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I guess he's learning to have thicker skin.

It requires only one insight - that what people say about you, what they think about you, is not reality.

Understand this deeply, and nobody will be able to insult you anymore. You'll realize that insults are all in your mind. You control your mind so - poof! There they go, the insults! They're as important as thinking about a cat sleeping on top of a dog. Just another thought of no particular consequence.




I'm sorry, but that is incredibly shortsighted, and I wonder if you have ever been on the receiving end of bullying if you believe that. Because I have, and I had to deal with bullshit like this coming from people who could have intervened. Yes, people who are bullied often respond overly sensitive. That's not because they need to grow a thicker skin, it's because the damn skin has been flogged away by incessant bullying - and that has to stop first before they can recover properly.

And yes, technically speaking we are just a collection of atoms in a specific configurations, but in the end that doesn't say anything meaningful about what makes us human or what makes us "tick". At the end of the day, we are a social species, hardwired to function by looking for approval from others, and especially from those we hold in high regard. That's what makes us tick, unless you're a sociopath.

If you are a passionate creator of games, I'm pretty sure that you care about what the games industry says about you. And saying "well, if the games industry treats you like shit that just means they're asshats" isn't helping. That's saying "oh, that thing you care about so much? That's bullshit!" Oh great, thanks, not only does the community surrounding the very thing I care about treat me in a way that makes me feel miserable, now I'm being told I'm a double idiot for caring about their opinion in the first place!

XKCD summed it up perfectly:

http://xkcd.com/1216/


On the contrary, it is incredibly good advice, just incredibly hard to follow. People do care about what others think of them, but you are always, absolutely always, going to come across people that disagree/hate what you do and how you do it. Sometimes these people will be those you would like to impress, or whose opinion you respect, in which case you need to re-assess, either what you are doing or your estimation of that person. If not that sort of person, grow a thick skin and move on.

EDIT: This comment has nothing to do with Phil Fish. As someone that was bullied at school, my way of dealing with it was to follow the advice of nikster exactly. I am simply agreeing with the comment by nikster, as it worked for me. Bullying is despicable, but if it happens, one has to find ways of dealing with it. This is one way that worked for me.


Ok, I'm pretty infuriated because I have seen this bullshit a thousand times, so I'm going to be blunt: you are wrong. This "advice" completely ignores the reality of the situation that someone who is being bullied finds him or herself in.

Fish asked for people to stop saying shit about him all the time, because it had turned into a thing of its own rather than a response to something he says; a sport of "who can call him a shithead in the most colourful way." That is bullying, plain and simple - when it becomes disconnected from whatever provoked it in the first place and turns into a "fun" pastime for everyone except the person being bullied.

I want you to take a moment and think about what it actually meant when Fish did that: he essentially admits that he feels miserabe, that there's nothing he can do about it and he's at the mercy of those who treat him like shit. He's showing his place as an "omega" and looking for support form others, because that's what he needs the most at that moment. So what was the response? Well, turns out that we humans when faced with such a situation, in our infinite nobility, tend to decide to bully even more to show our domination. So what followed was the typical "well, if everyone is treating you like shit, you must have done something to deserve it" justification to kick Fish down even further. So instead of toning it down people start muckraking and looking for excuses to justify further bullying.

So a guy reaches out for support from others and gets kicked down even further. Aren't we nice people?

That's how this shit works, and it's the same mechanism as saying a woman is "asking for it" when being sexually assaulted or "must have done something to provoke him" when being abused by her spouse.

It's fucking bullshit, and that situation is not comparable to coming across a few assholes that you have to mentally fortify yourself against like you describe.

Fuck this "advice". That's just bystanders like you looking for an excuse to not intervene and shush their conscience.


Ok so what is your advice? You spend a great deal of time saying how lousy his advice is, but don't come up with much in the way of alternatives...

If I was uncharitable I could easily construe your behaviour as being bullying. You attack, insult and tear down, offer no viable alternatives. At the end of the day your post is entirely negative. Funnily enough, not a million miles away from the behaviour that is upsetting you in the first place.


Don't be dense. There's a guy being bullied, and you're asking what should be done? How about stop bullying him, and telling everyone else to do so too?

Because that's what's really going on in situations like this when nobody intervenes: people being afraid to stand up to the bully/the crowd, so they kick down the bullied instead.


In the absence of being to convince half a million people to stop doing something that they seem to enjoy doing, what's Plan B?


Just like friends in school, if one standing up doesn't work, all of them standing up will. In this case, simply getting people you know to stop bullying or to voice their opinion against bullying can have a far greater effect than you think.


I'm not sure the same anti-bullying tactics that work in isolated ecosystems actually work at internet scale (or really, if they ever worked completely even in isolation).

In short though, really, I advocate the "thicker skin" advice. Even if the entire internet at large were able to quell the vast majority of criticisms towards Fish, that doesn't mean that they won't ever reoccur.

Also, despite what seems to be the opinion here, yes, it is a viable solution.


I agree that it might not work, but it is a far better alternative that inaction or to leave it solely up to the bullied to deal with the issue alone.

Also, the point is not to completely quell the criticisms towards Fish. In fact, legitimate criticisms are fine. It's the illogical bullying (negative comments for the sake of being negative) that needs to be reduced. Additionally, the goal should be to lower the levels of bullying to a degree where they bullied can actually handle the situation.

As I mentioned earlier, people can grow thicker skin but if the level of bullying is high and constant, that skin will be worn off. What bystanders should be doing is helping enough of a helping hand that Fish can recover and regrow some of that "thicker skin" that has been eroded away.

Since this point seems to be missed, "grow thicker skin" only for specific situations. In this case, which is very similar to long term bullying, it is advice that will not work because it has already failed as evidenced by Fish calling out for help (asking people to stop). As mentioned already, people need to take a look at reality and give advice that is applicable to the situation.


> If not that sort of person, grow a thick skin and move on.

I think what you're not getting here is that it is possible that somebody simply can't "grow a thick skin". For those people, the only option isn't to grow a little tougher on the outside, but to become a little deader on the inside. And that is very, very sad. So they do anything to avoid either.

Some people can't help but care. The noble thing would be to respect that, be there for them and help them. One possible outcome being that they might end up feeling safe enough to accept a little thicker skin. Usually, though, it's really about moving on, letting time pass and finding a new comfort zone once the "source of terrible" has dried up.


I disagree. It's good advice for people who deal with the occasional inflammatory comment. Or people who are having their first exposure to a large audience where negative comments are inevitable. For people who have actually been through long term bullying (I too have been through this), this advice is not helpful for the exact reasons vanderZwan stated. You can try to grow thick skin at first, but over time, even that thicker skin will be eroded and you will need a reprieve before you can recover.


Thanks for sharing your own experience. It makes me incredibly happy to see that; Hurrah!

As Byron Katie says: "I find that every time I fight reality, reality wins."Once you accept what is, new ways to move forward emerge almost instantly. As long as you're in the "I wish that never happened" or in the "Why has this happened to me" state, you're not going to do anything useful.


>"I'm sorry, but that is incredibly shortsighted, and I wonder if you have ever been on the receiving end of bullying if you believe that.

I'm not the parent, but I certainly have been subject to intense bullying. I agree that "sticks and stones" is often a gross-oversimplification of actual bullying, but I also think it's a stretch to call this bullying.

>"If you are a passionate creator of games, I'm pretty sure that you care about what the games industry says about you."

His game was pretty unanimously well-received [0]. That's overwhelming validation as a "creator of games", there's little/no contention on that count.

All the disdain stems from his hypocritical persona. I expect a little honest self-reflection about this or even just a less itchy twitter finger could have a gone a long way toward helping that.

0: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/fez


You are having a very strong reaction so I assume it's personal for you. Past experience?

A strong reaction like this is normal if the topic "pushes your buttons" - and we all have buttons to push.

When you notice anger rising in you, take it as an opportunity to see where it's coming from. Don't prevent it (you can't, so no point trying) - but look at it, get to know it. It might take you over temporarily so you're unable to do that - that's fine. At some point you'll have calmed down and the opportunity is created.

What I wrote wasn't meant as advice; it was meant as the truth. If you're ready, you will see it. If you're not ready it probably won't help you at all, it will just seem like gibberish to you. I am not here to save anyone nor could I. Things unfold at their own speed. So I meant he's having this learning experience, the bigger the breakdown, the bigger the chance to see the truth.


Yes, my buttons were pushed, and yes, due to past experience - I did announce I was bullied, didn't I? But don't worry, I've done the mindfullness thing, and it indeed helps in most situations.

But it also illustrates my point: it took me almost a decade of simply not being bullied and recovering in caring surroundings (fellow nerds with similar interests I met in college) before I was ready for these type of techniques.

To use an analogy to physical harm: saying a bullied person needs to have a thicker skin is the same as saying to "walk it off" when you have a broken leg - yeah, walking is important to get the leg working properly again, and strengthening it against future damage, but only once it's been healed somewhat. You can't start physical rehab earlier than that.


I was on the receiving end of bullying for most of my elementary years and I think this is an excellent perspective. Many of my former classmates have led pathetic little lives in comparison with what was expected of them. And the top muscle-bound jock has a beer-belly and is balding.

In any case, happiness has to come from within.


That's after-the-fact, how you are feeling about your life now, and then yes, it's fine advice. But did it help you the slightest bit when people told you this back you were being bullied?


No, it's not short-sighted, it's good long-term thinking. It may be too simplistic to be of use to somebody whose self-esteem has been reduced to ashes by long-term bullying without any viable strategy for dealing with it, but it's definitely a place that most of us can get to given time.

> At the end of the day, we are a social species, hardwired to function by looking for approval from others, and especially from those we hold in high regard. That's what makes us tick, unless you're a sociopath.

This is bullshit conjecture with some convenient nasty labeling ("sociopath") for anybody that doesn't fit your mold. It's not as hard-wired as you think. It's mostly software, a lot of it installed by our parents, all of it hackable.


> This is bullshit conjecture with some convenient nasty labeling ("sociopath") for anybody that doesn't fit your mold.

I'm not saying that not caring about ones particular opinion makes you a sociopath - that's misinterpreting my words.

Saying that we are hardwired as a social species is not conjecture, it's what evidence from pretty much every bit of research on the subject shows - from psychological experiments to brainscans showing that feeling "pain" over not being treated nicely isn't a metaphor - it actually activates the same areas of the brain as things that physically hurt.

And how else would you explain that social isolation even works as a form of punishment/torture in the first place?


Certainly, we are a social species. There are thousands of social species. Isolate certain birds from social interaction, and they'll be depressed as well. I'm not talking about real isolation, they kind they do in psychological experiments.

What is conjecture, as far as I can tell, is that we're "hardwired to function by looking for approval from others".

> it's what evidence from pretty much every bit of research on the subject shows - from psychological experiments to brainscans showing that feeling "pain" over not being treated nicely isn't a metaphor - it actually activates the same areas of the brain as things that physically hurt.

But that doesn't tell me the order of operations. Is it, a) Someone does something "not nice" (leaving aside whatever that specifically means) b) My senses take the event in c) My lizard-brain activates my pain center d) I have a bad emotional reaction

Or is it a) Someone does something "not nice" (leaving aside whatever that specifically means) b) My senses take the event in c) I have a bad emotional reaction d) My lizard-brain activates my pain center

?




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