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How do you thicken thin skin?

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Quick Answer

Having a thick skin in social, personal and professional settings requires developing perspective, patience and the ability to let go. A thick skin requires a balance of self-awareness and the ability to handle difficult situations, according to Real Simple, Forbes and Psych Central.

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Full Answer

The ability to hear criticism or take on life experiences without turning into an emotional puddle requires confidence and self-awareness, Real Simple notes. When entering into any life experience, it is best to know oneself. This includes knowing emotional triggers, personal strengths and areas of weakness, as stated in Psych Central.

From there, assessing situations and seeing the bigger picture allows an individual to put any words or actions into perspective. For example, if a colleague yells in a meeting or provides harshly worded feedback via email, do not become emotional. Instead, assess the situation and examine the person's motivations. Perhaps the company had a less-than-desirable third-quarter, or the executive has a tendency to communicate poorly when emailing. Instead, address the situation professionally and offer solutions-driven responses, Real Simple advises.

A thick skin should be paired with a soft heart, Forbes notes. This soft heart allows for more empathetic leadership and the ability to identify unique solutions and opportunities. It also provides a stronger sense of self, which is a key element to having a thick skin.

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