It may surprise you to learn that lawyers are, as a whole, some of the thinnest-skinned people on earth. Everyone jokes that attorneys are egomaniacs who always need to be right, but these personality traits have actually been confirmed in large scale studies.
In fact, when compared to the general population (using a widely used HR personality test called the Caliper Profile), attorneys rank well above just everyone else when it comes to their "ego drive" -- that is, our need to be right as well as our need to persuade you of our rightness. According to the same report, lawyers also score extremely high on the "Skepticism" (90th percentile vs. 50th); "Urgency" (71 vs. 50), and "Autonomy" (89 vs. 50) traits when compared with the general population.
We are impatient egomaniacs who will not listen to or be persuaded by you.
In addition, attorneys scored extremely low on "Sociability" (less than 13% vs. 50) and "Resilience" (30% or less vs. 50).
We have no friends and when you call us names we cry.
In my case, I am also quite literally thin skinned as illustrated by my mishap many years ago with extrusion of a breast implant during my first semester law school exams. (I would have included a picture, but then my ratings for this blog would have to change; besides, it was pretty gross. If you really must see what this looks like, try a Google search.)
No wonder my first semester grades were far from stellar; I was still thinking like a Blonde (everyone else in SoCal has big boobs ...), and not like a lawyer (I should have sued the implant manufacturer to pay for law school ...).
Before I got married, I bought my fiance the book "Should You Marry a Lawyer?" just to make sure he was entering into this with full disclosure and informed consent.
He agreed anyway. (And without a prenup! Is this fair, you ask??)
But now I'm truly reevaluating many of the traits that served me well as a litigator. Was it truly necessary to yell at that customer service manager yesterday just to get a credit card fee reversed (because it was obviously not my fault), or could I have asked her nicely? Do I have to get twenty things done right now, or could some of them easily wait until next week? Can I ever admit that once in a while my husband might be right about something, and stop treating our arguments like depositions? ("I'm not on the stand!" is his favorite comeback during most of our debates.)
And is it really helpful to sulk for a couple days and not blog simply because I didn't get a callback for The Apprentice ? Or should I try to be just a little more resilient?
After all, if I'm ever going to make a real go at being a writer, rejection is just part of the game.
I could always try out for Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
What do you think? (I appreciate your not feeding the Troll until my skin grows a little thicker!)