How to develop a thick skin against negative words


My niece ran into the room crying profusely. The tears ran uncontrollably down her cheeks. I’ve known her to be a very cheerful girl, but the pains she was going through proved otherwise. After minutes of weeping, she finally opened up that she was crying because some girls in the neighborhood called her a “fat chicken.”

In a similar chain of events, 28 years old Jason has been living a nonchalant life for years. He started drinking when he was 13. When alcohol became too light to satisfy his desires, he turned to hard drugs at 14. He eventually dropped out of high school at 8th grade. Unfortunately, he is currently rescinding in a federal prison after being found guilty of raping a minor. But his messed up life started from home.

Each time he made a mistake at home, his dad would always call him names like “good for nothing”, “no future ambition”, “waste”, “block head” and “rogue”. In line his father’s words, he eventually started living in the reality of those negative words.

Words are strong. They have creative capacities that can make or mar you.

Just like Jason and my little niece, a lot of people have been victims of the darts of negative words. They’ve allowed their lives to be shaped by what others say to them. And they’ve washed away their happiness in a pool of tears.

The disastrous impacts of negative words can be totally avoided. As a matter of fact, you can use them as stepping stones for personal development. For you to develop a thick skin against negative words, you really need to understand these facts about life:

1. You cannot please everyone

No matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. Trying to please everyone is the fastest way to die. There is always someone who will be displeased at you even if you play by the best of rules.

2. Everyone have different perspectives to life

People act and react according to their respective perspectives, ideologies to life and degrees of knowledge. Some believe that being fat is the best, others think that slim people are most adorable. But what do you really think? Are you going to allow the society define your own perspective?

3. People must always talk about you

Humans are natural gossips. People will always lend their voices to issues. There’s nothing you can do to shut their mouths, even if you give them a million dollar cheque. If you’re successful, people will definitely interpret it as arrogance and pride. If you’re penniless, they’ll call you a failure. You just can’t help it. Mouths were not designed to be dumb.

4. People aren’t patient enough to understand you and your situation

The average human being loves being judgmental. He doesn’t have time to understand why you act the way you do or why you’re currently stuck in a particular situation. Hoping they’ll understand is just a wish in utopian eldorado.

5. You owe no one an explanation

No matter what you do, don’t ever thing you owe people an explanation. You can block out as many people as you want from your life. And the more you explain to others, the more details they will have to talk about. This does not necessary mean you shouldn’t discuss your life with people that matter the most. Rather you just need to understand that you’re not under any obligation to do so with anyone except when necessary.

How To Develop Thick Skin Over Negative Words

1. See every negative statement as a suggestion

Every sentence people make are subject to their opinions and perspectives of life. Also, they are actually suggestions and you need to see them that way. As long as you’ve come of age to make decisions for yourself, it’s expedient for you to stop attaching much credence to people’s suggestions in your life.


When the chips are down, you will be the one to execute every decision yourself and you’re responsible for the risks, rewards and repercussions. Don’t take people’s words as commands. When you do so, you’d take insults to heart too.

2. Expect anything from anyone

Disappointments arises when you expect too much from others. Setting your expectation levels high can be very disastrous especially when those expectations are eventually not met. Often times, we expect people to be mannered enough to use nice words on us, especially loved one. So when they don’t, the pains tend to cut deep into the very fabric our hearts. Expect the worst of attitudes from people and don’t be taken aback by their words.

3. See it as a tolerance test

How we react to situations have direct effects on our tolerance quotient. See every ill-mannered actions towards you as an opportunity to build your tolerance against such actions. The truth is that as you progress in life, you’ll be exposed to more and more provocations as a result of negative words.

And if you’ve not grown sufficient tolerance now, you will eventually make a mess of yourself before the entire world. When people say negative words to you, try and tell yourself that you’re bigger than their bullshit and stick firmly to that. Funny enough, the best way to gain sufficient tolerance is to listen to more bullshit.

4. Try not to react

Your actions in life should not be determined by the words of others. The worst that can happen to you is to allow your emotions to be put on display by words from naysayers. That’s the reward they earnestly desire. Don’t give them that trophy.

The more you show them that you’re bigger than their bullshit, the more belittling they’ll appear in your sight. Experientially, a time will come when you’ll laugh over such words and be grateful you didn’t fall for them.

5. Swallow it up and ask for more

What’s the worst that can happen beyond those negative words? What else will they do or say? Have you ever thought of that?

Think of the worst insult you can ever receive.

Why would you have to react to that insult? Will keeping mute make you less of who you are? Give it a thought.

Just swallow it up. Yea, take in every one of those rubbish you can listen to.

6. Don’t run away from the company of naysayers.

Don’t walk away and don’t allow your tears to drop. You’re no longer a toddler. When you run away, you’ve already been defeated. Stand in the face of those words, swallow them in and excrete them away into a trashcan.

7. Reward yourself for not crying

Give yourself a timely reward for being strong and not making a mess of yourself in the face of naysayers. You could take yourself out to a nice restaurant or go see a movie.

8. Believe in yourself and believe in your positive personality.

In all these, believe in yourself. Remain positive. Remember you are the only one who has the power to ruin your life. You alone can give people that permission. Don’t give it to them. Watch motivational clips and read inspiring books that will keep you positive all year long.

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