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Being A Highly Sensitive Male And Feeling Resentful


Kabuto

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http://denmarkguy.hubpages.com/hub/HSP-Highly-Sensitive-Men

As a sensitive man, I can't help but feel really resentful towards society when I think about stereotypes. The go-getter male who is a bit of a jerk always seems to succeed in life (think, John Wayne)

So, I'm resentful towards all the men like that who push aside sensitivity as a flaw, and am also resentful towards the women who flock towards men like that and don't like sensitive men. I am resentful towards the workplace for being so unaccommodating of sensitive guys as well.

I'm not saying it isn't possible for a sensitive man to win a girl- or find a steady job- but I'm super resentful for these extra things I have to face- I'm resentful to the girl's who broke my heart and wonder if I could have changed things if I was emotionally stronger.

And I'm resentful towards all the times I had to "tough it out." And all the times that I will have to "tough it out" in the future. The fact that I can't get a facial without being laughed at unless I had different organs.

See, the thing is, resentment is never good, so I'm trying to heal it, to feel grateful, feel happy. I want to find my strengths, I really do, but I feel absurdly outnumbered.

A lot of psychological damage has been done, from being unaware of this trait and trying to run with the tide. And now that I AM aware of it, I'm trying to work my strengths, but it hasn't been easy.

Oh P.S., I have sleep apnea too- as it things weren't hard enough. But I'll keep this topic towards being a HSP, particularly a HSM.

Edited by Kabuto
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Hi Kabuto,

Well I was a very shy kid when I was young and I had to hide it when I left home in Ireland and moved to the UK. I learned some very good advise from my workplace in the field of psychiatry. Fake it until you make it was my motto at 18 years old. So that became a habit and I then started to copy the traits of the best personalities in my workplace, the most effective ones.

After time I became aware that you are who you think you are , so I changed my beliefs and my self esteem soared with it. So if you are a sensitive guy that is great as you are more aware of other things that 'rough diamonds' are never aware, beauty and nature at its best being one of them.

I could always be sensitive to those with issues as I felt for them , could feel their pain and support them. So I can appreciate who you are.

Do yourself the best favour ever and love yourself unconditionally, be the best you want to be with your skills and talents. Look at the wonderful things in the world. Totally forget the others who make your mad because you can focus on people who are like you and sensitive.

Life is so short, so live it the way you love to live it and just forget the others. You will never change people but you can certainly ignore and avoid them and focus on what make you feel special and loved.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow

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I read the book by Elaine Aron. I'm certainly an HSP although I've never come across a counselor or psychiatrist that use the term.

Being a dude and being sensitive does have drawbacks in the western world. What is valued in men is strength, courage, determination, and success. We are not supposed to show feelings of distress or nurturing (unless it's towards our family). Sensitivity is usually attributed to women who have more freedom to express their emotion - and in fact is encouraged. This divide is a societal norm and yes, it sucks for guys as they grow up learning to bottle everything up to fit this notion of manhood. Women grow up buying into this expectation of men and so do seek it out for security.

When we were kids, we are told to "be yourself". Unfortunately, this is not reality for us dudes. There is a good side to being sensitive and it's a matter of finding appropriate times to channel that. You just can't abuse it.. I'm sure we can all understand why.

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I read the book by Elaine Aron. I'm certainly an HSP although I've never come across a counselor or psychiatrist that use the term.

Being a dude and being sensitive does have drawbacks in the western world. What is valued in men is strength, courage, determination, and success. We are not supposed to show feelings of distress or nurturing (unless it's towards our family). Sensitivity is usually attributed to women who have more freedom to express their emotion - and in fact is encouraged. This divide is a societal norm and yes, it sucks for guys as they grow up learning to bottle everything up to fit this notion of manhood. Women grow up buying into this expectation of men and so do seek it out for security.

When we were kids, we are told to "be yourself". Unfortunately, this is not reality for us dudes. There is a good side to being sensitive and it's a matter of finding appropriate times to channel that. You just can't abuse it.. I'm sure we can all understand why.

Yeah, I really wish that I found a therapist who was more knowledgeable about this stuff.

And I really wish this were addressed in society too. No use feeling bitter about it, but I still feel like I can't help it sometimes. I just wanted to vent, and I want to know how to cope with these things sometimes- especially when they simply suck.

I often try to fight things I can't change, but it's a really tough fight. Most importantly, I just want to be myself- in life, and at work.

Edited by Kabuto
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I think things can change but it would take an effort equivalent of the women's movement over the years. You're talking about fundamentally changing the way families raise boys. It would take a few generations, at least, to produce desired results because there would be a lot of resistance ("No son of mine will be raised a p***y!"). I'm all for lifting the unnecessary restriction on male behavior just like I'm all for eliminating the extreme expectations for female appearance.

Vent/rant all you need to. Some things in our society just plain suck and have no discernible purpose. Just tradition.

Edited by afflicted
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Fair enough, afflicted! Well, after accepting things as they are- (in this case, things that simply suck, which I still like to complain about every now and then because it's really annoying), the next step is learning how to cope with them. It's a challenge each step of the way, and I feel like my sensitivity towards everyone has only increased as I've gotten older. (Or maybe it's just the added responsibilities of life that is making it hard for me to cope).

It does feel like I'm at a huge evolutionary disadvantage here. I'm always trying to find a way to make it work for me, possibly to my advantage but at least not to my detriment (which is the case now).

I'm always trying to figure out a way out, a master plan, which I guess would involve me being a self sustaining hermit. The next best thing would be to take a very low key, laid back, easygoing job, if I can find one of those somewhere.... (If anyone has any ideas)

Edited by Kabuto
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Kind of curious what others think about this, both guys and gals. It's rare to have a discussion on something like this.

No I don't think being a hermit is much of an option. I mean you could, but you still need a job (unless you have some damn good survival skills) like you were saying. Having a job more often than not means you need to interact with others at a minimal level. The best advice I can give is to feel out the environment that you're in and act accordingly. I'd stay away from certain kinds of people if you can help it. If you want a job, maybe look into caregiving or nursing.. healthcare field. It's expected that you be sensitive to others' needs. There are ways that you can use your characteristics to your advantage.

I'm looking to get back into the mental health field. Again, you need to be sensitive to the clients you serve. Makes sense.

Edited by afflicted
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Kind of curious what others think about this, both guys and gals. It's rare to have a discussion on something like this.

No I don't think being a hermit is much of an option. I mean you could, but you still need a job (unless you have some damn good survival skills) like you were saying. Having a job more often than not means you need to interact with others at a minimal level. The best advice I can give is to feel out the environment that you're in and act accordingly. I'd stay away from certain kinds of people if you can help it. If you want a job, maybe look into caregiving or nursing.. healthcare field. It's expected that you be sensitive to others' needs. There are ways that you can use your characteristics to your advantage.

I'm looking to get back into the mental health field. Again, you need to be sensitive to the clients you serve. Makes sense.

Yeah, I hear you, I'm curious to gather more feedback as well. I feel like I'd be good at caregiving in theory, but

A. I need another degree for something I'm not that passionate about

and

B. I feel like absorbing other's emotions would be really hard for me, even if I can really help them

also,

C. my sleep apnea and daytime fatigue doesn't help matters

My only real plan is to teach abroad indefinitely, in cultures more understanding of the condition, and where the kids aren't completely out of control. I live in NYC with my parents right now, which is literally the worst place in the States to possibly be as a HSP (well, up north might be worse because of my seasonal affective disorder)

If that weren't an option, I'd literally consider being homeless over working :O. Or at least consider moving to a chill city in the South....

Edited by Kabuto
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Hey, another question, do you know if there are varying levels in sensitivity in us HSP's, and do some react more strongly than others?

For example, when I'm in the city, I can't even take the subway train or walk in the central area without feeling completely overwhelmed (uncomfortable at best)

I also ruminate a lot about past hurts (though that just might be depression)

But when I'm hiking or working in the woods with really nice people, or even a quiet building, I feel totally fine. Does anyone else feel this way?

That's why I excelled in college, it was a quiet and nice natural campus. I got a lot done and was even very happy.

(P.S., am I allowed to double post?)

Edited by Kabuto
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Hello Kabuto! You are not alone. I identify being a HSP as well. Being a guy and being sensitive is not easy. I am also gay and fitting into gender roles and roles that society places on you is really unfair and s***ty. I hate it a lot. I think as Jim Bow said, just be you. I've noticed I'm happier being myself as it feels a lot more natural, but on the other hand I get a lot of resistance. I had a falling out with a roommate because he viewed himself as a macho male and me being sensitive was a bad mix. He called me a "*****" and to "man up" because I couldn't tolerate anymore racial comments. This was while he was drinking himself nearly to death complaining about everything. That moment I knew he was the one who needed to "man up" as they say (hate that phrase). I also identify as an empath and carry and mimic emotions of others. You could look into it. Its extremely draining and I usually am very low on energy. I know being sensitive is very draining and you feel things more intensely. It takes a lot out of you. I should take this advice as well but I think the more immediate approach to this is to watch my health so I can at least combat some of the effects of being a HSP. Although, I have a lot of trouble just getting myself to stare at a TV screen or even talk some days. Everything is a chore. I

M glad you are able to find something that works for you. Hiking can be peaceful and therapeutic. The city has a lot of simulation and there is energy everywhere. As an empath I am highly effected by such crowds. Last time I was at a big fair I got the hugest headache ever. I thought my head would explode. I guess for you, you can try and find activities or people who are more "quiet" And experiment with situations that work and don't work for you. Wish you best of luck!

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Hi guys!

I'm a girl and HSP, and it isn't easier for me. Women also have to be tough, these days. I live in a very loud and overstimulating environment. Every day, I'm overwhelmed and just stay in my room without being able to perform any actions. Whenever I venture out, I get overstimulated by the noise and crowds. My room is also not very quiet. I experience any loud sounds like physical pain. And I also cannot bear strong smells, too much visual input, tube lights. Ongoing low noise is also unbearable. I feel other people's emotions stronger than my own. And my own emotions are very intense. I can't filter stimuli.

I could never be a nurse or hold a job in which I am around people. The care-giving role overwhelms me, since I feel so empathic with others that I lose myself.

So I don't think we HSPs would actually make good nurses, unless we learn to set good boundaries.

I can only work on my own or with a few supportive people around me. I need to be intellectually stimulated through the work and I need to be able to express my creativity. Right now, I am doing a few hours of volunteer work here and there, but I am not capable of holding a job. I don't know what kind of job I would actually be good at. I feel stigmatized because I am not functioning properly in society, as an HSP. I wouldn't even be able to be in a relationship, start a family, raise children. That would totally overwhelm me.

I don't have the notion that as a woman, it is OK to be an HSP and I am fullfilling my gender stereotype. People are still annoyed at my emotional outbursts and think I'm crazy because I run away from a sudden noise or hold my ears shut. Even though I am female, I am still seen as a whimp. And I am terrified of people's disapproval! People are offended when I am seemingly "reading their minds" and confronting them with their issues.

Before I read literature on HSPs, I believed the world simply was hell and other people could just cope with this hell better. But now I know that I filter stimuli differently and that 20% of the population are HSPs. My therapist says I should see it positively since it makes me creative and artistic. But I know it is also responsible for my depression. All my life, I tried to be like the majority of non-HSPs, and overwhelmed myself to the point of having a mental breakdown. Being constantly bullied, I could never develop a sense of self-worth.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to live in this world, not simply survive from day to day.

But I do understand it is even harder on guys. Being sensitive does not fit the mainstream gender stereotype at all. But I also think this stereotype is changing and guys are able to be more sensitive.

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As a woman who isn't sensitive, I can feel you on this. I have to fake it in my day to day life.

I feel closer to people who challenge me on important issues than those who try to be sensitive and considerate with small talk, assuming they're speaking from a place of reasoning rather than one of emotion or prepackaged, politically correct logic (aka saying what they were taught to say).

The mask I wear by day is of a gentle, interested woman who wouldn't dream of discussing the point at which post-humanism becomes irrational or a stranger's spiritual journey from a mainstream religion to a demonized minority - good heavens! I think I may faint just thinking about it! Let's talk about cooking and pets instead, and then our feelings. Those things are so nice. :hearts:

*barfs*

Edited by Licorice
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Hi guys!

I'm a girl and HSP, and it isn't easier for me. Women also have to be tough, these days.

I'm inclined to agree. We live in a very fast-paced world, and being highly sensitive is hard for any gender. My fiancee is an events-coordinator for a non-profit and her job requires long long work weeks, dealing with large groups of people, and no shortage of stimuli. Being both someone with clinical depression and is an introvert by nature, I've seen her have to swallow her tears and force a smile more often than she'd like.

Also, I can sympathize. I've always considered myself a bit more sensitive and effeminite (not that those two are necessarily connected, just both looked at as weird in my field of work.) and I work as a mechanic for the city, so there are times I've felt I had to fake a smile.

On the flipside, however, working in this kind of environment has thrust me into situations where I've had to think on my feet, and was given a boost of confidence when I came through it okay. Like JimBow said, give yourself a little more confidence and you'll be surprised what you're capable of. :)

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I guess the world is hard for us sensitive types no matter how you slice it.

What's hard for a guy like me in being sensitive, and why I think it's extra hard on us- is seeing girls who are openly sensitive and still sexually appealing. So I'm not only wishing to be with the girl, but in a way I'm also wishing to be "like" the girl, it's hard to explain.

For example, I remember my ex would talk about her new boyfriend and it would be extremely hurtful to me- because I loved her, I was envious of her situation, and even wanted to be "like" her too. I admired her beauty in a myriad of ways, almost to the point of jealousy. Also, I was extra annoyed with myself because not only was she likely uninterested in the long run because I was sensitive, but I was annoyed that being sensitive made being around her extra hurtful. And even worse, I feel the need to put on a facade like I've moved on, like I'm totally cool with what happened- because heaven forbid a guy accuses a girl of something and open up a can of emotions. In general, I feel like I have to act totally nonchalant and carefree around women to get them interested, and it truly stinks to put on this act.

It's very hurtful to think about these things- and I guess I'm a bit annoyed being a Highly Sensitive Male in regards to both genders because I wish sensitivity was a trait more valued by women and respected by fellow men- but it has only hindered me for the most part. So while I respect any Highly Sensitive Person, I feel like having this as a male is extra difficult and ridiculously frustrating....and I try exceptionally hard to see the positive side to it.

Edited by Kabuto
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In general, I feel like I have to act totally nonchalant and carefree around women to get them interested, and it truly stinks to put on this act.

That's the idea. Generally speaking, the men who aren't trying so hard - playing it cool - are the most attractive to women because it signals confidence and security. As time goes on and a relationship matures, there is more opening up of emotions.. but only when the first test has been passed.

Edited by afflicted
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Haha, believe me, I noticed that....it stinks, but I suppose it's simply a fact?

Or should I act authentically myself, in hopes that I'll find a girl who is more emotionally understanding?

Or perhaps, play the best of both worlds, act authentically myself but play it cool at the same time.

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Kabuto- I definitely relate to your problem and I know that it is difficult. I remember the first time I came across a description of a HSP, I felt so relieved, because I didn't realize at that point that "we" actually existed.

I want to emphasize something that Icarus mentioned earlier. I am, like him, a gay male and have struggled a long time with being sensitive and it leaving me in a complete emotional mess. There is something however very important here. The sensitivity that you have is a great strength - you are able to read subconscious signals from people that hint at their feelings, you know how to react appropriately when comforting a person, you are able to give a lot of support, etc etc.

The great strength in sensitivity lies in this- I had a professor in college who told me that people who are considered "very balanced" have a good range of both "typical" male and female traits. This means, that men who want to succeed, especially socially, need to learn to empathize, and woman have to be ready to be very assertive (that is, if they aren't already) and not let other males elbow them out of the way.

I think you could really benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, or changing your minds attitudes towards the way people react to you. You could do this with a therapist. Also, you could consider a career that lends itself well to being a sensitive person. There is a list if you google it, but yes, teacher, therapist, priest/preacher are all on the list, as well as others.

I think that you have a secret strength that many other people do not possess. Think of the team building that you can do, the way that you understand people, and don't forget to stand up for yourself!

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I read that many HSPs don't want to be in intimate relationships because that would be too overwhelming. And when they are in a relationship with another HSP, it can be rewarding because they have someone who understands them. But who will knock on the neighbor's door and tell them to turn the music down? If both are shy and introverted, who will be assertive? If one partner is HSP and the other not, then the non-HSP could take over the role of interacting with the outside world.

Anyways, I'm a highly sensitive girl, but, sorry, I don't have any sex appeal because I put out the vibe "Don't come near me!" If sensitive men come my way they pick up on that vibe and they are afraid of me :) Actually, I am afraid to get hurt, to be abandoned and I don't trust anyone. I become overwhelmed in any kind of intimate relationship, even friendships. Close emotional ties with people make my emotions go haywire. And I empathize so much that I lose my own personality. I I can hardly manage my own life because I am HSP, so any relationship would be a disaster.

So, Kabuto, maybe you want to reconsider getting to know HSP women.....

But of course, not all HSP girls are like me, maybe you are lucky to find a nice one who appreciates sensitive guys...

Actually, I think girls generally do like guys to be sensitive. Especially sensitive to their emotions. But I'm definately not an expert in these issues.

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I read that many HSPs don't want to be in intimate relationships because that would be too overwhelming. And when they are in a relationship with another HSP, it can be rewarding because they have someone who understands them. But who will knock on the neighbor's door and tell them to turn the music down? If both are shy and introverted, who will be assertive? If one partner is HSP and the other not, then the non-HSP could take over the role of interacting with the outside world.

Anyways, I'm a highly sensitive girl, but, sorry, I don't have any sex appeal because I put out the vibe "Don't come near me!" If sensitive men come my way they pick up on that vibe and they are afraid of me :) Actually, I am afraid to get hurt, to be abandoned and I don't trust anyone. I become overwhelmed in any kind of intimate relationship, even friendships. Close emotional ties with people make my emotions go haywire. And I empathize so much that I lose my own personality. I I can hardly manage my own life because I am HSP, so any relationship would be a disaster.

So, Kabuto, maybe you want to reconsider getting to know HSP women.....

But of course, not all HSP girls are like me, maybe you are lucky to find a nice one who appreciates sensitive guys...

Actually, I think girls generally do like guys to be sensitive. Especially sensitive to their emotions. But I'm definately not an expert in these issues.

Well, if I don't date Highly Sensitive Women, I find it hard to date women in general :/. That's why being a Highly Sensitive Male has been a lifelong struggle for me. Both genders have it hard, but men have to show power/status, and most of all, confidence, in addition to feeling the overwhelming nature of the world. It has been a curse for me, to be this sensitive to every little thing. The moment I found myself becoming more confident with women, I started having economic problems, which drops confidence. It is hard not to feel incredibly hurt and resentful because of it, a hurt multiplied by my emotional reaction to it. I feel like women only open up to emotional men later in life, and by then, people like me become resentful and deter them. Though I'm truly doing my best not to.

I was dating a nice girl and all was going well, until I opened up the sensitive can of worms again wayy too early. Even though she was great, and I was supportive, it just wasn't enough. :/

So yeah....I really wish I could view it as an asset, but it has only hindered me so far. Being talented at art just doesn't redeem it, especially when I can't make any money off my artwork.

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The sooner the term "man up" dies, the better.

Agreed. But then again, we've talked about this ;). And there's an endless list of things in our society that I wish would change.

I wish there was a forum for Highly Sensitive People, but I couldn't find anything of the sort. I'm sure there is a meetup, but I'm too shy to actually go (as I imagine others with the trait are). I would ask questions about vocations, good cities/countries to live in, coping mechanisms, and lifestyle choices. I notice a lot of HSP's are self employed, but I know nothing of how to go about it. I want to find Highly Sensitive People who make the trait an asset over a hindrance; I often wonder what others in similar predicaments have done. And I wonder how 1/5 people are truly HSP's, when I feel like they are much rarer than that.

I am also feeling 50/50 about actually discovering that I am a HSP. On one hand it is liberating to understand my behavior, on the other hand I actually feel like I play the HSP card and justify myself as different because of it- even though others do not understand. One thing is for certain, it hasn't made my life easy.

I also notice, with this thread, a lot of the blame goes external over internal. I may blame myself initially for not being able to handle things but I feel like, eventually, I just blame society for sucking and not understanding my needs, as well as the needs of the good. It's a great problem- but one I try my best to forgive, and cope with. I still try to see the good in everything and stay as optimistic as I can.

Edited by Kabuto
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