For people who have suffered a prolonged ordeal such as school ground bullying, time with an abuser or some kind of emergency situation that was near fatal, we become emotionally charged. Our feelings become vulnerable and raw, as if our protective shielding has been removed. It's ironic how shell shock was very similar to the extreme form of this condition during WW1 and yet perhaps we are best imagining it as a hermit crab which has lost its shell. The animal is exposed and is suddenly transformed from a placid and watchful creature into a scared, timid and possibly even violent one. It protects itself with other means until it can locate its shell.
I know when we say come out of our shell, we usually mean open up socially however maybe we can imagine this scenario to the extreme where an individual has come out of their shell to such extents due to extreme conditions and then their shell wont go back on. We as people tend to become emotional, touchy and unable to handle highly charged situations, especially those which relate somehow to the previous time. The best advice we can be given from another is to get a thicker skin, and yet this is seemingly impossible for so many of us. We go our whole lives getting affected very deeply by things which others just do not seem to mind. The truth is that they probably do mind but have learned how to overlook certain things.
For those of us who have indeed lost our skin, maybe we have some kind of physical reaction to it for example eczema or allergies. It is not uncommon for our emotional state to have a direct influence on our body if left under nourished. Let's look at how to fix that skin.
Don't take any crap from anyone. If it hurts, it hurts. Own it and let them know. Detach from those around you who hurt you the most and those who you need in your life attempt to reduce the relationship to the matters at hand alone.
Watch your own self respect. Being a nasty person towards yourself is no better than letting a nasty person be nasty to you. Don't do it. Self harm comes in all kinds of forms, from physical abuse to simple name calling or impossible expectations. Just accept you're a regular person and do what you can. You'll be surprised at how far a little self respect can go these days.
Once you've established a firm emotional body that can serve as your skin, you will feel the suffering involved however this serves as a back up system for you. It makes sure you know full well that something is not right and it triggers an immediate response. We must be very mindful to refuse an emotionally charged thought during conversation. For most it's a stretch too far. We make sure people at least back off, we respect our feelings and we give them the credit they deserve.
When we are adept at taking care of our emotional body and allowing it to remain mostly untouched, via verbal refusals to be disrespected or even simply walking away; standing up for ourselves and giving our feelings their sacred space they deserve is the key to growing a new skin, a real one. Like a bandage, our emotional body creates one layer, then our action body creates a physical layer, and beneath all of this our skin is free to grow back. Given time it will but yet like with any new piece of skin, it is never strong at first, even if it looks brand new. We must be careful and not allow the same things to happen again if we can help it.