tv shows

Sensitivity, Invalidation, and Learning to Be a Cocky Asshole

Sensitivity, Invalidation, and Learning to Be a Cocky Asshole

In a past post three sensitive men on television I commented on how Dr. Cal Lightman on Lie to Me is portayed as somewhat jaded by his "sensitivity" his ability to see lies everywhere and how it can hurt to know things. I'd like to expand on this theme about one of the primary ways it can hurt: invalidation.

Now Cal is a cocky asshole who it turns out deserves to be a cocky asshole because he is pretty much always right, even though in just about every episode there is someone around him who invalidates him, doubts him, thinks he's projecting or letting his ego get in the way. I only wish I was half as much of a cocky asshole as Cal, but in fact even though I'm often, probably usually right, I've let myself be destroyed by invalidation, probably starting in childhood. I have really terrible self-esteem. I've always though I was the fucked-up one. 

Three Sensitive Men on Popular Television: They Aren't Who You'd Think

Three Sensitive Men on Popular Television: They Aren't Who You'd Think

They aren't who you would think because when women say they want a sensitive man they usually mean someone romantic, thoughtful, artistic, vulnerable, and open to sharing their emotions, someone nice and sweet and a little dorky. That's all well and good, but in this piece I'm writing about sensitivity primarily as it relates to the senses, the ability to perceive subtle stimuli, or as google puts it, "quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, and influences." These three male characters on three different crime procedurals all fit the bill: