Just came across this in my audio book today:
“An insult is like a drink, it affects one only if accepted.”
Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road
How true is this!
The difference between being ‘thin-skinned’ and ‘thick-skinned’ lies in if you ‘accept’ the insult or not. If you do not, it rolls over you and you can remain jovial and calm. If you accept an insult, it can be toxic, taking bitter root and poisoning both you and others around you as you spread the toxicity.
This brings to mind that some need more gentleness than others.
While insult may be completely unintended, those who presume a negative intent will let their ‘acceptance’ of the insult fester. Their perception is their reality.
This is when one can either wait for the one presuming insult where none was intended or implied to either wake up or move on, or one can say “I’m sorry you felt that way, it was not the intent.”
I am prone to the former, with a shrug of shoulders. For those of us who ignore even intentional insults (some of us have taught junior high and therefore have a lot of practice) it can be hard to feel sorry for those who are so fragile or victimized that they see insult wherever they turn. They’re emotionally exhausting to be around.
I don’t drink either literally or figuratively. It seems like a sound way of avoiding trouble.