You have to really, really want to hurt my feelings in order to hurt my feelings. I don’t know whether this is true because I have thick skin or because I generally take things the best possible way. Or, of course, some combination. When I was writing #228 about not being easily offended, I struggled with whether there was any difference between being offended and having hurt feelings. One dictionary I consulted listed them as synonyms. But I believe there’s a difference. Hurt feelings, it seems, only have to do with the heart, while taking offense, or being offended, seems to involve the head in some way–by the imposition of a standard or by some other means of evaluation. What do you think?
I can definitely have hurt feelings without being offended. I am offended by many things that do not involve my personal feelings, like Donald Trump or white supremacists.
Good point. Thanks for leaving a comment.
I can’t even imagine having a thick skin, not being easily hurt, or offended. I know it’s a character defect in me, and that being “sensitive” can really be a form of self absorption or self-centeredness. Could it be as simple as you always knew you were loved?
Kirie, I don’t think being sensitive is a character defect. I think that trait has a lot of positives–like being able to feel things more easily, right? Being more in the world? Being more empathetic? Being more attuned to others’ feelings? As to why I don’t get my feelings hurt easily, I suppose it could be as simple as always knowing I was loved, because I always have known this–in fact known it so deeply as to never think about it. There is so much here–I imagine your suggestion will need a post of its own : )
Good question. I think I’ve always thought that I could only be hurt on behalf of myself, whereas I can be offended on behalf of others. Although, that’s not actually true, because when someone is unkind to my Mum I feel hurt for her. Some actions of others that I consider offensive, I don’t find hurtful. And vice versa. Like Kirie, I can barely image the power/ freedom/ joy that must come with having a thick skin.
Thanks for weighing in, Louise. I had thought of the head/heart distinction, but both you and Kirie and Rando bring up the self/others way of distinguishing between hurt feelings and being offended. I feel more solid now that these two things are different. Lots to think about here.