Why “Grow Thicker Skin” Is Bad Advice

Sensitivity isn't exactly embraced in our culture. It's considered weak, whiny, and vulnerable. It's much better to be impassive, indifferent, and thick-skinned. Here's another idea. "Grow thicker skin" is some of the most useless advice around on how to deal with...

read more

How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

When I graduated college, I got a job as a technical writer. I signed an apartment lease, wrote "technical writer" as my occupation, and my friend Nolan looked at it and said: "Dude, you're a writer!" Um, I guess, I told him. Does that really count, though? ...

read more

How to Book a Private Stonehenge Tour

A few years back, I was lucky enough to visit a spot that's on many a bucket list: Stonehenge. Travel snobs will tell you it's overrated and there are better places to visit. Maybe I'm basic, but you have to be pretty spoiled not to appreciate the prehistoric splendor...

read more

How Inertia Can Wreck Your Finances

As a journalist with mild social anxiety, I often dread interviewing people in person. It makes me nervous, I worry I won't ask the right questions, and I'll look dumb. Don’t get me wrong, every time I interview someone, I’m glad to have done it. Not only do I get...

read more

Why “Being Present” Is So Difficult

Back in the day, I used to go to loud, crowded, sweaty concerts. It was never really my thing, I mostly hugged the wall and gripped my drink, but a friend in our circle was so into it. One night, jumping around, he turned to me and shouted, "Man, this is my element!"...

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The Single Hardest Thing About Negotiating

Here's what I used to say about negotiating in my early 20s: "If you have a good job, you don't need to negotiate. My boss just gives me raises!" Man, I was naïve. At first glance, it seems like a pretty good deal, right? You never even have to ask, your boss just...

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kristinwong

Hey! I'm Kristin. I've written stuff all over the place, including Lifehacker, NBC News, Fox Digital, and more. Here, I share everything I learn about how to freelance, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn't working. Want to learn more? Start here.

What You're Saying

  • GK: I moved to NYC last year in July with no credit history in the US. Only Bank that offered me a credit card was...
  • Done by Forty: First, congratulations on the book deal! Count Mrs. Done by Forty and I in for one copy. (And we...
  • Alex: Where do you recommend I place my money if I’m saving for larger purchases (in excess of $5,000?) Why do...
  • Vivian Tejeda: First off, congratulations on your book deal! This post brings self-awareness to mind. Sometimes, the...
  • Anna Weisend: Congratulations on the book! How exciting for you! It takes a lot of maturity and humility to sift...

Why “Grow Thicker Skin” Is Bad Advice

Sensitivity isn’t exactly embraced in our culture. It’s considered weak, whiny, and vulnerable. It’s much better to be impassive, indifferent, and thick-skinned.

Here’s another idea. “Grow thicker skin” is some of the most useless advice around on how to deal with rejection.

how to deal with rejection

I’ll admit, it’s a somewhat subjective phrase, but let’s break down the metaphor for funsies. Thick skin suggests distance between the stimulus and your response. Instead of receiving the criticism or feedback, your skin is so thick that it doesn’t even register on your radar at all. It’s like tossing a pebble at a turtle. It bounces right off the turtle’s back, and the turtle has no idea it even happened.

Is that what we really want to be? Dumb, oblivious turtles?

I don’t suggest we all start crying in a fetal position anytime someone says the wrong thing or we feel a little stressed. But the concept of thick skin sort of goes to the other extreme. Instead of figuring out how to deal with rejection, we choose to not let it get it to us at all. We’re supposed to be completely invulnerable to anything that doesn’t go our way, and that doesn’t solve anything, either.

Let me give you a personal example.   (more…)

Why “Grow Thicker Skin” Is Bad Advice

Sensitivity isn't exactly embraced in our culture. It's considered weak, whiny, and vulnerable. It's much better to be impassive, indifferent, and thick-skinned. Here's another idea. "Grow thicker skin" is some of the most useless advice around on how to deal with...

read more

How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

When I graduated college, I got a job as a technical writer. I signed an apartment lease, wrote "technical writer" as my occupation, and my friend Nolan looked at it and said: "Dude, you're a writer!" Um, I guess, I told him. Does that really count, though? ...

read more

How to Book a Private Stonehenge Tour

A few years back, I was lucky enough to visit a spot that's on many a bucket list: Stonehenge. Travel snobs will tell you it's overrated and there are better places to visit. Maybe I'm basic, but you have to be pretty spoiled not to appreciate the prehistoric splendor...

read more

How Inertia Can Wreck Your Finances

As a journalist with mild social anxiety, I often dread interviewing people in person. It makes me nervous, I worry I won't ask the right questions, and I'll look dumb. Don’t get me wrong, every time I interview someone, I’m glad to have done it. Not only do I get...

read more
kristinwong

Hey! I'm Kristin. I've written stuff all over the place, including Lifehacker, NBC News, Fox Digital, and more. Here, I share everything I learn about how to freelance, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn't working. Want to learn more? Start here.

What You're Saying

  • GK: I moved to NYC last year in July with no credit history in the US. Only Bank that offered me a credit card was...
  • Done by Forty: First, congratulations on the book deal! Count Mrs. Done by Forty and I in for one copy. (And we...
  • Alex: Where do you recommend I place my money if I’m saving for larger purchases (in excess of $5,000?) Why do...
  • Vivian Tejeda: First off, congratulations on your book deal! This post brings self-awareness to mind. Sometimes, the...
  • Anna Weisend: Congratulations on the book! How exciting for you! It takes a lot of maturity and humility to sift...