How do I grow a thick skin?


How do people do it? Seriously, I have struggled with having skin that is paper thin probably since I took my first breath. When I say ‘skin’, let us pinpoint what I actually mean. I mean the layer, the iron sheet, the barrier between you, your integrity, heart and soul and the words, actions, compliments, complaints, assumptions, love and hate that others can show towards you.

It has come to a point where I am staring this issue right in the face. Literally, nose to nose with it. The adult world has no tolerance neither patience for persistent sensitivity to what those around you have to say. I am really only just learning this. 22 years of age, several experiences under my £1 Primark belt and I am only tackling my prominent weakness in not letting every little thing impact how I feel in that second, hour or day.

Knowing when to leave it…

My mum always firmly reminds me that I must learn ‘when to leave it’ when it comes to feeling hurt or offended. And she is truly right. Let us speak hypothetically here.

Dolly is the dog about town (yes my dog haha) and she pretty much rocks it 24/7. Having a trot around the dog park, another local German shepherd mentions (via woof language of course) whilst throwing a squeaky toy around with her that her usually thick locks are looking a bit thin (hey its malting season). Maybe Mr German Sheperd said it to make Dolly feel a bit crap, OR, maybe Mr German Sheperd said it in passing with no intention whatsoever. Doll’ doesn’t leave it and every time she goes to the dog walking park instead of the usual bum sniff they had (this part is DEFO hypothetical) she paws on past each time. But without her usual greeting with Mr GS she is less happy and wonders each time. Is it worth holding this to heart? She no longer has him to gallop around with and at the end of the day, Mr GS had been so fun and kind otherwise? She really would benefit from getting the thick skin and moving on. Leaving it. 

Ok ok, analogy over. And yes I know, I used dogs. But they can sometimes be better than humans, right? And what I am trying to pinpoint here is that I spend so much of my precious minutes not letting go of words that have hurt or criticism that is actually positively constructive. This grinds away at the little amount of ‘skin’ I have as it is. Now? I have perhaps become far more oversensitive than a.) I need to be and b.) than the adult world has the time for. I’m starting to realise that whether the outcome is positive or negative ‘leaving it’ and neither dragging it on or ruminating (whatever it is that has hit you hard or just got to your little soul that day) is a happier way to live life.


Bigger fish to fry?

I am not talking about a lovely cod fillet.

This year, sodding 2018 which has been a bit iffy up until of late, is enlightening me to many different pools of thought. One of them contributes towards that ‘thick skin‘ and it’s recognising what matters and what doesn’t. What should keep you awake in the dead of night and what should be left in yesterdays paper?

Did I really feel sorry for being a couple of minutes late? Yeah, I did. But do I need to let the worry post lateness rule my day? No, I really don’t! Its done, I was late and next time I won’t feed the cat just before I sweep out the door. I’ll do it in GOOD TIME.

Whenever you have your integrity bruised it is hard to not dwell on this and over analyse it until your blueberry blue in the face. We have bigger fish to fry. The whole reasoning behind your integral being is that it it is all your unique traits that are individual to you. If whatever the situation may be makes an attempt to tarnish your individuality it isn’t your problem. Because you should be proud of who you are; no really you should. You’ve made it this far and you will have A MILLION more pressing matters to be focusing your concentration on. As I find myself saying on multiple occasions recently… ‘sod it!‘. In my opinion, this self-prioritisation is v important in helping you achieve that thick skin.

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Hold on? Let us not be a Rhino about this…

How thick of a skin do we get? There can be a balance. I will always be a sensitive soul and that will never change. I guess it is learning to adapt? So taking a pinch of the bold and brave approach and lacing it in with the more sensitive traits. Obviously this entirely differs dependant on the individual!!

I do want to have a thicker skin, and it is ABOUT TIME. But I still want to give credit to who I am naturally. I’m learning as I go at the moment. More chunks about myself each day. Yes, it is important to be tougher, but being sensitive is also being strong. That really shouldn’t be forgotten!

‘Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticised anyway’ Eleanor Roosevelt

Thank you for reading.


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  1. So true, and good on you for starting to realize some of these things! It’s not always easy but once you realize the things that truly matter in life and those that will pass, life becomes much more fun! xx


  2. Great post. Growing thick skin is hard for some people who are naturally more retrospective or self-aware. I being one of those individuals growing up, but I moved countries and found myself in Hong Kong. It’s not the most sensitive of places, where efficiency and speed is more valued than how words or interactions are exchanged. It was a bit of a culture shock, but I guess I enjoyed unintentional exposure therapy from it! I definitely have thicker skin now. Practice and experience makes perfect 🙂


    1. That is so reassuring to hear!! To know that if you set your mind to it, it can happen! I hope to travel also, so maybe that will contribute! 🙂


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