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Are You Emotionally Thick Or Thin Skinned?: Studio 5

Has someone accused you of being too sensitive  or suggested that you grow a thicker skin? Or maybe you’ve heard that you’re hard to read or that you’re a tough nut to crack?Those comments may be clues to your style of processing emotions. how much of your environment you let into your being and how aware you are of your feelings.

The boundary concept was developed and researched by Ernest Hartmann, MD, of Tufts University, and this concept was expanded further in the book Your Emotional Type by Michael A. Jawer and Marc S. Micozzi. Jawer and Micozzi’s research further explore “thick and thin” emotional types, suggesting that our minds and our bodies are connected, and that our emotional type impacts our predisposition to certain health conditions. “Different people process their feelings in different ways–your emotional style is a fundamental aspect of who you are. It affects more than just your outlook on life; it can affect your very well-being,” according to Jawer and Micozzi.

Are YOU thick or thin skinned?

Take The Boundary Test

Thin skinned people:

Are more tuned in to feelings
React strongly to senses (light, sound, touch, taste, etc.)
Respond more strongly to pain in self and others
Are easily stressed or fatigued
Are more affected by childhood emotions
More allergic and their immune systems are more reactive

Thick skinned people:

Are more tuned in with thoughts
Less impacted by physical environment
Can brush aside emotional upsets & remain calm
Slower to recognize feelings
May feel empty or detachment
Disconnected to childhood emotions
Don’t actually feel their feelings any less but are less aware of them

Additional information:

Women tend to score thinner than men.
Older people score thicker than younger people.
Knowing your emotional boundary style can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding your loved one’s style can help you empathize with the way they process emotions.
One boundary style isn’t better than the other.

Additional resources:

Book: Your Emotional Type

About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.


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