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Alexander Hohmann - Blog

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The topic of male High Sensitivity and highly sensitive men is only scarcely covered by literature in Germany (Tom Falkenstein: “The Highly Sensitive Man”, Citadel) and the specific offer in seminars and counselling is not really abundant. In media coverage, high sensitivity is still very much associated with women. Female high sensitivity has always found much more social acceptance than the male counterpart (just have a look at the old movies and at who does all the emotional expressiveness and who is just stiff and “does what needs to be done”). Although the implicit rewarding systems of our societies make life hard on both highly sensitive women and men instead of valuing them (except in the arts). Highly sensitive men still experience lots of disparagement from other men and women, with terms like “wimp”, “softy” or worse. What makes things more difficult is that highly sensitive people often lack self-confidence. Finding one’s place in such a noisy society where so many people compete for attention at almost any cost is quite an ordeal. That makes it all the more important to make contact with inner resources and stay in good touch with oneself, in order to be well centred and less vulnerable to harm and denigration. That is something that can be trained. In her book on highly sensitive people in psychotherapy, Dr. Elaine Aron writes that there may be four rather than two sexes - women, men, highly sensitive women, highly sensitive men - and that as of cultural acceptance, it is worst for highly sensitive men. Few women know about their experience and the resemblance with things women experience. One obstacle comes from culture labelling sensitivity as "feminine", as if a man exploring his sensitivity thus abandoned or even betrayed his own masculinity and sailed off to foreign shores. It is true that most classical role models (and clichés) appeared quite emotionally numbed. The access to his inner life being blocked, the Hero can fully focus on the outside tasks and threats requiring action and be without emotional distractions. This may even have been essential for the survival of the species for a very long time. Otherwise, our cultures would not have so systematically upheld these models and denigrated boys and men departing from them. But today, equating sensitivity to feminity is a mental program we have to overcome. Men are entitled to feel. On the inescapable journey of reconciling the masculine and the feminine, highly sensitive men may even hold a pioneering role and not even know it. Perhaps there are lots of things that you have not yet felt like sharing with somebody, because no woman and no man has given you the impression of wanting to hear them and/or being able to just accept these things. Why not share these ideas, views, insights and experiences with a man who may have made similar experiences, who therefore will not devaluate yours but explore with you where to go from there? What are the many things that could then change for the better?
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Alexander Hohmann

Life & Business Coach in

Freiburg or online

Certified Systemic Coach

(DE / EN / FR)

Men and their high sensitivity
The topic of male High Sensitivity and highly sensitive men is only scarcely covered by literature in Germany (Tom Falkenstein: “The Highly Sensitive Man”, Citadel) and the specific offer in seminars and counselling is not really abundant. In media coverage, high sensitivity is still very much associated with women. Female high sensitivity has always found much more social acceptance than the male counterpart (just have a look at the old movies and at who does all the emotional expressiveness and who is just stiff and “does what needs to be done”). Although the implicit rewarding systems of our societies make life hard on both highly sensitive women and men instead of valuing them (except in the arts). Highly sensitive men still experience lots of disparagement from other men and women, with terms like “wimp”, “softy” or worse. What makes things more difficult is that highly sensitive people often lack self-confidence. Finding one’s place in such a noisy society where so many people compete for attention at almost any cost is quite an ordeal. That makes it all the more important to make contact with inner resources and stay in good touch with oneself, in order to be well centred and less vulnerable to harm and denigration. That is something that can be trained. In her book on highly sensitive people in psychotherapy, Dr. Elaine Aron writes that there may be four rather than two sexes - women, men, highly sensitive women, highly sensitive men - and that as of cultural acceptance, it is worst for highly sensitive men. Few women know about their experience and the resemblance with things women experience. One obstacle comes from culture labelling sensitivity as "feminine", as if a man exploring his sensitivity thus abandoned or even betrayed his own masculinity and sailed off to foreign shores. It is true that most classical role models (and clichés) appeared quite emotionally numbed. The access to his inner life being blocked, the Hero can fully focus on the outside tasks and threats requiring action and be without emotional distractions. This may even have been essential for the survival of the species for a very long time. Otherwise, our cultures would not have so systematically upheld these models and denigrated boys and men departing from them. But today, equating sensitivity to feminity is a mental program we have to overcome. Men are entitled to feel. On the inescapable journey of reconciling the masculine and the feminine, highly sensitive men may even hold a pioneering role and not even know it. Perhaps there are lots of things that you have not yet felt like sharing with somebody, because no woman and no man has given you the impression of wanting to hear them and/or being able to just accept these things. Why not share these ideas, views, insights and experiences with a man who may have made similar experiences, who therefore will not devaluate yours but explore with you where to go from there? What are the many things that could then change for the better?