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Rangie's avatar

If a person's skin is too thick, is their compassion for others greater or lesser?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) April 8th, 2010

If I am so thick skinned that I won’t let anything hurt me, am I more apt to be a bully or compassionate? Can you give me an example?

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9 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

You’re apt to not care about things that aren’t important.
Sounds like wisdom to me.

Now if you see a baby getting eaten by a pit bull and you say “Suck it up baby. Life’s rough” and keep walking, that’s a lack of compassion.

lloydbird's avatar

It depends upon how you use your thick skin.
Compassionately or not.

Rangie's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I’m sorry, but you made me laugh. I know it is not funny if a pit bull eats a baby, but the way you said it, was so funny.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Ok, maybe that was in bad taste, but I was going towards a point.

Rangie's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy No offense taken, it just struck me funny.

jazmina88's avatar

i think you would be less compassionate….as some of us have hearts that ache when we see sadness, hurt, or pain

Rangie's avatar

I am not a thick skinned person, so I don’t know how someone like that thinks. I am over sensitive, therefore quite defensive. I tend not to start anything for fear I will get my feelings hurt. I am trying to toughen up. My best saying to myself when someone criticizes me is, “just because you say so doesn’t make it so”. In my mind, I put them in their place and feel just fine about myself.

Rangie's avatar

@jazmina88 Whom are you referring to? You in general as in a tough skinned person? Being a thinned skin person, I myself feel pain when I see hurt or pain, or even sadness.
I will never forget 41 years ago when I took my son to pick up his sister in school. We were parked by the sidewalk waiting, when a little kindergarten boy was walking by holding a picture he had made in class. His head was hanging down and he was walking slowly. My son was 4 years old, and he said ” mommy, why does he look so sad?” I also thought he looked sad. It was things like that, when I became aware of my sons sensitivity to other people. He grew up as a sensitive, compassionate person, thank goodness. I can still see that little boys face in my mind to this day.

iphigeneia's avatar

Having a thick skin, I think, does affect your powers of empathy. e.g. I, for one, cope quite well with criticism (constructive or otherwise) so when I see people who’ve had their feelings hurt by what someone has said about them, it’s difficult for me to see things from their point of view.

There are other factors that play into compassion. In this situation (let’s say a teacher has just figuratively torn our group assignment to pieces in front of us in a very mean way) it would take a kind heart and lots of patience to behave compassionately and comfort your classmate.

People with thick skins may be good at these sorts of things because they truly believe themselves when they say that we can move on from this, we can decide whether to learn from or ignore what the teacher has said.

On the other hand, if someone has developed a thick skin out of a fear of showing emotion, they might believe that acting compassionately is being weak.

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