Last time we talked about personal boundaries of the Highly Sensitive Man. Today we will continue this topic and connect it to another important issue: Self-Esteem. In the typical psychological definition, personal boundaries are an important measure of healthy self-esteem. You see, what does it mean to have self-esteem? Esteem is derived from the Latin “estimare” which means to value, to appreciate. So self-esteem is nothing other than the value and appreciation that you have for and put on yourself. So when you have healthy self-esteem that then means that you do put a high value on yourself; you think good of and respect yourself. Therefore it would follow when you value yourself highly, that you make feeling good and doing what you want an important part of your life and work. If you are important to yourself, you will naturally focus on the things it takes to make yourself feel good and happy. Since there are limitations (of time, energy, resources,…) that we all have, we need to prioritize our actions and focus – you will put a lot of that on yourself if you think highly of yourself. Now again, this is where HSM/HSP have a more challenging situation: since we are more easily stimulated and more empathically in tune with others, we not only feel our needs, but also the needs of the people around us in a stronger way. Moreover, we are easier overstimulated, meaning that there is less intensity or extensity to what we can do. It follows then that it is harder that we stay in touch with ourselves and prioritize our stuff when we feel others so strongly. That means our “boundaries might be weaker”, because there is more pushing against them. How do we balance them then? The point is first of all to know that you are the most important person to yourself. If you are not doing good, you won’t be able to help anyone around you feel good. And more importantly, we HSM need to take precautionary measures to build certain barriers of protection against the world around us. What do I mean by that? Well, a relaxing and calm sleeping environment is one of them. A quiet and comfortable work space is another of them. Choosing the right friends around us and people to hang out with is another. And so it goes. If you need some more tips on this topic, the book “The HSP Survival Kit” by Ted Zeff has some great tips on how to build an HSP-friendly environment around yourself. To an authentically male day! – Chrisi Brand