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Thicken Your Skin to Manage Life Better

Are you thin skinned? Do you always take things personally and often feel hurt? Would you like to have a more detached attitude about slights and insults and not take them so deeply to heart? Would doing so brighten your life and improve your eating?
If you’re easily wounded, you’ll likely have a difficult time as a dysregulated eater not using food for comfort. You’ll see rejection and hurt constantly aimed at you. Life is full of slings and arrows, and how you think about and deal with them is key to maintaining high self-regard and feeling okay in a world that is not tailored to avoid hurting us. It takes learning and practicing changing beliefs in order to become thick-skinned.
Thick-skinned people have specific qualities and ways of thinking which help them ward off the blows of life. They…
  • aren’t seeking love or approval from everyone they meet. They recognize that some people will adore them and some will abhor them and can live with that.
  • love themselves 100% and don’t generally feel deeply wounded when they are rejected. Insults or slights don’t wither them to the core. They take them with a grain of salt (not bitters).
  • understand that what someone says about or to them is not necessarily the truth. They evaluate comments and actions with reason, not emotion.
  • recognize that people often say things they regret (I’m thinking now of something I said a week ago that I’d snatch back in a heartbeat if I could). We’re human and there are many people walking around wishing that they hadn’t said what they said or done what they did because they later realized it was hurtful.
  • follow my friend Dave’s rule in life: Not everyone gets invited everywhere. Their expectation is that they won’t be included in activities they’re dying to be included in because, well, not everyone gets invited everywhere.
  • don’t dwell on the negative comments people make about them (unless they’re true). Instead, they focus on the positive remarks they hear and the ways that people make them feel good.
  • give people a break and know that sometimes folks are having bad day and take it out on them. Of course, they also know that it’s not okay for people close to them to make a habit of this or it, then, becomes mistreatment which they don’t tolerate.
What steps can you take to thicken your emotional skin? Begin with changing your thinking (that’s where unnecessary hurt begins) and staying focused on new beliefs to develop a healthy cognitive system that will provide you with the thicker skin you long for. Act as if you’re thick-skinned and soon you will take things less personally.
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