This provocative title I once heard in a marketing read. I like it. It means that when you have something about your product that can not be changed (who says it should?) then you actively promote it. With self-reflection yesterday on the being of an HSM and sometimes wishing you were actually not an HSM, this quote came right back into memory. And the way I see it, it tackles exactly what you should be doing with your HSM identity.
Trying to “Fix” it? Gosh, I can tell you. When I look back at my last 24 years, much of the time was either spent with trying to find out who I actually am, trying to be somebody who I really am not in the search for having more connection with others (this being a helpful guidant to who I actually am), or in the later stages realizing who I actually am but somewhat consciously and unconsciously fighting just that, not being sure if that identity is in tune with being masculine.
This site, this project here is about making awareness into the topic of sensitivity. It is also about changing the definition of masculinity. Having struggled for years (and to this day) with wanting to be more society’s definition of masculinity than being my own best self (which means e.g. rather writing a book than getting out drunk and hitting on similarly drunk girls), this topic is an intense passion of mine.
So, what can you do if you are having this conflict of masculinity in society’s terms and your own inner voice telling you who you really are? So what happens is that we don’t really enjoy our sensitivity and try to “FIX” it in order to be a “real man”.
Embrace it We often have this conflict of who we really are clashing with society’s definition of “masculinity”. Maybe you think that you are feeling or thinking too much before doing things; you do not want to philosophize, because a man “has to make actions and decide”, but truth be told you actually really enjoy and like to reflect and think about things?
Stop fighting who you are and embrace it. How can you go about life with a constant inner battle as to how you should be and want to be? And the idea of this title is that instead of trying to fight who you actually are, you embrace it. That means that you accept it and actually say “I like the fact that it is so.” This probably takes some journaling and reframing of your past experiences. Check Elaine Aron’s books on this topic :).
Feature It This is the final step then. Once you are done fighting as well as have embraced the fact that you are this, you start to feature it. In marketing, this means the very thing that you are actively advertising to the world. For instance if you have a high quality product that is much more expensive than others, you can not sell as cheap as the competition. You should do the opposite and say that yes you are expensive, and that is actually good. Because it stands for the quality of the product.
When it comes to sensitivity, it means that you actually use your sensititivity as a blessing and carry that into the world. You are more in touch with nature, people and surroundings. You can write probably better poetry, create music or write deep, empathic texts. Maybe you are a better teacher, mentor or psychotherapist because of it. Whatever you do, you carry it actively to the outside world that you actually are sensitive and proud of it.
What you will have to do is to make your own definition of masculinity so strong and present in your mind, that society’s definition is no longer really relevant to you, since you are actually unaware of it. Imagine, if the idea had never been sown in your mind that you need to be tough, not be smiling much, pushing hard and go for things, you probably would naturally have done what your inner voice would have told you; similarly to a baby that does not fall asleep when it is 10 pm, but when the body says it should sleep. That might have been writing books, playing music or playing in the garden or something else. Irony is that what masculinity really means and should mean is the LIVING WITH INTENTION.
It is irrelevant what you do, as long as you do it with passion and you stand up for it. That means if you are a book writer, do your best to be excellent at it; if you are actually not that amazing at pushing hard and setting deadlines, then stand for that but show that instead you can write beautiful music or poetry.
Living With Intention
This is what masculinity is about. Society often has it that this would mean setting goals to make a lot of money, acquire physical items or number of women and items. That is a VERY NARROW definition. And it is wrong. Like Elaine Aron says, the world needs HSPs and HSMs to create and maintain balance, protect the nature and swing things well. Where is your role and calling in this metier? 🙂
Whatever it is, make sure you find it. And then master the art. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Watch Steve Jobs’ Stanford speech for more on this topic. Amazing speech! 🙂 To an authentically masculine day! – Chris