Originally published in Comfort Zone Newsletter: February 2010
Someone recently pointed out that Comfort Zone has rarely had articles specifically about being a highly sensitive man. There were some in previously published paper versions of Comfort Zone (which are no longer available). But there are not more for two reasons.
First, I think of this as a specialty of Ted Zeff, who will soon be publishing a book about raising sensitive boys. But I know it will be equally interesting to sensitive men, as much of the book is based in interviews with sensitive men from around the world.
Second, I have thought that as a woman it would be a bit presumptuous of me to tell sensitive men about themselves. However, you hold a special place in my heart (and thoughts), so I will speak more about that.
To be honest, until I married, all the boys and men to whom I had been attracted were sensitive. My husband answers true to 8 questions on the HSP Scale, and we joke that those 8 are essential to our marriage. I will always enjoy the depth of conversation I can have with a sensitive man. You immediately “get it.” Even if you are brainy engineers or intellectuals, your feelings seem readily available when appropriate.
Contrary to what some might think, I find you excellent in emergencies. Often you have just the right thing with you, have thought through all types of situations before they have happened, and are so caring that you think of the other person first. What a blessing.
You often listen better than most men, who according to research typically do most of the talking when conversing with (to?) a woman unless she interrupts them, which, to be fair, most men do not generally mind. But how nice to have those long, quiet pauses with sensitive men while we both think it over, and to be asked what I think. As a result, the response one receives from a sensitive man is usually a thoughtful one, not the typical response based on a moment of listening, followed advice based on the listener thinking he has been through almost the same thing.
The history of your emotional life and struggles with being a different sort of man is, to me, almost uniformly tragic, although most of you are generally reticent about your pain unless strongly encouraged to share it. It always amazes me that even if sensitive man have had a very troubled childhood, they are usually caring towards others. They simply are not ones to gripe. That is true character. I don’t know how you guys do it.
Beyond what I have written in general about being highly sensitive, you should ask each other how to cope with it, and read Ted’s new book. But a woman is in a special position to tell you how wonderful you are, and I’m glad I’ve taken this chance to express it again.