Telling people with anxiety disorders that make them sensitive to “toughen up” is some serious bullshit. I can honestly say that this repeated bit of advice is what stopped me from getting help for more than twenty years.

“Toughen up” implies that you can get better through grit alone. Like you just need another run in with sandpaper and you’ll be able to live in this world with no problems.  (And the bitch of it is that sensitive people will tell you this most. Sure, you get the occasional blithe asshole. But mostly it’s sensitive people just trying to help.)

So—here’s your PSA of the day, PSA stands for Please Stop (giving this) Advice:

Do not tell sensitive or anxious people to “toughen up,”  or to “get a thicker skin” or even point out they’re, “just too sensitive.”

No shit.

No, seriously, no more of this shit. It’s not helpful.

What is helpful? … I don’t know. Everyone is different. But I can tell you that “sensitive” is often just a wash to ignore more complex legit issues, like depression, anxiety, and other disorders. So maybe next time someone is “just too sensitive.” Ask them, “are you ok?”

They might still punch you. I don’t know your life. Or your argument. But hey, you did your part to stop the cycle.

PSA over.

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