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Creativity and Highly Sensitive Men

Neil YoungPsychologist Ted Zeff, among others, notes the personality trait of high sensitivity can be particularly challenging for men, especially in this culture.

But many boys and men find that creative expression is enhanced by the many positive qualities of the trait.

Writer and entrepreneur Peter Messerschmidt [aka ‘Denmarkguy’], who – like myself – identifies as being highly sensitive, writes in one of his informative articles on the topic of highly sensitive men (HSM) and how much they “accept” or make use of this aspect of their personality.

He notes, “One group– typically the largest– display all the characteristics of high sensitivity, but forcefully deny and reject the possibility that they are ‘sensitive.’

“They have fully ‘bought’ the concept of the Boy’s Club and conventional ideas about how men ‘should’ behave. A few may be secretly aware that they are sensitive, and almost go overboard in their attempts to ‘prove’ they are not.”

Another large group “consists of HS Men who are aware they are sensitive, but live a bit of a double life: They accept their sensitivity at home, in private, but outwardly ‘fake it’ that their lives are quite normal.”

A third group, he writes, “is made up of HS Men who have come to understand and embrace that they are Highly Sensitive, and have found ways to integrate the effects of the trait into their daily lives.

“Often they are the ‘Cultural Creatives’ of society; men who have found ways to publically be themselves without sacrificing any of their sensitive traits. They may even be public figures like musicians David Bowie and Neil Young, although most are more behind the scenes like the late Thomas Leonard, founder of global life coaching organization CoachVille.

“These men have typically also moved beyond the point of getting bogged down in ‘being highly sensitive,’ and quietly go about their lives.”

From his article: HSP Topics: The Challenges of The Highly Sensitive Man.

Ted Zeff, PhD is author of multiple books, including The Strong, Sensitive Boy – for which he interviewed thirty sensitive men from five different countries.

For a lot more on this subject, see my article Are Highly Sensitive Men More Creative?

[Photo of Neil Young from my post Neil Young on collecting trains, writing sober and saving the music industry.]


Creativity and Highly Sensitive Men

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2013). Creativity and Highly Sensitive Men. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 May 2013
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