The concept goes deeper. It’s about keeping a low profile. It’s about keeping your cards hidden. It’s about living as simple and drama free life as possible. It’s about avoiding confrontations. It’s about keeping your head down and your neck safe. Much of the time, it’s about putting your family first and minding your own business. It’s about listening more than talking.
Unlike many sheepdogs, gray men are usually pessimists: They know they can’t change the world and have, to some extent, withdrawn. They’ve seen fellow nails get hammered, and they want to snuggle into the pine. They don’t want to get involved.
That’s not a particularly noble or heroic stance. But that’s OK. Gray men are beyond being manipulated by the power of social stigma.