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Unapologetically Sensitive

We explore how sensitivity weaves itself into our lives; the richness that it adds, and the strengths we have BECAUSE of our sensitivity--and some of the challenges it poses as well. You may learn to live a bolder, brighter life.

Feb 11, 2020


The Highly Sensitive Man: Finding Strength in Sensitivity, Author Tom Falkenstein



Tom Falkenstein, MA



Tom Falkenstein, author of the book The Highly Sensitive Man discusses the pressure men feel to be strong and to not show their emotions, and how Highly Sensitive Men can feel they’re not living up to the masculine ideal. He talks about how we can support sensitive boys, and we talk about how men lose touch with their intuition. Tom shares some tools he used when he was feeling nervous about being on television, and he talks about his own strengths as a Highly Sensitive Man.




  • Michael Pluess talks about the trait of being an HSP as Environmental Sensitivity
  • Some Highly Sensitive Males struggle with being sensitive, and they receive feedback that they are not ok, or that they are too feminine
  • Tom noticed there weren’t many books about the Highly Sensitive Man
  • Tom wanted to make the trait of High Sensitivity visible
  • Many men grow up with a sense that they didn’t satisfy the boy code
  • Some men feel that they are not living up the masculine ideal of being stoic, self-reliant and embracing competition
  • Men are not born less emotional than women
  • When we let feelings build up and don’t express them, it is likely we will have a blow-up or a melt-down
  • Tim answers the question—How do men balance being sensitive with the traditional ideas of men being “strong and not showing their emotions?”
  • The idea that men should NOT show their emotions is NOT healthy
  • It’s important to learn to appreciate your sensitivity
  • Men can be confident about being sensitive
  • Men can learn they can be themselves and NOT to be ashamed
  • Not showing emotions is a huge conflict ALL men experience, but even more so for the Highly Sensitive Man
  • Being emotionally expressive is not the typical masculine ideal, and showing emotions can trigger feelings of shame, insecurities and not feeling worthy
  • How can parents support young boys who show signs of being Highly Sensitive?
  • It’s crucial NOT to shame boys for being sensitive
  • Being emotional is fine. Feelings provide information, and we can change our feelings and work with them
  • Feelings are important
  • We don’t want to label a child as being Highly Sensitive (per Dr. Elaine Aron)—meaning telling the child they are a Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)
  • We can use descriptive terms to model and teach the child—you are really sad, it hurts your feelings when xx happens etc.
  • It’s important to allow feelings, talk about feelings and to model feelings
  • Why is it that men learn to believe everything they are told instead of trusting their intuition or inner voice?
  • Our socialization (for both men and women) influences whether we are taught to honor and trust our inner voice or to abandon it for the external rules
  • Don’t call your child shy or quiet. It can be very damaging!
  • Highly Sensitive Children (and some adults) prefer to stand at the sidelines and observe before participating.
  • We are more cautious and want to get the lay of the land before jumping in
  • If I child is Highly Sensitive, do you tell them that they are?



TOM FALKENSTEIN has worked in the mental health sector since 1999 and as a cognitive behavioral psychotherapist since 2006. After obtaining his degree in psychology at the University of Glasgow, he completed his five-year postgraduate training in psychotherapy in Berlin. He then moved back to the UK where he worked as a psychotherapist in London. During this period, he developed a particular interest in high sensitivity and working with highly sensitive people. He has been training with Dr. Elaine Aron (author of "The Highly Sensitive Person") since 2015 and has founded the European Centre for High Sensitivity ( Currently practicing in Berlin, he also offers consultations for highly sensitive people in both English and German. "The Highly Sensitive Man" is his first book and was published in Germany by Junfermann in September 2017. It has been translated into a number of other languages.



Patricia Young hosts the podcast Unapologetically Sensitive, and works with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) helping them to understand their HSP traits, and turning their perceived shortcomings into superpowers. Patricia is passionate about providing education to help HSPs and non-HSPs understand and truly appreciate the amazing gifts they have to offer. Patricia works globally online with HSPs providing coaching. Patricia also facilitates online groups for HSPs that focus on building community and developing skills (identifying your superpowers, boundaries, perfectionism, dealing with conflict, mindfulness, embracing emotions, creating a lifestyle that supports the HSP, communication and more).



Tom’s Links





The Highly Sensitive Man: Finding Strength in Sensitivity by Tom Falkenstein

Strong Sensitive Boy by Ted Zeff


Dr. Ted Zeff--


T.V. Show Long Island Medium with Theresa Caputo



Patricia’s Links


Facebook group Unapologetically Sensitive--




Show hashtag--#unapologeticallysensitive

Music-- Gravel Dance by Andy Robinson