The ‘Thick Skin’ Myth and How We View Emotions in Rural America [episode 25]

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I saw a recent meme that, while I know was meant to be funny, it quite honestly…ruffled my feathers. The meme read “If you’ve ever worked cattle with your dad, brother, mom, or soon to be spouse, you are probably not a sensitive snowflake”. I’ve talked before about this kind of content being shared often on the rural ag side of the internet, which I find to be more concerning than humorous. I personally consider myself to have relatively thick skin, and I sometimes know that what I feel on the inside is NOT the same as what I show people on the outside. I’ve become pretty proficient at falling asleep to my feelings, and have grown almost ‘numb’, so I forget they even exist.

For way too long, we’ve been taught that emoting is ‘bad’, and having ‘thick skin’ is the best way to show strength. In today’s episode, I’m sharing more about the ‘thick skin’ myth, and how we view emotions in rural America. I’m discussing more about what it really means for our health and well-being when we’re constantly repressing and numbing our emotions, the recent, alarming suicide rates in the farming and ag space, how we can actually go about changing the status quo in our communication and relationships in rural America, and more. 

Maybe we’re not ‘sensitive snowflakes’ in the ag space, but the way we’ve been doing things clearly isn’t working either – it’s literally KILLING US! If you can’t tell by now, I’m pretty fired up about this topic, and I believe the ‘thick skin’ myth is truly just that. It’s time we make positive changes moving forward, instead of doing things the way we’ve always done them, just because that’s all we’ve known. Remember – showing emotions doesn’t make us weak, but the act of shoving them down and ignoring them does!

In this episode, The ‘Thick Skin’ Myth and How We View Emotions in Rural America, we cover:

  • The difference between someone who is a ‘snowflake’ and someone who has ‘thick skin’
  • What it really means for ourselves and our overall health when we’re continually repressing and numbing our emotions + recent suicide rates in agriculture
  • Why it’s time to change the status quo in how we approach emotions, communication, and relationships in rural America + steps to actually do this
  • A simple practice to help you get quicker and better at feeling your emotions

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More about the Good Movement Draws Good Movement podcast:

In stockmanship (the art and science of handling cattle in a safe, effective, low-stress manner), we have this phrase . . . good movement draws good movement. 

It’s this thing that happens when we ask a small group of cattle, maybe a cow, or a pair to move out in a certain direction and their movement draws the whole herd into moving in the same direction.

Good movement happens when we approach the cattle with a positive attitude, read and really listen to what they’re telling us, and communicate accordingly. 

We don’t approach the aware, flighty cattle the same as we do the tame, docile cattle. We adjust ourselves, our energy, and approach, and communicate with each differently.

These adjustments help us effectively draw good movement from each, which then draws good movement from the herd. But it starts with us.

The same is true for humans. Good movement starts with us.

Welcome to Good Movement Draws Good Movement, the podcast where farmers, ranchers, and rural folks can grow relationally through awareness, understanding, and effective communication.

Hey, it’s me – T. I’m your host, and I, along with my guests, will be covering topics related to drawing good movement – things like self and social awareness, brain science, positive psychology, extending grace, and so much more. 

We’ll share tools that can help you understand why you are the way you are, why others are the way they are, and how you can use that to step out of self-told lies with grace and compassion to draw good movement in conversations, relationships, and life in rural America. 

Tune in every Tuesday and make sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode! Let’s go draw good movement!

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