Have a Thicker Skin

Do you remember that line in “You’ve Got Mail”? The one that says, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” I have always loved that movie, and I have always loved Meg Ryan’s response to that old saying:

What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?” – Kathleen Kelly.

What’s so wrong with being personal? What’s so wrong with being nice? What’s so wrong with having a thin skin.

If you work in TV, if you’re involved in sports, if you work with men, women, in an office, in a school…pretty much, there has been some situation in your life where you’ve heard the phrase, “you need to have a thicker skin.”

I’ve now worked in broadcasting for about 10 years. I’ve met so many great people along the way. I’ve gotten compliments on my work and my style. I’ve had amazing interaction with fans who have become friends. There are so many good things that have happened, and people I have met, it would be hard to fit it on this never ending page.

 

However, it’s funny how the back-handed compliments, the put downs, the mean tweets are the ones that you will never forget.

I have a big nose. I smile too big. I seem too peppy. Those are just some of the things I’ve heard over the years. Someone sent me a hair clip once and told me to to pull my hair back. Another person sent me the same email over and over telling me I was uglier than “Donald Trump in a speedo”. Donald Trump in a speedo? Come on, give me a little credit! LOL

Every time, I hear the same words in my head – “Have a thicker skin” – but the truth is, I don’t, and I don’t want to. It’s not in my make up. I am who I am. Unfortunately, it’s taken me 10 years in the biz and 30+ in life to figure that out. (Even though I still won’t put down my age – ha!)

I might smile too big – yes, my nose bothers even me – and I get overly excited at times about a big game or a big interview.

But here’s the deal: I LOVE my job. I am GENUINELY that happy to be doing what I’m doing. And that’s the way God made me!
I know it comes with the territory. I’m lucky to be where I am, and I understand criticism will always follow at some point in time.

That being said, I have an incredible fan base in the Oklahoma City Thunder that has been nothing but supportive (except the occasional note:) since the day I started 5 years ago. I will forever be grateful. I love these fans.

But here’s an idea for young up-and-comers, or anyone needing to hear that we all have been there:

It’s ok to be thinned skin – it’s ok to care what people think. I do! Probably too much, but it drives me every day to be a better person, first and foremost, and to be better at my job. And after so many years, I’ve become comfortable with the fact that that’s just me.

3 Replies to “Have a Thicker Skin”

  1. Lesley, you are awesome! You just keep being you. You know that all the haters’ words’ are merely meant to make them feel important. So, you’re doing them a good deed giving them a platform to feel better about themselves. Lol Just reply with empathy (if you feel the need to reply) and it’s all good. I’ve been a STM since day one and have watched the other reporters come and go. You are part of our family and we will back you 100%.

  2. Lesley, try not to dwell on what the haters might say! I love watching you on the Thunder broadcasts. Keep on smiling that big smile! You are beautiful…

  3. Anyone that says anything bad about you is just jealous. You are fantastic. We miss you in Abilene, but love seeing you on Rangers broadcasts.

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