We Need To Develop A Thick Skin

We often come across stories of intimidation through trolling, bullying, severe and vociferous criticism etc. Be it skin colour, body type, thoughts, ideas, religion or something as random as dresses we wear, anything can trigger an avalanche of hate toward us. In our endeavour to be heard and to express our opinion, we often encounter such behaviour. They have become commonplace in the society which often believes itself to be the judge, jury and executioner in all matters social.

Take the example of the recent case cyberbullying of the 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg. For all her tireless activism, Time magazine named her the person of the year. This triggered an unwarranted Twitter attack from President Trump. Where earlier he ridiculed her health condition and mannerisms, today he suggested her taking anger management classes.

In life, every decision we make will be met with an equal number of supporters as well as opposers. There is nothing wrong in stating an opinion as long as it does not prey on someone’s confidence and self-esteem. Constant criticism and bullying often lead to depression, anxiety, even suicidal thoughts. Every small remark or comment made against a person dents their confidence and scars their psyche. Many people have spoken about this negative behaviour with little to no impact on the trends.

However, I would like to make a note of caution on this point. Sometimes, people become so sensitive about a review that they refuse to consider constructive feedback too. In fear of being bullied, we close our mind to all kinds of feedback, both useful and otherwise. This is another dangerous behaviour in itself.

The way I see it, despite constant reminders, coaching, punitive laws, trolling and bullying continue to thrive in the world. It makes more sense that we try to find a way to overcome this monster by making our self tougher and stronger.

I do not condone any form of bullying and bullish behaviour, however, I feel that we all need to develop a thick skin. If we want to survive in today’s world, we all should be able to brush off these bullies and critics. We need to stand tall and strong with our beliefs. We have to learn to maintain a strong sense of self-worth and self-esteem. We should believe in our self strongly enough so that these bullies cannot budge our confidence. As long as we are not breaking any rules or law, we need not be afraid of others’ opinions. We should only look at them as empty words of distrustful people.

It is true that bullying and trolling is a wrong attitude and it should stop. You might say that it is not the victim who should change, but the perpetrators. I agree with that comment too. However, I feel there is no harm in improving oneself. If having confidence in ourself and strong self-worth is what we need to develop then I want to make that change. Being a victim can only get us so much help. If we want to turn the tide, we need to help ourselves. So friends, do not cower down in the face of bullies and haters. It might take time, but build your self-confidence and self-esteem to fight them.

Inspiration

Inspiration is the positive driver that guides us and urges us to achieve our target. I have written a few times, on a similar theme in my earlier posts. I wrote about motivation, how the quality of motivation is important, and how we can turn our fear into a positive driver. I do not want to be monotonous. The reason for speaking on this topic again was a heated discussion that I was part of. It brought upon a sudden urge to rant to my readers on the topic about what should and should not inspire us.
I have always believed that inspiration and the root of inspiration is an individual choice. What encourages us and what discourages us is a personal choice based on our experiences and perspectives. Yet, I hear people denouncing and ridiculing others on what they base their inspiration on. How can one decide what is inspiring or not for other people?
I often notice that people make fun of one another as a way to make them take up a dare or a challenge. It is all part of the friendly ribbing that is common among kids. It was fine when it was between kids, but when we see elders employ the same tactic, it gets disturbing. There are instances when grown-ups poke fun at kids on their weaknesses and expect them to get inspired by it.
They think that when they say, “You are stupid”, or ” You can’t manage the job” or ” You run like a girl” etc, we will take it as a challenge and complete the task to prove them wrong.
I find this tactic to be childish and counterproductive. Picking on a person’s weaknesses or insulting them will only discourage them and make a person doubt. It will in no way, encourage the kid.
Kids generally draw inspiration from famous people or sportsperson. It is quite common to be influenced by positive example that we see in the outside world. This idea was shot down stating that we should not look outside for inspiration and that it should come from within. I agree with this argument but, being mean to a kid is no way to reinforce their confidence or boost their morale.
At times, it might be tricky to encourage a person or to give them a confidence boost. However, it is not necessary to kill their faith with harsh reality checks. You might come from a good place, but insulting a kid or picking on their weaknesses is just called bullying. If your intention is not to bully a kid, please change your tactic. I can only suggest that we all should be mindful of the way our words are perceived. If we have nothing motivating to say, then it would be better to hold our tongue.