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Thick Skulls & Thin Skin

by Rick Baker
On Apr 2, 2013

We will all do better if we spend some time increasing:

  • self-awareness [Who am I?, How do I fit in?, etc.]
  • self-knowledge [What inspires me?, What do I have to offer?, etc.]
  • self-monitoring [What am I doing...and what's driving me to act this way?, How are others reacting to me?, Do I care about their reactions?, etc.]
  • self-regulating [Oh...wait a second...I'm not doing the right thing here...How can I adjust my behaviour?, etc.]
  • self-control [Which is a life-long, challenging process. And, self-control is one of the defining traits of a leader.]
Put another way:
  • am I being thick-skulled...close-minded about others and about myself?
  • am I being thin-skinned...blaming others regularly and taking too many things personally?
Put another way:
  • is my personality magnetic or repulsive to others?
  • do I feel positive or negative about myself?  [link to self-image articles]
On the bright side...
Thick skulls can be thinned...the best way is to start with the one you carry around.


Thin skin can be thickened...the best way is to start with the one you carry around.

Try looking at skins and skulls from different perspectives.

Here's a dark-side way of looking at them...

The majority of people have either thick skulls, or thin skin, or both. Certainly, 'both' is not a rare thing. About 9 out of 10 people have thick skulls or thin skin or both. You know this. You see it every day. You see it all the time.

You know, when you go back to work tomorrow morning, you will be forced to deal with these people: thick skulls and thin skin will lurk or swagger all over the place.

Thick skulls and thin skin will be the body parts of: 

  • many of your co-workers
  • many of your suppliers
  • many of your accountants & lawyers
  • many of your company executives
  • many of your business consultants

Someone with a thick skull will have his car in your assigned parking spot.

Someone with a thin skin will honk her horn at you, shake a finger or a fist at you, and mouth some words at you while you search around the parking lot trying to find another place to put your car.

Good Morning! That stuff will happen before you even get into your work-place building.

Then, you will make it into your building. Then what?

Well, you will encounter more thick skulls and more thin skin. Perhaps, these will be worn by the person who lets you know your access key has expired? Perhaps, it will be the person at the reception desk who again shares with you that contorted frown like, “Oh, it’s you again.”? Perhaps, it will be the nasty look on the coffee-cashier’s face or the nasty tone in the cashier’s voice when you muster the courage to mention you only received change for $5 when you had paid with $10?

A barrage of thick skulls and thin skin will surround you. You will be under thick-skull and thin-skin siege …at your own workplace. Your little castle will have no moat or drawbridge to save you.

But your castle...well, that's only the beginning of it.

Thick skulls and thin skin will be on every beach, on every landing ground, on every field, on every street, and around every hill.

Those with thick skulls and thin skin will be your customers. 

And, here’s another thing to remember…

Those with thick skulls and thin skin will be your competition.


Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Thick Skin & Thin Skull

Comments (2) -

rick baker
8/12/2013 11:40:04 PM #

"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it."

Abraham Lincoln

rick baker
12/12/2015 5:57:03 PM #

"Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it."

Rene Descartes

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