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How to have a Thick Skin - 7 Steps to shield yourself from snide remarks

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

We all go through situations where a snide remark can wound us deeply. The common reaction could be to react instantly and reply back with a snide remark or we could go into a sulking mood. Because of one snide remark, our entire day gets ruined. But experiencing criticism and snide remarks are inevitable and being able to develop a thick skin can help us shield us from the devastating effect it can have on us. Following are the ways by which you can achieve it-

1. Differentiate between Constructive and Destructive Criticism

There are 2 types of Criticism. Constructive and Destructive. Constructive criticism improves you and is feedback for your work which can be scaled further while destructive criticism is meant to make you feel bad about yourself. People showering destructive criticism themselves suffer from low self worth & in order to feel better about themselves they try to put others down. When you have low self worth, you get offended for constructive criticism but it is something that will add value to you. When your self worth would have improved in the course of time, you will take constructive criticism in stride. And with high self worth, destructive criticism will begin to bother you less and less. You will understand that it's not about you, it's about the person themselves. Read about how to deal with Destructive Criticism here.

2. It's Not about you

One thing that will help you develop thick skin is that people being mean towards you has to do more about how they feel about themselves than it has to do with you. In order to feel good about themselves, they try to put you down. So they unconsciously already feel that you are better than them in some way, thus, they try to make themselves superior by putting you down. Take the entire episode as a compliment instead!

3. Pause Before Reacting

One common practice of people passing mean comments is that they want to provoke you for getting a reaction out of you which can be used against you. Hence, before Reacting, pause! Take a deep breath. Say to yourself, I am centred. And count from 1 to 10. This will prevent you from replying back and getting stuck in an argument that they want you to involve into.

4. State Assertively

Many people give advice to ignore people's snide remarks. Although, this is the best alternative for you to avoid unnecessary drama, but things can become too much at times. In this scenario, state Assertively to the person who is being nasty to you that their behaviour is hurting you and you will appreciate if they don't repeat it in order to maintain the connection. In case things don't settle even then, then state the consequences of their actions clearly.

5. Focus on Your Priorities

When we become involved in petty arguments, we forget our big picture. What is it we want from life? What are your goals to be achieved in the next one year? Would this remark even matter a couple of years down the line? Hence focus on your Life's priorities and ignore all the extra noise meant for your distraction.

6. Revisit Your Strengths

Always keep a list of your strengths in your journal. Also keep a record of people complimenting you for your qualities. Whenever you feel low after being humiliated, go back to these in order to regain back your confidence.

7. Understand the deeper wounds

When we feel too much hurt on some particular remarks, understand, why do they hurt you so much? Do they remind you of some past wound? Do they bring you a feeling of not being good enough?. If the answer is yes, then doing healing & self love affirmations can be helpful.

Having a thick skin is essential in a World where many people today are operating from their wounds and in turn end up wounding others. We should not take this personally and prevent ourselves from being subject to such harshness by developing a thick skin. What are your thoughts. Comment below and share your knowledge.

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