A Blog about Sensory Processing Sensitivity from the Worldview of a High-Sensing Male
If you've ever lived anywhere in a temperate to tropical climate, you've likely heard the loud mating calls of the insect Cicadidae, more popularly known as Cicadas. These winged insects emerge annually or, in the case of the Magicicada, every thirteen to seventeen years to mate, make a big splash with loud mating calls, and then die. The eggs they produce give way to burying nymphs which become the next generation, waiting patiently underground until the next cycle begins.
I mention this locust-like insect not so much because those qualities remind me of HSPs, but rather their predictable emergence from what would seem like a long slumber to return to fulfill an evolutionary purpose. However, the reality is that they never left but were submerged to seem oblivious to the outside world, only to return at the right interval—the right time.
Perhaps, this is a stretch, but the Cicada effect, as I'm describing, is when an animate species seemingly asleep reemerges for a short, pointed mission, then blends back into the earth, waiting on the next right time. So, strangely, HSPs could be emerging now, during a time in human history, to perform a needed function. Less obnoxious and less noisy than Cicadas but more important to the evolution of our species. And, although we don't literally fall asleep, we can often seem dormant until we have our cautionary role kicks in.
What role do HSPs play?
A question that many HSPs ask is, what role do we play for humanity? Dr. Elaine Aron alludes to the idea that nature has created a small part of the human population – us, to provide thoughtful, cautious inputs into decision-making where we perform roles as wise counselors or as a priestly function. Our deep-thinking natures, natural nurturing, and empathetic tendencies make us ideal advisors to the warriors and kings and counselors to the general population.
The world is turning at an ever-faster pace, and decisions seem less thoughtful and less insightful by our leaders and decision-makers. There seems to be less effort to think long-term, consider consequences, and not seek parity or equity in decisions.
HSPs could make a difference here. But to be recognized, we need to recognize these qualities in ourselves. We need to own our traits and employ them in our interactions with others, especially those in leadership positions. The world could use our insights, especially right now.
When HSPs awaken?
I see this happening every day. More and more people are emerging to the reality that they are HSPs. There's that Eureka! Moment and then the long pause for, now what? What do I do with this trait?
By the latest estimates, there are over two billion HSPs in the world. Although we don't represent a large proportion of the human population, it is not an insignificant number. And even within the HSP population, I don't believe the entire community needs to mobilize. Critical mass could be as simple as a small percentage of HSPs awakening to this purpose. However, as more HSPs become aware of the trait, the greater the possibility for influencing change.
And as more and more HSPs "come online," we need to be spreading the message that they also have an evolutionary purpose in addition to their individual life missions. Depending upon the individual, this purpose may be relatively small or large, but the days of apologizing for being highly sensitive are long past. The days of masking the trait are over. We are sensitive for a reason, and now is the time to acknowledge that.
This awakening could take a lot of different forms, perhaps, in many ways, unimagined. Maybe, as younger HSPs, those in the millennial or GenZ generations, come to terms with their trait, things will begin to evolve as to correct and proper action. Unlike myself, younger HSPs have a lifetime ahead to assimilate the trait into their lives, which makes a big difference. These younger generations will be "turned on" to this insight earlier in life and can utilize it to organize and affect generational changes.
They can and will impact decisions. I see that happening now, not only with HSPs but with those who don't share the trait. The upcoming generations are already aware of needed changes and are savvy enough to demand them. HSPs can and should be in this mix.
I do feel the awakening happening. It is a conscious awareness of wrongs done, necessary changes, and plans to be enacted. Yeah, it might also be a spiritual awakening, as many claim, but it is a clarion call to change. Surely underneath, with feet to the ground, the sound of change is coming. And HSPs will be a big part of that. Arising like Cicadas, coming to make some noise in our HSP way.
Bill Allen currently lives 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.