Rick Belden gives readers a name for what they have always known about themselves.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post called “I am a Highly Sensitive Man” in which I shared some of my history and experience as a man who is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). My post was then reprinted on the Good Men Project website, where it’s been very popular, and has subsequently been reprinted on numerous other sites around the world and shared widely across social media.
I’ve been very pleased that so many people have felt such a strong connection with what I wrote and have found it so helpful. Many of the most powerful and moving responses I’ve seen have come from young men. Some examples from various sites:
As a young 23 year old guy, reading this article was a revelation. [Good Men Project]
I thought you should know, your article changed my life. [Good Men Project]
Thanks for writing this. I’ve always felt like I am an extreme minority. It was very nice to hear how someone shares the exact same feelings I do … this could have been written by me. [Good Men Project]
I’ve always been this way, I just never knew the term “HSP” … It is a relief to have a name for it, something I can research; and it is a relief to know I’m not alone. [Good Men Project]
I am compelled to comment because I had never heard of the concept of HSPs before reading this article, and these traits describe me incredibly accurately. I am a 29 year old male who’s been in and out of therapy, struggled with addiction, and generally convinced himself that he is incapable of having normal human relationships due to my sensitivity and generalized anxiety. Upon reading this, I immediately did some research, reserved some books at my library, and spreading the word to those few close to me that I think I realized what my perceived “defect” was. And it’s not even a defect! [xoJane]
This post is exactly a reflection of who I am as a person. [xoJane]
I think this is an amazing article. I’ve known a lot of these facts for a while, but I’ve never seen them presented in such a combined article … Thank you for writing this. I’m going to save this article for myself to look back on. [xoJane]
As an HSP (highly sensitive person), this article resonates with me. [The Masculine Heart]
An insight into the masculine underground. [Twitter]
Thanks for your post entitled “I’m a highly sensitive man”. I couldn’t have put it better myself. [Facebook]
I also received a number of private communications from other young men expressing similar thoughts and feelings.
The young men who left the comments above and those who communicated with me privately may not know it yet, but they are far from alone. To the contrary, they at the leading edge of an emerging demographic with tremendous potential for moving our world in a more positive direction. They are the new generation of Highly Sensitive Men.
The video that follows was made by Chrisi Brand, a 24-year-old Austrian man. In the video, Chrisi introduces his new website, highlysensitivemen.com, and his vision for an online community for Highly Sensitive Men. I encourage you to have a look at this video as it is a wonderful example of the sort of initiative, clarity, confidence, and creativity I hope we’ll be seeing more and more from the Highly Sensitive Men of his generation.
I’m very happy to see young men like Chrisi and those whose comments I included above recognizing and claiming themselves as highly sensitive early in adulthood. I’m hoping that means they’re going to avoid a lot of the pain, confusion, and wasted time that so many men like me, who’ve come before them, have experienced in our lives.
These young Highly Sensitive Men are all around us, and they are eager to be seen, understood, accepted, and appreciated so that they can more actively offer their unique gifts to a world that needs them. To all of these young men, I say: Welcome!
The Welcoming the new generation of Highly Sensitive Men by Rick Belden, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.