As I waited for my coffee to brew before I sat down to record this podcast I opened up Facebook (pretty mindlessly as usual). On this occasion I was glad I did. There was a message from Pieter Offermans sharing a guest post he had published on The Good Men Project.
The question of the article was ‘Where Are All the Highly Sensitive Men?’
What was weird was the fact that this podcast is all about being a highly sensitive man, and I was on my way to hit record. Talk about an odd coincidence. It’s not something I find easy to talk about and receiving Pieter’s message really was the encouraging boost I needed.
…So Where Are the Highly Sensitive Men?
I’ve read statistics that say highly sensitive women outnumber highly sensitive men by 5-1. I’m not sure where these numbers come from, but I don’t believe them. As Pieter explains, there are some very real reasons men might be under-represented when it comes to discussing this topic. He also refers to Elaine Aron’s findings that 20% of men and women share the trait.
Perhaps someone got confused by the 1 and the 5.
In this episode I explore some of the reasons highly sensitive men might not appear as prevalent as their female counterparts. And I share with you what it means for me personally to be a highly sensitive man…as well as what it doesn’t mean.
I feel positive about the future when it comes to encouraging and understanding the nuances of male sensitivity. I was especially encouraged when I caught this speech by Alex Brooker on The Last Leg a few days ago. It is hard not to be moved when you see these kinds of impassioned speeches; the vulnerability of a man sharing his fears is something that disarms and validates.
The question isn’t one between sensitive and non-sensitive men. All men are sensitive and that is where we must start. The issue is how we are allowed, expected, or conditioned to express our vulnerability, pain and struggles.
In this show I ask questions about the societal norms of masculinity. I think about how we can find a third way that accepts and celebrates the unique differences between men and women. Yet at the same time disarms the traditional parameters of this conversation where power and competition always becomes the focus.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this episode it is this: the highly sensitive man is not a homogenous group. We can’t be defined and boxed in. Those of us who have the trait of high processing sensitivity are all unique individuals with different strengths, tastes, goals, dreams, backgrounds, values and enjoyments.
Over to You
Whether you are a woman or a man, what do you think holds the world back from fully accepting and understanding what it means to be a highly sensitive man? Please leave you response in the comments below.
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