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Jayo
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19 Apr 2011, 6:14 pm

This is one that is difficult to determine, as to whether it's based on genetic make-up, or years of persecution from peers.

I've had people say that I get upset too easily, over certain things said - and while the consternation may be directly linked to my Aspie-ness, it's entirely possible that it's a by-product of interpreting things literally or not getting jokes, not seeing the humor or deliberate exaggeration in something. This has happened less as I've gotten older, but I definitely find myself getting upset over people criticizing me, like at work or my wife, and I think sometimes it's linked to my Aspie traits, but then again sometimes it's not. That's where it's hard to tell the two apart sometimes. I think this is where Aspies might be "thin-skinned" because certain things said will "get to them" which wouldn't get to NT's, and unfortunately certain NT's like to push those buttons to spark a reaction.

When people yell at me, I do definitely cringe, and get upset - and I do tend to ruminate it on it much longer than the typical person; I know this is due to the "feedback loop" that is characteristic of AS and OCD, where they dwell on something negative for an inordinate period of time and can't "let it go".

At work this is where having a thick skin can be challenging, some roles more than others. Sometimes we feel targeted b/c of our difference; sometimes, it's ostensibly not personal. Giving an example: my first job out of university was a technical support rep b/c I was a (stereotype) :P computer wiz, and the somewhat routine nature of problems suited me. However, I tended to have a shutdown mechanism when customers would get angry with me, and had to forcibly think myself it wasn't personal so I could concentrate on calming them down and diffusing the situation. Most of the time it worked :) however, there was one time that had me on the brink of tears, one nasty lady who sounded in her 60s was giving me hell about how I'm proof that you can't speak to a human being "these days" at call centres, you can only speak to a robot and I sound like a robot, she accused me of only hearing what she was saying and not really listening, and she wanted to know if I'm really a robot underneath. (this was a couple of years before my diagnosis, so it sounded all the more unjustified). I assured her I was not, but she replied "I don't think so!! ! Go F*** yourself, you heartless machine!!" and slammed the phone down.

She could have easily said that to one of my NT colleagues, but I concluded that she picked up on my AS.
Call me thin-skinned for my upset over that episode, but it definitely stayed with me for a while.



CockneyRebel
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19 Apr 2011, 6:30 pm

I'm a very thin skinned person. Things can stay with me for decades. There have been things from my childhood that have stayed with me for 20 years or more. I was persecuted by my peers and my parents. It wasn't very pleasant and words do stay with me. I have to either keep myself really busy or have my music playing all the time.


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19 Apr 2011, 6:36 pm

I'm very thin skinned. I tried to put up barriers against the world for years. My sister used to call me a sponge, as I was so affected by everyone around me. My mother told me to toughen up and stop being so sensitive. I tried to toughen up, but unfortunately it hasn't worked. Now I have completely retreated. Even being on here is difficult, and yet its my only contact with the world. In the end I probably won't be able to stay as it will become too much.
I play conversations over and over again in my head. Things that happened when I was 8 or 12 or 23. Night time is the worst.



IdahoRose
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19 Apr 2011, 6:44 pm

I'm thin-skinned too. I have a tendency to take everything personally.

I'm terrible at handling criticism, whether constructive or otherwise. Criticizing my artwork or writing is a sure-fire way to make me cry. I used to get a lot of criticism on the fanart and fanfiction I used to post online, most of it being mean-spirited in nature. Eventually it got to the point where I quit doing those hobbies altogether and started keeping my fantasies to myself.

I also "can't take a joke". I know the difference between playful jokes and mean-spirited ones, but that doesn't make them any less hurtful.

Being thin-skinned has made me anxious about being myself, because I'm always worried that if someone makes fun of me, I won't be able to handle it and I'll be reduced to tears.



anbuend
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19 Apr 2011, 7:09 pm

I'm thin-skinned as well, although I've tried my hardest to become thicker skinned.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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19 Apr 2011, 7:12 pm

I am too sensitive for my own good, even though I have tried not to be. I try to ignore what people say, not take it seriously, most importantly, not dwell on it. It's easier said than done.



ryan93
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19 Apr 2011, 7:42 pm

It depends; there are a lot of insults that I think "f**k you, I don't care what you think because you are nothing to me", but some things hurt me easily. I don't like when people think i'm an idiot because I lack common sense, which somehow implies I don't know my stuff, or that I am illogical.


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Vampyremage
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19 Apr 2011, 8:14 pm

I used to be very thin skinned but then I had an epiphany during my first year of college. Basically, it didn't matter what other people thought. It seemed to simple, so beautiful and I embraced it entirely. There are, of course, those few people who's opinions actually do matter, but for everyone else I just couldn't care less. I'm weird, I know I'm weird and so I embrace my weirdness. I know that I struggle socially that there are things that I do or say that simply aren't normal. People judge me for them and will always judge me for them, but I just made the decision not to care anymore. In fact, I even took it one step further and embraced my oddities whole heartedly and entirely. People no longer really notice the fact that I don't make eye contact, because the first thing they notice are my dreads and large amount of facial piercings. I am who I am, proud of it and if someone doesn't like it then they are not a person I want to associate with anyway. Their opinions simply don't matter. At all.

Of course I care about the opinions of friends but they aren't the ones that are judging anyway, becuase I pick my friends carefully. The fact that I look and act the way that I do, unapologetically, means that the people I attract tend to be the people more willing to accept me including all my flaws and oddities. Co-workers and bosses are a little more difficult to deal with because they are people whose opinions matter in a practical sense and its not usually possible to choose which ones I have around me and which ones I don't so I could be considered to be a little more thinned skinned about people that matter from a practical level.

With all that said, at the moment I only suspect that I have Asperger's. I'll be going in for my first pre-assessment interview tomorrow so I guess I'll get confirmation then.



ocdgirl123
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19 Apr 2011, 8:26 pm

I'm thin-skinned and can relate to thin-skinned people very easily. I have a lot empathy for people who get offended easily.

However, being extremely tolerate to physical pain makes up for it. :)


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Last edited by ocdgirl123 on 19 Apr 2011, 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Catamount
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19 Apr 2011, 8:27 pm

Very conflicted on this issue. When I sense that someone is against me or trying to "take me down," I am definitely hypersensitive to it. But instead of reacting in a thin-skinned way and going into a shell, I go the other direction and magnify whatever they're objecting to. Oh, so you don't like that I'm not talkative ... well, then I'll just say absolutely nothing to you. It's like a defense mechanism - I appear thick-skinned, but really I'm not. When the lights go out and I'm lying in bed, I obsess about it.



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19 Apr 2011, 8:50 pm

I wouldn't call myself think-skinned. I've learned to take criticism as a chance to learn. If the "advice" the person is giving me is good, I'll adopt it; if not, I'll ignore it.



zeldapsychology
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19 Apr 2011, 10:05 pm

I'm VERY emotional!! Every little criticism sets me off to me upset or cry. Especially from my parents it is as if every little thing I do is some wrong behavior!! !! ! :-(



draelynn
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19 Apr 2011, 10:06 pm

Yup - though I've worked quite hard on talking myself out of it. Now, I can, at least, remain civil and polite when taking a critique even if my brain is raging in hurt, defensiveness and righteous anger. It's especially difficult when your 'superior' calls you on something and they are flat out wrong. How people bite their tongues that hard, that often is really beyond me.



bee33
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19 Apr 2011, 10:15 pm

I'm very thin skinned, but not so much with day-to-day smaller things, which I tend to brush off fairly easily because I have a pretty strong sense of self. However when I was mob-bullied by a group of "friends" I absolutely fell apart and the hurt is still with me almost four years later. I lost the person whom I thought was a dear friend in that instance and it still hurts so much sometimes I can't stand it. Like others have said, it's something that keeps me awake at night crying.



daydreamer84
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19 Apr 2011, 11:02 pm

zeldapsychology wrote:
I'm VERY emotional!! Every little criticism sets me off to me upset or cry. Especially from my parents it is as if every little thing I do is some wrong behavior!! !! ! :-(



I'm extremely hypersensitive to criticism too.....................

Also, you're family can be very unreasonable in my opinion from reading your previous posts..............so in your case it's not all your fault.....................my family is not as bad....................