One really needs to develop a thick skin. The need for it is much more apparent to me now than several years ago. In our world of texting, email, social networking blogs and iPods, we have less authentic interaction with people. We think we are interacting, but are we really?
We do not have the benefit of visual cues. If we write something hurtful, we don’t have to deal with the fallout directly. We are desensitized from our actions. So does that make people behave more poorly?
To a certain degree I think it does. The lack of true interaction and dialogue means that people don’t actually talk with each other. How can you really learn of someone else’s opinion without the verbal and non verbal cues in a conversation?
I suppose this could be a long post. But the reason I started writing was that I’ve witnessed lots of poor behavior lately. And if you don’t have a thick skin, you could get pretty upset. Lots of my students have no idea what this means. They think that they have to respond to every comment and take everything personally. You’ll go crazy if you do that!
Today I took my turn at a 4-way stop. It was rightfully my turn. But the passenger of another car obviously didn’t think so and flipped me off. A few weeks ago, I turned onto the on-ramp of a highway. The person turning right onto the same on-ramp had a yield sign. Clearly, they don’t understand that that means that I have the right of way, not them. I was also subjected to a flurry of hand signals. It’s a good thing that I have a thick skin and don’t take things personally.
These instances, as well as some others, make me believe that one has to develop a thick skin. People are going to make stupid comments when you are wrong and when you are right. So no matter what the case may be, you need to be able to not let them get to you. I guess it’s just another lesson in self-preservation that I get to teach to a few unsuspecting kids that think they’re going to learn some math.