View Full Version : Tough Skin

December 2nd, 2016, 01:29 AM
Since I'm a guy, apparently I'm supposed to be okay with people laying into me both physically and emotionally.

That's the dilemma basically.

This has bothered me for years and specific events have triggered this conflict in my mind between being nice and being "tough." For the record, I don't like the idea of being "tough." I think that it fundamentally suggests trying to assert yourself over another person, and I think no one has the right to do that because it only causes negativity and emotional distress.

Anyways, me and this girl stopped talking for about 2 months over it. She was basically my best friend and we got into an argument. Basically, I believed she was being negative all the time when I drove her to and from school every day. Sometimes it was just rudeness and other times it was being nit picky about how I was driving. Plus she just generally made me nervous, but that part I suppose is more on my end.

I told her she was judging my driving all the time and so I didn't want to drive her anymore, then we stopped talking for two months. We've just recently started talking again.

The whole situation made this conflict arise once more: Am I supposed to just take this negativity? Is that some part of being a guy? People look down on me for being annoyed at such negativity, but why shouldn't I be?

What really gets me though is that I have been bullied before. This one kid put me in a headlock and I, being the pacifist that I am, didn't do anything to stop it. There's always the conflict: Fight back and protect my ego while still causing a scene and potentially getting in trouble, or just tough it out and not do anything. I almost always choose the latter.

I think there is furthermore another reason why I don't fight back: I don't have much care for myself. It's not because I don't like myself, but rather it's because I care about others more than myself in a way. This lack of self respect makes it difficult to defend myself.

Is that even bad, though? Obviously it sounds bad, but isn't it better to be selfless than selfish? After all, these bad things do eventually come to pass, so why start a fuss over it?

There is then the conflict between caring or not caring for myself in terms of dignity. I oftentimes allow myself to be completely undignified whenever someone challenges my dignity. I just can't rally myself to fight it.

This all makes me very depressed. If you have any thoughts on all this, feel free to share them. I think about suicide a lot, but I won't do that any time soon. After all, my life is pretty damn good relative to some others' lives. Plus, these things aren't actually *that* bad when you think about it; however, I always exaggerate them in my head almost to the point of insanity.

Just JT
December 2nd, 2016, 01:41 AM
Well personally I think if you feel strongly enough about how she's treating you then he'll yeah stand up and say something about it. And don't feel bad about it. If she's a true real friend she'll get it and stop....hopefully

On the other stuff....I'm not sure what to say. Not being one who's been bullied, rather have been a bulkier in the past...I can't say I completely understand how you feel. But if being a pacifist means not defending yourself then that what it means. And you should live your life the way that makes you happy. But also know that others will capitolosr on those feelings.

I don't think anu of its bad, it's just who you are is all. Me personally I wouldn't accept me, or my friends being treated like that. But that's me.

Sometimes coming to ter,s and inside your own comfort zone is hard. And someti,es getting outside your comfort zone is also hard. And sometimes necessary. But end of day, it's not bad, it's who you are. And I like you for who you are. Not that should matter to you, but if it makes a difference them I'm glad. And that's who I am.

December 2nd, 2016, 05:34 AM
First of all, you are not supposed to be okay with people laying into you, be it physically or emotionally. While society might make it acceptable for girls to hit guys and get away with it, this is not right. No one should ever be or is expected to accept being abused physically or emotionally. Such continued conditioning will only make things worse and leave urself more open to being manipulated.

Being tough doesn’t have to be about imposing your views on others but having the determination and grit to do what is right. You have rights too and you definitely have the right to get away from things that are bothering you. I may be on the extreme side but I tend to cut off people who I feel are detrimental to me.

There is fine line between negativity and constructive criticism. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between them and only you can decide which is which. Bring subjected to perceived negativity all the time is not good and will potentially be detrimental to your current mental health. This is not about being a guy or whatever. Constant exposure to negativity will only cause you to start questioning your own self-worth which is not a good place to go to. Once you devalue yourself you will only end up as an easy target for bullies and manipulators. Why would people be annoyed with you for not accepting to be treated badly?

On the topic on bullying I am afraid that there is no silver bullet solution. However, in this scenario you need to step up and be willing to take a bit of risk even if it means ending up in front of the teacher/principal. By not doing anything to “protect” yourself you might be sending a wrong signal each time you passively allow such acts to happen on you. Bullies love picking on smaller kids or people who don’t fight back. It gives the bullies a sense of power that they are in control and their victims are just too overwhelmed by the bullies “awesomeness”. By fighting back once or multiple times if need be will help serve as a deterrent factor each time they want to mess with you.

While it is true that bad things do come to pass, why endure it for longer than it needs to be? Sometimes it’s not just bad things but your reputation that is at stake too. If others finds out and think you are easy, you will only end up as being a target for even more people. But never end up as a bully like what some other bullies do to avoid being bullied. This world is highly ironic at times and you just need to accept that sometimes you need to change your approach. Personally, I always try to make the most pragmatic decision where possible.

We all need to be selfish right? I used to think like you and wanted to a selfless but do you want to end up being a martyr? Always remember that you are intrinsically valuable and that only you can advocate for your own rights. No one else will do it for you unless you have some very good friends. Each time you don’t stand up for urself you are basically saying that you are not worth standing up for and this eats away a small part of urself; the part that desires recognition, belonging and self-worth. I know it is hard but you need to coax urself and psychologically prime urself to be able to repel what is happening to you. What you need to do is to have a long talk with yourself and convince your inner self what I just said so that you will be able to do it with actions.

Yes of course our lives may seem better than others materially but that doesn’t mean that we are emotionally better off than others. You need to go back and find yourself, your self-worth and pride. Once you start to lose that self-esteem and is constantly being “tortured”, suicide becomes an increasingly appealing idea but please don’t ever go there. Different people have different tolerance level towards such bad things but anytime these bad stuff keeps bothering till it makes you feel like crap all the time I think you need to seek help. I hope that you won’t keep feeling that way and that things will get better for you.

December 2nd, 2016, 06:11 PM
@bentheplayer (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/member.php?u=124549),

You're probably right, but I have aspirations of attending a good college. Fighting with someone goes on your record and I imagine it looks pretty bad to any college.

I'm going to look into muscle building. I think you're right in that I ought to at least *be able* to defend myself and I want to look more intimidating. Not because I'll scare people or anything, but just because it makes people less likely to mess with me. Also, strength is a great asset when it is placed in the hands of a person who is willing to help others.

December 3rd, 2016, 07:36 AM
I am not asking you to start a fight but to at least react in self-defense. Surely the school won't give you a record if the act was done in self-defense but it might best to check the rules of the school you are in. Even the law allows provisions for self-defense but the amount of force u use must be proportional to what u r threatened with. Sometimes you don't need to actually fight physically but show that you are willing to; kinda like a bluff and learn how to de-escalate the situation if possible.

Just JT
January 3rd, 2017, 09:01 PM
bentheplayer from what I remember from talking with you there's one thing that's pretty much across the board innthe usa in schools. If your involved in a fight regardless if your defending yourself or the aggressor. Both parties are viewed as equals, and "should" receive equal punishment.

I don't condone fighting (for those who know me stop laughing). It's an aweful part of life that can get crazy out of control in about 1.5 seconds.

That being said Microcosm sometimes you just need to take care of business. I'm playing devils advocate I know. And some of what yiur sayings right. Intimidations plays a big role. But if you only have something to show to defend yourself, it's kinda like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Think I'd suggest a form or martial arts. There's a lot to learn there. About defense, discipline, control and patience. As well as being humble.