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Do you have thicker skin than most people, and if so, do you think it's because you're aromantic?

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I've always been pretty thick-skinned. I don't really care what people think or say about me, unless they belong to one of three groups - family, close friends or people who grade me work. But I've noticed this is rather unusual, at least in the people around me.

 

My best friend used to be super thin-skinned as a child (until she was like 18-20, actually). She would cry over everything, every snub or mean thing someone said to her, and she would hold grudges like a champ. Really, she still hates people over things they said to her when we were six. I just never understood the point. If you don't like them, why does their opinion matter? But as I grew up, I realized this was how most people operated. And for the life of me I couldn't understand why.

 

I have no idea if this is related to me being aromantic. Perhaps it's because I've been raised by great parents who always instilled confidence in me. Perhaps it's because I'm my own worse critic, being a perfectionist, and so I've said it all myself before, at least when it comes to things I care about. Perhaps it's because I'm a pretty unemotional person, and pretty much couldn't care less about most people. I have no idea. But I'm curious if it's related after all.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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I have fairly thick skin, but it's something that I've cultivated rather than something that just is. I used to be very easy to wind up, I was bullied as a kid and would just lose control of my emotions. In my early teens I basically had this massive epiphany and realised it didn't matter what other people think, the only relevant opinion was my own. I also realised I didn't hugely like parts of who I was, so I made a change.

 

Now I kinda pride myself on my not getting emotional without reason, especially when people are intentionally trying to get me mad (which is something my last 2 exes both did on occasion when they were angry and lashing out). Several people I know seem to be almost completely controlled by their emotions, and it looks like (and in my experience was) a pretty unsatisfying way to live.

 

I don't think it has anything to do with being aromantic though, like you say, I'd link it more to being my own best critic. I certainly still have strong emotions, I'm just in touch with them and try to not make bad decisions because of them.

 

Does that even vaguely answer your question?

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Thanks for answering!

As someones who was sort of "born" this way, it's interesting to hear about how and why one cultivates it. You're right that it seems like a pretty terrible way to live - I'd say stressful more than unsatisfying, because in a way you're always craving outside validation, and unless you live a very sheltered life, you're not gonna get it. It also leaves you more vulnerable to emotional manipulation.

 

I didn't ask this question with a hypothesis in mind. I really have no idea one way or the other. I don't think that being aromantic is linked in any way to not having strong emotions - It just seems to me that romantic people have another layer to their relationships that we don't experience, and perhaps that could potentially increase their susceptibility to social/emotional insults and criticism.

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ive always had wildly fluctuating sensitivity to things, but i think it would be more accurate for me to attribute it to my mental illness than to my romantic orientation? i've got a couple things im not comfy disclosing on the internet, but its always been a grab bag for me and my reactions to personal attacks. sometimes im able to shrug them right off (actually, most of the time? if someone insults me i can usually laugh it off) but sometimes i just snap and it hits really hard, even if it's something really superficial, like this one asshole in my section who called me 'the worst player in the band' the other day (he says this a lot actually? but in this gross 'joking' voice where he sounds sarcastic? but he hates me so who knows). idk im probably just really sensitive about some things

 

in short: im probably bothered by every seventh thing to hit me, no matter how superficial it is, and i wouldnt say its because of my aro-ness

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I used to be really weak in this way. I'm just average now, I suppose. Doesn't have anything to do with me being aromantic.

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Hey guys, thank you all for answering. Great to hear your thoughts on the subject!

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I don't have think skin at all.

maybe I appears to have because I been active political in my past and you have to keep your head cold in certain situations and just go pokerface, or the fact im aro people use to think of me as "cold" at times.

but deep down I am pretty sensetive and cant stop worry about how I apear even when I know deep down it doesn't matter if someone I never talk to anyway would hate me.

 

I think it may be something on how I was raised. I don't think aromantism really have anything to do whenever you have thick skin or not. 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Saaaro said:

I have fairly thick skin, but it's something that I've cultivated rather than something that just is. I used to be very easy to wind up, I was bullied as a kid and would just lose control of my emotions. In my early teens I basically had this massive epiphany and realised it didn't matter what other people think, the only relevant opinion was my own. I also realised I didn't hugely like parts of who I was, so I made a change.

This describes my personal experiences pretty well. I developed a thick skin over time and stopped worrying so much about what other people think about me. As long as I am doing what I think is right, and not hurting anybody in the process, their opinions don't matter.

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I have a pretty thin skin; I will cry at the slightest hint of shouting from people, which leads to some embarrassing situations. 9_9

I don't think it has anything to do with my aro-ness.

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1 hour ago, DannyFenton123 said:

I have a pretty thin skin; I will cry at the slightest hint of shouting from people, which leads to some embarrassing situations. 9_9

I don't think it has anything to do with my aro-ness.

Same thing. But in my case, it certainly comes from the childhood I had. Same with my defensive attitudes and the fact that I hide my emotions.

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I'm not sensitive at all.  I don't really care what people think of me.  I feel like my life is my own business, and I don't much care if others approve of the way I live it or conduct myself.  I have a pretty strong sense of ethics and such though, so I can hold myself to pretty high standards.  It's much more important to me whether or not I'm abiding by my own standards.  I feel like everyone would be better off if they spent more time trying to meet their own expectations and less trying to meet others' expectations of them.  

 

I'm a pretty confident person and tend not to be emotional, and in my case it's just my personality that makes me this way.  I don't think it's linked to my aromanticism at all.

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I am fairly sensitive, I think. That does not mean that I cry a lot and easily (and when I do, it's a sign for depression). But I am easily overwhelmed by noises, heat, lights, many people, the problems of persons I care about (colleagues etc.), general discomfort, light physical pain, hunger, teared or stained clothes (yes!), moods, rudeness or ignorance or lack of empathy by others etc. I tend to define as either high(ly) sensitive or as introvert, or as both, and make sure my environment is as low-stimulus as possible. I tend to feel very bad if this is not the case, I feel it both physically and mentally when I am stressed out, e.g. when I am around people for too long a period of time, or in summer when it's hot outside, or when it's noisy and/or crowded. The few times I went clubbing with my friends, I sometimes got nasty panic attacks, I still know that it's time to retire when my stomach is aking. And so on.

Whether this is connected to my aro-ness? Hm, I don't know, really. Maybe not. But it is certainly one of the roots for me becoming depressed during my romantic relationship: to me, it was just pure distress, being in and working on a kind of relationship I was uncomfortable with. All this drama. (It was me, who made the drama, tbh., because that's how I react when stressed out.) I was very glad when it ended and I could finally calm down. So, although I cannot really decide whether this sensitiveness is linked to the fact that I do not feel that which people call "romantic attraction" (whatever that may mean?!), it is definitely one cause for my choice to remain single and refrain from romantic and possibly even qp relationships.

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4 hours ago, Lume said:

I am fairly sensitive, I think. That does not mean that I cry a lot and easily (and when I do, it's a sign for depression). But I am easily overwhelmed by noises, heat, lights, many people, the problems of persons I care about (colleagues etc.), general discomfort, light physical pain, hunger, teared or stained clothes (yes!), moods, rudeness or ignorance or lack of empathy by others etc. I tend to define as either high(ly) sensitive or as introvert, or as both, and make sure my environment is as low-stimulus as possible. I tend to feel very bad if this is not the case, I feel it both physically and mentally when I am stressed out, e.g. when I am around people for too long a period of time, or in summer when it's hot outside, or when it's noisy and/or crowded. The few times I went clubbing with my friends, I sometimes got nasty panic attacks, I still know that it's time to retire when my stomach is aking. And so on.

Whether this is connected to my aro-ness? Hm, I don't know, really. Maybe not. But it is certainly one of the roots for me becoming depressed during my romantic relationship: to me, it was just pure distress, being in and working on a kind of relationship I was uncomfortable with. All this drama. (It was me, who made the drama, tbh., because that's how I react when stressed out.) I was very glad when it ended and I could finally calm down. So, although I cannot really decide whether this sensitiveness is linked to the fact that I do not feel that which people call "romantic attraction" (whatever that may mean?!), it is definitely one cause for my choice to remain single and refrain from romantic and possibly even qp relationships.

Thanks for answering! I don't consider myself a very sensitive person, emotionally (I cry easily at sad movies and when reading sad books and the like, but I generally don't get very affected by real life), but I can relate to a lot of what you said regarding stress, especially stress that is related to crowds and noise and drama. I like people well enough, but not for long stretches of time. I like having my own space, which is one of the reasons I prefer to pay more and live alone, and I tend to get short-tempered if I have to share my space with people for too long, even if it's people that I like. 

14 hours ago, PerformativeSurprise said:

I'm not sensitive at all.  I don't really care what people think of me.  I feel like my life is my own business, and I don't much care if others approve of the way I live it or conduct myself.  I have a pretty strong sense of ethics and such though, so I can hold myself to pretty high standards.  It's much more important to me whether or not I'm abiding by my own standards.  I feel like everyone would be better off if they spent more time trying to meet their own expectations and less trying to meet others' expectations of them.  

I agree so much!

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I can still get quite sensitive at times, but I think one major difference is that I'm far more forgiving and don't hold grudges (generally). I suppose that romantic people have much more vulnerable parts of them intertwined with other people, so if things end poorly it might be far more damaging to ever associate with them again. Because I'm not inclined towards relationships in the least, I don't need to think of myself as part of a unit in which the actions of other parts are accountable to me. If that makes sense.

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I think it depends what they're talking about. I generally have a pretty low self esteem so negative comments can hurt quite a lot, but if someone in general doesn't like me or whatever it tends to not bother me. And if it's someone I barely know, a lot of the time I really don't care. I personally don't link any of it to being aromantic, though.

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I'd like to think I'm decently thick skinned. Years of being bullied and being an artist definitely contributed to that. I never thought being aromantic could as well. I guess, when thinking about it, it may have the opposite effect in some cases? Like when people comment on potential romantic relationships, "when are you getting married", things like that. For me particularly, I can easily shrug off rude for the sake of being rude criticisms, but when it comes to romantic stuff, I get a bit more sensitive. I'm pretty openly frustrated when anyone throws criticisms at that aspect of my life.

 

 

 

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Oh gosh no, I have incredibly thin skin. My emotional skin is so thin it might as well be nonexistent. I have cried for reasons up to and including "reading a nice post on the internet" and "my friend's favorite character isn't the same as my favorite character". There is a reason I'm under consideration for having a personality disorder, after all. :P

Actually, when I don't cry a lot that's a sign that I'm depressed--it numbs me out and makes me too accustomed to sadness. If I cried as easily while depressed as I do when not depressed, I would have spent 4 years of my life crying literally nonstop except for sleeping. I mean, I did spent 2-ish years crying almost daily when I first got depressed, but still not exactly "nonstop".

I also have a very low threshold for sensory input and stress/anxiety!

I'm what's called a "Highly Sensitive Person": something that affects ~15% of people. It basically means that I'm easily overwhelmed: sensorily, emotionally, socially, and mentally. aka: very, very thin-skinned.

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I am apathetic to most things. I am less thick skinned and more thin skinned, but the skin is waterproof.

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I'd love to have thicker skin! But I get bothered and angry over stupid things, mainly rudeness (even when aimed at other people) and people blaming me for them nearly causing an accident and stuff. I hate it.

I very rarely get comments about my single status, though how I react depends on what questions get asked, or the attitude of the other person. If they imply I'm covering up for something, I do tend to get defensive, probably because I hate ignorance - and in my experience, a lot of ignorant people still hold onto their erroneous opinions even if you explain the truth to them. I don't mind if the other person is just curious, but I don't really give a crap if they try and tell me I'm wrong for wanting to be alone - people might think that romance is the most important thing ever, but I see no objective evidence that I'm required to have a partner. If I meet someone in the future and don't end up wanting to run for my life, fair enough, but that would still be my choice and not one I'd make with maintaining the status quo in mind.

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3 hours ago, Untamed Heart said:

I don't really give a crap if they try and tell me I'm wrong for wanting to be alone - people might think that romance is the most important thing ever, but I see no objective evidence that I'm required to have a partner. If I meet someone in the future and don't end up wanting to run for my life, fair enough, but that would still be my choice and not one I'd make with maintaining the status quo in mind

 

No, you're doing it wrong! You're supposed to follow the rules here! Society's paint-by-numbers rules for happiness. We can't have everyone just making it up as they go along, thinking for themselves (*shudder*) and living whatever kinds of unique individual lives they think best to bring them happiness - it'd be Anarchy! :P

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I believe I'm fairly thick-skinned, but not as much as I'd like to be. It's very hard to hurt my feelings, and I hardly ever cry. The only thing that makes me cry is stress or if I'm put in a really difficult situation where I feel helpless in and people I care about are involved and I feel bad. But not because of anything anyone says to me. I don't even get angry. I'm pretty chill emotionally. If someone plays on something I'm sensitive about, I'll defend myself or turn to humour or sarcasm to mask my hurt, but I won't cry or anything. I get more annoyed than upset. Instead of feeling bad for myself and crying because you hurt my feelings, I get mad at them for bringing it up in the first place and I get defensive. 

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i don't care about anyone's opinion or expectations except my own.  even my best friend, who's the most important person in my life: of course i want her to love me, but i know she does, so...that's that, you know?  i don't try to impress anyone; if they don't like me for who i am, i don't want them to like a false version of myself.  i don't think it's related at all to my aromanticism but it might be to a couple other things.  one is my dysthymia: a type of chronic depression, characterized in part by muted emotions and in my case, at least, not caring much about anything.  the other is my mom (yeah, now we're starting to sound more like the psychological stereotype): for most of my life, she emotionally abused me.  let me just say, i believe it was unintentional, even after i told her repeatedly how i felt, and other than that, she's a very good parent.  i know it doesn't make sense; i'm not going to explain in detail because that would take a long time and you still wouldn't understand, but basically i learned not to let it bother me.  yeah, she still picks on me sometimes (i'm 19) and it does bother me sometimes, but hey, i have feelings.  i just realize it's pointless to get upset and fight with her.  i tell her i don't need whatever criticism she's offering and tell myself it's okay.  just move on.  and i'm not one of those people who believes in the idea that shit like this makes you a better person; i don't know how emotionally strong i would be without it, and i don't care.  anyway, of course my former therapist hinted that she thought this was at least in part the cause of both my depression and my aromanticism, but again, even if i believed that (i don't), what does it matter?  this was not the reason for my decision to stop seeing her, but it didn't help.  sorry, that did more than answer your question, but i hope it did that.

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I'm quite thick-skinned : I have the amazing ability to don't care what people/family/friend think or say about me. It's not the 'I don't care about you humans, leave me alone''  or the 'You've insulted me, and I'm gonna cry in my corner''but more of the ''You give me an advice/insult or approve/disapprove about my way of life, and that was your right to say it. Now it's my right to either totally ignore it, accept it or aknowledge it without doing anything to change it'' kind of "I don't care". That's me in real life.

I

 

But let me read/watch something sad and I'm like : I-know-that-feel-bro-hold-f.jpg

 

 

 

I believe that I build it over the years  :  I'm someone who watch the way everyone interracting with each other, and integrate the most useful parts onto my acts and way of living with the goal of ''living the most peaceful life ever''. Being bullied, and watching over my twin sister greatly help with that.

 

And if I'm thick-skinned about myself, it's quite the opposite when it concern friends or family : basically, you hurt them because you fell like so, you're dead ^^ I'm an overprotecive mama bear xD

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