Is Thick Skin Just a Myth?

your words hurt.

your words hurt. (Photo credit: Amy Fleming)

If only my skin could be as thick as I pretend it is. I like to pretend that the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is true in my life. However, in actuality it’s not. My skin is not thick and it never will be no matter how much I try to pretend it is.

And the fact is, I remember every negative thing that has happened to me whether in result of someone else or not.

My oldest memories involve me getting bit by a skunk and falling off a horse; both occurring when I was four years old.

I remember every time I was abandoned by my friends for someone else. I remember every time I’ve heard someone talking about me behind my back. I remember when my brothers bug me and hurt me both physically and mentally. I remember every time someone said something to me or about me that hurt whether they meant to or not.

I remember the times when I was sat during a volleyball game or a basketball game because I wasn’t good enough or I made a mistake. I remember the time when my basketball coach in grade 7 told me I wasn’t going to get any playing time during the playoffs because I wasn’t aggressive enough. I went to the game because it was in our home gym against a team that my cousin played on and the main reason I went was because of my cousin. I even found myself wanting to cheer for my cousin’s team because I was angry. I remember not going to the finals when my team made it there because I wasn’t going to play and I was still angry.

I remember one of my friends commenting on how it wouldn’t take much to paint my nails because they were so short. I even remember who it was who said it. I remember playing badminton during Phys. Ed when I missed an easy shot and one of my classmates who I was playing against laughed and said “easy point”. I also remember exactly who it was and who her partner was as well as how my partner was. I even remember where I was positioned on the court.

Maybe I just have an unhealthy memory because most of my memories are negative or at least the ones that tend to resurface.

It may be because of all these negative memories I pretend to have a thick skin. I don’t want people to see they hurt me with what they say or what they do.

I don’t let people see me cry. I could probably count on one hand the times when people other than my family have seen me cry in the last ten years. And even then my family hasn’t seen me cry very often. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t cry. I just cry when I’m by myself, often when I’m in my room with my door locked.

Is thick skin just a myth or is it possible to let what people say and do just roll off you? If you have found ways to let what people say and do not affect you please tell me your ways. I wish I had thick skin and would love to be able to if it’s possible.


6 comments on “Is Thick Skin Just a Myth?

  1. Johnny Ojanpera says:

    Even with thick skin these things people say still get in. If it is so thick that people don’t bother you, that means you might be cut off emotionally. I look at thick skin more as a management tool for handling insults. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  2. Hi – Though we don’t know each other I felt I should leave a reply. What I have done to rid myself of bad memories is this – Get alone with God. In your spirit picture a large backpack ( make it as colorful as you can ). Now allow yourself to remember the things that have hurt you and as they come to your mind, mentally place each one carefully into the backpack. Once you have put each bad memory into the backpack, zip it up and take it to the cross of Jesus. Prayerfully tell Jesus that you want to give all these hurts to Him. Place the backpack at the feet of Jesus and wait quietly till you sense Jesus has picked it up. He will replace the hurt with His peace and joy. From now on whenever these thoughts want to resurface remind yourself that you have given them to Jesus. Consider your Heavenly Father as your “Daddy” and that you are “Daddy’s girl”. Because you are “Daddy’s girl” it becomes your Heavenly Father’s responsibility to deal with people who hurt you. Consider it not your problem anymore because you can always bring your hurts to your Heavenly “Daddy”.
    Hope this helps. God Bless you!

    • Thanks for your response. I enjoy reading comments from people even if I don’t know them. I have to admit my relationship with God has been lacking for the last while probably even the last couple of years. I’ve become really critical of my pastor and I skipped church last Sunday and had no qualms about it. The only regret I had about skipping church was that I might have to tell people about it.

      Anyways, I like your analogy. I will have to try it sometime. I also like thinking of myself as “Daddy’s girl” with God being my “Daddy”. I know I need to let God take care of me and deal with those who hurt me even if they don’t mean to hurt me. Thank you for reminding me.


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