Criticism can hurt, but it can also uncover areas of growth if you’re willing to dig into your own fears, let go of people’s opinions and remember the success you have achieved, writes LaRae Quy. “Thick-skinned people are not afraid to move into the unknown because they know they will discover more about their talents and skillsets,” Quy writes.



When I landed on my new FBI squad, I was given the sobriquet of Princess. I treated the nickname with a healthy combination of suspicion and curiosity. I knew my male colleagues would watch my reaction as they asked themselves this question: can she take a joke? Better yet—can she take the irritation?

Since I’m not stupid, it didn’t take me long to figure out that other agents also had nicknames. It took years for me to realize that Bugs was christened with the name of Jeff at birth. Who knows why he was called Bugs, but the point was this: he didn’t whine and complain about it. None of the agents complained, so neither did I. We had thick enough skin to understand that nicknames were a test of social stress. They were a way of uncovering character as well as building camaraderie.

It wasn’t about random insults; it was about, “Can you take it?”

In other words, can you be useful to the team? Can you do the job? Because life’s battles will always fall on whether or not you can put your shoulder to the task before you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop making excuses. Stop blaming others. Suck up and do your job because guess what? There’s always a grain of truth in a nickname. Maybe I needed to get down and dirty to do my job and stop acting like a—princess who looked down on investigations that might soil my silk blouse.

Let’s face it. Being tolerant of irritating colleagues and other people is often the first casualty of stress. The confluence of so many events in life today has produced an environment that that is both critical and sensitive.