A Thick Skin

There’s a quote by Marilyn Monroe that I have always loved: "...if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best”, but most people blurt it out without quoting it word for word, or at least, leaving out the beginning part, which to me is the most important part of the entire quote because its honesty speaks volumes. The full quote is, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." I find many people, including myself, have a hard time quoting that first part, because we don’t want to be viewed as impatient, selfish and hard to handle, when in fact, if we don’t admit this to ourselves, we’ll never figure out what we’re doing wrong or at least making more room for improvement. We’ll always have people pointing it out for us, leaving us to defend ourselves, almost in a self-indulgent facade that we choose to live in. We’re human, we do make mistakes, and all of us - every single one of us, are insecure to some degree. Does it make us bad people that we get insecure? Of course not. Being selfish derives from the concept of “survival of the fittest”---it’s in our make up. How much we stifle it makes us “better people”, I guess.

Insecurity does funny things to us, doesn’t it? I came across a scenario that really made my head spin yesterday. I had critiqued a comedienne's work, and I’ve been known to be a bit ‘too honest’ sometimes, and this one particular person didn’t handle it very well. In fact, she had written me a very angry email, and in one part of it, trying to validate what a "good person" she was. Sometimes, when people are in the business of art and entertainment, they forget to bring the most important thing: a thick skin.

Here’s her response word for word when I told her that I didn’t find her comedy funny:

“i can’t believe you were so hurtful and then PERSONALLY attacked my WORK?@??!!? i work in CHARITY LADY - ANIMAL RESCUE - SERIOUS CAMPAIGNING HELPING THE EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Ok, fine, but your comedy isn’t funny. I’m not trying to viciously hurt her, I’m just being honest. In fact, her performance always has a key giveaway: a silent crowd. She may be a good person who gives to charity, rescues animals & saves the earth one tree at a time, but she is not in the least bit funny in my opinion. Most people who give to charity don't brag about it if it's on a genuine level. But I digress... If she told me, “I hate your writing and I don't particularly find it interesting”, I would just say, “Well, it’s not for everyone.” My point is, the fact that she listed all of her "good qualities" in such an angry tone, screamed out, “I’M INSECURE LADY!” And you know what? So am I...so am I... But I have one thing that she doesn’t: a thick skin.