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Feeling Fragile

Question:

Every time someone says anything even the slightest bit rude or condiscending, I feel like I am going to cry. It’s getting really hard to function in the work place. Where is this feeling coming from and how do I get back to normal?

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Answer:

There are a number of possible reasons why you may be feeling so thin-skinned. You may have an ‘illness’ like a mild depression, you may have some biological/genetic disposition or temperament that leads you to be more emotional than others, you may have experienced a difficult relationship history, or have even been abused, or you may have never learned appropriate coping and asssertiveness skills. It may be a combination of any of these possibilities and others I’ve not thought of.

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p> Whatever the reasons for your reactivity, you may benefit from some or all of the following remediation ideas. First, you may benefit from medication. Just about any doctor can prescribe you some anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication which might help. It’s probably worth consulting a doctor about your emotionality difficulty anyway just to rule out any physical issue that might be a contributing factor. Be warned however, that insurance companies may discriminate against you in the future if you get on psychiatric medication now. Second, it would be a good idea to explore assertiveness training and general coping-with-stress skills. Many therapists can offer you coping and assertiveness training programs, or you can find good books on the subject in many book stores. I’ve always liked the classic book “Your Perfect Right” for this purpose. You might also check out Clay Tucker-Ladd Ph.D.’s Psychological Self Help Website (featured here on Mental Help Net). General things you might do to take care of yourself can also benefit you emotionally (such as exercise, yoga classes and massage, etc.). Good Luck in your explorations!

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