At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I have a confession to make. My confession is that when I encounter someone with emotionally thin skin, I don’t coddle them. I pick on them. I pick on them until they either get stronger, or get out. So far, the results have been pretty evenly split.
Emotionally weak people make me crazy. There are people out there who constantly complain. They honestly believe that they are being victimized, and they try to make their problems everyone else’s problems. And you know what? I’ve got my own burdens to bear; I don’t need anyone else’s. That is why, when the complaints start up, I face them with an attitude of “deal with it.”
The thing is, the world doesn’t revolve around any one of us. We all have to work for what we get, and things rarely go the way we expect them to. The best kind of person is the person who understands that, and who is willing to face that struggle head-on. In my experience, people who aren’t afraid of hardship are the happiest and most successful people out there. The people complaining about the same struggle that someone else tackled without a word are just perpetuating their own misery, and I don’t have time for it.
Here’s the big secret. If you prove that you can handle things by yourself, other people will start lining up alongside of you. If you constantly complain that you are all alone or constantly need help, no one is going to truly rush to your aid. If someone falls down, but immediately starts looking for ways to get themselves back up, I will be right there to lend a helping hand. I recognize grit and tenacity. If someone displays those qualities then I want to be in their corner. If someone falls down, only to sit on the ground and wail about how it isn’t fair that everyone else is still standing, then I walk away. If they are not going to put in any real, ‘get the problem solved’ effort than why should I?
Emotionally strong people are incredibly attractive to me. That is not to say that emotionally strong people sometimes experience negative emotions or immense problems, but it is how they deal with it that is important. Personally, I am very transparent about struggling, because I know that struggling for accomplishments actually leads to a change in life perspective and that is a key ingredient in happiness (read more about that in my post from last week). I am one of those people who answers honestly when someone asks how I am. If I am having a hard time, I will tell them that I’m having a hard time. But I don’t dwell on it. The emotionally weak people I have encountered in my life are dwellers and wallow in that mud.
The truth that emotionally weak people hate to face is that everyone is going to struggle, even them. So instead of caterwauling about how un-fun life can be, I advise everyone to just put your head down, have thick skin and get to f’ing work. Trust me, you’ll be happier in the end.