A lesson from MamaBear, with whom I was weeding yesterday in preparation for planting vegetables in the garden:
If you go in tentatively, uncertain, the prickles on the leaves will stick you in a painful fashion. The thing to do is go for the base, firmly, with confidence, and the prickles don't hurt you. Miraculous, and mataphorical.
Or, as MamaBear then pointed out, some people just wear gloves.