Are Some People Immune to Resistance?

Over the years I’ve met a particular personality type and of late they seem to be showing up in my feeds more often: the folks who for all appearances do not care at all what other people think of them.

These are the folks who say “When I called your idea stupid and it hurt your feelings, that’s on you. They’re your feelings.” When they get negative feedback, it has no appreciable impact.

I do not like these people, but they do seem to be immune to Resistance.

Brain befuddling thought: perhaps they are Resistance embodied. They have never and will never let anyone close enough to hurt them, which keeps Resistance at bay because, y’know, vampires don’t bite other vampires (do they? I do know know any vampires so I’m guessing here.)

Long ago a writer friend gave me some blunt feedback about my writing and said I was going to have to grow a thick skin to be an artist. I disagree, vehemently. To create requires transparent skin; we’re sharing what’s inside us for the world to see. What we have to grow is the strength not to listen to the haters or even the well-meaning-but-wrong friends.

Creating something requires caring enough to be vulnerable. I have some prejudices about the ability of the people I mentioned earlier to create work that would move me. I’m okay with being wrong about that, if that’s how it turns out.

This is #1 on the list Ways Not to Deal with Resistance.

5 thoughts on “Are Some People Immune to Resistance?

  1. I feel this conversation I once had with someone is relevant.

    I’ve known an unrelated person for several years, met them online and kept in touch, know them pretty well. One day we were conversing about our difference in attitudes, and they asked me about hypothetically forgiving someone who maybe had done some very terrible things that’d affect me or those around me badly. I don’t recall how it went exactly, but I did bring up that ideally I’d have to forgive others, since I’d want forgiveness extended to me. Forgive others to be forgiven, a pretty basic thing on an individual level.

    They disagreed: they never, ever let go of grudges, don’t forgive others, and thus don’t expect to be forgiven. And no, they didn’t mean big things. Plenty of small grudges they hadn’t forgotten many, many years later.

    The only time I’ve ever seen this individual not have an incredibly, impenetrably thick skin, was when they were in extreme pain and on some extremely powerful medication to deal with that pain, and during that period finding out that yes, in the past they did have things that affected them, though nothing too out of the ordinary had ever happened to them. Once the pain and meds were gone though, back to impenetrable wall of immunity.

    I would definitely consider them immune to resistance, should their field have been artistic instead of what it actually is. But that tradeoff seems to be empathy, more specifically empathy for anyone outside their personal circle, where the reason they are immune to what others say about them is specifically because they accept that as a tradeoff so that they can say whatever they want about others, is not an acceptable one.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion.

    I know that I’m more sensitive than most people, that my feelings get bruised more than some. I also know that I’m often the first person to ask someone else “What’s wrong?” or “Are you okay?” when no one else notices.

    I’ll take it.

  3. Hmmm. Fascinating.

    There are Definitely a couple ways to see these folks: One, they understand the nature of projection and act based on that; or two, they are So embodied in “resistance” that they’ve become a piece of wood: “I have no feelings and I refuse to f*k around in yours, because they are Yours, buddy, so go to hell and leave me alone about it.” That’s how it feels to me, when people to answer My feelings with their “talk to the hand” response.

    I know a Lot of vampires, Joel, and I can be one myself on a hard day. Vampires appreciate each other because nothing is expected and certainly nothing is given — it’s a pact and it works with anyone who is ready for combat at any time of day or night. They usually have very stiff shoulders, walk like football players.

    However — I don’t believe they are immune to the resistant world they live in. They’re Highly, Dangerously allergic and thus have to hide inside this tent they have around them. I completely agree with you that an artist cannot, must not, grow the famous “thick skin.” This is merely saying that you must cease being an artist in order to be an artist. The Only way I can be who I am without destroying myself is, apparently, to accept and covet being a faint leaf blowing in a strong, hot wind. Jeeezuz, what a seeming contradiction (or maybe not Seeming at all): I must be ready to die every moment in order to truly live. It’s a freaking razor’s edge, right, and how many folks do you see who are willing to live that way.

    WTF, I don’t know. But I agree with you, deeply.

  4. I must be ready to die every moment in order to truly live.

    Amen to that.

    They’re Highly, Dangerously allergic and thus have to hide inside this tent they have around them.

    Intriguing. This might mean they’re not immune to it but that they’ve removed themselves so far from the struggle that they’ll never take a bullet.

  5. I think most of us by nature are sensitive. We want to be liked. We want friends. We want love. That’s who we are. That’s in our blood. But we all get hurt. We really like or love someone who doesn’t feel the same. Or maybe our parents were cold and pushed us away. I think that’s where it all starts.

    Some use this as a learning experience and grow while others stand still and build walls. What you’re seeing are people who never grew after they experienced deep emotional pain. I feel as if those are the ones who take those painful scares and use it as an excuse to stop caring.

    It’s incredibly sad but we see it every day.

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