"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Aug 26, 2020

Nothing Wrong with being Thin-Skinned

"You need a thick skin to..."

How often have you heard or spoken that phrase? For most of us it's dozens of times, but what I want to know is why so much importance is placed on that particular characteristic, as if we were a race of pachyderms.

Over the years I've learned the occupations for which I'm totally unsuited, including:

Farmer. It kills me when an animal dies, doesn't matter the reason. Fortunately or un-, here in Oregon I've primarily lived on properties dotted with farm animals.

"Where's the third duck?"

"Cougar got him last night."

"What about the baby goat?"

"You don't want to know."

No, I don't.

Buyer. I didn't have the chutzpah to beat up Manhattan-area vendors as mercilessly as my (male) co-workers, so I was assigned jobs in the mid-west, where that sort of behavior has the opposite effect. I often remained to party with the locals rather than fly home on weekends.
Supervisor. I fell for any old sob story.

Camp host. You try throwing out a family sleeping in their car.

I didn't realize I'd come up with four so easily, so I'll stop there.

So why is being overly-sensitive viewed as a character flaw?  I've found, in general, that those with so-called 'thick skins' are less compassionate and more selfish; the kind of people I don't want to be around.

Even these chickens grieved the squishing of their pal (not my doing).  I couldn't help but stop and take a picture through my tears.  They refused to leave, just like elephants.

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