive Man, An Unconditional Defense for Highly Sensitive Men. I’m still learning, every day, every year. Nevertheless, some standout, forming a new code of acceptance within me of this highly valuable and misunderstood trait. Here’s seven of the most obvious.
# 1 – Embrace the difference – As an HSM, you need to come to grips with your sensitivity. Embracing your differences is the first step to accepting your highly sensitive nature and recognizing that the differences are useful, positive, and necessary. You will stand out sometimes, you will be different than non-HSP males, and do that without apologizing. I believe that there are trends towards more sensitivity and sensitivity awareness in all men.
#2 – You have a Purpose – Dr. Elaine Aron’s, the leading authority on high sensitivity, believes that HSPs are evolutionarily necessary for the species. We provide a thoughtfulness and caution to counterbalance our more impulsive fellow men (and women). We can be the wise counsel to leaders and be thought leaders for others to emulate. Our sensitivity is not a sentence but more of a calling. In finding our voice, we find our purpose. Your purpose fits in this model, with the scope defined by you.
#3 – Learning to deal with overwhelm- Overwhelm or overwhelming emotion is one of the trademark signs of HSPs. We process so much data and emotion that often we find that we are immersed in tidal waves of input that can seem debilitating. As an HSM, you must learn to deal with this and find methods to “detox” your system if the overwhelm is too high. There are many ways to relax and self-soothe. In doing so, you can turn off the world for periods of time. Meditation, mindfulness, and flow state immersion, such as work on a passion, can help with this issue.
#4 – Defining the new male – Today, male role models are changing. I like to think of this as a quiet evolution. Men are taking back what it means to be masculine and reshaping it to fit our current cultural milieu. Evolution is adaptation and as an HSP male, modeling the adaptation, towards something you are natural at, will help others expand masculine definitions. There is a growing movement afoot, and you can be part of that. Look for it and pay attention; it may find you.
#5 – Feeling is good – We HSMs must be okay with expressing our fluid emotions and strong feelings. We need to let go of the old model of the Stoic and expressionless male. Bottled up emotions are toxic and can cause emotional turmoil and physical illness. Remember that emotion is a human trait, and all of us are humans first.
#6 – Be human first – Yes, we are all humans first, males and females. The human genome is vast and expansive in traits and characteristics. We all fit on that spectrum somewhere. Always strive to be a good human first, anchor in on the human characteristics that are not gender bound. Gender role options are fluid; being human is not. Take comfort in your humanity. Being an HSP is a point on that spectrum, your other traits show up on different locations of the line. Taken as a whole, you are complicated and variegated, brilliant and multi-faceted, yet always human.
#7 – You are not alone – Know this, there are many here among us with this trait. You are not alone. Awareness is the key, and self-awareness is the lock. If you struggle with your sensitivity- find help. If you don’t, give help. Start by educating yourself on the trait. Wield your new-found power with the force of water, shape gently the world around you; even the hardest rock will yield.
Bill Allen currently lives in Lutz, Florida. He previously lived in Bend, Oregon. He is a certified hypnotist and brain training coach at BrainPilots.com. He believes that male sensitivity is not so rare, but it can be confounding for most males living in a culture of masculine insensitivity which teaches boys and men to disconnect from their feelings and emotions. His intent is to use this blog to chronicle his personal journey and share with others.