Thick skin? What does that mean?

I tend to associate thick skin with a sense of strong individualism. As if one develops the ability to not give a damn about what others think. Is that good or bad?

I care about what every single one of you think. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m easily hurt and affected with mean comments and personal attacks. Should I bother reading what you have to say if it’s not what I want to hear?

Should I bother with you?

You tell me. What is a thick hide to you?


To me a thick skin is not so much not caring about what other other people think so much as being able to take the slings and arrows in stride. It isn’t that you what others think is unimportant, it’s just realizing that most people have very skewed perceptions of the universe.

The could do or say something equivalent to what you would do or say and not even think anything of it. But when they see the same actions in another they find fault. They/we aren’t intentionally being hypocrites. It’s just man’s nature to see things egocentrically.

Add that to the fact that half the people out there don’t know what they’re talking about, are drunk, joking, or a combination of all three and dismissing their superficial comments and judgements becomes pretty easy.

Don’t worry. Hakuna Matta (or however that’s spelled). It’s all good. :slight_smile:

i usually think of “thick skinned” as being able to let things roll off one’s back. any hardships, struggles, rejections, rude comments, etc. simply roll off, like ‘water off a duck’s back’.

this, in my opinion, ties in with the “strong sense of individualism”. that is, “thick skinned” people can let things in their life be taken in stride, while their life goes on. it is a new day tomorrow. don’t take things personally. just roll and keep on truckin’. no need to conform to make things so comfy for others’ views or tastes or comments or suggestions. stay true to the self.

could also be interpreted as a “private” person, maybe even anti-social, unaffectionate perhaps, or to describe someone who lives life without much emotional reaction (or at least appears to “feel” nothing).


Being a person that many people tell “You’re being too sensetive” and that I need to develop a thicker skin, having thick skin always meant to me = your feeling aren’t valid so get over it.

It means learning to bury your feelings deep down until you no longer feel anything at all.

Oh so not healthy, because as the saying goes “What you repress, will express” and I can testify to that. :s

Sounds good to me. Where do I sign up?

I think it is meant to be a metaphor for arrows and rocks bouncing off, not getting under your skin. Think of ancient cave men chasing a mammoth and chucking their paltry weapons. I don’t think it has negative connotations, it just means that you can ignore all the bs. I usually see it as a positive thing and often associate it with funny people, who will just turn an insult or barb around and often make the initiator look bad.

Actually I think it’s more likely a metaphor for not blistering easily, i.e. you can take a lot more abuse that others.

It does not, IMO, mean that you do nat care, only that you are stong and not easily upset.

It means “not getting friction burn.”

[quote=“Dr_Zoidberg”]It means learning to bury your feelings deep down until you no longer feel anything at all.[/quote]That’s what growing a thicker hide would mean for me too, it seems. As per Namahottie’s comment, I prefer to stick with my thin skin, it’s healthier for me. Though, sometimes I would prefer having an extra layer for emergency purposes. :wink:

[quote=“Stu”]It does not, IMO, mean that you do not care, only that you are strong and not easily upset.[/quote]I think I can sort of understand what you’re saying. I would agree that in some instances, life will throw situations at you where being strong would mean to remain calm and level-headed as opposed to getting upset and derailing. No doubt about that.

Does that really apply to interpersonal relations though? How do you go about caring for someones opinion of you while not letting it under your skin, without some kind of mental note or mental disposition that basically spells “who cares about what he/she/they think about me?” If you really do care about what others say or think about you, how can it not upset you to a degree or another? How can it not at least affect you? Either you respond to it or not is another story, but for sure, the thickness of your skin does mandate your response.

What you’re saying(I think) is that if someone is self-confident, he/she will not let other people’s opinions bother him/her. That’s what you mean by being strong right? Having a solid self-esteem? The way the world works, thick skin could be looked at as way of self-preservation. “Self”… We’re back to the concept of “self” also refered to as ego. From there it’s hard to dismiss the concept of egocentrism IMO, and that’s what thick skin is to me, nothing more than glorified egocentrism. Perhaps opening yourself to what other people think is a greater sign of strenght, if you look at it that way.

I conclude that a thick skin seems to be valuable only because of how our screwed up and egocentrical world functions. It’s like a tool to live your life unharmed by others. And you see, I don’t think that translate as a strenght, but more so as a weakness. Perhaps a necessary weakness with an allure of strenght. Quite deceiving really, the whole thick skin metaphor.

This said, I don’t think I’m better than anyone here. I’m an egocentric person just like many of you. :wink:

WTF are blathering about Bobepine??!?!?!?!

If that upset you, you have thin skin. :slight_smile:

I had to look up the word blathering, I didn’t know what it meant.

An established poster sent me a pm about this thread, before I posted this last bit of blathering.(the post you commented about jd) I’m not offended one bit and neither am I with the pm I recieved. I’m actually flattered and thankful that no one flamed me for saying what I think.

The pm I recieved was short and friendly and it included a list of links to information and online tests I can take to help determin either I’m suffering from what’s called Aspergers syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism or the geek syndrome.

I’m glad I started this thread. It’s not an attempt to say that people with thick skin are egocentric or bad people. I genuinely believe that thin skin is far better than thick skin and I wanted to have a discussion about it. From what I read so far, I’m not surprised that my views are not popular on this particular topic. In fact I wonder, reading your use of the word blathering, if you can possibly even understand what I’m talking about so it most likely just sounds like non sense to you. Here’s a quote I read from one of the links someone pmed me this morning.[quote]Asperger’s Syndrome is another term for high-functioning autism. Individuals with Aspergers (also known as “aspies”) exhibit a different way of socialising. The main traits of Aspergers are obessive interests, extremely logical and lateral thinking, visual/spatial thinking, difficulties with friendships and relationships.
Asperger’s syndrome and autism are not a mental illness or disease. The brain is wired differently, and it is a neurological difference rather than an abnormality.
Advantages can be the ability to focus strongly on interests, such as computing, being an individual and not following the herd. Having unique thinking patterns that are unusal and creative.[/quote]

I had a go at the tests and I must say, I think I may be autistic. The tests tell me that I am anyways. :sunglasses: I found out today after reading a pile on the subject. Mind me I’m not sure about it, it’s just that a whole lot(but not all) symptoms described in many websites seem to perfectly fit me both as a child(looking back in time) and now as an adult. I had a conversation with my wife about it and she also seems to think that if the information I read about is accurate, then I may very well be what’s called an aspie or high-functioning autistic.

The whole world is alienated so I might aswell be missing a few screws myself. :wink: I don’t think it makes me a bad person and I can handle it. I’ve always had a good job and I did well at everything I cared to invest my energy into. I ran businesses, I won sports championships more than once and I have an amazing wife. The latter might be luck though but hey, at least I’m thankful for my blessings. :slight_smile:

Now why did I post all this? Just cause I can and I’m not ashamed of what I think. Keep your thick hide and if you need or if I could I’ll even spare my thin skin for you to add to yours because I don’t need a thick skin, all I need is to have a heart at the right place. I care for all of you, even the ones I haven’t met and even the ones who hate me. If that’s blathering to you, then I’m honestly flattered.

Thick skin sucks. :wink:


Growing a thick skin is part of growing up. “Sticks and stones…” etc.
I don’t think it has anything to do with sensitivity per se. Maturity, more like.
As others on this thread have already noted, it’s learning to roll with the punches.

hang in there bobepine.

BTW, alcoholism sucks too!

here’s to not “following the herd”!!

people can be such sheep.

oh, so-and-so does this, or thinks that, or believes this about that, or that about this"…

does that mean i must believe it too?! i don’t want to make anybody unhappy…oh, dear.

what do i believe anyways???..

i think i know what life is… what is life?

maybe it’s what everyone else says it is…for me.

wait, that doesn’t sound right… others say what life is,…for me!!!

do what your mother says, do what your father says, do what your teacher says, do what your boss says, do what your project supervisor says, do what your regional manager says, do what your regional director says, do what …or stick it…

maybe “thick skinned” people are really those who are the real,…the REAL “rugged individualists”, or…

the ones we wish we could be sometimes, or perhaps rejoice in the times we actually are, and express ourselves (without fear of repercussions).

those that say what they really think,

those that give their real opinion,

as well as those that can handle what others really think,

and those that can handle and grow from others real opinions.


When one’s as great as I am, one doesn’t need to be an egocentric.

Seriously though, giving a rat’s arse about what others think is the road to unhappiness.

When one’s as great as I am, one doesn’t need to be an egocentric.

Seriously though, giving a rat’s arse about what others think is the road to unhappiness.[/quote]Then you won’t give a rat’s arse if I disagree. :wink:

Not giving a rats arse about what others think leads to egocentrism, wars, terrorism and what I consider to be the greatest struggle of mankind. Caring for what others think doesn’t mean you actually have to believe them.

Im thin skinned too!

So this is what it sounds like when doves cry.

That’s right, I don’t. See how happy I am? ----> :smiley:

And it can also lead to the greatest achievements of mankind.

Had Florence Nightingale given a rat’s arse about what others thought she would have stayed home, and the poor soldiers of the British army would have continued to rot in Scutari.

Many of the world’s greatest composers of music and literature were egocentrics: Mozart, Beethoven, Tolstoy, to name but three.

The point is for every bad example of egocentrism you can cite, I can cite an equally good example. Imagine who boring the world would be without it.