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shortysith's avatar

How do you let things roll off your shoulders?

Asked by shortysith (688points) May 20th, 2009

Here’s the deal. I am one of those people who likes to please everyone. When I can’t, and someone is upset with me, it literally hurts my health. I can’t eat, sleep, etc..if someone doesn’t like what I am doing. How do you develop thicker skin? How do you stop caring what other people think and take care of yourself? It sounds dumb, but I honestly am wondering how I become someone who not only stands up for themself, but doesn’t let things get to me. Any thoughts?

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8 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I find that when I became a parent and had someone to care for that I developed thicker skin, because, well, I just had to, you know? I had to so that I can function – other times I had to as well so that I continue living, like during postpartum, or my break up with my ex husband or a recent issue with my partner…life forces you to live and since I don’t know how long I’ll live the fear of living my life scared overpowers my fear of not pleasing someone…also I’m a New Yorker and well, you just learn not to give a shit…and as you live your life you also learn that people’s issues are more often than not about themselves and not you, at all and that they’re too busy thinking about how they’re making you feel even if they pretend otherwise

brettvdb's avatar

What you’re feeling is perfectly natural. We all feel unpleasant when people we respect or care about are upset with us. Noone likes to be in that position.

If these aren’t people you respect or care about, you’ll get there with time – especially if you keep ackowledging it as a goal you’d like to achieve. There isn’t one answer, I think you just kind of need to figure it out for yourself. Don’t be apologetic about the way that you are.

justwannaknow's avatar

I consider the source of my unpleasantness and consider what is more important, them or my health. After 2 seconds of intense soul searching I decide to he11 with them and go on with life.

DarkScribe's avatar

You don’t stop caring, you stop reacting. That is not easy to do, but it is possible. Focus on something else, develop a “handling the negative” routine. Something interesting and requiring focus that you do only under those circumstances, something that you find positive and rewarding.

Facade's avatar

I haven’t mastered that skill yet.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, I’m not sure it’s advisable. If you care deeply, people will get that. If you make changes that are honest and compassionate, in order to support the things you care about, I think people will respect that. Even if they don’t you will.

Sure, people can push you around a bit, but you have to learn to identify when they are playing you, and when it matters. If you can do that, you can stand up for yourself by ignoring people when they are just messing with you.

One thing you can do is to realize you don’t have to respond when someone is provoking you. They can call you all the names you want, but if you know they are off base, it can’t bother you. I have found that if you do this, and you trust other people, they will see through the crap someone says about you, and will have a good opinion of you.

This means you have to trust that other people have eyes to see. You don’t have to always rise to the bait. If you can do these things, you’ll be able to let the shit roll off your shoulders, while still being responsive to the stuff that really matters.

augustlan's avatar

I’m not trying to be flip when I say: Therapy. If people being unhappy with you makes you physically ill and what you have done is not terribly bad, then this is definitely an over-reaction on your part. It can be very difficult to figure out a different way to be on your own. A trained therapist can help you see things in a different light and teach you to react in a different way. It’s still no piece of cake, but much easier with a trusted guide. Good luck to you, friend.

shortysith's avatar

The therapy thing is not a bad thing to say lol, thanks :) I have actually thought many times that therapy is not a sign of weakness, but can give me tools to use when I feel this way. I am learning to get “rhino skin” that way I can live my life the way I see best fit for me, and to let other people deal with it. Thanks for the advice!

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