Thick skin.

To have thick skin is to let the criticism, the abuse, the snide comments go. Like water off a ducks back. You may be one of those people who is fortunate enough to have it. You may also be just like me and be learning the tricks of toughening up. Or maybe you’re exactly how I started out and notoriously sensitive to… Well, just about everything.

You know the drill… Someone who barely knows you throws a sarcastic comment your way. You get told off by a school teacher and years later it still makes you cringe. A customer at work shouts at you. All those little things that can throw an already sensitive person into a mess of ugly tears and anger at the unfairness of it all. Yes, I’ve definitely been there.

I used to envy those people who would turn their backs on anyone and anything that upset them. To be able to cut people off immediately who overstepped the mark. People who can throw two fingers up at the world and laugh it off. I wanted to be able to switch off emotions at all that criticism and nagging. And those that can are lucky. But for a lot of us, it’s difficult and we’ll probably never master the art of switching off completely.

Maybe it’s a case of compromise. Feeling hurt by something is 100% natural and will happen so many times in your life. So instead of fighting the feeling, just feel it. Like a storm passing, things eventually stop hurting so much. The little things won’t be important this time next week and the bigger things start to fade eventually. But that thick skin? It’s got to come from you. No one is going to be your armour for you. Our ability to shake things off is self preservation at it’s finest. Nothing great ever came from allowing another’s, often wrong, opinion to shape your emotions.

There’s something to be said for keeping your cool emotionally and the more I experience life, rude people and all, I’m trying to learn more about that. But if like me you’re the sort of person that wears your heart on your sleeve then by all means keep it that way. Just be aware of those that will see that as an easy target for their negativity.

I’ll probably never stop being sensitive and if I think about it, it’s probably not the bigger issue. It’s how I react to those that try to bring me down that really gives me thick skin. Not how upset I may or may not get in the first instance…

Love, Suzy.

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