I find sensitive men extremely attractive.
They are paving the way for the new paradigm of what it means to be an evolved man.
I’m not talking about overly feminized men who have not learned to embody the masculine as well. I’m referring to the balanced man who is strong enough to be sensitive, secure enough to be vulnerable, and has a high emotional IQ. They’re not afraid of emotions—their own or their partner’s.
They are able to give and receive love without ambivalence, being “unavailable,” or commitment phobia.
I write extensively about the power of empaths and describe strategies for how they can stay centered and strong in an overwhelming world. Empathic men often have a harder time than women because in Western culture sensitivity may be seen as a weakness or too “feminine.” This is a huge misconception. I want to help empathic men (and women) cultivate this asset and be more comfortable with it.
The wonderful thing about empathic men is that they can feel where you are coming from. It allows them to love more fully and be more committed in a loving relationship. But empathic men must nurture their sensitivities while also grounding themselves in their power and setting boundaries with negative people so they aren’t drained. For more relationship strategies read my article, “6 Relationship Tips for Empaths.”
Recognizing that you’re an empath is the first step in taking charge of your emotions instead of constantly drowning in them. As one empath to another, I want to legitimize your sensitivity so you don’t think you’re losing your mind. I’ve had numerous patients who’ve said, “Judith, I thought there was something wrong with me. I feel like such a sissy.”
Not so. Our systems are just more permeable. Also realize that the fact that you’re the only person feeling something doesn’t invalidate your perceptions. To maintain resolve in an emotionally coarse world, empaths must have enough self-knowledge to clearly articulate their needs. Staying on top of empathy will improve your self-care and relationships.
Here’s a summary of this emotional type.
Upsides of Being an Empathic Man:
- You’ve got a big heart, are gifted in helping others.
- Your sensitivity makes you passionate, a great lover, and exquisitely sensual.
- You’re intuitive about people’s thoughts and feelings.
- You’re emotionally responsive, can relate to another’s feelings.
- You’re in touch with your body and emotions.
- You have a palpable sense of spirituality.
Downsides of Being an Empathic Man:
- You’re an emotional sponge, absorbing people’s negativity.
- You’re so sensitive to emotions, you feel like a wire without insulation.
- You’re prone to anxiety, depression, fatigue.
- You may feel hemmed in living in the same space with other people.
- You may have chronic, debilitating physical symptoms.
- You have difficulty setting boundaries with draining people, get run over by them
Honestly accessing which traits are productive or not makes you freer. Of course, you want to be emotionally giving, intuitive, and open, an empath’s assets. However, empathy won’t liberate you if you always walk around raw, easily hurt, or have your wildness squelched because you’re constantly having to emotionally defend yourself. For a male empath to be comfortable in his own skin it’s important to find the right mix of intellect, feeling, and grounding. Here are some exercises from my book on how to attain emotional freedom to help you achieve this.
Emotional Action Step: How Empathic Men (And Women) Can Find Balance.
Practice these strategies:
Enlist your intellect. When you’re emotionally wrung out or suspect you’ve taken on someone’s distress, think things through to counter anxiety. Use both positive self-talk and logic to get grounded. Repeat this mantra: “It is not my job to take on the emotions of others. I can be loving without doing so.”
Allow quiet time to emotionally decompress. Get in the habit of taking calming mini-breaks throughout the day. Breathe in some fresh air. Stretch. Take a short walk around the office. These interludes will reduce the excessive stimulation of going non-stop.
Practice guerilla meditation. To counter emotional overload, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. Find a private place to close your eyes. Lower your expectations–it doesn’t have to be Shangri-La. Do two things while meditating. First, keep exhaling pent-up negative emotions–loneliness, worry, and more. Feel them dissipate with each breath. Second, put your hand over your heart and visualize loving-kindness permeating you from head to toe. These actions will quickly relax you.
Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally stressful situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment.
- If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
- If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing–even if you adore the people–take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
- If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
- If you feel nuked by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.
- Carve out private space at home. Then you won’t be stricken by the feeling of too much togetherness.
When empathic men can learn the above skills to develop their sensitivities and ward off negativity, they will be more alive, more loving, more creative. Over time, I suggest adding to this list to pinpoint new protective strategies. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you’re on emotional overload. With pragmatic strategies to cope, empaths can feel safer, and their sensitivity talents can flourish.
This article is adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s New York Times Bestseller, “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)
Author: Judith Orloff
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wikimedia Commons