I find it very disheartening that our society makes life difficult for all sensitive souls but I think it can be especially difficult for highly sensitive men. Men are often taught to hide their feelings away instead of expressing them. This is dangerous because suppressed feelings are never really gone. Instead, they build up and then explode in fits of rage or long bouts of depression. Because men are taught that it’s not socially acceptable to show their feelings, this often results in their feelings being numbed. This means that they no longer feel anything because they’ve denied their feelings for so long. In highly sensitive men, who feel much more than the average person, this often results in addictions such as drugs and alcohol. Because they feel so much, and have been sent the message their whole lives that this is inappropriate, they must turn to drugs and/or alcohol to stop them from feeling.
Parents can stop this cycle by encouraging their children to express their feelings in a healthy way. We can talk about what the child is feeling and what an appropriate outlet for the feeling might be. If they’re feeling frustrated or angry, they can take a walk, punch a pillow, or, if in private, scream. If they’re feeling sad, we can encourage them to let it out in the form of tears or just talk to us about why they’re feeling this way. If they’re feeling anxious, we can let them take a break away from others and do some deep breathing exercises or use a calming jar. If they’re old enough, we can encourage them to keep a journal, writing about their feelings daily to help release some of what they may be carrying around. It’s important that all children, especially highly sensitive children, are taught healthy outlets for releasing their emotions. I would like our generation to be the one who changes the stereotype that men can’t be sensitive and instead encourage our children, whether male or female, to embrace and accept their feelings and sensitivity, so they can grow up to be well-adjusted adults.