How to Get Thick Skin Emotionally? 7 Tips

Do you feel hurt whenever someone says something negative about you? Or do you have difficulty accepting constructive criticism? If you only feel a slight sting, that’s completely normal. But if you get into an outburst or feel upset for a while, you may want to start developing a thicker skin! So, how to get thick skin emotionally?

Although it’s okay to be a little sensitive, no one wants to have their day ruined by one casual comment. By learning to be more optimistic, look at the bigger picture, and be confident, you can stand firm even amongst the sea of hate people tend to radiate nowadays.

Check out how to get thicker skin and become emotionally stronger in no time.

Thick Skinned Defined

man covering his ears

Thick-skinned people are emotionally firm and don’t get offended by others’ negative opinions. The term comes from the figurative sense of being more resilient against damage. 

Whether it’s constructive criticism, disagreements, or awful jokes, these people can handle it. They’ve learned to be confident, love themselves, and ignore unnecessary hateful comments. But remember, this attribute isn’t limited to words as it also refers to deeds!

Meanwhile, those who quickly get influenced by others’ words or actions are thin-skinned. They’re more sensitive and are prone to attack. 

Either way, having thick skin is 100x better than having thin skin. After all, it lets you deal with the minor nuances of daily life. With that attribute, people can get through their day without stressing themselves! Aside from that, it also helps you develop an overall more robust and healthier mindset. As a result, you’ll be able to be mentally and emotionally stronger and live a happier life. 

If you aren’t too convinced yet, here are more benefits of being thick-skinned: 

✔️ Accept constructive criticism. 

Those with thick skin can take hurtful feedback or handle dire situations well. And instead of wallowing in the negativity, they observe and learn how to do better. From there, thick-skinned individuals return to a higher level, making better and renovated actions.

✔️ Come out on top even during uncertainty. 

Thanks to their determination, thick-skinned people thrive even during difficulties. And they often aim to do more than survive unexpected life occurrences. They learn from the experience and gain a refreshed outlook on life.

✔️ Maintain momentum. 

Instead of letting the negativity take over, thick-skinned people absorb, reflect, and transform. Remember, every step back equals two steps forward. So, keep the momentum going, and you’ll be able to move forward in life in no time.

✔️ Deflect hateful comments. 

Someone will always try to slow or get you down. Instead of burying themselves with hurtful or inaccurate comments, thick-skinned people stand firm on their feet. Remember, we must weather the storms to become stronger.

In short, having thick skin isn’t essential for only our minds but also for our health and overall life. It serves as our protection and guidance. Developing a thicker skin allows us to focus on what matters and ignore what doesn’t! 

How to Get Thick Skin Emotionally?

how to get thick skin emotionally (infographic)

Being emotionally thick-skinned revolves around toughening your mindset. However, controlling your mind to behave the way you want isn’t easy! Still, it is possible, and once you get a grip on it, this attribute will become a part of you — long-term.

Learn how to get thick skin emotionally with these seven proven tips:

💪 Think Before You Speak or React

You may stray from your typical behavior when facing a situation that stirs your emotions. Remember, our brains process info all the time! So, before you speak or react, think carefully and see how to best respond to the situation. Subconsciously, your mind may follow the same approach, whether solving problems or understanding what someone else’s saying. 

But our brains take shortcuts to hasten the decision-making process whenever facing danger. For instance, if a person jumps in front of you while you’re alone, you’d likely jump as well. You won’t spend 3 seconds thinking, “Oh, someone jumped in front of me. I need to check who it is.” Instead, you’ll likely immediately react subconsciously.

Also termed the “flight or fight response,” this reaction can help you stay alive. And you’ll likely see other animals display the same behavior whenever in danger. But the issue is that your brain may consider conflicts or disagreements with others as a threat. As a result, your brain might release a lot of cortisol, letting you reach on impulse defensively.

Have you ever reacted on impulse and felt so bad right after? That’s because the cortisol has likely worn off after some time, and you’ve returned to your senses. The chemicals released in your body can diffuse in approximately 5 to 6 seconds. And to have thick skin, you must remain calm during that timeframe to win the battle!

Although holding yourself back at first might be difficult, you’ll get used to it over time. You’ll learn how to pause and calm yourself before reacting or speaking. So, to jumpstart your journey of being emotionally stronger and developing a thicker skin, train your mind to unlearn the habit of responding via instinct. 

💪 Be Open and Learn to Accept Constructive Criticism 

Individuals who criticize you are either being jerks or want to help you do better next time. Regardless, you should always check for pointers to see where you can improve. So as annoying as it is to listen to criticism, be open and learn how to accept it. 

If the person you loathe the most points out your mistakes, accept them and learn from them. After all, there will always be some truth to constructive feedback. And for someone to make up scenarios to criticize you won’t likely happen. So, remember, open up your mindset a bit more. 

In short, if you’re looking to get thick skin emotionally, have an open mind and see what you can improve based on the criticism given to you by another. But remember, this doesn’t mean you must let people walk all over you. Never hesitate to hit back on obnoxious feedback if necessary. 

💪 Understand that the Other Party isn’t in the Right Mind 

Everyone has bad days, and it’s crucial to always have this thought in mind. Whenever our mood and mindset aren’t in the right place, we tend to lash out, argue, or do things we usually wouldn’t. And unfortunately, we may someday become the receiving end. When that happens, understand that the person isn’t likely in the right mind. 

Remember, one of the principles of having thicker skin is learning to accept and ignore things! So, don’t react on instinct when someone tries to start unnecessary arguments or say insults. It’s best to assume that the individual is going through some things and is having a lousy day. 

Doing this works great when dealing with someone you don’t know well or those that are usually well mannered. 

💪 Never Take Disagreements Personal

You’ve likely felt offended whenever you get into a disagreement or full-blown argument. You presume that the other party is challenging you for what you believe. But this is far from reality. After all, most conflicts aren’t personal. Remember, the differences in opinions often point toward your statement! And the person isn’t likely directing it to you — yourself. 

The difference can be difficult to spot as it’s subtle, so it can be challenging to realize in the heat of the moment. After all, when our ego takes a hit, most of us naturally respond by hitting back. However, if you think that the other party isn’t trying to pick a fight with you and is only challenging your opinions or beliefs, you’ll be able to preserve your ego. 

So, always remember never to take disagreements personally to develop thicker skin over time. 

💪 Separate the Individual from the Scenario

If you loathe a specific individual, you’ll likely get offended by everything they say or do to you. You presume that they’re doing it on purpose to make you mad or ruin your day. Moreover, you may think the other person’s hostility is due to their inherent characteristics.

Although you’ll find some individuals who are more than eager to put you down, it’s not always the case. In most cases, people reciprocate what they get. As a result, your bitter behavior might also cause them to act the same way to you. So, to avoid conflicts, be the bigger person and have a thicker skin. 

That means when you face situations that make you mad due to an individual, separate them from the event. Calm down and ask yourself, “If it wasn’t them that did that, would I still be furious?” So, no matter how much hatred you have for a person, try to presume good intent. With this, your good habits and mood will rub off on them, making them friendlier toward you over time. 

So, remember, no matter how mad you are due to a specific individual, they hate you less than you assume. 

💪 Cultivate Positive Behavior and Traits

As mentioned earlier, people tend to reciprocate the way others behave or act toward them. If you say bad things often about a person, they’ll likely do the same toward you. But if you display compassion, be more understanding, and act calmer, other people will reciprocate the behavior whenever they interact with you.

Of course, you’ll encounter the rare jerk that always acts evil. Luckily, most people aren’t like that and prefer to give and take. So, for those individuals, it’s best to ignore them completely.

I recommend peeking into your habits and behavior to understand how this works. For example, if you know someone friendly and well-mannered, you’d likely rethink your decision before picking an argument with them, wouldn’t you? Thus, making an effort to cultivate excellent values, people will likely become warmer and more cordial with you. 

💪 Never Hesitate to be Upfront

While confrontation isn’t ideal, it’s the best action to take if it ever comes to the point where you need to stand up for yourself. So, if you didn’t appreciate what your colleague said or did, tell them what you honestly felt. Be straightforward, but don’t be rude or offensive or start a scene.

Maintain your composure, act calm, speak up with an open mind and explain to the person why you didn’t appreciate what they did or said to you. Most sensible individuals will listen to you and respect what you say. And this, in turn, will make them rethink twice before doing or saying nasty things to you again. 

What to Do to Make Yourself Emotionally Stronger?

woman hugging herself

Part of learning how to get thick skin emotionally is making your mentality stronger. There might come a time when you’ll feel mentally exhausted after going through so much negativity. When this happens, don’t give up, be proactive and recharge yourself!

So, as crucial as it is to be thick-skinned, you also need to take care of yourself. Here are a few proven tips to re-energize your mind and become emotionally stronger:

🧠 Never Hesitate to Take a Break 

Having thick skin isn’t easy as you must endure constant emotional challenges. So, after going through so much at work, at school, or at home, you deserve a break. I recommend going on a vacation, whether alone or with a partner, friends, or family, to let things settle down. 

If you don’t take a break, you’ll burn yourself out, making you even more emotionally drained. So, spare yourself from those challenges and take a rest whenever needed. And when you think that you don’t need it, trust me. You do. 

🧠 Surround Yourself with Positive Individuals 

Hanging with others might seem exhausting for some people, but it can help you a lot. So, as difficult as it is to surround yourself with positivity, it can be healing long-term. With this, you’d naturally feel more emotionally energized. Thus, talk with a friend, colleague, partner, or family whenever you feel down and hang out. 

You don’t have to give these people the details on why you want to take a break and spend time with them. You only need to say, “I feel drained today and want a break. Do you want to kill some time with me and relax?” Those who genuinely care about you won’t press you for further questions. So, you can easily segregate who’s worth having around and who’s not. 

🧠 Calm Down

Whenever you feel agitated for whatever reason, calm yourself. Embrace self-soothing methods you know and dust all the negativity off. Remember, developing a thicker skin and improving emotional strength requires exercise, as you would for your physical body. 

Whether it’s meditating or starting a journal, these are excellent ways to re-energize. And it’s an efficient way of making yourself emotionally stronger!

🧠 See Where You Are in Life Now

Everyone has transition times in their lives. When in the middle of one of these, it can be challenging to realize what’s happening. Whether disconnected or mentally drained — these can be uncomfortable emotional experiences! And these become more common when you have to maintain your thick skin emotionally. 

Instead of wallowing in these challenges, see where you are in life now and see where you can improve things. From there, you should be able to feel better mentally and physically.

🧠 Explore Something New

Many have proven that trying something fresh and different improves their connection with their emotions. So, treat yourself and try something you’ve never done before, like camping in the local forest. Or if you’ve always wanted to sleep under the stars and embrace mother nature, now’s the time! 

I recommend checking your bucket list to see what would re-energize you best. Diving out of your comfort zone helps you become emotionally stronger by balancing stress and happiness. 

🧠 Write What Worries You and What Works For You 

Writing down the positive things in your life alongside your worries is ideal. It’s an excellent way to remain emotionally firm and give you an overview of what works and what doesn’t. Getting some ink on paper helps you see what’s happening in your life, so don’t rush it! Give yourself a few days to write everything you want and reevaluate them. 

Embrace the good things and try to find ways to improve on them continually. Meanwhile, slowly work your way up from your worries and cross one as you take care of each issue. 

🧠 Go to the Doctor

Sometimes, emotional depletion can come from physical symptoms. So, if you think you’ve become mentally drained due to your actual body, I suggest getting a physical. Visit your preferred medical practitioner to see if something is causing the emotional disturbance. If not, sometimes, a doctor’s reassurance can be an excellent motivator to get your emotional strength back!

🧠 Get Counseling

If nothing works and you are still emotionally drained, you may need professional help. What you’re experiencing might need the help of an outside perspective. Counseling gives you more info on how to get thick skin emotionally and maintain it. Or let go of something that’s not benefitting you anymore. 

Additional Tips for Helping You Not Care About What Others Think

Once you’ve learned how to get thick skin emotionally, you’re already one step nearer to emotional maturity! But it can be tough to maintain this attribute as it requires you to not care about what others think if it’s unnecessary. 

To make your life easier and not get affected by every little thing people say or do to you, here are a few tips to not care about what others think:

✅ See What You Care About the Most 

Caring about some things or someone too much can lead you to believe a sense of false responsibility. You may feel that everything and everyone must rely on you to do the right things all the time. So, to avoid pressuring yourself, see what you care about the most now. It helps you relieve the feeling of dread over time. 

In short, this approach can remove the problems that bother you once you understand that they’re irrelevant to your life. 

✅ Regularly Evaluate How You Feel 

As a person who often cares too much about things or people, your feelings likely distract you. And unfortunately, over-caring also disrupts the good things in your life! So, when you see that your feelings are affecting your happiness, ask yourself, “Do I need to stay in this space?” 

Are the people or things upsetting you within your control? Or Does your emotions’ intensity match what’s happening in your life? If you catch yourself wallowing in negativity, break from it and thrive!

✅ Embrace Your Self-Worth

Over-caring about the results of everything you do can be mentally and emotionally draining. Instead, please take advantage of your passion and tie it with your self-worth. So, value yourself as a unique person instead of comparing yourself to others and measuring against other factors not within your control. 

✅ See If it’s Possible to Influence or Change the Outcome

Caring about someone or something instructs your brain to solve issues. You have much control over most aspects of your life. However, your influence on social problems can range from irrelevant to nonexistent. Understanding that you can’t influence the outcome can ease your emotional exhaustion. 

Although you might still care about the outcome, you’ll be able to focus on preparing for it instead of making empty wishes or hoping you can stop it from happening. 

✅ See Negative External Feedback

You’re not alone if you care much about what others say or think about you. After all, most of us must acknowledge how other people perceive us. But all the different thoughts can be overwhelming. You can control your worries about their opinions by looking at how they react. 

Are these individuals actively showing their disappointment in you? Disapproving of who you are? Or are you only imagining all these things? If none of these happened, you might be able to discount their thoughts. 

After all, these individuals might not be paying attention to you. 

✅ Focus on Things You Can Control

Having a thick skin and being emotionally firm doesn’t mean you never care about things. Instead, you can enjoy life by directing your energy to something more productive or things you can control. So, you might not be able to clean up the whole earth, but you can make your neighborhood cleaner by picking up litter one trash at a time. 

✅ Allow Yourself Not to Care

You can lessen your care about someone or something by allowing yourself not to care. For the sake of your mind, emotions, and stress, learn to accept that it’s impossible to care about every little thing. It would be best to choose what to give your attention to ensure it benefits you emotionally and mentally.

✅ You’re Only You

You only have so much energy and time to care about every little thing. So to avoid mentally draining yourself and protect yourself from unnecessary feedback, remember, you’re only you! You’re only one person, so focus on things that matter to you or those you can control. 

✅ Take a Break 

Like how you’d prepare yourself for emotional challenges, giving yourself a break to not care is also viable. After all, even if stimuli can create overwhelming reactions in your nervous system, these fade over time. So, taking a break and focusing on a particular situation can help you realize it’s not worth your time. Remember, what other people say about you won’t change your life!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes a person emotionally thick-skinned?

A: People with thick skin means they do not get affected by negative opinions or jokes. These individuals can take criticism well and do not let themselves get hurt by what others say. But this attribute isn’t limited to words as it also includes deeds. The saying of having “thick skin” comes from the figurative sense of a person being more resilient.

Q: How do leaders develop thick skin emotionally?

A: Leaders often emotionally prepare themselves and develop thick skin by welcoming feedback and constructive criticism, which they usually seek out. Those with higher positions tend to face more backlash than the average person. So, it only makes sense for these leaders to learn how to get thick skin emotionally to make rational decisions for the masses.

Q: How to know if I have thick skin emotionally?

A: Thick-skinned individuals are more confident and accepting of others’ opinions. They’re generally mentally fitter and acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses. Aside from that, these people also have learned to self-evaluate and -validate. That means they do not depend on other people’s opinions, whether negative or positive.

Q: Is having thick skin emotionally a good idea?

A: Having thick skin helps you to embrace who you are and your likes or dislikes with open hands. Its valuable qualities help you learn not to get affected by others’ opinions and to be yourself. Aside from that, having thick skin lets you hear the message underneath the emotion. Thus, it can also protect you from outbursts. 

Q How to get thick skin emotionally faster?

A: To make your mind more resilient and develop thick skin fast, you must learn to love yourself. Self-acceptance is the leeway to making yourself mentally and emotionally stronger. So, be proud of who you are, stand up for what you believe in, and don’t succumb to the negativity!

Final Words

How to get thick skin emotionally and become mentally stronger? From embracing self-acceptance to looking at the bigger picture — these are the best ways to strengthen yourself mentally. Free yourself from the hatred and develop a thicker skin for a happier and stress-free life. Once you learn how awesome you are, who are people to say that you’re not? After all, the only person that knows you is yourself!

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