When talking about rejection, it’s mostly related to that of a social nature.
Wikipedia describes it as an occurrence when “an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction, for social rather than practical reasons”.
In order words, people could include you in an activity, but they purposely choose not to. Kirsten Weir provided a great explanation of this phenomenon:
Anyone who lived through high school gym class knows the anxiety of being picked last for the dodgeball team. The same hurt feelings bubble up when you are excluded from lunch with co-workers, fail to land the job you interviewed for or are dumped by a romantic partner.
A study published by magazine Science proposed that, as far as the brain is concerned, pain of rejection can be the same as one of a physical injury. This only goes to show that fearing rejection is not as benign as some may think, and that it’s only natural for us to want to avoid pain.
While it may be true, we’re still going to face rejection, whether we want to or not. Therefore, instead of just dealing with the aftermath of feeling shitty every time it happens, the smart move is to prepare yourself beforehand.
It’s nothing but pure prevention; you know it’s going to happen sooner or later, so you might as well be ready for it when it comes; alternative is pleading ignorance when things are great, and then feeling overwhelmed when the shit hits the fan.
Sadly, what puts most people off is the reality of things. Deep down, all of us already know the only true solution for overcoming our fears, but it’s not easy. In fact, it’s terrifying.
“PICKING UP” THE PACE
The only way to overcome your fears is to expose yourself to them. Afterwards, you realize nothing that bad or dramatic happened, and you feel a little bit better. Rinse and repeat until your fear is diminished to such an extent that you don’t even think about it.
Now let’s put all theory and explanations aside, and jump straight into story mode. This part is written from a guy’s perspective, but highlights important issues that can be applied to any form of rejection.
Once upon a time, just like many other guys out there, I had big troubles approaching and talking to the opposite sex. One of the main underlying problems that prevents most guys from making the leap is an irrational of rejection.
From a third person perspective, if a guy approaches a girl and she rejects him, nothing really happens. But from the guy’s perspective, it’s horrifying; you’re not only rejected, but publicly humiliated. Everybody can see you, some even openly laugh and ridicule you.
Beforehand, your mind starts to wonder about the worst possible outcomes. “Maybe she’ll throw a drink in your face. Maybe she came with her bodybuilder boyfriend who will beat you up if you say anything. Some girls even yell and insult you for no good reason. What if she is actually…”
Stop. Just stop it. Shut the fuck up.
This is the perfect example of analysis paralysis, when your mind races a thousand miles a second to the point where you scare the shit out of yourself, and never actually take action.
The reason most guys don’t know how to talk to girls is because they don’t talk to girls. They get scared shitless before even opening their mouth.
I get it. I was there and it sucks. Deep down, you know nothing immensely bad really happens if a girl rejects you.
Despite knowing this, you are still scared and still take it personally if somebody rejects you, even though she maybe has a boyfriend, just wants to spend time with her friends or simply doesn’t like you.
And the fact is, there’s nothing wrong with her if she doesn’t like you. There are girls you don’t find attractive, and you can’t really influence who you attract, or who attracts you.
The reason why most guys still suck with women is that they don’t want to face the facts. The only way to get over your fear if to purposely expose yourself to it.
If you’re scared of spiders, you can’t read a bunch of articles and be cured of your fear; you need to embrace spiders, look at them, touch them and see that those little fuckers are nothing to be scared of.
In the same fashion, you can read up on all the pick-up methods and techniques, memorize all the lines and listen to all the gurus, but when you step into the club, you’re still going to feel the same way. The only way to get better and minimalize your fear is to be scared but do it anyway. Rinse and repeat.
Sometime after successfully managing to deal with rejection, I had a seasonal job promoting wine. My job was to attract customers, promote the product, and potentially sell it. Naturally, there were times when I was flat-out rejected; while most people were somewhat polite, there were times when I was ignored, people didn’t want to speak with me, or even turned hostile.
I couldn’t help but feel bad when it happened. However, my sorrow didn’t last for long. I knew it wasn’t personal and didn’t let it bother me too much. If I hadn’t gotten used to getting rejected, I would’ve taken it much worse, and it probably would’ve affected my sales.
This applies to any form of fear and rejection. If you weren’t invited to that party last week, don’t sulk and act passive-aggressive; if someone purposely didn’t want you around, well, they must have had a good reason. Besides, why the fuck would you want to spend time with somebody who doesn’t like you?
Rejection plays a big part in all of our lives, and the more times you get rejected, it gets either better or worse.
If you let it chew you out and spit you out feeling like you aren’t worth anything, it’s going to be a long recovery. But if you realize that it’s pointless to worry and that you are awesome despite being rejected, it’s going to feel like less of a burden each time it happens.
It’s going to feel better and better, until one day you won’t care much for what people who reject you think. Being on both sides of the fence at one point my life, I can tell you that the latter feels very, very good.
In reality, the worst outcome is that fear stops you from doing what you want. To purposely reject doing what you want because you are scared – that is the ultimate rejection.